They’re (Paper)back!: Spring 2023 YA Paperback Books For Your TBR
I love a good YA paperback, so I’m really excited to see such a wonderful assortment of 2023 spring YA paperbacks. What I don’t love about paperbacks, though, is their rising costs; it’s becoming too clear that even the “cheaper” option for buying books is becoming untenable for so many, especially teenagers (and if your first response to that is “they can use the library,” let me direct you to how this increase in prices in conjunction with the increase in book bans at school and public libraries doesn’t give this option). That said, it is not the fault of the author for price increases, and thus, it’s still important to highlight and champion these books. This roster of 2023 YA paperback books is good, y’all.
Find below some of the most exciting YA paperbacks hitting shelves this winter. Because of the paper sourcing challenges still impacting publishing, some of these dates may shift or change, but this is the closest to accurate as possible, per publishing catalog information. Some of these books are paperback originals, meaning they’ll only ever release in paperback, while others are first releases in paperback of books that have already been published in hardcover. I’ve stuck to first books in a series only, so know there are additional paperback releases of series books that are not the start of those series. First titles in a series are marked with a *.
You’ll find something of every genre in this roundup, making your spring 2023 YA paperbacks a wealth of choices. Descriptions for the titles below come from Amazon because much as I wish I’d read all of them, I have not, and this is a sizable list. This is one of the rare times I do that, if only because of how lengthy the list is.
Note: you may need to toggle your view when you click the link to access the paperback edition.
Want to know about this spring’s hardcover releases/ Dive into this roundup of spring 2023 YA books, too.
Your Guide to Spring 2023 YA Paperback Books
American Royals by Katharine McGee*
Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown.
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart.
This is the story of the American royals.
When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.
As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.
The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.
Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado
For over a year, the Bronx has been plagued by sudden disappearances that no one can explain. Sixteen-year-old Raquel does her best to ignore it. After all, the police only look for the white kids. But when her crush Charlize’s cousin goes missing, Raquel starts to pay attention―especially when her own mom comes down with a mysterious illness that seems linked to the disappearances.
Raquel and Charlize team up to investigate, but they soon discover that everything is tied to a terrifying urban legend called the Echo Game. The game is rumored to trap people in a sinister world underneath the city, and the rules are based on a particularly dark chapter in New York’s past. And if the friends want to save their home and everyone they love, they will have to play the game and destroy the evil at its heart―or die trying.
Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch
When seventeen-year-old Zara escaped her father’s backwoods survivalist compound five years ago, she traded crossbows and skinning hides for electricity and video games…and tried to forget the tragedy that drove her away.
Until a malware attack on the United States electrical grids cuts off the entire country’s power.
In the wake of the disaster and the chaos that ensues, Zara is forced to call upon skills she thought she’d never use again—and her best bet to survive is to go back to the home she left behind. Drawing upon a resilience she didn’t know she had, Zara leads a growing group of friends on an epic journey across a crumbling country back to her father’s compound, where their only hope for salvation lies.
But with every step she takes, Zara wonders if she truly has what it takes to face her father and the secrets of her past, or if she’d be better off hiding in the dark.
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig*
In a manor by the sea, 12 sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were 12, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last – the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge – and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who – or what – are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family – before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Get ready to be swept away.
How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox
Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface—normal okay regular fine. She has her friends, her mom, the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who shouldn’t be here but is. So Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything—not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And not about seeing her dad. Because her dad died when she was seven.
But after what happens on the beach, the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Her dad disappears and, with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe—maybe maybe maybe—there’s a third way Biz just can’t see yet.
Debut author Helena Fox tells a story about love, grief, and inter-generational mental illness, exploring the hard and beautiful places loss can take us, and honoring those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.
If You Change Your Mind by Robby Weber
Harry wants nothing more than to write Hollywood screenplays. He knows the first step toward achieving that goal is winning a screenwriting competition that will seal his admission into the college of his dreams, so he’s determined to spend his summer free of distractions—also known as boys—and finish his script. After last year, Harry is certain love only exists in the movies anyway.
But then the cause of his first heartbreak, Grant, returns with a secret that could change everything—not to mention, there’s a new boy in town, Logan, who is so charming and sweet, he’s making Harry question everything he knows about romance. As he tries to keep his emotions in check and stick to his perfect plan for the future, Harry’s about to learn that life doesn’t always follow a script.
Not Here To Stay Friends by Kaitlyn Hill
Sloane McKinney feels like a background character in her own life. But this summer will be different, because she’s spending it with her childhood best friend, Liam Daniels, in her dream city, Los Angeles. Sure, she’s surprised to find that Liam just happens to have had a Hot Guy glow-up since she last saw him, but so what? A little attraction won’t ruin her plans for their fun—and completely platonic—reunion.
What might, however, is that Liam has been roped into working for his producer dad’s new teen reality dating show, Aspen Woods’s Future Leading Lady. It turns out the show is one contestant short . . . and Sloane is the perfect last-minute addition.
But it’s behind the scenes where the drama really picks up. Because wanting to kiss your best friend? That’s a plot twist neither Sloane nor Liam ever saw coming.
Photobomb by Micol Ostow*
Lethal Lit follows Tig Torres, a Cuban-American teen detective in her hometown of Hollow Falls. This second original novel takes place after the events of season two of the hit podcast series, when Tig and her friends investigate the mysterious deaths surrounding a new hotel opening in Hollow Falls.
Now, follow Tig as she solves a brand-new mystery in her hometown with help from her friends Max, Wyn, and Ella.
While visiting Hollow Falls’s local art gallery, Tig runs into Darsi, someone she knew back in New York. But an old friend isn’t the only unexpected thing Tig finds at the gallery. Tig spots a murder happening in the background of one of the photos in the gallery exhibit. But who was murdered — and who is the killer?
Tig and her friends, including Darsi, are determined to find out what happened to the woman in the photograph. But they don’t realize that they’re being watched. The murder captured in the photo has gone undiscovered for decades — and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.
Told from Tig’s first-person POV and featuring tons of podcast interstitials, this is a brand-new story not heard on the podcast!
She Gets The Girl by Rachael Lippincott & Alyson Derrick
Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.
Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.
As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other.
Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim*
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia makes the ultimate sacrifice and poses as a boy to take his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors in a cutthroat competition for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the unthinkable final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this fantasy novel is not to be missed.
They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman
In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.
Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.
Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it.
But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.
Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle & Katherine Webber*
Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she’d steal her sister’s place on the throne. Trained from birth to return to the palace and avenge her parents’ murder, she’ll do anything to become queen and protect the community of witches who raised her. Or she would, if only a certain guard wasn’t quite so distractingly attractive, and if her reckless magic would stop causing trouble. . . .
Princess Rose Valhart knows that with power comes responsibility—and she won’t let a small matter like waking up in the desert with an extremely impertinent (and very handsome) kidnapper get in the way of her duty. But life outside the palace is wilder and more beautiful than she ever imagined, and the witches she has long feared might turn out to be the family she never had.
But as coronation day looms and each sister strives to claim her birthright, an old enemy becomes increasingly determined that neither will succeed. Who will ultimately rise to power and wear the crown?
Very Bad People by Kit Frick
Six years ago, Calliope Bolan’s mother drove the family van into a lake with her three daughters inside. The girls escaped, but their mother drowned, and the truth behind the “accident” remains a mystery Calliope is determined to solve. Now sixteen, she transfers to Tipton Academy, the same elite boarding school her mother once attended. Tipton promises a peek into the past and a host of new opportunities—including a coveted invitation to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society that looms over campus like a legend.
Calliope accepts, stepping into the exhilarating world of the “ghosts,” a society of revolutionaries fighting for social justice. But when Haunt and Rail commits to exposing a dangerous person on campus, it becomes clear that some ghosts define justice differently than others.
As the society’s tactics escalate, Calliope uncovers a possible link between Haunt and Rail and her mother’s deadly crash. Now, she must question what lengths the society might go to in order to see a victory—and if the secret behind her mother’s death could be buried here at Tipton.
We Used To Be Friends by Amy Spalding
Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
It’s been 18 months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine, since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died, one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson
Myra has a gift many would kidnap, blackmail, and worse to control: She’s a portrait artist whose paintings alter people’s bodies. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone. But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son.
Once she arrives at the legendary stone mansion, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. A killer stalks these halls – one disturbingly obsessed with portrait magic. Desperate to get out of the manor as quickly as possible, Myra turns to the governor’s older son for help completing the painting before the secret she spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.
Better Together by Christine Riccio
Estranged sisters Jamie and Siri are quarter-life crisis-ing: hard. With adulthood breathing down their necks, suddenly their promising career aspirations feel way out of reach, and romance ― completely implausible.
After thirteen years apart, on opposite coasts, the sisters run into each other at a nature retreat. Desperate for a change of pace, they decide to go home in each other’s stead to see how the other half lives.
It doesn’t take long to realize swapping lives might be more than they bargained for. Turns out, pretending to be a sister you hardly know can really complicate your previously non-existent love life. Navigating their new surroundings proves to be a precarious task, but turns out there’s no better way to learn about yourself than by trying to live as someone else.
Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye
This is what they deserve.
They wanted me to be a monster.
I will be the worst monster they ever created.
Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.
Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders*
They’ll do anything to be the people they were meant to be—even journey into the heart of evil.
Rachael Townsend is the first artist ever to leave Earth and journey out into the galaxy—but after an encounter with an alien artifact, she can’t make art at all.
Elza Monteiro is determined to be the first human to venture inside the Palace of Scented Tears and compete for the chance to become a princess—except that inside the palace, she finds the last person she ever wanted to see again.
Tina Mains is studying at the Royal Space Academy with her friends, but she’s not the badass space hero everyone was expecting.
Soon Rachael is journeying into a dark void, Elza is on a deadly spy mission, and Tina is facing an impossible choice that could change all her friends lives forever.
Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams
As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.
Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie’s beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.
The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good by Nancy Werlin
Planning is Zoe Rosenthal’s superpower. She has faith in a properly organized to-do list and avoids unnecessary risks. Her mental checklist goes something like this: 1) Meet soulmate: DONE! 2) Make commitment: DONE! 3) Marriage: TO COME! (after college). She isn’t sure which college yet, but it will have a strong political science department, since her perfect boyfriend, Simon, plans to “save the country,” as his sister puts it, “and the planet and everything.” Zoe will follow along, the perfect serious, supportive girlfriend. It’s good to have her love life resolved, checked off, done. But speaking of unnecessary risks, Zoe’s on a plane to Atlanta, sneaking off to Dragon Con for the second season premiere of Bleeders. The show is subject to her boyfriend’s lofty scorn, but Zoe is nothing like these colorful hordes “wearing their inside on their outside.” Once her flirtation with fandom is over, she will get back to the important business of planning a future with Simon. The trouble is, right now, Bleeders – and her fellow “Bloodygits” – may just mean the world to her. Will a single night of nerdery be enough?
Ballad & Dagger by Daniel José Older*
Almost sixteen years ago, Mateo Matisse’s island homeland disappeared into the sea. Weary and hopeless, the survivors of San Madrigal’s sinking escaped to New York. While the rest of his tight-knit Brooklyn diaspora community dreams of someday finding a way back home, Mateo—now a high school junior and piano prodigy living with his two aunts (one who’s alive, the other not so much)—is focused on one thing: getting the attention of locally-grown musical legend Gerval.
Mateo finally gets his chance on the night of the Grand Fete, an annual party celebrating the blended culture of pirates, Cuban Santeros, and Sephardic Jews that created San Madrigal all those centuries ago. But the evil that sank their island has finally caught up with them, and on the night of the celebration, Mateo’s life is forever changed when he witnesses a brutal murder by a person he thought he knew. Suddenly Mateo is thrust into an ancient battle that spans years and oceans. Deadly secrets are unraveled and Mateo awakens a power within himself—a power that not only links him to the killer but could also hold the key to unlocking the dark mystery behind his lost homeland.
Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch
After being dumped so his boyfriend can pursue more “serious” guys, a teen boy decides to prove he can be serious, too, by running for senior class president in this joyful romp from the author of The Sky Blues.
High school junior Blaine Bowers has it all—the perfect boyfriend, a pretty sweet gig as a muralist for local Windy City businesses, a loving family, and awesome, talented friends. And he is absolutely, 100% positive that aforementioned perfect boyfriend—senior student council president and Mr. Popular of Wicker West High School, Joey—is going to invite Blaine to spend spring break with his family in beautiful, sunny Cabo San Lucas.
Except Joey breaks up with him instead. In public. On their one-year anniversary.
Because, according to Joey, Blaine is too goofy, too flighty, too…unserious. And if Joey wants to go far in life, he needs to start dating more serious guys. Guys like Zach Chesterton.
Determined to prove that Blaine can be what Joey wants, Blaine decides to enter the running to become his successor (and beat out Joey’s new boyfriend, Zach) as senior student council president.
But is he willing to sacrifice everything he loves about himself to do it?
The Fae Keeper by H.E. Edgmon*
In the heart-stopping sequel to The Witch King, Wyatt and Emyr attempt to rebuild Asalin despite unexpected new enemies within their kingdom.
Two weeks after the door to Faery closed once more, Asalin is still in turmoil. Emyr and Wyatt are hunting Derek and Clarke themselves after having abolished the corrupt Guard, and are trying to convince the other kingdoms to follow their lead. But when they uncover the hidden truth about the witches’ real place in fae society, it becomes clear the problems run much deeper than anyone knew. And this may be more than the two of them can fix.
As Wyatt struggles to learn control of his magic and balance his own needs with the needs of a kingdom, he must finally decide on the future he wants—before he loses the future he and Emyr are building….
Howl by Shaun David Hutchinson
Virgil Knox was attacked by a monster.
Of course, no one in Merritt believes him. Not even after he stumbled into the busy town center, bleeding, battered, and bruised, for everyone to see. He’d been drinking, they said. He was hanging out where he wasn’t supposed to, they said. It must’ve been a bear, or a badger, or a gator—definitely no monster.
Virgil doesn’t think it was any of those things. He’s positive it was a monster. But being the new kid in a town where everybody knows everybody is hard enough as it is without being the kid who’s afraid of monsters, so he tries to keep a low profile.
Except he knows the monster is still out there. And if he isn’t careful, Virgil’s afraid it’ll come back to finish him off, or worse—that he’ll become one himself.
Rima’s Rebellion by Margarita Engle
Rima loves to ride horses alongside her abuela and Las Mambisas, the fierce women veterans who fought during Cuba’s wars for independence. Feminists from many backgrounds have gathered in voting clubs to demand suffrage and equality for women, but not everybody wants equality for all—especially not for someone like Rima. In 1920s Cuba, illegitimate children like her are bullied and shunned.
Rima dreams of a day when she is free from fear and shame, the way she feels when she’s riding with Las Mambisas. As she seeks her way, Rima forges unexpected friendships with others who long for freedom, especially a handsome young artist named Maceo. Through turbulent times, hope soars, and with it…love.
We Can Be Heroes by Kyrie McCauley
Beck and Vivian never could stand each other, but they always tried their best for their mutual friend, Cassie. After the town moves on from Cassie’s murder too fast, Beck and Vivian finally find common ground: vengeance.
They memorialize Cassie by secretly painting murals of her around town, a message to the world that Cassie won’t be forgotten. But Beck and Vivian are keeping secrets, like the third passenger riding in Beck’s VW bus with them—Cassie’s ghost.
When their murals catch the attention of a podcaster covering Cassie’s case, they become the catalyst for a debate that Bell Firearms can no longer ignore. With law enforcement closing in on them, Beck and Vivian hurry to give Cassie the closure she needs—by delivering justice to those responsible for her death.
What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
To understand the truth, you have to start at the beginning.
Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years, Ava’s father, a merciless man, has controlled her fate. He’s taught her to love no one. But then she meets Jack.
Living in poverty, Jack Dahl is holding his breath. He and his younger brother have nothing―except each other. With their parents gone, Jack faces a stark choice: lose his brother to foster care or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. He chooses the money.
Suddenly, Jack’s and Ava’s fates become intimately―and dangerously―linked as Ava’s father hunts for the same money as Jack. When he picks up on Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or speak and fight for Jack’s survival.
Choices. They come at a price.
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.
Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.
Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.
Now, as the deceptions – and deaths – keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.
Harley Quinn: Reckoning by Rachael Allen*
When Harleen Quinzel scores an internship in a psych lab at Gotham University, she’s more than ecstatic; she’s desperate to make a Big Scientific Discovery that will land her a full-ride college scholarship and get her away from her abusive father. But when Harleen witnesses the way women are treated across STEM departments–and experiences harassment herself–she decides that revenge and justice are more important than her own dreams.
Harleen finds her place in an intoxicating vigilante girl gang called the Reckoning, who creates chaos to inspire change. And when Harleen falls for another girl in the gang, it finally seems like she’s found her true passions. But what starts off as pranks and mischief quickly turns deadly as one of the gang members is found murdered–and a terrifying conspiracy is uncovered that puts the life Harleen has worked so hard for at stake. Will she choose her future–or will she choose revenge?
In this refreshingly feminist spin on the story of our favorite villainess, Harley Quinn: Reckoning traces Harleen’s journey from precocious, revenge-obsessed teenage girl to a hardcore justice-seeker on her way to becoming the most captivating Super Villain of all time. This is one story that you won’t be able to put down.
The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way.
After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami.
The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do?
Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.
Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price*
When eighteen-year-old aspiring scientist Elinor Dashwood discovers her beloved father slumped over the desk of his office study, she knows his death means dire straits for the Dashwood women. To make matters worse, an outdated will entails his estate—including Norland & Company, the private investigation firm where her younger sister Marianne worked as her father’s partner and protégé—to their half-brother and his haughty wife, who waste no time in forcing the Dashwoods out of their home and into a cramped apartment on London’s Barton Street.
But before they go, the Dashwood sisters make a startling discovery: a suspicious substance in their father’s teacup—one that can only be described as poison. And poison, as Marianne’s father taught her, always points to murder.
It could be dangerous; it could ruin their reputations; and most importantly, it won’t bring back their father. But if the Dashwood sisters can combine their talents and bring their father’s murderer to justice, it may bring them all some comfort—and it might even lead to love.
A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan
All Mina Rahman wants is to finally win the Golden Ivy student film competition, get into her dream school, and leave New York City behind for good. When indie film star Emmitt Ramos enrolls in her high school under a secret identity to research his next role, he agrees to star in her short film for the competition…if she acts as his NYC tour guide.
As Mina ventures across the five boroughs with Emmitt, the city she grew up in starts to look more like home than it ever has before. Suddenly, Mina’s dreams—which once seemed impenetrable—begin to crumble, and she’s forced to ask herself: Is winning worth losing everything?
This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham
Two years ago, a small percentage of population underwent a transformation known as the Hollowing. Those affected were only able to survive by consuming human flesh. The people who went without quickly became feral, turning on their friends and family. Luckily, scientists were able to create a synthetic version of human meat that would satisfy their hunger. As a result, humanity slowly began to return to normal.
Cut to Zoey, Celeste, Valeria, and Jasmine, four hollow girls living in Southern California. As a last hurrah before graduation they decide to attend a musical festival in the heart of the desert. They have a cooler filled with seltzer, vodka, and Synflesh… and are ready to party.
But on the first night of the festival Val goes feral and ends up killing and eating a boy in one of the bands. As other festival guests start disappearing around them the girls soon discover someone is targeting people like them. And if they can’t figure out how to stop it, and soon, no one at the festival is getting out alive.
The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson*
Last summer, Alice Ogilvie’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She’s not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex–best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need—the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they’re about to walk into.
Bright by Jessica Jung*
The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Shine! Crazy Rich Asians meets Gossip Girl in this knockout series from Jessica Jung, K-pop legend, fashion icon, and founder of the international luxury brand, Blanc & Eclare.
Couture gowns, press parties, international travel. Rachel Kim is at the top of her game. Girls Forever is now the number-one K-pop group in the world, and her fame skyrockets after her viral airport styling attracts the attention of fashion’s biggest names. Her life’s a swirl of technicolor glamour and adoring fans. Rachel can’t imagine shining any brighter.
The only thing that’s missing is love—but Rachel’s determined to follow the rules. In her world, falling in love can cost you everything.
Enter Alex. When Rachel literally falls head over designer heels into his lap on a crowded metro, she’s tempted to give up her anti-love vows. Alex is more than just heart-stopping dimples and adorably quirky banter. He believes in Rachel’s future—both in music and in fashion.
But the higher you rise, the farther you have to fall. And when a shocking act of betrayal shatters her world, Rachel must finally listen to her heart.
A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy
Emmett Maguire wants to be country music’s biggest gay superstar—a far reach when you’re seventeen and living in Illinois. But for now, he’s happy to do the next best thing: Stay with his aunt in Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, for the summer and perform at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs.
Luke Barnes hates country music. As the grandson of Verna Rose, the disgraced singer who had a famous falling out with Wanda Jean, Luke knows how much pain country music has brought his family. But when his mom’s medical bills start piling up, he takes a job at the last place he wants: a restaurant at Wanda World.
Neither boy is looking for romance, but sparks fly when they meet—and soon they’re inseparable. Until a long-lost secret about Verna and Wanda comes to light, threatening to unravel everything.
Will Emmett and Luke be able get past the truths they discover…or will their relationship go down in history as just another Sad Country Love Song?
Family of Liars by E. Lockhart
The thrilling prequel to the TikTok phenomenon We Were Liars takes readers back to the summer that the Sinclair family’s lives changed forever.
A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.
Twenty-seven years before the events of We Were Liars comes another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades—a story that is scandalous, tragic, and layered with mystery.
Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars.
Flirting With Fate by J. C. Cervantes
Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved nana’s deathbed. But due to a flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a mysterious boy, she missed her grandmother’s mystical blessing—one that has been passed between the women of her family upon death for generations.
Then Nana’s ghost appears with a challenge from beyond the grave. As it turns out, Nana did give Ava a blessing, but it missed its target, landing with the boy from the night of the storm instead. Was it fate? Ava refuses to believe so. With the help of her sisters and Nana’s rather bumbling spiritual guide, she’s determined to reclaim her share of the family magic and set Nana free.
For guarded Ava, befriending some random boy is the last thing she wants to do. She’s gotten along just fine protecting her heart—keeping people at a distance is a great way to ensure no one ever hurts you. But as Ava embarks on her mission to retrieve the lost blessing, she starts to wonder if getting close to thunderstorm boy is worth the risk.
In her swoony, heartwarming young adult debut, New York Times bestselling author J.C. Cervantes weaves an unforgettable tale about family, fate, and finding love where you least expect it.
Four Found Dead by Natalie D. Richards
The last show has ended, but the nightmare is just beginning.
Tonight, Riverview Theaters is closing forever, the last remaining business in a defunct shopping mall. The moviegoers have left, and Jo and her six coworkers have the final shift, a shift that quickly takes a dark turn.
First a stranger arrives with a chilling accusation. Then the power goes out and their manager disappears, along with the keys to the lobby doors and the theater safe, where the crew’s phones are locked each shift. The crew’s tension turns to terror when Jo discovers the dead body of one of her co-workers.
Now their only chance to escape the murderer in their midst is through the dark, shuttered mall. With its boarded-up exits and disabled fire alarms, the complex is filled with hiding places for both pursuer and pursued. In order to survive this night, Jo and her friends must trust one another, navigate the sprawling ruins of the mall, and outwit a killer before he kills them all.
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.
Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.
Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?
Murder for the Modern Girl by Kendall Kulper
A ravishing young mind reader stalks the streets at night in kitten heels, prowling for men to murder.
A soft-spoken genius toils away in the city morgue, desperate to unearth the science behind his gift for shapeshifting.
It’s a match made in 1928 Chicago, where gangsters run City Hall, jazz fills the air, and every good girl’s purse conceals a flask.
Until now, eighteen-year-old Ruby’s penchant for poison has been a secret. No one knows that she uses her mind-reading abilities to target men who prey on vulnerable women, men who escape the clutches of Chicago “justice.” When she meets a brilliant boy working at the morgue, his knack for forensic detail threatens to uncover her dark hobby. Even more unfortunately: sharp, independent Ruby has fallen in love with him.
Waltzing between a supernaturally enhanced romance, the battle to take down a gentleman’s club, and loyal friendships worth their weight in diamonds, Ruby brings defiant charm to every page of Murder for the Modern Girl—not to mention killer fashion.
Once Upon a K-Prom by Kat Cho
What would you do if the world’s biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school.
Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing – she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that’s always made her feel like she belonged.
So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven years ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love.
Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants – even if she can’t stop thinking about Robbie’s smile…right?
Out of the Blue by Jason June
Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the month-long sojourn on land all teen merfolk must undergo. The rules are simple: Help a human within one moon cycle and return to Pacifica to become an Elder—or fail and remain stuck on land forever. Crest is eager to get their Journey over and done with. Humans are disgusting. They’ve polluted the planet so much that there’s a floating island of trash that’s literally the size of a country.
In Los Angeles with a human body and a new name, Crest meets Sean, a human lifeguard whose boyfriend has recently dumped him. Crest agrees to help Sean make his ex jealous and win him back. But as the two spend more time together, and Crest’s perspective on humans begins to change, they’ll soon be torn between two worlds. And fake dating just might lead to real feelings….
Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Tori Spring isn’t sure how to be happy again. Then she meets Michael Holden, and they try to unmask the mysterious Solitaire (and survive high school) in Alice Oseman’s stunning, unflinchinghonest debut novel, which first introduced her fan-favorite Heartstopper characters Nick and Charlie.
Stranger Danger by Maren Stoffels
From horror powerhouse author Maren Stoffels comes the next pulse-quickening read! There’s nowhere to hide when three teens find themselves in the middle of nowhere, with no internet and a killer hunting them down.
Don’t think you can get rid of me so fast. . . .
No phones. No internet. No social media at all. That’s what it’s going to take to finally get serious about school and focus on exams. Nova, Vin, and Lotus even rented a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere so they won’t get distracted. After that, everything can go back to normal.
But they aren’t alone. Someone is watching them from the forest. Someone who knows their secrets. Someone who wants revenge. And things will never be the same again.
This Is Not The Real World by Anna Carey*
Nineties nostalgia takes a dark turn in this thrilling sequel to This Is Not the Jess Show, perfect for readers of We Were Liars and One of Us Is Lying.
Months after Jess escaped from the set of Stuck in the ’90s, the nostalgic reality show she believed was her real life, the teen star is getting to know the outside world for the first time. But she can’t outrun her fictional life forever—or the media empire that owns it.
After Like-Life Productions tracks her down and forces her boyfriend to return to the show, Jess teams up with an underground network fighting to uncover Like-Life’s schemes. To expose the truth, Jess must go back to the set and take Like-Life down from the inside . . . but getting revenge might just cost her everything.
This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian
The Flanagan sisters are as different as they come. Seventeen-year-old Annalie is bubbly, sweet, and self-conscious, whereas nineteen-year-old Margaret is sharp and assertive. Margaret looks just like their mother, while Annalie passes for white and looks like the father who abandoned them years ago, leaving their Chinese immigrant mama to raise the girls alone in their small, predominantly white Midwestern town.
When their house is vandalized with a shocking racial slur, Margaret rushes home from her summer internship in New York City. She expects outrage. Instead, her sister and mother would rather move on. Especially once Margaret’s own investigation begins to make members of their community uncomfortable.
For Annalie, this was meant to be a summer of new possibilities, and she resents her sister’s sudden presence and insistence on drawing negative attention to their family. Meanwhile Margaret is infuriated with Annalie’s passive acceptance of what happened. For Margaret, the summer couldn’t possibly get worse, until she crosses paths with someone she swore she’d never see again: her first love, Rajiv Agarwal.
As the sisters navigate this unexpected summer, an explosive secret threatens to break apart their relationship, once and for all.
This Place Is Still Beautiful is a luminous, captivating story about identity, sisterhood, and how our hometowns are inextricably a part of who we are, even when we outgrow them.
Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean*
Return to Tokyo for a royal wedding in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Dreaming, the sequel to the Reese Witherspoon YA Book Club Pick and New York Times best seller Tokyo Ever After.
When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.
Her parent’s engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.
But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?
Tonight We Rule the World by Zack Smedley
In the beginning, Owen’s story was blank . . . then he was befriended by Lily, the aspiring author who helped him find his voice. Together, the two have spent years navigating first love and amassing an inseparable friend group. But all of it is upended one day when his school’s administration learns Owen’s secret: that he was sexually assaulted by a classmate.
In the ensuing investigation, everyone scrambles to hold their worlds together.
Owen, still wrestling with his self-destructive thoughts and choices.
His father, a mission-driven military vet ready to start a war to find his son’s attacker.
The school bureaucrats, who seem most concerned with kowtowing to the local media attention.
And Lily, who can’t learn that Owen is the mystery victim everyone is talking about . . . because once she does, it will set off a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
Heartbreaking and hopeful, this is a coming-of-age story that explores how we rebuild after the world comes crumbling down.
Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson
For best friends Miliani, Inez, Natalie and Jasmine, Providence, Rhode Island has a magic of its own. From the bodegas and late-night food trucks on Broad Street to The Hill that watches over the city, every corner of Providence glows with memories of them practicing spells, mixing up potions and doing séances with the help of the magic Miliani’s Filipino grandfather taught her.
But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the world they have always known is left haunted by grief…and Jasmine’s lingering spirit. Determined to bring her back, the surviving friends band together, testing the limits of their magic and everything they know about life, death, and each other.
And as their plan to resurrect Jasmine grows darker and more demanding than they imagined, their separate lives begin to splinter the bonds they depend on, revealing buried secrets that threaten the people they care about most. Miliani, Inez and Natalie will have to rely on more than just their mystical abilities to find the light.
Thrilling and absorbing, Deep in Providence is a story of profound yearning, and what happens when three teen girls are finally given the power to go after what they want.
Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes
Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: It’s rare, illegal, and always deadly.
So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic – one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock – she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help mightmean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.
Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.
But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows to Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted – beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.
In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.
Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.
But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.
Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.
Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan
Fallon is Type A, looks before she leaps, and always has a plan (and a backup plan).
Chloe is happy-go-lucky, flies by the seat of her pants, and always follows her bliss.
The two girls used to be best friends, but last summer they hooked up right before Chloe left for college, and after a series of misunderstandings, they aren’t even speaking to each other.
A year later, Chloe’s back home from school, and Fallon is doing everything in her power to avoid her. Which is especially difficult because their moms own a business together—a gourmet ice cream truck where both girls work.
When a meeting with some promising potential investors calls their parents away at the last minute, it’s up to Fallon to work a series of important food truck festivals across the country. But she can’t do it alone, and Chloe is the only one available to help.
Tensions heat up again between the two girls as they face a few unexpected detours—and more than a little roadside attraction. But maybe, just maybe, the best things in life can’t always be planned.
Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie
Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.
So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love―and sexuality―never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.
The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero
With spellbinding verse prose, R.M. Romero channels the spirit of myth into a brilliantly original tale, inspired by her experiences restoring Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe.
Magic will burn you up.
Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague and witness the humble life of an artist, Ilana Lopez—a biracial Jewish girl—finds herself torn between her dream of becoming a violinist and her immigrant parents’ desire for her to pursue a more stable career.
When she discovers a forgotten Jewish cemetery behind her aunt’s cottage, she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin, who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin’s grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth.
But Benjamin isn’t the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her and the music she plays. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him—forever.
A love letter to Latin American and Jewish diasporas, based on the author’s experiences working to maintain Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe. The Ghosts of Rose Hill is a tender and empowering read that you will devour in one sitting. Steeped in history and the experiences of immigrant families, especially Jewish families, each carefully-chosen word of this magical verse novel casts a spell.
The Heartbreak Bakery by A. R. Capetta
“What’s done is done.” Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone.
Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies…breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it.
Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too – one recipe at a time.
All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown
When Andrew stumbles upon Jamie’s house, he’s injured, starved, and has nothing left to lose. A deadly pathogen has killed off most of the world’s population, including everyone both boys have ever loved. And if this new world has taught them anything, it’s to be scared of what other desperate people will do . . . so why does it seem so easy for them to trust each other?
After danger breaches their shelter, they flee south in search of civilization. But something isn’t adding up about Andrew’s story, and it could cost them everything. And Jamie has a secret, too. He’s starting to feel something more than friendship for Andrew, adding another layer of fear and confusion to an already tumultuous journey.
The road ahead of them is long, and to survive, they’ll have to shed their secrets, face the consequences of their actions, and find the courage to fight for the future they desire, together. Only one thing feels certain: all that’s left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other.
Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard
Two girls fake their deaths only to face mortal danger in this YA thriller perfect for fans of The Twin and Five Survive.
In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research, Maude has decided to fake her own death. She’s figured out the how, the when, the where, and who will help her unsuspectingly. The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also ‘l’appel du vide,’ the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in.
The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots? This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.
Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee
Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.
Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.
In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.
Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?
Fresh by Margot Wood
But she may not be ready for the fallout when reality hits. When the sex she’s having isn’t that great. When finals creep up and smack her right in the face. Or when her roommate’s boyfriend turns out to be the biggest a-hole.
Elliot may make epic mistakes, but if she’s honest with herself (and with you, dear reader), she may just find the person she wants to be. And maybe even fall in love in the process . . . Well, maybe. We’re not promising anything. We can’t give everything away ahead of time.
Kings of B’More by R. Eric Thomas
With junior year starting in the fall, Harrison feels like he’s on the precipice of, well, everything. Standardized testing, college, and the terrifying unknowns and looming pressures of adulthood after that—it’s like the future wants to eat him alive. Which is why Harrison is grateful that he and his best friend, Linus, will face these things together. But at the end of a shift at their summer job, Linus invites Harrison to their special spot overlooking the city to deliver devastating news: He’s moving out of state at the end of the week.
To keep from completely losing it—and partially inspired by a cheesy movie-night pick by his dad—Harrison plans a send-off à la Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that’s worthy of his favorite person. If they won’t be having all the life-expanding experiences they thought they would, Harrison will squeeze them all into their last day together. They end up on a mini road trip, their first Pride, and a rooftop dance party, all while keeping their respective parents, who track them on a family location app, off their trail. Harrison and Linus make a pact to do all the things—big and small—they’ve been too scared to do. But nothing feels scarier than saying goodbye to someone you love.
The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar
Seven years ago, Tanvi was spirited away to the subterranean realm of Nagalok, where she joined the ranks of the dream runners: human children freed of all memory and emotion, who collect mortal dreams for the entertainment of the serpentine, immortal naga court.
But when one of Tanvi’s dream harvests goes awry, she begins to remember her life on earth. Panicked and confused, she turns to the one mortal in Nagalok who might be able to help: Venkat, the dreamsmith responsible for collecting the dream runners’ wares and shaping them into the kingdom’s most tantalizing commodity. And as they search for answers, a terrifying truth begins to take shape—one that could turn the nagas’ realm of dreams into a land of waking nightmare.
From the author of the Indie Next selection and Andre Norton Award finalist Star Daughter, this stand-alone contemporary fantasy, inspired by the nagas and garudas of Hindu mythology, is full of slow-burning romance, haunting intrigue, and shimmering magic.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.
STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The Metropolis―Earth’s last unpolluted place―is meant to be a sanctuary for those committed to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.
Tremendous Things by Susin Nielsen
We all have moments that define us. For the comically clueless Wilbur, his moment happened on the first day of middle school, when someone shared his private letter with the entire student body. It revealed some of Wilbur’s innermost embarrassing thoughts that no one else should ever know.
Now it’s the start of ninth grade and Wilbur hasn’t been able to escape that major humiliation. His good friend Alex stuck by him, but Alex doesn’t have as much time since he started dating Fabrizio. Luckily, Wil can confide in his best friend: his elderly neighbor Sal. Also, Wil’s in the school band, where he plays the triangle. They’re doing an exchange program with students from Paris, and Wilbur’s billet, Charlie, a tall, chic young woman who plays the ukulele and burps with abandon, captures his heart. Charlie likes him, but only as a friend. So Alex, Fabrizio and Sal host a Queer Eye-style intervention to get Wil in shape and to build his confidence so he can impress Charlie when their band visits Paris, and just maybe replace humiliation with true romance in the City of Love.
Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey
By day Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza and Ana Lezama de Urinza are proper young seventeenth century ladies. But when night falls, they trade in their silks and lace for swords and muskets, venturing out into the vibrant, bustling, crime-ridden streets of Potosí, in the Spanish Empire’s Viceroyalty of Peru. They pass their time fighting, gambling, and falling desperately in love with one another.
Then, on the night Kiki’s engagement to the Viceroy’s son is announced, her older brother―heir to her family’s fortune―is murdered. The girls immediately embark on a whirlwind investigation that takes them from the lowliest brothels of Potosí to the highest echelons of the Spanish aristocracy.
Wrath & Mercy by Jessica Rubinkowski*
Surviving the ill-fated expedition to Knnot, Valeria, Alik, and the others have found refuge in Valeria’s village. Though Val should find comfort in reuniting with her family, everything has changed – including herself. For now, Val is the Pale God’s chosen champion. And she is ready for revenge on the Czar.
Gifted with the Pale God’s power, Val will do whatever it takes to liberate her people. Even if that means stealing the Czar’s son away from the safety of the Winter Palace. But as Alik watches Val struggle to maintain control over the god she holds captive, it becomes clear that the Pale God plans a revenge of his own.
The inevitable is coming: one final battle. And Valeria must be ready to sacrifice everything – even her love for Alik – to win.
All These Warriors by Amy Tintera*
When the world was crumbling, seventeen-year-old Clara fought back. She escaped her abusive home and joined Team Seven, a monster fighting squad of runaways and misfits formed to combat the scrabs terrorizing the planet. And after nearly dying in Paris, Clara and Team Seven discovered the sinister truth behind the scrab invasion. Scrabs aren’t just mindless monsters set on destruction. They’re being trained and weaponized by MDG, a private security firm hired by the government.
Now Clara and the rest of Team Seven have made it their mission to expose MDG. But no one said fighting for the truth would be easy. And as Clara and Team Seven find themselves at the center of a global conspiracy, they must face their biggest threat yet: their own demons.
Break This House by Candice Iloh
Yaminah Okar left Obsidian and the wreckage of her family years ago. She and her father have made lives for themselves in Brooklyn. She thinks she’s moved on to bigger and better things. She thinks she’s finally left behind that city she would rather forget. But when a Facebook message about her estranged mother pierces Yaminah’s new bubble, memories of everything that happened before her parents’ divorce come roaring back. Now, Yaminah must finally reckon with the truth about her mother and the growing collapse of a place she once called home.
A Cruel and Fated Light by Ashley Shuttleworth*
Half-fae Arlo becomes entangled in the courtly intrigue at the Seelie Summer palace as danger for ironborns mounts in this gripping sequel to A Dark and Hollow Star that’s The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones.
After thwarting the man behind the gruesome ironborn murders—and breaking several fae laws to do so—all Arlo wants is a quiet summer. As the deity of luck’s Hollow Star, capable of bringing about endless possibilities, this shouldn’t be too much to ask, right?
But someone is still trying to summon the mythical Seven Deadly Sins. All signs point to immortal meddling, and if this is the gods’ attempt at returning to the Mortal Realm, it’s Arlo they’re going to use to do it.
When Queen Riadne offers to host Arlo at the Seelie Summer palace, she jumps at the chance. She’ll get to see more of Vehan and Aurelian and perhaps even work out her complicated feelings for the gorgeous ex-Fury, Nausicaä. But no one trusts the infamous Queen of Light, even as Arlo wonders if she’s just been greatly misunderstood.
With the Summer Solstice quickly approaching, everyone expects Riadne to finally challenge the High King for his crown. And as Arlo struggles to get control of her powers and take charge of her destiny, she’ll soon be faced with a choice that won’t only change the fate of the Mortal Realm forever, but could condemn it to a cruelty the likes of which the Courts have never known.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan – she’s easygoing and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate – Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.
Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.
It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph used to think their friendship was unbreakable. After all, they’ve been though a lot together, including the astronomical rise of Moonlight Overthrow, the world-famous queer pop band they formed in middle school, never expecting to headline anything bigger than the county fair.
But after a sudden falling out leads to the dissolution of the teens’ band, their friendship, and Eva and Celeste’s starry-eyed romance, nothing is the same. Gina and Celeste step further into the spotlight, Steph disappears completely, and Eva, heartbroken, takes refuge as a songwriter and secret online fangirl…of her own band. That is, until a storm devastates their hometown, bringing the four ex-best-friends back together. As they prepare for one last show, they’ll discover whether growing up always means growing apart.
My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth
Bel doesn’t want to think about the future. College apps? You’re funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. Joining a robotics club filled with boys who ignore her or–even worse–constantly ask if she needs help? Please, anything but that. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering in class, she has no choice. Enter Mateo Luna, the handsome captain of the club.
Teo instantly recognizes Bel’s talent. He needs her on the team. And not just because he can’t stop thinking about the tiny dusting of freckles around her eyes, or how she got him hooked on Taylor Swift–it’s because Bel sees him. She challenges him. But when they seriously start butting heads, Bel wonders: Is there really room for a girl like her in STEM?
In her YA debut, Alexene Farol Follmuth, author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake), explores both the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with unfailing wit and honesty. Told from dual points of view, My Mechanical Romance is not only swoonworthy–it’s downright empowering.
Only On the Weekends by Dean Atta
Mack is a hopeless romantic—likely a hazard of growing up on film sets thanks to his father’s job. He has had a crush on Karim for as long as he can remember, and he can’t believe it when gorgeous, popular Karim seems into him too.
But when Mack’s father takes on a new directing project in Scotland, Mack has to move away, and he soon discovers how painful long-distance relationships can be. It’s awful to be so far away from Karim, and it’s made worse by the fact that Karim can be so hard to read.
Then Mack meets actor Finlay on set, and the world turns upside down again. Fin seems fearless, and his confidence could just be infectious.
Under Shifting Stars by Alexandra Latos
Audrey’s best friend was always her twin, Clare. But as they got older, they grew apart, and when their brother Adam died, Clare blamed Audrey for the accident.
Now, Audrey’s attending an alternative school where she feels more isolated than ever. Tired of being seen as different from her neurotypical peers, Audrey’s determined to switch to the public high school, rebuild her friendship with Clare, and atone for Adam’s death…but she’ll need to convince her parents, and her therapist, first.
Clare knows her sister thinks she’s the perfect twin, but Audrey doesn’t realize that Clare’s “popular” status is crumbling—she’s begun to question old friendships, dress in Adam’s clothes, and wonder what feelings for a nonbinary classmate, Taylor, might mean. As she grapples with not only grief but also her gender fluidity, Clare wonders where she’ll belong if she sheds her carefully constructed image and embraces her true self.
Will first crushes, new family dynamics, and questions of identity prove that Audrey and Clare have grown too different to understand each other—or that they’ve needed each other all along?
Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum
It was a year on fire. They fell in love. Someone was bound to get burned.
The Spark: Just days before the start of junior year, a spontaneous kiss and then a lie shake the very foundation of the friendship between best friends Immie and Paige. Immie’s twin brother, Arch, knows something, only he’s not talking. Some loyalties run too deep to be broken by accidental betrayal.
The Fuel: Enter Rohan, new to Wood Valley High by way of London, who walks into school on the first day completely overwhelmed by his sudden move halfway around the world. When Paige calls dibs on him—he’s too cute to ignore—Immie is in no position to argue, certainly not after taking the fall for the disloyal kiss. Too bad for Immie that Ro feels like the best kind of familiar.
The Kindling: Former lab partners Arch and Jackson, Paige’s ex-boyfriend, have never considered themselves more than friends. But sometimes feelings can grow like flames fanned by the wind.
The Flames: When the girls’ bathroom at Wood Valley is set ablaze, no one doubts it’s arson. But in this bastion of privilege, who’d be angry enough to want to burn down the school? Answer: pretty much everyone.
A Disaster in Three Acts by Kelsey Rodkey
Saine Sinclair knows a little something about what makes a story worth telling.
Your childhood best friend refuses to kiss you during a pre-adolescent game of spin the bottle? Terrible, zero stars, would not replay that scene again. The same ex-friend becomes your new best friend’s ex? Strangely compelling, unexpected twist, worth a hate-watch. That same guy—why is he always around?—turns out to be your last shot at getting into the documentary filmmaking program of your dreams?
Saine hates to admit it, but she’d watch that movie.
There’s something about Holden that makes her feel like she’s the one in front of the camera—like he can see every uncomfortable truth she’s buried below the surface. Saine knows how her story’s supposed to go. So why does every moment with Holden seem intent on changing the ending?
And They Lived . . . by Steven Salvatore
Chase Arthur is a budding animator and hopeless romantic obsessed with Disney films and finding his true love, but he’s plagued with the belief that he’s not enough for anyone: he’s recovering from an eating disorder and suffers from body dysmorphia fueled by his father, and can’t quite figure out his gender identity. When Chase starts his freshman year of college, he has to navigate being away from home and missing his sister, finding his squad, and contending with his ex-best friend Leila who is gunning for the same exclusive mentorship. If only he can pull together a short for the freshman animation showcase at the end of the semester.
Then Chase meets Jack Reid, a pragmatic poet who worships words and longs to experience life outside of his sheltered world. But Chase throws everything into question for Jack, who is still discovering his sexual identity, having grown up in close-knit conservative family. Jack internalized a lot of homophobia from his parents and childhood best friend, who unexpectedly visit campus, which threatens to destroy their relationship. Chase will have to learn to love–and be enough for–himself, while discovering what it means to truly live.
Gallant by V. E. Schwab
Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for Girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home; it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile, or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.
Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.
Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?
Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa
Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the last person in Salem to believe in witchcraft—or to think that her life could be transformed by mysterious forces. After losing her best friend and first love, Chloe, Eleanor has spent the past year in a haze, vowing to stay away from anything resembling romance.
But when a handwritten guide to tarot arrives in the mail at the witchy souvenir store where Eleanor works, it seems to bring with it the message that magic is about to enter her life. Cynical Eleanor is quick to dismiss this promise, until real-life witch Pix shows up with an unusual invitation. Inspired by the magic and mystery of the tarot, Eleanor decides to open herself up to Pix and her coven of witches, and even to the possibility of a new romance.
But Eleanor’s complicated history continues to haunt her. She will have to reckon with the old ghosts that threaten to destroy everything, even her chance at new love.
Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches is an atmospheric and romantic coming-of-age about learning to make peace with the past in order to accept the beauty of the present.
Man O’ War by Cory McCarthy
An achingly honest and frequently hilarious coming-of-age novel about an Arab American trans teen fighting to keep their head above water in a landlocked Midwestern town.
Man o’ wars are not jellyfish, and River McIntyre is not happy. River doesn’t know why they’re unhappy—though perhaps it has something to do with the way they relate more to captive marine life at the local acquarium than to the people around them. That is, until they have a run in with Indigo “Indy” Waits on the annual class field trip. Face-to-face with an affirmed queer person, River leaps out of the closet and into the shark tank. Literally. What follows is a wrenching journey of self-discovery that spans years and winds through layers of coming out, transition, and top surgery, promising a free life for River with so much more than happiness: A life that’s full of trans joy and true love.
The Counselors by Jessica Goodman
Camp Alpine Lake is the only place where Goldie Easton feels safe.
She’s always had a special connection to the place, even before she was old enough to attend. The camp is the lifeline of Roxwood, the small town she lives in. Alpine Lake provides jobs, money and prestige to the region. Few Roxwood locals, though, get to reap the rewards of living so close to the glam summer that camp, with its five-figure tuition and rich kids who have been dumped there for eight weeks by their powerful parents. Goldie’s one of them.
Even with her “townie” background, Goldie has never felt more at home at camp and now she’s back as a counselor, desperate for summer to start and her best friends, Ava and Imogen, to arrive. Because Goldie has a terrible dark secret she’s been keeping and she is more in need of the comfort than ever.
But Goldie’s not the only person at camp who has been lying. When a teen turns up dead in the lake late one night, she knows that the death couldn’t have been an accident. She also knows that Ava was at the lake that same night.
What did Ava see and what does she know? Why hasn’t she said anything to Goldie about the death? Worse—what did Ava do?
But asking questions offers no answers, only broken bonds of lifelong friendship, with hidden danger and betrayals deeper than Goldie ever imagined.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong*
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is 18-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang – a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns – and grudges – aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Those Summer Nights by Laura Silverman
After recovering from a life-changing injury, a teen girl must navigate a new summer job, an ex-best friend, and two surprisingly attractive coworkers in this romp of a rom-com.
Hannah used to be all about focus, back before she shattered her ankle and her Olympic dreams in one bad soccer play. These days, she’s all about distraction – anything to keep the painful memories of her recent past at bay, including the string of bad decisions that landed her at boarding school for a year.
Enter Bonanza, the local entertainment multiplex and site of Hanna’s summer employment. With its mini golf course, bowling alley, and arcade – not to mention her hot, flirty coworker Patrick – Bonanza seems like the perfect way to stay distracted. Until her boss announces the annual Bonanza tournament, a staff competition that brings her past Olympic nightmares crashing back into her present.
On top of that, the Bonanza staff includes Brie, the ex-best friend she cut off, and Ethan, her brother’s best friend who became unreasonably attractive in her year away and who accepts her. Under the neon lights of Bonanza, Hannah must decide whether she can find a way to discover a new self in the midst of her old life.
Twice As Perfect by Louisa Onomé
She thinks the only things worth doing are those that will lead to success.
For seventeen-year-old Adanna Nkwachi, life is all about duty: to school and the debate team, to her Nigerian parents, and even to her cousin Genny as Adanna helps prepare Genny’s wedding to Afrobeats superstar Skeleboy. Because ever since her older brother, Sam, had a fight with their parents a few years ago and disappeared, somebody had to fill the void he left behind. Adanna may never understand what caused Sam to leave home, but the one thing she knows is that it’s on her to make sure her parents’ sacrifices aren’t in vain.
One day, chance brings the siblings together again and they start working to repair their bond. Although she fears how their parents will react if they find out, Adanna’s determined to get answers about the night Sam left―Sam, who was supposed to be an engineer but is now, what, a poet? The more she learns about Sam’s poetry, the more Adanna begins to wonder if maybe her own happiness is just as important as doing what’s expected of her. Amid parental pressure, anxiety over the debate competition, a complicated love life, and the Nigerian wedding-to-end-all-weddings, can Adanna learn, just this once, to put herself first?
Followers by Raziel Reid
A naïve teenager is thrown into the high-stakes, back-stabbing world of reality television in this gossipy, satirical romp, perfect for fans of reality TV.
After a disastrous date results in her arrest, sixteen-year-old Lily Rhode is horrified to discover her mugshot is leaked on a gossip website. Lily is the niece of Whitney Paley, a Hollywood housewife and star of reality show Platinum Triangle, a soap-opera-style docu-series in the vein of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Hills, revolving around several glamorous families living in the Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
When Lily’s mom kicks her out of their trailer home in the Valley, Whitney (Lily’s mom’s estranged sister) invites her to live with her, her movie-star husband, Patrick, and their daughter, Hailey. Lily is set up in the pool house and thrust into the company of reality-star offspring — kids who are born with silver spoon emojis on their feed. Lily’s cousin Hailey and the other teens have lived their entire lives on camera and are masters of deception, with Hailey leading the pack.
As Lily learns from the Paleys how to navigate her newfound fame, she finds herself ensnared in the unfolding storylines. What Lily doesn’t know is that she’s just a pawn being used on the show to make the Paleys look sympathetic to viewers while distracting from on-set sexual misconduct rumors surrounding super hero dad Patrick Paley . . .
Is Lily safe under Patrick’s roof? Or will Lily be Patrick’s downfall? If she isn’t destroyed by Hailey first. When Lily catches the eye of Hailey’s designated leading man Joel Strom — it’s war!
In The Same Boat by Holly Green
It’s the eve of the Texas River Odyssey, and Sadie Scofield is finally ready for the 265-mile canoe race. It’s three days of grueling, nonstop paddling, where every turn of the river reveals new challenges — downed trees, poisonous snakes, alligators — but the dangers are all worth it. Reaching the finish line is the only way for Sadie to redeem herself for last year, when one small mistake spiraled into disaster.
Sadie has spent a year training, and she’s ready for anything . . . except for her brother ditching her at the last minute for a better team.
She has no choice but to team up with Cully, her former best friend turned worst enemy. Everything about him irritates her, from his stupid handsome face to the way he holds his paddle. But as the miles pass, the pain builds, and family secrets come to light, Sadie realizes she’ll have to work with Cully instead of against him. Last year’s race was a catastrophe, but this year’s race just might change her life in ways she never imagined.
With an unforgettable heroine and an immersive setting, Holly Green’s captivating debut promises heart-stopping action and a swoony romance that will leave you cheering.
Queer Ducks (And Other Animals) by Eliot Schrefer, Jules Zuckerberg (Illustrated by)
A quiet revolution has been underway in recent years, with study after study revealing substantial same-sex sexual behavior in animals. Join celebrated author Eliot Schrefer on an exploration of queer behavior in the animal world—from albatrosses to bonobos to clownfish to doodlebugs.
In sharp and witty prose—aided by humorous comics from artist Jules Zuckerberg—Schrefer uses science, history, anthropology, and sociology to illustrate the diversity of sexual behavior in the animal world. Interviews with researchers in the field offer additional insights for readers and aspiring scientists.
Queer behavior in animals is as diverse and complex—and as natural—as it is in our own species. It doesn’t set us apart from animals—it bonds us even closer to our animal selves.
Rise of the Vicious Princess by C. J. Redwine
Princess Charis Willowthorn is the dutiful sword of Calera. Raised to be ruthless and cunning, her only goal is to hold her war-torn kingdom together long enough to find a path toward peace with their ancient foe Montevallo, even if the cost is her own heart.
When violence erupts in the castle itself, nearly killing the queen, Charis must assume her mother’s duties and manage both the war and her kingdom. But as an unseen enemy begins sinking Calera’s ships, Charis realizes a threat much greater than Montevallo is coming for her people. So she forms a plan.
By day, she is Calera’s formidable princess intent on forging an alliance with Montevallo. By night, she disguises herself as a smuggler and roams the sea with a trusted group of loyalists, hunting for their new enemies. And through it all, there’s the one boy she can’t have—who guards her life, but steals her heart.
But her enemies are much closer than Charis realizes, and her heart isn’t the only thing she has left to lose.
See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Barrett Bloom is hoping college will be a fresh start after a messy high school experience. But when school begins on September 21st, everything goes wrong. She’s humiliated by the know-it-all in her physics class, she botches her interview for the college paper, and at a party that night, she accidentally sets a frat on fire. She panics and flees, and when she realizes her roommate locked her out of their dorm, she falls asleep in the common room.
The next morning, Barrett’s perplexed to find herself back in her dorm room bed, no longer smelling of ashes and crushed dreams. It’s September 21st. Again. And after a confrontation with Miles, the guy from Physics 101, she learns she’s not alone—he’s been trapped for months.
When her attempts to fix her timeline fail, she agrees to work with Miles to find a way out. Soon they’re exploring the mysterious underbelly of the university and going on wild, romantic adventures. As they start falling for each other, they face the universe’s biggest unanswered question yet: what happens to their relationship if they finally make it to tomorrow?
The Warning by Kristy Acevedo
Like most high school seniors, Alexandra Lucas is caught between living in the moment and an unknown future. Her anxiety disorder doesn’t make that any easier. But she’s coping—until her train stops on the way home from a concert with her boyfriend. At first, she’s worried about breaking curfew. Then terror echoes through their train car.
A mysterious doorway has appeared beside the tracks, and a hologram claiming to be a human from the future shares a sinister warning. A comet is on a collision course with earth. All life there will end in six months’ time. To survive, people must step through one of the many portals that have opened around the world.
The holograms claim to offer safety. But how can anyone be sure? Stay or go—everyone must make their own choice. Alex’s family, her friends, her boyfriend all have different ideas. Alex is only sure of one thing: she wants to decide for herself. But every decision comes at a price.
This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg
The Winslow family lives by five principles:
1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please―do not ask.
Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.
When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.
Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous―and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?
Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne
When Darius told Angel he loved her, she believed him. But five weeks after the incident, Angel finds herself in Brooklyn, far from her family, from him, and from the California life she has known.
Angel feels out of sync with her new neighborhood. At school, she can’t shake the feeling everyone knows what happened – and that it was her fault. The only place that makes sense is Ms. G’s class. There, Angel’s classmates share their own stories of pain, joy, and fortitude. And as Angel becomes immersed in her revolutionary literature course, the words from Black writers like Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Zora NEale Hurston speak to her and begin to heal the wounds of her past.
This stunning novel weaves together prose, poems, and vignettes to tell the story of Angel, a young woman whose past was shaped by domestic violence but whose love of language and music and the gift of community grant her the chance to find herself again.
Borrow My Heart by Kasie West
Wren is used to being called a control freak. She doesn’t care; sticking to the list of rules she created for herself helps her navigate life. But when a cute guy named Asher walks through the door of her neighborhood coffee shop, the rulebook goes out the window.
Asher is cute, charming . . . and being catfished by his online crush. So Wren makes an uncharacteristically impulsive decision—she pretends to be the girl he’s waiting for to save him from embarrassment. Suddenly she’s fake-dating a boy she knows nothing about. And it’s . . . amazing.
It’s not long before Asher has her breaking even more of her own rules. But will he forgive her when he finds out she’s not who she says she is? Wren’s not so sure. . . . After all, rules exist for a reason.
Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney
Monique is a preacher’s daughter who detests the impossible rules of her religion. Everyone expects her to wait until marriage, so she has no one to turn to when she discovers that she physically can’t have sex.
After two years of trying and failing, her boyfriend breaks up with her. To win him back, Monique teams up with straight-laced church girl Sasha—who is surprisingly knowledgeable about Monique’s condition—as well as Reggie, the misunderstood bad boy who always makes a ruckus at church, and together they embark upon a top-secret search for the cure.
While on their quest, Monique discovers the value of a true friend and the wonders of a love that accepts her for who she is. Despite everyone’s opinions about her virtue, she learns to live for herself, inspiring us all to reclaim our bodies and unapologetically love ourselves
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.
Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.
Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?
Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin
“Be dauntless, for the hopes of the People rest in you.”
Seri’s world is defined by very clear rules: The beasts prowl the forest paths and hunt the People. The valiant explore the unknown world, kill the beasts, and gain strength from the armor they make from them. As an assistant to Eshai Unbroken, a young valor commander with a near-mythical reputation, Seri has seen first-hand the struggle to keep the beasts at bay and ensure the safety of the spreading trees where the People make their homes. That was how it always had been, and how it always would be. Until the day Seri encounters Tsana.
Tsana is, impossibly, a stranger from the unknown world who can communicate with the beasts – a fact that makes Seri begin to doubt everything she’s ever been taught. As Seri and Tsana grow closer, their worlds begin to collide, with deadly consequences. Somehow, with the world on the brink of war, Seri will have to find a way to make peace.
Love & Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean
An American girl embarks on a competitive scavenger hunt in England—and along the way, meets up with a bookish British boy who can’t help her with the clues…but might make the trip take some unexpected turns.
Britt Hanson has always preferred scoring goals on the soccer field to analyzing dusty old books. But when an injury ends her dream to play in college, she jumps at the chance to compete in a scavenger hunt in England that takes her to the locations of classic novels—the prize money would change her life!
Once in the UK she meets bookish and very British Luke Jackson. He can’t actually help her with any of the clues (against the rules), but something about Luke compels her to invite him to join her. She wouldn’t mind getting to know him—and listening to his accent.
To win, Britt must outsmart three competitors who aren’t afraid to play dirty while solving clues and traveling around the English countryside. Along the way, Britt learns that sometimes you have to follow the map and other times, you need to throw caution to the wind and see where the cobblestoned road leads you.
Moon Dark Smile by Tessa Gratton
Ever since she was a girl, Raliel Dark-Smile’s best friend has been the great demon that lives in the palace. As the daughter of the emperor, Raliel appears cold and distant to those around her, but what no one understands is that she and the great demon, Moon, have a close and unbreakable bond and are together at all times. Moon is bound to the emperor and his two consorts, Raliel’s parents, and when Raliel comes of age, she will be bound to Moon as well, constrained to live in the Palace for the rest of her days.
Raliel is desperate to see the Empire Between Five Mountains, and she feels a deep kinship with Moon, who longs to break free of its bonds. When the time finally arrives for Raliel’s coming-of-age journey, she discovers a dangerous way to take Moon with her, even as she hides this truth from her travel companion, the beautiful, demon-kissed bodyguard Osian Redpop. But Osian is hiding secrets of his own, and when a plot surfaces that threatens the Empire, Raliel will have to decide who she can trust and what she’ll sacrifice for the power to protect all that she loves.
Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West
A sweet and swoony contemporary young adult novel about a cross-country family road trip that puts one girl and her childhood best friend on an unexpected road to romance!
Norah hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Skyler, in years. When he first moved away, they talked all the time, but lately their relationship has been reduced to liking each other’s Instagram posts. That’s why Norah can’t wait for the joint RV road trip their families have planned for the summer.
But when Skyler finally arrives, he seems . . . like he’d rather be anywhere else. Hurt and confused, Norah reacts in kind. Suddenly, her oldest friendship is on the rocks.
An unexpected summer spent driving across the country leads both Norah and Skyler down new roads and to new discoveries. Before long, they are, once again, seeing each other in a different light. Can their friendship-turned-rivalry turn into something more?
This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron*
Would you tempt even the most dangerous fate to save the ones you love?
Briseis has one chance to save her mother, but she’ll need to do the impossible: find the last fragment of the deadly Absyrtus Heart. To locate the missing piece, she must turn to the blood relatives she’s never known, learn about their secret powers, and take her place in their ancient lineage.
But Briseis is not the only one who wants the Heart, and her enemies will stop at nothing to fulfill their own ruthless plans. The fates tell of a truly dangerous journey, one that could end in more heartache, more death. Strengthened by the sisterhood of ancient magic, can Briseis harness her power to save the people she loves most?
A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow
A modern love story, told in verse, about two teenaged trans boys who name themselves after two Revolutionary War soldiers. A lyrical, aching young adult romance perfect for fans of The Poet X, Darius the Great is Not Okay, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe.
For as long as they can remember, Aaron and Oliver have only ever had each other. In a small town with few queer teenagers, let alone young trans men, they’ve shared milestones like coming out as trans, buying the right binders―and falling for each other.
But just as their relationship has started to blossom, Aaron moves away. Feeling adrift, separated from the one person who understands them, they seek solace in digging deep into the annals of America’s past. When they discover the story of two Revolutionary War soldiers who they believe to have been trans man in love, they’re inspired to pay tribute to these soldiers by adopting their names―Aaron and Oliver. As they learn, they delve further into unwritten queer stories, and they discover the transformative power of reclaiming one’s place in history.
Further reading on trans history is included in backmatter.
Boys I Know by Anna Gracia
A modern Judy Blume meets Jenny Han, Boys I Know is a raw and realistic look into the lives of teen girls, examining the complex overlap between teen sexuality and Asian American identity. A sharp and unflinchingly honest journey of self-discovery.
June Chu has always been the “just good enough” girl. Good enough to line the shelves with third-place trophies and steal secret kisses from her AP Bio partner, Rhys. But not good enough to meet her mother’s unrelenting expectations, or get Rhys to commit.
While June’s mother insists she follow in her (perfect) sister’s footsteps and get a (full-ride) violin scholarship, June doesn’t see the point in trying too hard if she’s destined to fall short anyway. Instead, she focuses her efforts on making her relationship with Rhys “official.”
But after her methodically planned, tipsily executed scheme explodes on the level of a nuclear disaster, she flings herself into a new relationship with a guy who’s not allergic to the word girlfriend.
As the line between sex and love blurs, and pressure to map out her entire future threatens to burst, June will have to decide on whose terms she’s going to live her life—even if it means fraying her relationship with her mother beyond repair.
Never Coming Home by Kate Williams
The beach story you have been dying for! When ten of America’s hottest teenage influencers are invited to an exclusive island resort, things are sure to get wild. But murder isn’t what anyone expected. Will anyone survive?
Everyone knows Unknown Island—it’s the world’s most exclusive destination. Think white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and luxury accommodations. Plus, it’s invite only, no one over twenty-one allowed, and it’s absolutely free. Who wouldn’t want to go?
The mysterious resort launched with a viral marketing campaign, and now the whole world is watching as the mysterious resort opens its doors to the First Ten, the ten elite influencers specifically chosen to be the first to experience everything Unknown Island has to offer. You know them. There’s the gamer, the beauty blogger, the rich girl, the superstar, the junior politician, the environmentalist, the DJ, the CEO, the chef, and the athlete.
What they don’t know is that they weren’t invited to Unknown Island for their following—they were invited for their secrets. Everyone is hiding a deadly one, and it looks like someone’s decided it’s payback time. Unknown Island isn’t a vacation, it’s a trap. And it’s beginning to look like the First Ten—no matter how influential—are never coming home.
The Darkening by Sunya Mara
Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after 12 years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.
Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.
Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.
Even cheat her way into his cold heart.
But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.
The Wicked Unseen by Gigi Griffis
To say sixteen-year-old Audre doesn’t fit in would be the understatement of the century. She’s a city kid who’s found herself in a rural town. The only girl at school who’d rather kiss a girl than a boy. Not to mention that the whole town believes there’s a secret Satanic cult conducting rituals in the nearby woods—and Audre is a born skeptic.
When the preacher’s daughter and Audre’s secret crush, Elle, goes missing on Halloween weekend, the town is quick to point fingers—in Audre’s direction. While they harass Audre’s family for being newcomers and nonbelievers, Audre realizes she might be the only person here who can find her friend.
The deeper she goes, though, the weirder it gets. What happened to Elle—and is the evil this town is hiding really what Audre thinks it is?
The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim*
Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.
She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.
The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next—threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.
Dustborn by Erin Bowman
Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In a wasteland plagued by dust squalls, geomagnetic storms, and solar flares, many would kill for it—even if no one can read it. So when raiders sent by a man known as the General attack her village, Delta suspects he is searching for her.
Delta sets out to rescue her family but quickly learns that in the Wastes no one can be trusted—perhaps not even her childhood friend, Asher, who has been missing for nearly a decade. If Delta can trust Asher, she just might decode the map and trade evidence of the Verdant to the General for her family. What Delta doesn’t count on is what waits at the Verdant: a long-forgotten secret that will shake the foundation of her entire world.
Godslayers by Zoe Hana Mikuta*
Godslayers–Zoe Hana Mikuta’s high-octane sequel to Gearbreakers–is perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu’s Legend series.
The only way to kill a god is from the inside….
The Gearbreakers struck a devastating blow against Godolia on Heavensday, but the cost of victory has been steep. Months later, the few rebels who’ve managed to escape the tyrannical empire’s bloody retribution have fled to the mountains, hunted by the last Zenith–Godolia’s only surviving leader.
Eris has been held prisoner since the attack on the capital city, which almost killed her. And she begins to wish it had when she discovers Sona–the girl she loves, the girl she would tear down cities for–also survived, only to be captured and corrupted by the Zenith. The cybernetic brainwashing that Sona has forcibly undergone now has her believing herself a loyal soldier for Godolia and Eris’ mortal enemy.
With the rebellion shattered and Godolia moving forward with an insidious plan to begin inducting Badlands children into a new Windup Pilot program, the odds have never been more stacked against the Gearbreakers. Their last hope for victory will depend on whether Eris and Sona can somehow find their way back to each other from opposite sides of a war….
Katzenjammer by Francesca Zappia
American Horror Story meets the dark comedy of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis as Cat searches for a way to escape her high school. A tale of family, love, tragedy, and masks—the ones others make for us, and the ones we make for ourselves. Katzenjammer will haunt fans of Chelsea Pitcher’s This Lie Will Kill You and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars.
Cat lives in her high school. She never leaves, and for a long time her school has provided her with everything she needs. But now things are changing. The hallways contract and expand along with the school’s breathing, and the showers in the bathroom run a bloody red. Cat’s best friend is slowly turning into cardboard, and instead of a face, Cat has a cat mask made of her own hardened flesh.
Cat doesn’t remember why she is trapped in her school or why half of them—Cat included—are slowly transforming. Escaping has always been the one impossibility in her school’s upside-down world. But to save herself from the eventual self-destruction all the students face, Cat must find the way out. And to do that, she’ll have to remember what put her there in the first place.
Using chapters alternating between the past and the present, acclaimed author Francesca Zappia weaves a spine-tingling, suspenseful, and haunting story about tragedy and the power of memories. Fans of Marieke Nijkamp’s This Is Where It Ends and Karen McManus’s One of Us Is Lying will lose themselves in the pages of this novel—or maybe in the treacherous hallways of the school.
Some Mistakes Were Made by Kristin Dwyer
Ellis and Easton have been inseparable since childhood. But when a rash decision throws Ellis’s life—and her relationship with Easton—into chaos, she’s forced to move halfway across the country, far from everything she’s ever known.
Now Ellis hasn’t spoken to Easton in a year, and maybe it’s better that way; maybe eventually the Easton-shaped hole in her heart will heal.
But when Easton’s mom invites her home for a visit, Ellis finds herself tangled up in the web of heartache, betrayal, and anger she left behind . . . and with the boy she never stopped loving.
A Secret Princess by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
Best friends Mary Lennox, Sara Crewe, and Cedric Erroll are best friends. And thank goodness, since their boarding school is basically insufferable. When one of the friends suffers a personal tragedy, a plan—and a secret—change everything for the trio…for good.
Filled with charm and romance, and inspired by some of classic literature’s most beloved characters, The Secret Princess is the perfect blend of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden—and the perfect companion to Jo & Laurie.
Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto
After Sharlot Citra’s mother catches her in a compromising position, she finds herself whisked away from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia. It’ll be exactly what they both need. Or so her mother thinks.
When George Clooney Tanuwijaya’s father (who is obsessed with American celebrities) fears he no longer understands how to get through to his son, he decides to take matters into his own hands.
To ensure that their children find the right kind of romantic partner, Sharlot’s mother and George’s father do what any “good” parent would do: they strike up a conversation online, pretending to be their children.
When the kids find out about their parents’ actions, they’re horrified. Not even a trip to one of the most romantic places on earth could possibly make Sharlot and George fall for each other. But as the layers peel back and the person they thought they knew from online is revealed, the truth becomes more complicated. As unlikely as it may seem, did their parents manage to find their true match after all?
You Won’t Believe Me by Cyn Balog
Brace yourself for the unexpected in this chilling novel that will thrill suspense and horror readers alike! Willow can’t remember what landed her in captivity, but she’ll do anything to survive. For fans of Natasha Preston, Stephen King, and Gillian Flynn.
Willow is alone, confined to a bed with restraints. She can’t remember how she got there…or how long she’s been there.
An old lady appears in her room to feed her twice a day. Granny doesn’t talk, but Willow can hear thumping from somewhere beyond her door. It’s not Granny’s shuffling steps. It’s too loud to be Granny’s cat. Is it someone? Something?
Then Granny’s cat dies in Willow’s room. And Granny follows a few days later. Willow will do anything to survive. But freeing herself from her bed is only the beginning… Because there is someone else in the house. Who is this mysterious teen who calls himself Elijah? And is he the reason she’s hostage or the key to her escape?