I did a post like this last year, but me being me, I only got to about half of the books on the list. What can I say? I'm easily distracted. And I'm also still catching up from YA books published in, like, 2014. I'M AWFUL AT STAYING CURRENT. However, with my goal to read more current books this year, as well as lots of diverse books, I should be better at keeping up in 2017. What am I excited to read, you're probably asking?* Well, I'll tell you.
*And if you're not asking this, you should be.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard (release date: January 12th)
Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.
From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.
Why I'm excited: I've never read a book about someone who is a selective mute, and I've read far too few books about someone who's deaf. This just sounds too perfect and adorable not to be good.
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (release date: January 17th)
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?
Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.
Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.
Why I'm excited: IT'S VERONICA ROTH. AND LOOK AT THAT COVER.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (release date: January 24th)
Mary B. Addison killed a baby.
Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.
Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.
There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.
Why I'm excited: This looks like it's going to be heartbreaking, eye-opening, and timely. It'll probably be hard and infuriating to read, but it's probably going to be a really important book, too. I don't think this will be one I'll be able to put down. Plus, again, THE COVER. Is 2017 the year of awesome covers?!
Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer (release date: January 31st)
In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure -- with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.
In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.
Why I'm excited: You guys. YOU GUYS. MARISSA MEYER IS DOING A GRAPHIC NOVEL. *cue fangirl screeching here* And Iko's the star of the story! I've always loved Iko in every single Lunar Chronicles book. I can't wait to see her kicking butt and swooning over Kai in a graphic novel form.
Starfall by Melissa Landers (release date: February 7th)
When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend...with occasional benefits.
Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn't exactly in need of heroics—she's claimed her birthright as Eturia's queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn't a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?
When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family's complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.
Why I'm excited: I luuurrrved Starflight, and immediately added the sequel to my TBR list when I saw it existed. I'm not sure why I'm such a fan of groups of dysfunctional people bickering in close quarters (especially on spaceships), but they're always my favorite kinds of books. I guess this series is a duology like Carve the Mark is, so this makes me wonder if 2017 is also the year of duologies? Which I wouldn't mind at all, because trilogies always feel one book too many.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (release date: February 28th)
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.
Why I'm excited: I have a feeling this will quickly become a bestseller and be THE YA novel of 2017. I can't think of a better time to publish this story. And Amandla Stenberg is going to be in the movie?! I LOVE her. (And the cover, you guys, LOOK AT IT.) This may be the top book I can't wait to read this year.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamine Alire Sáenz (release date: March 7th)
From the multi-award-winning author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe comes a gorgeous new story about love, identity, and families lost and found.
Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican-American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?
This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.
Why I'm excited: I couldn't put Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe down when I first read it last month, and I know I was way late to the party on that one, so I can't wait to enjoy fangirling about this one with everyone else. Because it already looks great and it seems like it'd be really hard for a writer that good to let us down.
You're Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner (release date: March 7th)
A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Not and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, packed with interior graffiti.
When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.
Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.
Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.
Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.
Why I'm excited: THIS IS GOING TO BE DIVERSE AND ARTSY AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT. And we're getting illustrations of the graffiti?! This is great. LOOK AT THAT COVER.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (release date: April 11th)
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.
There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
Why I'm excited: Okay, first off, it's Becky Albertalli. I loved Simon, and this looks equally as adorable. Secondly, an overweight protagonist! With a lesbian twin! And a geeky boy! There's so much potential for this book to be the sort of story I devour overnight. I know I keep freaking out over these covers, but the coverrrrr. AND it's being released on my birthday, which makes me tempted to break my book buying ban because, hey, it's my birthday. (I'll stay strong, I keep telling myself . . .)
Literally by Lucy Keating (release date: April 11th)
A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins.
Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.
It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her.
But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word?
The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”
Why I'm excited: I think you can pretty much guess that I'm already in love with this cover, but I'm also totally in love with the entire concept of this book. I recently watched "Ruby Sparks," which has a similar plot, and couldn't take my eyes away from it. I've never seen an author write themselves into a story like this, so I'll also be curious to see how that plays out. The meta episodes of "Supernatural" where Chuck was in it were always my favorites, so I think this is going to be a big hit.
Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz (release date: April 11th)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.
1777. Albany, New York.
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.
In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.
Why I'm excited: *breaks into song* HELPLEEEEESSSSSS.
But honestly, what better way to fuel my "Hamilton" obsession than with a YA historical fiction about Hamilton and the Schuyler sisters?! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME INDEED.
(Also, that cover.)
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (release date: May 2nd)
All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn't have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.
Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace's mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.
Why I'm excited: I need more lesbian romances in my life, and this one caught my attention right away. It also seems like one that's going to break my heart, though, so I'll have to stay on my guard as it reaches the end. (Although even if I know it's going to be sad, I'll still probably be a blubbering mess.)
It's Not Like It's a Secret by Misa Sugiura (release date: May 9th)
Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.
When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.
Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.
Why I'm excited: What was I just saying about needing more lesbian romances? 2017 is all too happy to be giving them to me. (Don't worry, I won't mention how beautiful the cover is this time, even though it is.) Look at alllllll the drama that's going to happen in this story. The question is, am I going to end up heartbroken at the end of it?
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (release date: May 16th)
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.
What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
Why I'm excited: Oh my gosh, look at these blatant stereotypes (nice guys/bad boys, love triangles, etc.) being shot down like it's no big deal. This is so incredibly clever! Spies and (if the plot summary is suggesting what I think it's suggesting) boys falling in love with each other? I need it yesterday. (*strokes the cover* I won't say a word . . .)
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (release date: May 30th)
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try.
Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea's biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.
With illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace's fanfiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.
Why I'm excited: "Uniquely formatted." "Fan-fiction." "Will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson's Nimona and Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl." (*whispers* the cover) WAS THIS BOOK MADE FOR ME OR WHAT.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (release date: May 30th)
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Why I'm excited: This looks like a total diverse fluff fest and I am so excited for it. It'll be the perfect summer read. And I have to say, it's refreshing to see a WOC prominently on the cover.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee (release date: June 6th)
After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.
Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.
And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.
Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?
Why I'm excited: Can we say quirky? I've never seen a plot quite like this. And I've definitely never read a book with an asexual protagonist, so I'm super pumped about that. All around, I don't think I'll be able to compare this book with any other, which makes me even more excited to discover what it's all about.
What 2017 YA release are you excited about? Help my TBR list grow to frightening numbers and share in the comments!