10 May YA Releases to TBR

Tirzah Price

Senior Contributing Editor

Most of Tirzah Price's life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, published by HarperTeen, and Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.

Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan.

When Karina Ahmed’s parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, she expects some peace and quiet. Instead, she gets roped into a fake-dating scheme with her school’s resident bad boy, Ace Clyde. Tutoring him was already crossing a line, but pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books a week. Though Karina agrees, she can’t help but start counting down the days until her parents come back and things return to normal.

May has arrived and it is a month bursting with new YA books! If you want to stack your TBR for all the summer reading, this is your time! This month has a bunch of amazing new releases from much-loved authors, such as Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee, Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard, and Switch by A.S. King — but since those books are probably on your radar, check out these other amazing May 2021 YA books as well!

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Quinn is a list-maker. She makes lists about anything and everything, including her worst fears and all of the times she’d cried. But when her journal with all her lists goes missing, and an anonymous social media account posts Quinn’s list of her seven greatest fears, she is blackmailed into doing them all in order to keep the rest of her journal private. She turns to Carter, the last known person to have seen her journal before it went missing, to help find her journal before she runs out of time — but along the way Quinn finds herself facing what scares her the most.

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Set in a climate-ravaged world, this book follows Cee, who knows that she has a sister beyond the island that she’s stranded on, but remembers nothing more about her life before she got to the island, or how she got there. Kasey lives in an eco-city that was built to protect residents from relentless natural disasters and she’s happy there — except her sister Cecilia disappeared, and Kasey isn’t sure where she went. As she retraces her steps, she’ll uncover secrets about her sister she never knew…and reveal a secret of her own.

Cool For the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Lara has had a crush on Chase for years, and now that summer is upon her, it seems as though she’s about to get her chance at a real summer flirtation and romance with him. But then someone from her past appears: Jasmine. Jasmine has haunted Lara’s memories in a really confusing way ever since they spent the perfect summer together, and now that she’s here, Lara isn’t sure which direction her heart is pulling her in.

From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn

Rika lives with her aunt and two cousins in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, where even if her life situation might seem like something from a fairytale, she knows that she’s no princess. And yet, when she sees move star Grace Kimura at a festival, she becomes convinced that Grace might be her long-lost mom. She teams up with Hank Chen, a cute young actor, and together they are on the mystery of discovering the secrets of Rika’s past…but Rika can’t expect to find a fairytale ending, right?

The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk

Alina had dreams of being a professional ballet dancer, but those dreams ended when a fall broke her leg. Now that her leg has healed and her career is over, she is headed to normal high school. She reluctantly goes out for the school musical, and she meets Jude. Alina thinks she might actually be able to fall for him, but in order to truly heal from her injuries (emotional and physical) and find a new way forward, she has to confront her painful past and racism of the professional dance world.

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

Reyna has grown up at the Plumeria, her family’s resort in Tobago. She’s always loved her family business, but ever since her mom died and her childhood best friend Aiden left the island to pursue his music career, she feels like everyone is moving on without her. And then Aiden returns — but this time he’s a VIP and his band has hit it big. Reyna doesn’t know what to make of him, or his bandmates and their entourage. Can she even still connect with Aiden and the person he’s become when she’s not changed a bit since he left?

A Sitting at St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia

This new novel from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia is sure to be an incredible read for teens and adults alike. It begins in 1860 Louisiana when Madame Sylvie Guilbert, the mistress of Le Petit Cottage, decides to sit for a portrait, despite the objections of her family. It’s all part of a carefully weighed plan, and the book will take readers through the decades and generations to examine the effects of slavery, brutality, and keeping dark secrets.

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

This is the perfect book for anyone who loves You’ve Got Mail and wants a fun YA update! Madeline loves her family’s indie bookstore and plans on taking it over after college, but those plans are thwarted when a chain bookstore opens up across the street, threatening to shut her family business down. For Madeline, the competition is about more than just books and a job, but she doesn’t expect Jasper, the new bookseller at the chain, to be so cute or so good at his job!

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Valerie Kwon and her cousin run the school’s most successful business, selling Korean beauty products to their fellow students. Valerie is saving up her profits to take her beloved grandmother on the trip of her dreams, but her plans are threatened when Wes Jung shows up, and decides to sell the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to make friends in a new school. He’s saving his money to pay for music school tuition, but he has no idea that he’s about to go head to head with Valerie’s business — or fall for her along the way!

Off the Record by Camryn Garrett cover

Off the Record by Camryn Garrett

For fans of Grown, and those who want to read an empowering story set against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, pick up this novel about Josie, a teen journalist who is ecstatic when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile and finds herself brushing with the rich and famous. But when an actress tells her something off the record, Josie has a lead on an even bigger story — one that deserves to be told, but could expose her to a bunch of ugly backlash. Josie has to figure out if she has what it takes to chase the truth and expose the secrets she finds.

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