Young Adult Literature

The 10 Best New Young Adult Books of January 2024

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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.

Welcome to 2024! I am so excited for a new year of Young Adult releases, a new year of book challenges, and a new year of new release round-up lists. I’m already making my library holds lists and preorder lists, and 2024 has a strong lineup of great new books I can’t wait to get my hands on. We’re starting out strong here in January with so many top-tier YA releases that I couldn’t possibly cover them all in one post — but if you want to get a longer list, I definitely recommend checking out our New Release Index, which includes a curated (yet expansive!) database of all sorts of new releases, and you can narrow down your search to just YA!

This month has a bunch of big releases that are probably already on your radar, including Emma Lord’s newest, Invocations by Krystal Sutherland, Heartstopper Vol. 5, and the newest release from Mason Deaver. For this list, I’ve included more books that might not be on your radar but definitely ought to be! There’s a ton of (queer!) classic retellings hitting shelves this month, as well as fantasy new releases, funny YA contemporary novels, some hard-hitting YA, and a must-not-miss YA nonfiction title about racism. Buckle up, readers — it’s going to be a very full January!

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A Fragile Enchantment by Allison Saft

Niamh possesses magic that allows her to create the most enchanting garments — but it is slowly killing her. When she gets a chance to design a wedding wardrobe for royalty, she leaps at the opportunity, hoping the commission can provide for her family, but the last thing she expects is to fall for the groom.

Book cover of Diary of a Confused Feminist

Diary of a Confused Feminist by Kate Weston

In this epistolary novel, Kat keeps a journal to help her achieve her goals and remind her of her intentions — mainly to stop obsessing over her crush and learn how to be a good feminist so she can dismantle the patriarchy. But it turns out that figuring out how to do so is a lot harder than she expects.

Arya Khanna's Bollywood Moment cover

Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat

Arya’s life is a bit chaotic at this moment: her family is reunited and preparing for her older sister’s impending marriage, and life at school and with her two best friends is going sideways. Arya struggles to keep her head above water both at school and at home, but with some irrevocable changes on the horizon, something has to give…but Arya won’t be without some epic moments along the way.

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Escaping Mr. Rochester by L.L. McKinney

When Jane takes a position as governess at Thornfield Hall, she welcomes the chance to make her own wage and hold on to her independence. Her new employer, Edward Rochester, is charming and handsome, but he conceals dark secrets and unimaginable danger. When Jane discovers Bertha, his wife, locked in the attic, she and Bertha conspire to outwit Edward before they’re both trapped at Thornfield forever.

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Most Ardently by Gabe Cole Novoa

Oliver Bennet is feeling increasingly constricted by his life, where his family and society expect him to live as “Elizabeth” and wear a pretty dress and make a good match — but Oliver has no interest in marrying or pretending to be someone he’s not. While out and about dressed as a gentleman, Oliver meets Darcy and finds that the Darcy he gets to know as Oliver is far different than the Darcy he met as Elizabeth. But with mounting pressure to make a good match, Oliver finds himself soon at a crossroads, making vital decisions about his future happiness.

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My Fair Brady by Brian D. Kennedy

Wade has just been passed over for the lead role in the spring musical — it’s going to his ex instead. Elijah is shy, which is why working on the stage crew is more his speed. But when the two of them have a run-in backstage, they hatch a plan to make Elijah popular and prove that there’s more to Wade than his self-involved goals for the future. But when this plan works a bit too well, Wade has to re-evaluate what matters most to him.

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The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee by Ellen Oh

Mina Lee is a webcomic creator, and she can spend hours lost in the world of her own creation…but that doesn’t mean she expects to actually live in it! When she gets sucked into her own fictional world, she soon finds herself facing off against a supervillain with the hot hero of her own imagination as the story takes on a life of its own.

Just Say Yes cover

Just Say Yes by Goldy Moldavsky

Jimena has just discovered she’s undocumented, which is a huge downer for her future plans. Desperate to stay in the U.S., she figures her best bet is to get someone to marry her ASAP. She’s nearly 18, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. Because the only person she trusts enough to tell her why she needs to be married is someone who has his own plans for the future, leaving Jimena scrambling to find someone to say “I do” to before it’s too late.

Red by Annie Cardi cover

Red by Annie Cardi

When Tess and her mom have to move in with her grandparents unexpectedly, she doesn’t expect to enjoy going to church — a condition of their moving in — as much as she does. But when something that Tess does is exposed to the church community, she faces ostracism and harassment. Struggling, she finds solace and friendship where she least expects it…and has to figure out if she has the strength to confront the toxicity and abuse she’s endured.

Everything I Learned About racism I Learned in School cover

Everything I Learned About Racism I Learned in School by Tiffany Jewell

In this book, which is part memoir and part nonfiction, Tiffany Jewell outlines her experience with racism within schools, from elementary school to university, and highlights the systemic issues of racism within the school system. This important book also includes contributions from Joanna Ho, Minh Lê, Randy Ribay, Torrey Maldonado, and many more, including some teen writers.

Want more great YA reads? Check out our round-up of new December YA releases!