As summer vacation stretches ahead, teenagers—no matter how busy—will find these new and upcoming releases irresistible. From fresh, genre-bending storytelling to comfortingly familiar tales executed with exceptional skill, there is something here to tempt almost any reader.
Generation Wonder: The New Age of Heroes edited by Barry Lyga and illustrated by Colleen Doran (Amulet/Abrams, June 14) gathers the talents of 13 YA authors representing an array of voices who offer creative takes on classic superhero stories. From Danielle Paige to Joseph Bruchac, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Axie Oh, the contributors stretch boundaries and reimagine old tropes.
In Jumper by Melanie Crowder (Viking, June 21), readers meet a determined young woman who’s not going to let Type 1 diabetes stop her from pursuing her dream of fighting forest fires. Nineteen-year-old lesbian Blair navigates the predominantly male fire camp’s grueling training regimen and faces life-threatening risks in this gripping page-turner.
Sayyed Nizam is out on his own after his father discovers he’s gay in The Loophole by Naz Kutub (Bloomsbury, June 21). His ex-boyfriend, Farouk, is off traveling the world—but Sy’s fortuitous encounter with an eccentric young heiress (complete with private plane) may offer the boys a second chance in this heartfelt, joy-filled story.
Shveta Thakrar’s The Dream Runners (HarperTeen, June 28) is set in an exquisite, well-developed, Hindu mythology–inspired world where kidnapped young people harvest ordinary humans’ dreams for the amusement of the immortal nagas. Tanvi, now 17, was taken to Nagalok as a child, but now strange events are forcing her to confront frightening truths.
Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow (McElderry, June 28) is an intense, multifaceted thriller set in an exclusive, largely White community plagued by a rumored curse that has claimed the lives of young women. Queer Black girl Luca lost first her best friend and then her sister; now she’s determined to find out the truth.
Elizabeth Kilcoyne debuts with an atmospheric Southern gothic horror novel, Wake the Bones (Wednesday Books, July 12), in which 19-year-old Laurel, who is able to “read” death stories in bones, is forced to confront her mother’s tragic passing. The rural Appalachian setting—a Kentucky tobacco farm surrounded by mysterious woods—forms an eerie backdrop.
Joanna Ruth Meyer’s latest, Wind Daughter (Page Street, July 12), is set in the world of 2019’s Echo North but works as a stand-alone novel. Fairy-tale lovers will lose themselves in the romantic, absorbing story of Satu, daughter of the North Wind: In love with Satu’s mother, he became a mortal, but this choice brings dire consequences.
My Imaginary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (HarperTeen, Aug. 2) marks another high-spirited outing for the trio responsible for witty, gleefully anachronistic takes on Charlotte Brontë, Mary, Queen of Scots, and other well-known figures. Here they turn their attention to Ada Lovelace and Mary Godwin, with hijinks involving Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.
Mystery fans will adore Karen M. McManus’ twisty, suspenseful Nothing More To Tell (Delacorte, Aug. 30). Brynn Gallagher’s former best friend, Tripp Talbot, lied—both to their classmates about her and to the police about the day he found Mr. Larkin’s body. Now Brynn is investigating the unsolved murder of her beloved teacher.
Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy Moldavsky (Henry Holt, Aug. 30) combines the mayhem of a tropical island music festival gone wrong with social media influencer culture and the popularity of true crime. In this hilariously over-the-top story, relentlessly determined teenage podcaster Rafi Francisco digs for the truth in her murder investigation.
Laura Simeon is a young readers’ editor.