Social distancing might be giving you an excuse to catch up on your TBR, but April is going to dawn with a bunch of new titles that are going to put you even further behind. Those are what we call good problems, though! Between a new Candace Bushnell novel, an LGBTQ+ sci-fi adventure that will soothe the pain the lack of a Finn/Poe romance in The Rise of Skywalker caused you, us, and Oscar Isaac, and a bunch of sequels to books with endings you couldn’t stop thinking about, you’ll have your hands full and your minds soothed.
So get ready to get your bookworm on and dive into some fictional worlds and fictional problems that might put your own into perspective… or at least provide a necessary distraction for a while.
The 23 Most Anticipated New YA Books
TO READ IN APRIL
1. Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell & Katie Cotugno
Marin has always been good at navigating these unspoken guidelines. A star student and editor of the school paper, she dreams of getting into Brown University. Marin’s future seems bright—and her young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. Beckett, is always quick to admire her writing and talk books with her.
But when “Bex” takes things too far and comes on to Marin, she’s shocked and horrified. Had she somehow led him on? Was it her fault?
When Marin works up the courage to tell the administration what happened, no one believes her. She’s forced to face Bex in class every day. Except now, he has an ax to grind.
But Marin isn’t about to back down. She uses the school newspaper to fight back and she starts a feminist book club at school. She finds allies in the most unexpected people, like “slutty” Gray Kendall, who she’d always dismissed as just another lacrosse bro. As things heat up at school and in her personal life, Marin must figure out how to take back the power and write her own rules.
- On sale April 7th from Balzer + Bray
- Buy Rules for Being a Girl now!
2. The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson
📚 This is the companion to: the Girl of Fire and Thorns series
Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name, a veiled past, and a mark of magic in her hair. But finally—after years and years of running, of fighting—she is about to be adopted into the royal family by Empress Elisa herself. She’ll have a home, a family. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck.
Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress’s greatest rival blocks the adoption, and everything Red has worked for crumbles before her eyes.
But Red is not about to let herself or the empress become a target again. Determined to prove her worth and protect her chosen family, she joins the Royal Guard, the world’s most elite fighting force. It’s no coincidence that someone wanted her to fail as a princess, though. Someone whose shadowy agenda puts everything—and everyone—she loves at risk. As danger closes in, it will be up to Red to save the empire. If she can survive recruitment year—something no woman has ever done before.
- On sale April 7th from Greenwillow Books
- Buy The Empire of Dreams now!
3. Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan
📚 This is the sequel to: Wicked Saints
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. Their paths are being orchestrated by someone…or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
- On sale April 7th from Wednesday Books
- Buy Ruthless Gods now!
4. Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova
Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred — or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.
- On sale April 28th from Disney-Hyperion
- Buy Incendiary now!
5. The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman
📚 This is the sequel to: The Devouring Gray
The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.
Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.
May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.
Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.
With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.
But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…
- On sale April 21st from Disney-Hyperion
- Buy The Deck of Omens now!
6. Goodbye from Nowhere by Sara Zarr
Kyle Baker thought his family was happy. Happy enough, anyway. That’s why, when Kyle learns that his mother has been having an affair and his father has been living with the secret, his reality is altered.
He quits baseball, ghosts his girlfriend, and generally checks out of life as he’s known it. With his older sisters out of the house and friends who don’t get it, the only person he can talk to is his cousin Emily—who is always there on the other end of his texts but still has her own life, hours away.
Kyle’s parents want him to keep the secret of his mother’s affair from the rest of the family until after what might be their last big summer reunion. As Kyle watches the effects of his parents’ choices ripple out over friends, family, and strangers, and he feels the walls of his relationships closing in, he has to decide what his obligations are to everyone he cares for—including himself.
- On sale April 7th from Balzer + Bray
- Buy Goodbye from Nowhere now!
7. Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan
Jubilee has it all together. She’s an elite cellist, and when she’s not working in her stepmom’s indie comic shop, she’s prepping for the biggest audition of her life.
Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, and Ridley can’t stop disappointing them–that is, when they’re even paying attention.
They meet one fateful night at a comic convention prom, and the two can’t help falling for each other. Too bad their parents are at each other’s throats every chance they get, making a relationship between them nearly impossible . . . unless they manage to keep it a secret.
Then again, the feud between their families may be the least of their problems. As Ridley’s anxiety spirals, Jubilee tries to help but finds her focus torn between her fast-approaching audition and their intensifying relationship. What if love can’t conquer all? What if each of them needs more than the other can give?
- On sale April 21st from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
- Buy Verona Comics now!
8. The Lightness of Hands by Jeff Garvin
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Dante is desperate for something in her life to finally go right. Her father was a famous stage magician until he attempted an epic illusion on live TV—and failed. Now Ellie lives with her dad in a beat-up RV, attending high school online and performing with him at birthday parties and bars across the Midwest to make ends meet.
But when the gigs dry up, their insurance lapses, leaving Dad’s heart condition unchecked and forcing Ellie to battle her bipolar II disorder without medication.
Then Ellie receives a call from a famous magic duo, who offer fifteen thousand dollars and a shot at redemption: they want her father to perform the illusion that wrecked his career—on their live TV special, which shoots in Los Angeles in ten days.
Ellie knows her dad will refuse—but she takes the deal anyway, then lies to persuade him to head west. With the help of her online-only best friend and an unusual guy she teams up with along the way, Ellie makes a plan to stage his comeback. But when her lie is exposed, she’ll have to confront her illness and her choices head-on to save her father—and herself.
- On sale April 14th from Balzer + Bray
- Buy The Lightness of Hands now!
9. Redemption Prep by Samuel Miller
Everyone knows Emma. Neesha’s her best friend, Aiden’s her basketball star boyfriend, and Evan’s her shadow, following Emma’s every move.
Emma stands out, which is hard to do at Redemption Prep, a school where every student has been handpicked to attend its remote campus in the forest of Utah. So when she goes missing in plain sight during mass, everyone notices.
And everyone becomes a suspect, especially at a school with so many rules: Don’t skip mass. Don’t break curfew. Don’t go into the woods.
Emma’s disappearance ignites an investigation, and Neesha, Aiden, and Evan all want to find her—for different reasons. But they each have their own secrets to hide, and not everyone wants Emma to be found.
As the search continues, the students start to realize that they’re not the only ones trying to hide something. Redemption Prep has secrets, too—secrets bigger than any of the students could have imagined, and Emma could be the key to finding out the truth . . . if anyone can find her.
- On sale April 14th by Katherine Tegen Books
- Buy Redemption Prep now!
10. The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund
It seemed like a good plan at first.
When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely’s own eighteenth birthday party, she’s inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that–but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she’s going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she’s known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it’s kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten.
So she can’t believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he’s fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her.
But Dean’s already in college, and Keely is convinced he’ll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That’s when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he’s clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends–just friends–so things are about to get complicated
- On sale April 7th from Razorbill
- Buy The Best Laid Plans now!
11. Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
📚 This is the sequel to: Once & Future
Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail — the very definition of impossible.
It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face to face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future . . .
- On sale April 7th from jimmy patterson
- Buy Sword in the Stars now!
12. Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Fitz Holton waits in fear for the day his single mother’s early-onset Alzheimer’s starts stealing her memory. He’s vowed to stay close to home to care for her in the years to come–never mind the ridiculous college tour she’s forcing him on to visit schools where he knows he’ll never go. Juniper Ramirez is counting down the days until she can leave home, a home crowded with five younger siblings and zero privacy. Against the wishes of her tight-knit family, Juniper plans her own college tour of the East Coast with one goal: get out.
When Fitz and Juniper cross paths on their first college tour in Boston, they’re at odds from the moment they meet– while Juniper’s dying to start a new life apart from her family, Fitz faces the sacrifices he must make for his. Their relationship sparks a deep connection–in each other’s eyes, they glimpse alternate possibilities regarding the first big decision of their adult lives.
- On sale April 21st from Penguin Books
- Buy Time of Our Lives now!
13. The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Tomp
Ria Williams was an elite diver on track for the Olympics. As someone who struggled in school, largely due to her ADHD, diving was the one place Ria could shine.
But while her parents were focused on the trophies, no one noticed how Coach Benny’s strict rules and punishments controlled every aspect of Ria’s life. The harder he was on her, the sharper her focus. The bigger the bruise, the better the dive.
Until a freak accident at a meet changes everything. Just like that, Ria is handed back her life, free of Benny.
To fill her now empty and aimless days, Ria rekindles a friendship with Cotton, a guy she used to know back in elementary school. With Cotton, she’s able to open up about what Benny would do to her, and through Cotton’s eyes, Ria is able to see it for what it was: abuse.
Then Benny returns, offering Ria a second chance with a life-changing diving opportunity. But it’s not hers alone—Benny’s coaching comes with it. The thought of being back under his control seems impossible to bear, but so does walking away.
How do you separate the impossible from possible when the one thing you love is so tangled up in the thing you fear most?
- On sale April 21st from HarperTeen
- Buy The Easy Part of Impossible now!
14. Clique Bait by Ann Valett
Chloe Whittaker is out for revenge.
Last year her best friend Monica’s life was unceremoniously ruined by the most popular students at their high school, so this year Chloe plans to take each and every one of them down. She’s traded in her jeans and T-shirts for the latest designer clothes, erased anything on social media that would tie her to Monica (and blow her cover), and carefully figured out how she will befriend the members of the clique, find out their deepest and darkest secrets, and reveal them to the world.
Chloe has the perfect plan… but there’s one thing she didn’t prepare for. And that’s falling for someone she’s determined to destroy. The closer she gets to uncovering the secrets the in-crowd is determined to cover up, the more she realizes that she is going to have to choose between betraying her oldest friend or the boy who’s captured her heart
- On sale April 28th from HarperTeen
- Buy Clique Bait now!
15. Little Universes by Heather Demetrios
One wave: that’s all it takes for the rest of Mae and Hannah Winters’ lives to change.
When a tsunami strikes the island where their parents are vacationing, it soon becomes clear that their mom and dad are never coming home. Forced to move to Boston from sunny California for the rest of their senior year, each girl struggles with secrets their parents’ death has brought to light, and with their uncertainty about the future. Instead of bringing them closer, it feels like the wave has torn the sisters apart.
Hannah is a secret poet who wants to be seen, but only knows how to hide. The pain pills she stole from her dead father hurl her onto the shores of an addiction she can’t shake and a dealer who turns her heart upside down. When it’s clear Hannah’s drowning, Mae, a budding astronaut suddenly launched into an existential crisis—and unexpected love—must choose between herself and the only family she has left.
- On sale April 7th from Henry, Holt and Co. (BYR)
- Buy Little Universes now!
16. Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross
A fierce young queen, neither human nor lynx, who fights to protect a forest humans have long abandoned.
An exhausted young soldier, last of his name, who searches for the brother who disappeared beneath those trees without a trace.
A Golden Dragon, fearsome and vengeful, whose wingbeats haunt their nightmares and their steps.
When these three paths cross at the fringes of a war between monsters and men, shapeshifter queen and reluctant hero strike a deal that may finally turn the tide against the rising hordes of darkness. Ren will help Lukasz find his brother…if Lukasz promises to slay the Dragon.
But promises are all too easily broken.
- On sale April 28th from HarperTeen
- Buy Don’t Call the Wolf now!
17. Check Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Stones by Ngozi Ukazu
📚 This is the sequel to: Check Please! Book 1: # Hockey
Eric Bittle is heading into his junior year at Samwell University, and not only does he have new teammates—he has a brand new boyfriend! Bitty and Jack must navigate their new, secret, long-distance relationship, and decide how to reveal their relationship to friends and teammates. And on top of that, Bitty’s time at Samwell is quickly coming to an end…
It’s two full hockey seasons packed with big wins and high stakes!
- On sale April 7th from First Second
- Buy Check Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Stones now!
18. The Silence of Bones by June Hur
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.
But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
- On sale April 21st from Feiwel & Friends
- Buy The Silence of Bones now!
19. Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
Ettian’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded his world. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal—his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the academy feel like a new home.
But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised academy unscathed, rattled that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him, and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule.
As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?
- On sale April 7th from Del Rey Books
- Buy Bonds of Brass now!
20. The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson
May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.
Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.
Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.
- On sale April 7th from Delacorte Press
- Buy The Lucky Ones now!
21. Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.
Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?
In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …
- On sale April 23rd from The O’Brien Press
- Buy Queen of Coin and Whispers now!
22. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.
That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
- On sale April 14th from Amulet Books
- Buy Raybearer now!
22. Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons
Mega-fan June Blue’s whole life has been leading up to this moment: ZombieCon!The Ultimate in Undead Entertainment has finally come to her hometown. She and her two best friends–gorgeous, brilliant Imani and super-sweet, outrageously silly Siggy–plan on hitting all the panels and photo ops, and meeting the heartthrob lead of their favorite zombie apocalypse show, Human Wasteland. It’s going to be the best time of their lives–and one of their last adventures before they all split up for college.
And when they arrive, everything seems perfect. June’s definitely not going to let anything get in the way of the flawless con experience–even though she’s endlessly anxious about the SATs and college admissions, and she can’t seem to avoid her ex-best friend Blair, whose VIP badge lets her walk straight to the front of every single line. No matter what, June is determined to make the best of her dream day at ZombieCon!
But something’s not quite right at the con–there are strange people in hazmat suits running around, enthusiastic cosplayers taking their shambling a little too far, and someone actually biting a cast member. Then, at a panel gone wrong, June and her friends discover the truth: the zombie apocalypse is here.
Now June, Imani, and Siggy must do whatever it takes to survive a horde of actual flesh-eating zombies–and save the world. A hilarious and heartfelt horror comedy, that is an ode to zombies, friendship, and girl power.
- On sale April 14th from Philomel Books
- Buy Girls Save the World in This One now!
Which book are you most excited for? Let us know!