2022 YA Books To Have On Your Radar, Part Two
Have you looked at what’s coming up in the remainder of 2022? So many excellent books! Jump here to see the list for the first half of the year. Also, isn’t it wild that this year is nearly half over? We’re on the last handful of days of school and in many ways I still feel like I’m waiting for the school year to get underway. Time ceased to make any sense starting with March of 2020.
This list is heavy on the contemporary fiction. It’s what I like best. I’m not saying there are no good fantasy or sci-fi or whatever books—this is just my personal list of anticipated reads.
Hop in the comments or catch me on Twitter @CiteSomething and tell me what you are excited to read in the second half of 2022!
All descriptions from the publishers or Goodreads summaries.
I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers ( ISBN-13: 9781250808363 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 09/13/2022, Ages 13-18)
The new groundbreaking queer thriller from New York Times bestselling and Edgar-award Winning author Courtney Summers
When sixteen-year-old Georgia Avis discovers the dead body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James, she teams up with Ashley’s older sister, Nora, to find and bring the killer to justice before he strikes again. But their investigation throws Georgia into a world of unimaginable privilege and wealth, without conscience or consequence, and as Ashley’s killer closes in, Georgia will discover when money, power and beauty rule, it might not be a matter of who is guilty—but who is guiltiest.
A spiritual successor to the breakout hit Sadie, I’m the Girl is a masterfully written, bold, and unflinching account of how one young woman feels in her body as she struggles to navigate a deadly and predatory power structure while asking readers one question: if this is the way the world is, do you accept it?
Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman (ISBN-13: 9780593303184 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 09/20/2022, Ages 12+)
Once upon a time . . . happily ever after turned out differently than expected. In this new, feminist, queer fairy-tale collection, you’ll find the princesses, mermaids, knights, barmaids, children, and wise old women who have been forced to sit on the sidelines in classic stories taking center stage. A gorgeous all-new collection in graphic novel format from a Stonewall Honor-winning author and artist.
What if the giant who abducted you was actually thoughtful and kind? What if you didn’t want to marry your handsome, popular, but cold-inside suitor? What if your one true love has all the responsibilities that come with running a kingdom?
Award-winning author Melanie Gillman’s phenomenal colored-pencil art creates another “ever after” for the characters who are most worthy of it.
Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto (ISBN-13: 9780593433973 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 09/27/2022, Ages 12-17)
An outrageous, laugh-out-loud YA rom-com about a girl who’s whisked from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia to get back to her roots and finds herself fake-dating the son of one of the wealthiest families there, from the author of Dial A for Aunties.
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?
By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Gone (Murder, She Wrote #1) by Stephanie Kuehn (ISBN-13: 9781338764550 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 12-18)
Small town murders.
Big time thrills.
A suspenseful, modern update of the classic mystery TV series that’s perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying, Sadie, and Gossip Girl.
“Killers walk among us. Statistically, at least one of them knows your name…”
Beatrice Fletcher is obsessed with unsolved murders in her small town of Cabot Cove, Maine like her great-aunt Jessica, the famous mystery writer. But when her best friend Jackson goes missing, this time the mystery is personal.
Then Jackson fails to show up for a late night meet-up, and instead, Bea stumbles upon three students from the elite Broadmoor Academy: overly-friendly and slightly vicious Leisl, her aloof twin brother, Leif, and Carlos, who knows more about, well, everything than he’s letting on. They’re worldly, secretive, and big on playing games like tenace, the hush-hush Broadmoor tradition where anything or anyone can be a clue to future fame and fortune, and players will stop at nothing — including murder — to get ahead.
If Bea wants to find Jackson, she too must join the game and play to win. Everyone in Cabot Cove has secrets, and it’s up to Bea to ferret them out before it’s too late in this thrilling modern update of the classic television show.
A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo (ISBN-13: 9780525555285 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 14+)
Award-winning author Malinda Lo returns to the Bay Area with another masterful coming-of-queer-age story, this time set against the backdrop of the first major Supreme Court decisions legalizing gay marriage. And almost sixty years after the end of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Lo’s new novel also offers a glimpse into Lily and Kath’s lives since 1955.
Aria Tang West was looking forward to a summer on Martha’s Vineyard with her best friends—one last round of sand and sun before college. But after a graduation party goes wrong, Aria’s parents exile her to California to stay with her grandmother, artist Joan West. Aria expects boredom, but what she finds is Steph Nichols, her grandmother’s gardener. Soon, Aria is second-guessing who she is and what she wants to be, and a summer that once seemed lost becomes unforgettable—for Aria, her family, and the working-class queer community Steph introduces her to. It’s the kind of summer that changes a life forever.
Numb to This: Memoir of a Mass Shooting by Kindra Neely (ISBN-13: 9780316462099 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 12-18)
This searing graphic memoir portrays gun violence through a fresh lens, giving it urgency, humanity, and a very personal hope
Kindra Neely never expected it to happen to her. No one does. Sure, she’d sometimes been close to gun violence, like when the house down the street from her childhood home in Texas was targeted in a drive-by shooting. But now she lived in Oregon, where she spent her time swimming in rivers with friends or attending classes at the bucolic Umpqua Community College.
And then, one day, it happened: a mass shooting shattered her college campus. Over the span of a few minutes, on October 1, 2015, eight students and a professor lost their lives. And suddenly, Kindra became a survivor. This empathetic and ultimately hopeful graphic memoir recounts Kindra’s journey forward from those few minutes that changed everything.
It wasn’t easy. Every time Kindra took a step toward peace and wholeness, a new mass shooting devastated her again. Las Vegas. Parkland. She was hopeless at times, feeling as if no one was listening. Not even at the worldwide demonstration March for Our Lives. But finally, Kindra learned that—for her—the path toward hope wound through art, helping others, and sharing her story.
A House Unsettled by Trynne Delaney (ISBN-13: 9781773216959 Publisher: Annick Press, Limited Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 14+)
“Who built this house? Whose money? Whose blood?”
Ghosts aren’t the only thing that can haunt a house. Trynne Delaney’s debut novel explores the insidious legacies of violence and oppression—and how Black, queer love and resistance can disrupt them.
With her dad’s incarceration, escalating fights with her mom, and an overbearing stepdad she’s not sure she can trust, Asha is desperate for the fresh start promised by a move to the country. Her great aunt Aggie’s crumbling, pest-ridden house isn’t exactly what she had in mind, but the immediate connection she makes with her new neighbor Cole seems like a good sign. Soon, though, Asha’s optimism is shadowed by strange and disturbing occurrences within the old house’s walls: footsteps stalking the halls; a persistent chill; cold hands around her neck in the middle of the night . . .
Fearing for her loved ones’ safety—and her own—Asha seeks out the source of these terrifying incidents and uncovers secrets from the past that connect her and Cole’s families and reach into the present. But as tensions with her mom and stepdad rise and Cole withdraws, Asha is left alone to try and break the cycle of violence that holds them all in its haunting grip.
Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken by Nita Tyndall (ISBN-13: 9780063087446 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 10/18/2022, Ages 14+)
For fans of Ruta Sepetys and Malinda Lo, a heart-wrenching queer historical YA romance set in the Swing Youth movement of World War II Berlin
Charlotte Kraus would follow Angelika Haas anywhere. Which is how she finds herself in an underground club one Friday night the summer before World War II, dancing to contraband American jazz and swing music, suddenly feeling that anything might be possible.
Unable to resist the allure of sharing this secret with Geli, Charlie returns to the club again and again, despite the dangers of breaking the Nazi Party’s rules. Soon, terrified by the tightening vise of Hitler’s power, Charlie and the other Swingjugend are drawn to larger and larger acts of rebellion. But the war will test how much they are willing to risk—and to lose.
From the critically acclaimed author of Who I Was with Her, this beautifully told story of hope, love, and resistance will captivate readers of Girl in the Blue Coat and Last Night at the Telegraph Club.
We Are the Scribes by Randi Pink (ISBN-13: 9781250820310 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Publication date: 10/18/2022, Ages 13-18)
A young adult novel by Randi Pink about a teenage activist who is visited by the ghost of Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved woman.
Ruth Fitz is surrounded by activism. Her mother is a senator who frequently appears on CNN as a powerful Black voice fighting for legislative social change within the Black community. Her father, a professor of African American history, is a walking encyclopedia, spouting off random dates and events. And her beloved older sister, Virginia, is a natural activist, steadily gaining notoriety within the community and on social media. Ruth, on the other hand, would rather sit quietly reading or writing in her journal.
When her family is rocked by tragedy, Ruth stops writing. As life goes on, Ruth’s mother is presented with a political opportunity she can’t refuse. Just as Senator Fitz is more absent, Ruth begins receiving parchment letters with a seal reading WE ARE THE SCRIBES, sent by Harriet Jacobs, the author of the autobiography and 1861 American classic, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Is Ruth dreaming? How has she been chosen as a “scribe” when she can barely put a sentence together? In a narrative that blends present with past, Randi Pink explores two extraordinary characters who channel their hopelessness and find their voices to make history.
Love from Mecca to Medina by S. K. Ali (ISBN-13: 9781665916073 Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication date: 10/18/2022, Ages 14-18)
On the trip of a lifetime, Adam and Zayneb must find their way back to each other in this surprising and romantic sequel to the “bighearted, wildly charming” (Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author) Love from A to Z.
Adam and Zayneb. Perfectly matched. Painfully apart.
Adam is in Doha, Qatar, making a map of the Hijra, a historic migration from Mecca to Medina, and worried about where his next paycheck will come from. Zayneb is in Chicago, where school and extracurricular stresses are piling on top of a terrible frenemy situation, making her miserable.
Then a marvel occurs: Adam and Zayneb get the chance to spend Thanksgiving week on the Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia. Adam is thrilled; it’s the reboot he needs and an opportunity to pray for a hijra in real life: to migrate to Zayneb in Chicago. Zayneb balks at the trip at first, having envisioned another kind of vacation, but then decides a spiritual reset is calling her name too. And they can’t wait to see each other—surely, this is just what they both need.
But the trip is nothing like what they expect, from the appearance of Adam’s former love interest in their traveling group to the anxiety gripping Zayneb when she’s supposed to be “spiritual.” As one wedge after another drives them apart while they make their way through rites in the holy city, Adam and Zayneb start to wonder: was their meeting just an oddity after all? Or can their love transcend everything else like the greatest marvels of the world?
We Are All We Have by Marina Budhos (ISBN-13: 9780593120200 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 10/25/2022, Ages 12+)
When a teenage girl’s single mom is taken by ICE, everything changes—all of her hopes and dreams for the future have turned into survival.
Seventeen-year-old Rania is shaken awake in her family’s apartment in Brooklyn. ICE is at the door, taking her mother away. But Ammi has done everything right, hasn’t she? Their asylum case is fine.
This was supposed to be Rania’s greatest summer: hanging out with her best friend, Fatima, and getting ready for college in the fall.
But it’s 2019, and nothing is certain.
Now, along with her younger brother, Kamal, and a new friend, Carlos, Rania must figure out how to survive. A road trip leads to searching for answers to questions she didn’t even think to ask.
In this vivid exploration of what happens when the country you have put your hopes into is fast shutting down, award-winning author Marina Budhos shows us how one girl bursting with dreams navigates secrets, love, and the lure of the open road.
Seasparrow by Kristin Cashore (ISBN-13: 9781984816672 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 11/01/2022 Series: Graceling Realm Series, Ages 14-17)
The fifth novel in the bestselling Graceling Realm series is told from the point of view of Hava, Queen Bitterblue’s sister and spy, and chronicles the harrowing journey back to Monsea.
Hava sails across the sea toward Monsea with her sister, the royal entourage, and the world’s only copies of the formulas for the zilfium weapon she saved at the end of Winterkeep. During the crossing, Hava makes an unexpected discovery about one of the ship’s crew, but before she can unravel the mystery, storms drive their ship off course, wrecking them in the ice far north of the Royal Continent. The survivors must endure a harrowing trek across the ice to make it back to Monsea. And while Queen Bitterblue grapples with how to carry the responsibility of a weapon that will change the world, Hava has a few more mysteries to solve —and a decision to make about who she wants to be in the new world Bitterblue will build.
How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow (ISBN-13: 9780063078727 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 11/01/2022, Ages 14+)
Stonewall Honor author Jake Maia Arlow delivers a sapphic Jewish twist on the classic Christmas rom-com in a read perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Casey McQuiston.
It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, literally. With her mom’s Subaru.
Attempted vehicular manslaughter was not part of Shani’s plan. She was supposed to be focusing on her monthlong paleoichthyology internship. She was going to spend all her time thinking about dead fish and not at all about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break.
It could be going better.
But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May’s path, the fossils she’s meant to be diligently studying are pushed to the side—along with the breakup.
Then they’re snowed in together on Christmas Eve. As things start to feel more serious, though, Shani’s hurt over her ex-girlfriend’s rejection comes rushing back. Is she ready to try a committed relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a passing winter fling?
Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon (ISBN-13: 9780063088146 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 11/08/2022, Ages 13-17)
Atlanta is blanketed with snow just before Christmas, but the warmth of young love just might melt the ice in this novel of interwoven narratives, Black joy, and cozy, sparkling romance—by the same unbeatable team of authors who wrote the New York Times bestseller Blackout!
As the city grinds to a halt, twelve teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm?
No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can’t always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.
From the bestselling, award-winning, all-star authors who brought us Blackout—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—comes another novel of Black teen love, each relationship within as unique and sparkling as Southern snowflakes.
We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (ISBN-13: 9781250816559 Publisher: Roaring Brook Press Publication date: 11/29/2022, Ages 14-18)
Family secrets, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery collide in We Deserve Monuments, a YA debut from Jas Hammonds that explores how racial violence can ripple down through generations.
What’s more important? Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?
Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she’s uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery’s mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she’s turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.
While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family—whose mother’s murder remains unsolved.
As the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into romance—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath. The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery’s family in ways she can’t even imagine. With Mama Letty’s health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she’s built in Bardell—or if some things are better left buried.
Filed under: new books
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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