There is not a wrong time to read some great witchy YA books. That said, there is something particularly good about reading new witchy YA books as the seasons begin to shift toward shorter days and nights. Lighting a candle and cracking open the windows to dig into a story about people who have magic powers, who often have cute or terrifying familiars, and who want to change their worlds? Count me in. We’re lucky, too, in that YA continues to offer more and more witchy books that are representative of the world at large. These books are queerer and more colorful than they ever have been before.
Whether you’re new to witchy books or are looking to add some more great options to your TBR, let’s dive into some outstanding new books that have hit shelves this year. Don’t like especially scary books or want more sweet witch stories? Never fear. Those are well represented here, too.
Bonus: Tirzah highlighted a ton more YA witch books publishing this year, and I’ve not repeated any below. Twice the witchy goodness!
Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson
Miliani, Inez, Natalie, and Jasmine are best friends who love their town of Providence, Rhode Island. To them, it is all things magic. But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the friends are shattered. In an effort to work through their grief, they decide to resurrect Jasmine’s spirit using their combined magic. The problem is it does not go anything as they’d planned. If you love friendship stories and stories about magic (with a little Filipine magic), this debut will be up your alley.
Not Good for Maidens by Tori Bovalino
The Wickett women have always taken care of the victims of the local goblin market. But when May Wickett falls for a goblin girl, her family’s legacy is forever connected to them.
Fast forward 17 years and now Lou — May’s niece — is inextricable drawn to the goblin market and together, they have to face their history in order to break the curse haunting their family.
Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert
This standalone dark contemporary fantasy is being compared to The Craft, which means it is on my TBR. It’s a story about suburban witches, told in two timelines, mother-daughter relationships, and all of the thriller vibes.
Dana befriends a girl in her teen years that turns out to be A No Good Person and deals with the fallout of that relationship for a long time. Now, 20 years later, her daughter Ivy is tracking down a similar path.
Over My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo
Set at Younwity’s Institute of Magic during the days leading up to Samhain, when the veil between the living world and the dead is thinnest, Abby wakes up and discovers her best friend Noreen has disappeared. What’s weirdest is most of Abby’s classmates seem not to care about it. They’re too busy preparing for the festivities and believe that the school’s Coven will find Noreen safe and sound. No one seems concerned about the forbidden woods seeming just a little more foreboding than usual, either.
Abby’s not settling for that and begins to search out answers herself, with the help of a couple of friends. What she unravels is a thread of secrets throughout the institution and a governing Coven who may be anything but the kind of leadership the institution deserves. And Noreen’s disappearance has a lot of similarities to the disappearance of a student years before.
This vibrant, full-colored graphic novel features a wide range of queer witches and witches of color, and it is a visual delight through and through.
Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
This is the first book in a series about Violet, a morally gray witch who has a lot of power within the royal court. She doesn’t mind lying. Prince Cyrus hopes to get Violet out of her role when he takes the crown at the end of summer, but when Violet launches a false prophecy on behalf of the king — one meant to show Cyrus his “one true love” for the royal ball — she accidentally unleashes a a curse…and she may be falling for the one person she can’t stand to fall for, too.
The Witchery by S. Isabelle
Badass witches and dark magic set in a witch academy? Yes, please!
Logan is a new witch struggling with her powers and is taken under the tutelage of a deathwitch, a green witch, and a witch who is thirsty for more power. It won’t be long before Wolves rise up to attack humans and witches alike, but there isn’t a good alliance between humans and witches.
All four of the student witches are going to have to band together to not only secure that alliance but to take down the Wolves who are hungry for blood.