10 Great October 2020 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.

Fence: Striking Distance.

Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion who dreams of getting the proper training he could never afford. After earning a place on the elite Kings Row fencing team, Nicholas must prove himself to his rival, Seiji Katayma, and navigate the clashes, friendships, and relationships between his teammates on the road to state championships. The first installment of this original YA novel series by Sarah Rees Brennan, rich with casual diversity and queer self-discovery, explores never-before-seen drama inspired by C.S. Pacat's Fence comic series and boasts original cover and interior art by Johanna The Mad.

Welcome to October (almost)! It’s the most wonderful time of year—cool temperatures, crunchy leaves, spooky nights, and pumpkin flavored everything! I also happen to think that this time of the year is the best time to curl up with a great book, and luckily for us, we’ve got so many excellent YA novels hitting shelves in October! Here are just ten of the great books you might want to preorder or place holds on at your library!

The Mirror: Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao

The first in a new series written by four amazing YA writers, this book is about Elva, who has always had visions that she can neither explain nor control—but they always come true. She keeps her visions a secret because if they were to get out, she could face punishment for being a witch. But when one vision scares her into action, she stumbles upon a magical mirror belonging to none other than the Witch of the North Woods—and she finds that choosing between right and wrong isn’t always so simple.

Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X.R. Pan

This anthology includes stories from 13 new voices in YA, originally published by Foreshadow YA, an online literary magazine. The stories were chosen and introduced by some of the biggest names in YA, including Laurie Halse Anderson, Jandy Nelson, Jason Reynolds, and more. Suma and Pan then supplement this anthology with essays on the craft of writing, looking at how the authors of these short stories craft magical fiction. This is a must-read for YA fans and writers alike!

The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

In this fun retelling of Emma by Jane Austen, Cantor recasts Emma and Knightly as Emma and George, two high school students and co-presidents of the coding club who use their skills to create the Code for Love, a dating app that George immediately disapproves of as meddling. Emma is thrilled with the success of the app—it’s helping people find love, after all! But when the users find themselves breaking up and hooking up with the wrong people, Emma is forced to face the truth: maybe love isn’t so mathematical after all.

I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

Years ago, Dee’s best friend Sibby was abducted, and Dee was the only witness. She tried to tell the police everything she could, but it wasn’t enough. No one has seen or heard from Sibby since. She deals with her guilt by becoming the Seeker, a podcast personality who looks into missing cases. No one knows that Dee is the Seeker and she plans on keeping it that way, at least until another girl goes missing and her disappearance is linked to Sibby’s case. Now Dee has a second chance to dig up answers—but she’ll have to reveal herself in order to get them.

The Truth Project by Dante Medema

Cordelia is looking forward to breezing through her senior project—she’ll use DNA testing to write a simple report about genealogy and call it good. Then her test comes back and reveals that her dad is not really her dad, but someone her mom had an affair with, and her entire world is rocked. If her dad isn’t who she thought he was, then who is she? Who is her family? This is a moving debut novel told entirely in texts, emails, poems, and letters!

Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

Emanuela is a charming and smart socialite who is about the marry her childhood friend, Ale. It’s not a love match, but the marriage will give them both power, which is all Emanuela wants. What Emanuela has failed to tell anyone is that she has been called to join the watercrea, a band of mysterious beings responsible for creating water in their city. When she refuses the call and ends up killing a watercrea to avoid her fate, Emanuela’s city is left without water. She’ll have to figure out a way to save her city, no matter the cost.

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Cerys is a refugee from the woods that border the kingdom of Aloriya, a prosperous and happy nation kept safe by a deal brokered centuries ago between the king and the Lady who rules the woods. But the woods has only grown darker, and when a new queen is named in Aloriya, Cerys is forced to head back into the woods in order to find the Lady and save her kingdom, and her people.

This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi

Originally set to publish earlier this year but delayed by COVID, Aminah Mae Safi’s third YA novel is finally here! It follows three teen girls over the course of a single day at Wild Nights Bookstore, the indie they all work at. When they clock in and discover that the bookstore is closing, they’ll have to go through one very, very exciting and high-stakes day to see if they can save the place they all love.

Warriors of Wing and Flame by Sara B. Larson

In this sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light, Zuhra and Inara have finally opened the door between Paladin and the real world, and are reunited with their father. But the joy doesn’t last last when a sorcerer attacks Inara, stealing her magical powers for himself. Now the most powerful man alive, he plans to take Paladin and the human world for himself—unless the sisters can stop him.

Come On In edited by Adi Alsaid

In this collection of 15 short stories, some of the best YA writers share the experience of being an immigrant in the U.S. From various countries all over the world, and with many different reasons and paths to immigration, these stories reveal the struggles, triumphs, and unique perspectives of young immigrants. Contributors include Yamile Saied Mendez, Sara Farizan, Maurene Goo, Justine Larbalestier, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and more!

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