36 YA Releases April-June 2022

Well, this is a mega-post coming to you!

Here are 36 YA releases that I am so very excited about—and there are so many more out there. I cannot believe how many books are releasing on May 31st. So. Damn. Many!

Below are a mishmash of contemporary, fantasy and historical books. I had thought about breaking them all up, but then decided on going one MEGA POST because why the hell not?

And so many queer and BIPOC releases!

Granted, publishing is still very, very white and straight, but seeing all these books brings me hope.

Blurbs are from Goodreads.

April

Does My Body Offend You? by Mayra Cuevas & Marie Marquardt (April 5)

Malena Rosario is starting to believe that catastrophes come in threes. First, Hurricane Maria destroyed her home, taking her unbreakable spirit with it. Second, she and her mother are now stuck in Florida, which is nothing like her beloved Puerto Rico. And third, when she goes to school bra-less after a bad sunburn and is humiliated by the school administration into covering up, she feels like she has no choice but to comply. Ruby McAllister has a reputation as her school’s outspoken feminist rebel. Neither Malena nor Ruby expected to be the leaders of the school’s dress code rebellion. But the girls will have to face their own insecurities, biases, and privileges, and the ups and downs in their newfound friendship, if they want to stand up for their ideals and–ultimately–for themselves. Contemporary

Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk (April 5)

Two girls. One wild and reckless day. Years of tumultuous history unspooling like a thin, fraying string in the hours after they set a fire. They were best friends. Until they became more. Their affections grew. Until the blurry lines became dangerous. Over the course of a single day, the depth of their past, the confusion of their present, and the unpredictability of their future is revealed. And the girls will learn that hearts, like flames, aren’t so easily tamed. It starts with a fire. How will it end? Contemproary, Queer

Gold Mountain by Betty G Yee (April 5)

Growing up in 1860s China, Tam Ling Fan has lived a life of comfort. Her father is wealthy enough to provide for his family but unconventional enough to spare Ling Fan from the debilitating foot-binding required of most well-off girls. But Ling Fan’s life is upended when her brother dies of influenza and their father is imprisoned under false accusations. Hoping to earn the money that will secure her father’s release, Ling Fan disguises herself as a boy and takes her brother’s contract to work for the Central Pacific Railroad Company in America. When someone threatens to expose Ling Fan’s secret, she must take an even greater risk to save what’s left of her family . . . and to escape the Gold Mountain alive. Historical

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily XR Pan (April 12)

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school. Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge. Contemporary Fantasy

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf (April 19)

When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. Contemporary

My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel (April 19)

Zurika Damani is a naturally gifted violinist with a particular love for hip hop beats. But when you’re part of a big Indian family, everyone has expectations, and those certainly don’t include hip hop violin. After being rejected by Juilliard, Zuri’s last hope is a contest judged by a panel of top tier college scouts. The only problem? This coveted competition happens to take place during Zuri’s sister’s extravagant wedding week. In the midst of the chaos, Zuri’s mom is in matchmaking mode with the groom’s South African cousin Naveen—who just happens to be a cocky vocalist set on stealing Zuri’s spotlight at the scouting competition. Contemporary

May

Turning by Joy Smith (May 1)

Genie used to fouetté across the stage. Now the only thing she’s turning are the wheels to her wheelchair. Genie was the star pupil at her exclusive New York dance school, with a bright future and endless possibilities before her. Now that the future she’s spent years building toward has been snatched away, she can’t stand to be reminded of it—even if it means isolating herself from her best friends and her mother. The only wish this Genie has is to be left alone. But then she meets Kyle, who also has a “used to be.” With Kyle’s support, along with her best friend’s insistence that Genie’s time at the barre isn’t over yet, Genie starts to see a new path—one where she doesn’t have to be alone and she finally has the strength to heal from the past. Contemporary, Queer

Confessions of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney (May 3)

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. Contemporary

The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor (May 3)

Sam Sylvester’s not overly optimistic about their recent move to the small town of Astoria, Oregon after a traumatic experience in their last home in the rural Midwest. Yet Sam’s life seems to be on the upswing after meeting several new friends and a potential love interest in Shep, the pretty neighbor. However, Sam can’t seem to let go of what might have been, and is drawn to investigate the death of a teenage boy in 1980s Astoria. Sam’s convinced he was murdered–especially since Sam’s investigation seems to resurrect some ghosts in the town. Contemporary Fantasy, Queer

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (May 3)

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny. But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes. On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. Contemporary, Queer

Café con Lychee by Emery Lee (May 10)

Theo Mori wants to escape. Leaving Vermont for college means getting away from working at his parents’ Asian American café and dealing with their archrivals’ hopeless son Gabi who’s lost the soccer team more games than Theo can count. Gabi Moreno is miserably stuck in the closet. Forced to play soccer to hide his love for dance and iced out by Theo, the only openly gay guy at school, Gabi’s only reprieve is his parents’ Puerto Rican bakery and his plans to take over after graduation. But the town’s new fusion café changes everything. Between the Mori’s struggling shop and the Moreno’s plan to sell their bakery in the face of the competition, both boys find their dreams in jeopardy. Until they decide to work together. Contemporary, Queer

Nate Plus One by Kevin van Whye (May 10)

Two boys. Two bands. Two worlds colliding. Nate Hargraves – stage-shy singer-songwriter – is totally stoked for his cousin’s wedding in South Africa, an all-expenses-paid trip of a lifetime. Until he finds out his sleazeball ex-boyfriend is also on the guest list. Jai Patel – hot-as-hell high school rock-god – has troubles too. His band’s lead singer has quit, just weeks before the gig that was meant to be their big break. When Nate saves the day by agreeing to sing with Jai’s band, Jai volunteers to be Nate’s plus-one to the wedding, and the stage is set for a summer of music, self-discovery, and simmering romantic tension. What could possibly go wrong . . . ? Contemporary, Queer

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes (May 17)

Seventeen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers drawing attention for her killer eyeliner, not for being the new kid at a 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, she could use the fresh start. At Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: make her mom proud, keep her brother out of trouble, 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. So Yami’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do? Contemporary, Queer

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda (May 24)

Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends—and her future—aren’t as simple as she’d once believed. Contemporary, Queer

Milo and Marcus at the End of the World by Kevin Christopher Snipes (May 24)

Milo Connolly has managed to survive the first three years of high school without any major disasters, so by his calculations, he’s well past due for some sort of Epic Teenage Catastrophe. Even so, all he wants his senior year is to keep his head down and fly under the radar like the quiet, well-behaved, churchgoing boy that everyone thinks he is. Everything is going exactly as planned until the dreamy and charismatic Marcos Price saunters back into his life after a three-year absence and turns his world upside-down. Suddenly Milo is forced to confront the long-buried feelings that he’s kept hidden not only from himself but also from his deeply religious parents and community. To make matters worse, strange things have been happening around his sleepy Florida town ever since Marcos’s return—sinkholes, blackouts, hailstorms. Mother Nature seems out of control, and the closer Milo and Marcos get, the more disasters seem to befall them. Contemporary/Dystopian, Queer

The Fae Keeper (Book 2) by HE Edgmon

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. Contemporary Fantasy, Queer

The Merciless Ones (Book 2) by Namina Forna (May 31)

It’s been six months since Deka has freed the goddesses and discovered who she really is. There are now wars waging across the kingdom. Otereans now think jatu are traitors to the nation. Deka is called a monster. But the real battle has only just begun and Deka must lead the charge. Deka knows freeing the goddesses is just the beginning. She can tell whatever dark force out is powerful and there is something sinister out there threatening the kingdom connected to that symbol–something merciless–that her army will need to stop before humanity crumbles.

Tokyo Dreaming (Book 2) by Emiko Jean (May 31)

Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true. Only…Her parents’ 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. Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Contemporary

Out of the Blue by Jason June (May 31)

Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the monthlong 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. 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 pespective on humans begins to change, they’ll soon be torn between two worlds. Contemporary Fantasy, Queer

A Little Bit Country by Brian D Kennedy (May 31)

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 for the summer and perform at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs. As the grandson of Verna Rose, Luke Barnas 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. Contemporary, Queer

Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle (May 31)

Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted. Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners. Until he meets Dani Ford. When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for. Contemporary

Flip the Script by Lyla Lee (May 31)

As an avid watcher of K-dramas, Hana knows all the tropes to avoid when she finally lands a starring role in a buzzy new drama. And she can totally handle her fake co-star boyfriend who might be falling in love with her. After all, she promised the producers a contract romance, and that’s all they’re going to get from her. But when showrunners bring on a new girl to challenge Hana’s role as main love interest—and worse, it’s someone Hana knows all too well—can  Hana fight for her position on the show while falling for her on-screen rival in real life? Contemporary, Queer

Man O’ War by Cory McCarthy (May 31)

River McIntyre has grown up down the street from Sea Planet, an infamous marine life theme park slowly going out of business in small-town Ohio. When a chance encounter with a happy, healthy queer person on the annual field trip lands River literally in the shark tank, they must admit the truth: they don’t know who they are—only what they’ve been told to be. This sets off a wrenching journey of self-discovery, from internalized homophobia and gender dysphoria, through layers of coming out, affirmation surgery, and true freakin’ love. Contemporary, Queer

All Signs Point to Yes ed by Cam Montgomery (May 31)

A YA anthology of love stories for each of the star signs that will showcase multicultural characters and celebrate the myriad facets of love, from meet-cutes to the lesser-explored love expressed by aromantic people, featuring 13 bestselling and award-winning multicultural authors. Contemporary, Queer

Deep in Providence by Riss N Neilson (May 31)

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. Contemporary Fantasy, Queer

Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa (May 31)

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the least likely person in Salem to believe in witchcraft—or think that her life could be transformed by mysterious forces. Ostracized by her classmates 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. Contemporary Fantasy, Queer

June

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler (June 7)

Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose. The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down. Contemporary, Queer

The Signs and Wonders fo Tuna Rashad by Natasha Deen (June 7)

Let’s be clear. No matter what her older brother, Robby, says, aspiring screenwriter Tuna Rashad is not “stupidstitious.” She is, however, cool with her Caribbean heritage, which means she is always on the lookout for messages from loved ones who have passed on. Tuna needs to break free from her brother’s loving but over-bearing ways and get him a life (or at least, get him out of hers!). Based on the signs, her ancestors are on board. They also seem to be on board with helping Tuna win over her crush, Tristan Dangerfield. The only hiccup? She has to do it before leaving for college in the fall. Contemporary

Fireworks by Alice Lin (June 7)

Seventeen-year-old Lulu Li has her last summer before college all planned out. But her plans go awry when she learns that Kite Xu, her old next-door neighbor and childhood friend, will be returning home from South Korea. Lulu hasn’t seen Kite since eighth grade, after he left the country to pursue a career in K-pop, eventually debuting in the boy group Karnival. When Karnival announces that Kite will be taking a break from K-pop activities for mysterious reasons, the opportunity to rekindle their friendship arises. How could a K-pop star ever fall for a nobody from home? And even if he did, is there any way for their relationship to end but badly? Contemporary

Game of Strength and Storm by Rachel Menard (June 7)

Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir. To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all. Fantasy, Queer

This Place is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian (June 7)

Despite having had near-identical upbringings, sisters Annalie and Margaret agree on only one thing: that they have nothing in common. Nineteen-year-old Margaret is driven, ambitious, and keenly aware of social justice issues. She couldn’t wait to leave their oppressive small-town home and take flight in New York. Meanwhile sweet, popular, seventeen-year-old Annalie couldn’t think of anything worse – she loves their town, and feels safe coasting along in its confines. That is, until she arrives home one day to find a gut-punching racial slur painted on their garage door. Back under each other’s skins, things between Margaret and Annalie get steadily worse, until finally, a crushing secret threatens to tear them apart forever. Contemporary

Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White (June 7)

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. Contemporary Fantasy, Queer

Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey (June 14)

By day Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza and Ana Lezama de Urinza are proper young seventeeth 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. Historical, Queer

This Wicked Fate (Book 2) by Kalynn Bayron (June 21)

SPOILERS FROM BOOK 1! 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. If she is 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. 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. Bolstered by the sisterhood of ancient magic, can Briseis harness her power to save the people she loves most? Contemporary Fantasy, Queer

The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar (June 28)

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, charged with harvesting mortal dreams for the consumption of the naga court. Venkat knows a different side of Nagalok. As apprentice to the influential Lord Nayan, he shapes the dream runners’ wares into the kingdom’s most tantalizing commodity. And Nayan has larger plans for these mortal dreams: with a dreamsmith of Venkat’s talent, he believes he can use them to end a war between nagas and their ancient foe, the garudas. 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 can help: Venkat. Fantasy

This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede (June 28)

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches. Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her. Fantasy

What YA releases are you looking forward to read this quarter?

2 thoughts on “36 YA Releases April-June 2022

  1. I love your MEGA POST! I’m about halfway through My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding and loving it. I’ll be listening to I Kissed Shara Wheeler soon and I’m really looking forward to it.

    Liked by 2 people

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