The world of young adult books is constantly expanding, and there's no complaints from us! In 2022, there's going to be tons of new YA books to fall in love with, from mysteries to tragedies to sports romance and everything in between. To help you stay ahead of the BookTok trends (or even start some of your own!), here are 32 new YA books that are going to blow you away.
I am an absolute fiend for Romanov stuff, so a book that is compared to Maureen Johnson and Brittany Cavallaro, the authors of my two favorite YA mystery series, starring an inquisitive girl digging into whether she was the great-niece of Anastasia herself? And including a romance with a cute college boy? Yes, yes, yes.
At the End of Everything
I like to have my soul destroyed every now and again, and I like it destroyed by authors who use creative settings and consistently have stellar queer and disability rep. Here, said setting is a juvenile treatment center, where the guards have suddenly vanished and the residents decide to make a break for it...until they realize the guards are outside, and so’s a deadly plague.
Now these outcasts have to work together to survive a world that’s already given up on them. I stayed up so late to read the last like 90% of this book in one shot and I’m still tired and mad about it, but also it was worth it.
The Red Palace
June Hur’s books just sound the freaking coolest before you even open them up, don’t they? This one’s set in 1758 and stars Hyeon, who works hard to become a palace nurse only to find herself surrounded by death and danger.
When four women are murdered in one night, all fingers point to her mentor as the killer, forcing Hyeon to do her own detective work to find the real killer. But when the clues point to the crown prince, she and her partner in investigation, police inspector Eojin, will have to work together for justice.
Finding Her Edge
I love sports romance, but it’s gotta come from an author I trust to know what they’re doing, and Jennifer Iacopelli is at the top of that list. This time, Iacopelli’s turning her sights to figure skating, reimagining Jane Austen’s Persuasion with Olympic hopeful Adriana at the helm.
Forced to fake a romance with her skating partner at the very same rink where her first crush is also training, Adriana is torn between two guys and where she sees her future, especially as her family’s crumbling finances add extra weight to every choice she makes.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
I will never be over this cover or Axie Oh’s range. Who breaks into YA with sci-fi, then jumps to a k-pop romance, and then delivers a stunning-looking fantasy inspired by a Korean folktale?? Respect where it is due!
When Mina sacrifices herself to save her brother, she lands in the Spirit Realm, where she takes on a journey to the Sea God to attempt to stop him from sending any more deadly storms her village’s way. But time is running out in a world that was never meant for the living, and if Mina can’t complete her mission soon, her sacrifice will be complete.
Daughters of a Dead Empire
If you’re as interested in Russian history as I am, you’re gonna need this book as badly as I do. It stars a girl named Anna whose family’s been murdered and who’s now on the run to the Tsarist army, relying on the kindness of strangers to keep her safe from the Red army until she gets there.
But when that kindness comes from a girl who turns out to be on the opposing side, and who has her own needs for help and safety, the new friends will have to decide where their loyalties and confidences lie.
Travelers Along the Way
Every single book in the Remixed Classics series sounds awesome, but I hold special excitement in my heart for this take on Robin Hood by Aminah Mae Safi, because 1) Robin Hood!!!, 2) Set in the 12th century! During the Crusades!!!, 3) anything that is “friends on a quest” is my JAM. Rahma El-Hud followed her sister into war, but she’s ready to go home now. Unfortunately, Zeena isn’t, forcing both of them to journey on to Jerusalem. En route, they meet their own group of “merry men” and embark on a mission to save the city from the clutches of Queen Isabella.
In the interest of keeping this whole list manageable, here’s where I’ll mention that I’m also absolutely dying of excitement for the other Remixed Classics releasing in 2022, namely What Souls Are Made Of by Tasha Suri (July 5th), which takes on Wuthering Heights, and Self-Made Boys by Anna-Marie McLemore (September 6th), which super-queerly reimagines The Great Gatsby.
All My Rage
Tahir’s contemporary debut notoriously takes inspiration from her own childhood and stars teens Salahudin and Noor, who are so closely bonded in their roles as outcasts that they’re practically family. But what Sal doesn’t know is that Noor has no plans to stay in their small town of Jupiter, California, especially after the two have a falling out.
The epitome of an “I would read their shopping list” author, honestly. In theory, it doesn’t even matter to me what an A-MM book is about before I add it to my to-buy list, but I do love knowing that this happens to be a love story between two nonbinary, neurodivergent teens of color, and that no one could knock that magic out of the park like they can.
One for All
Disability (specifically POTS--Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) rep in a genderbent retelling of The Three Musketeers?? Hell yes—bring me alllll the girls with swords, including Tania de Batz, a chronically ill fighter who needs to put all her skills to use when her father is murdered and she finds the finishing school she’s attending is actually a training ground for (female) musketeers tasked with protecting France.
All That's Left in the World
"What if Cormac McCarthy’s The Road were romantic, hilarious, and gay?” That feels like the question answered by this absolutely delightful but also anxiety-inducing page-turner of a debut.
I’ve already read and loved this one, about two boys who meet during an apocalypse and ride it out together through thick and thin, eventually falling in love, so now all I can do is order you to do the same! Er, I mean, “strongly suggest.”
Right Where I Left You
Julian Winters’s books are just an instant infusion of joy. His newest stars Isaac, whose social anxiety is kicking his butt particularly hard with college on the horizon. To make sure he gets the most out of his summer, he plans the perfect outing for himself and his best friend, Diego. But when everything goes south just as an old crush resurfaces, Isaac finds nothing is going to plan.
This Rebel Heart
No one breaks my heart with history quite like Locke does, and this book is queer and Jewish and plumbs lesser-known history and a less-oft featured location. Csilla is a teen in post-war Hungary whose parents survived the Holocaust only to be killed in the aftermath with the communist takeover. But when her parents are exonerated, Csilla has to decide whether to cling to her plan to run, or stay and help spur the revolution her once-beloved country needs.
Nothing Burns as Bright as You
For years, I was convinced I didn’t like novels in verse, and that every one I read and loved was an exception. Meanwhile, it was literally every single one I read, and if there’s an author I trust to be another “exception” (hahaaaa) it’s an author I know is capable of absolutely wrenching one’s guts. (Seriously, I got through like one chapter of Woodfolk’s debut before I needed to engage in breathing exercises.) And it’s about the complexity of female friendship and queer love, so!
My Dearest Darkest
Bring on all the Sapphic horror novels! Especially if they’re set at boarding school. Comped as Wilder Girls meets The Craft, this debut stars Finch, a girl who should’ve died but didn’t, and is now inexplicably drawn to the Ulalume Academy, where classmate Selena is drawn to her. There, both girls get lured into an unthinkable bargain, and they’ll have to work together to stop the horror they let loose.
She Gets the Girl
Even if you’re not following this absolute cutest literary couple on TikTok (which you should be), you have to know this is the most adorable plotline known to (wo)man.
Alex is great at getting the girl, but keeping her...not so much. Molly can’t even get in the door with her crush, Cora, thanks to her extreme shyness. When Alex discovers Molly’s crush, she vows to help her, in an effort to prove to her crush that she isn’t selfish. But maybe she is, because whoops, now she wants Molly all to herself.
Related: The Best of BookTok: 8 Reads Social Media is Raving About
The Ghosts of Rose Hill
I just...don’t even know where to begin with my excitement for this one. Is it the biracial Jewish protagonist?? (Yes, probably.) The Prague setting, particularly since it involves cemeteries, which is just so incredibly Jewish in its own right?? (Also that!) The absurdly stunning cover?? (My God, I love it so much.) Magic! Verse! Kissing! I truly just cannot wait to wrap myself in this one and feel instantly transported to Josefov.
Melt With You
Dugan has yet to write a book I don’t love, so when she writes a Sapphic YA romance, you better believe I grab it. This one looks impossibly sweet, combining second chance romance with friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers with a gourmet ice cream truck, and two friends whose hookup gone wrong may finally get a chance to right itself if they can just stand working together.
The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School
I mean, that title. Just admit the book had you at that title, just like it did me. Because obviously. But there’s also a plot! Yami’s getting the fresh start she needs at Catholic school, which includes jumping back into the closet after having been outed. But the school does have an openly queer student, and why tf is she so cute? How is Yami supposed to play straight now, and what might she be giving up if she does?
Flip the Script
I absolutely adored Lee’s YA debut, I’ll Be the One, so I’m extra excited for her sophomore, which is centered in the world of k-dramas and stars Hana, a girl who’s just landed her own first big role. But it’s one thing to play “girl in love with her co-star boyfriend” and quite another to actually fall for her new co-star, the other new lead actress.
It's All in How You Fall
This contemporary romance by the author of the absolutely fabulous Throw Like a Girl stars gymnast Caroline, who was on her way to the top when an injury ended her career for good. Enter Alex, an athlete who volunteers to teach her other sports in exchange for her helping him with his dating life. Can you guess what happens?? Okay but I really want to read it happening.
All Signs Point to Yes
One of my most anticipated anthologies in a while, especially as someone who knows nothing about astrology and would like to understand what people are talking about when they trash someone for being a Libra. (Or trash themselves for being a Taurus.) Make it make sense! (And do it in a fun collection that centers marginalized voices!)
You, Me, and Our Heartstrings
It’s easy: I see what looks like beautiful disability rep and an adorable romance, and I add it to my TBR. See’s debut stars a girl named Daisy with cerebral palsy, a boy named Noah with anxiety, and a whole lot of ambitious drive and competition between them, as each wants to land a Juilliard audition. But when their awesome performance goes viral, the consequences aren’t nearly as fun as they’d hoped, forcing both to question whether their dream is even worth it.
Home Field Advantage
Well, I’m certainly anticipating my own book! In my defense, it is a Sapphic sports romance, and it does involve a football player and a cheerleader, and it is set in a small town and rife with the complications that involves and also there’s a double date set at the most absurd bowling alley on the planet. So frankly, I think I’m within my rights!
Out There: Into the Queer New Yonder
Mitchell’s all-queer trio of anthologies is such a gift. This final tome features stories of a queer future and includes so many faves, from YA veterans like Alex London and Z Brewer to newer faves like Leah Johnson and Kalynn Bayron to first-time voices like Jim McCarthy (responsible for selling approximately 150% of queer YA) and Emma K. Ohland.
We Weren't Looking to Be Found
Kuehn writes some of the most brilliant and psychologically fascinating books in YA, so if you’re not already on board the Kuehn train, get there in time for this gorgeous-looking contemp set at a treatment facility and starring two self-destructive girls who bond over a mystery that just might be the key to the other side.
Bad Things Happen Here
I’m a big fan of Barrow’s first two books, which fit nicely in my 2016-17-ish happy place of friend-centric contemporary feminist YA, but I have to admit, I’m really excited about the thriller pivot in this next one. It’s set on a cursed island where women’s deaths go ignored and unsolved, until Luca’s sister becomes the latest victim and Luca has no choice but to solve the mystery by herself, even it means she might be next.
The One That Got Away
Anything in the family of “The Bachelor, but make it gay” is pretty understood to be an instabuy, no? But how much more so when revenge is involved?? When Maya gets a chance to confront her cheating ex, Jordy, on a reality show populated with all of his past girlfriends, she takes the high road...or at least that’s how it looks.
In reality, she and Skye, the girl he cheated with, decide to work together to reveal his scumminess to the world, and fall for each other in the process.
This book is not yet available for preorder.
Slasher book! At a fraternity! Freshman Sam is psyched to go Greek, especially since his prospective house seems cool with him being queer. There’s even another queer brother, the unfriendly Gray. But then one of their brothers is murdered, and Sam and Gray are forced to figure out what’s going on before they’re next.
The Weight of Blood
Is there anything better than having the bejesus creeped out of you by thriller/horror master Tiffany D. Jackson? No, there is not, and especially not if she’s gonna be releasing a new novel inspired by freaking Carrie, set at a school’s first integrated prom. Please and thank you, ma’am!
This book is not yet available for preorder.
Again, I highly anticipate everything I do, but in this case, there are fourteen other brilliant minds stocking the ship and I’m just at the wheel. If fairytale retellings are your jam, and especially if they veer toward the scary, bloody, and/or vengeful, this is definitely your dream collection, in my totally* unbiased** opinion.
This book is not yet available for preorder.
How to Excavate a Heart
I know, I know, it doesn’t even officially have a pub season yet, or cover copy, but I got to read this wintery f/f romance early and trust me, you want to make sure it can’t possibly escape your notice.
When Shani (literally) runs into May, she prays she never sees the girl again. Too bad bumping into her becomes unavoidable. But May gets more pleasant, Shani grows up, and the banter is just glorious, and that’s all I’ll say about that!
This book is not yet available for preorder.