May's Most Anticipated Young Adult Books

Posted by Sharon on May 1, 2020
As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young adult fiction. Every month our team looks at the books being published and how they're resonating with early readers. We use this information to put together a roundup of soon-to-be favorites.

New in May: A reluctant princess tries to escape her regal destiny in Kiera CassThe Betrothed. Childhood friends find both love and rivalry in Adiba Jaigirdar’s The Henna Wars. And classic literature provides some critical guidance in Amanda Sellet’s By the Book. Also watch for galactic rebels, amateur magicians, and a new installment of The Hunger Games.

Add the books that catch your eye to your Want to Read shelf, and let us know what you're reading and recommending in the comments!

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Attentive readers might remember a modest little series from a few years back called The Hunger Games. Well, author Suzanne Collins is back in action with a new book that’s shrouded in secrecy. Word is that the prequel—technically slotted as The Hunger Games #0—takes place 64 years before events in the original series, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

Release date: May 19

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Lady Hollis Brite has spent her time like every other lady in the court, vying for the attention of King Jameson, who shall soon choose a bride. Good news! The king chooses Hollis! Bad news! Hollis is learning some disturbing things about the whole queen thing. Potentially lethal news! Who’s this mysterious commoner with the dreamy eyes?

Release date: May 5

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Sisters Camino Rios and Yahaira Rios have spent their lives separated by distance, disposition, and circumstance. But when their father dies in a plane crash, the siblings must learn about each other, their mutual past, and family secrets. National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X) returns with a unique novel-in-verse about love, loss, and the timeless bonds of family.

Read our exclusive interview with Elizabeth Acevedo.

Release date: May 5

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Squad 312—the galaxy’s most notorious band of misfits and hard cases—is back in action to defend against the latest spiraling cosmic darkness. From the coauthors of the Illuminae Files, book two in the Aurora Cycle promises more of the same fun that fueled the first adventure—Syldrathi armies, gremp clans, villains with flowers for eyes, that kind of thing.

Release date: May 5

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Winner of this month’s informal Awesomest Book Title Award, The Fascinators follows a group of close friends in a small town where magic is…hmm, “frowned upon” is the polite term. That makes their amateur magic club a tricky proposition. Then there’s the gaggle of shady magickers that’s on their trail. Trouble town! Sam, James, and Delia must find the sweet spot between love and magic.

Release date: May 12

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Nishat has an unstoppable crush on Flávia, her childhood friend. Problem Number One: Flávia is now her rival in a school project in which both girls try to start their own henna business. Problem Number Two: Nishat’s parents declare that Muslim girls can never be lesbian. Problem Number Three is a loooong story. The odds are stacked pretty high—but walk unafraid, young people! Love has a way of overcoming obstacles.

Release date: May 12

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Teenage love is an emotional minefield in the best of circumstances. But Felix Love—black, queer, and transgender—fears he may be triple-marginalized into disaster. When a fellow student starts sending anonymous transphobic messages, Felix must defend himself. His plan: an online catfishing trap that can go wrong in a million different ways. Look, everyone deserves love—or at least a shot at it.

Release date: May 5

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As an avid reader of classic literature, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all the character types, especially the handsome cads who break the hearts of young women. So when a new friend gets involved with a ne’er-do-well, Mary compiles the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a field manual of literary types to avoid on the dating scene. Alas, Mary fails to heed her own advice when a particularly charming scoundrel comes knocking.

Release date: May 12

Which new releases are you looking forward to reading? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
May's Most Anticipated New Releases
Veronica Roth Names Her Favorite 'Chosen One' Narratives
The Most Anticipated Young Adult Books of April

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

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Psychowellnesscenter The Fascinators reminded me of the good old days back in town. and of course the first love:)

message 2: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea Rapp I'm so excited for "The Betrothed" and "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes"! I asked for both of them for my birthday!

message 3: by Jane-Dorne (new)

Jane-Dorne The Fascinators looks really promising !

message 4: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Hadly @Batina. Yes! I’ve got some homies up in here who are up for some Suzanne Collins and some Aurora Burning!!! I haven’t read Aurora Rising either but it’s on my WTR list

message 5: by harunaamina (new)

harunaamina Wow I Will soon be able skills and experience in a good day and night 🌙and when I think of want to read

message 6: by J.P. (new)

J.P. Biddlecome I haven't heard of the others, but I am a fan of the Hunger Games!

message 7: by Tara Barrow (new)

Tara Barrow Barker

message 8: by Tara Barrow (new)

Tara Barrow Barker

message 9: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Hadly I am slightly ashamed of admitting that I would also like to read By The Book. I’m such a sucker for a romance and it sounds... interesting. Don’t trash me for wanting to read this a little more that Hunger Games Prequel

message 10: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Hadly wait! I just saw Kiera Cass.... I’m down

message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather Zarate By the Book sounds good!

message 12: by Berry (new)

Berry The Fascinators, The Henna Wars, and Felix Ever After! Regardless of how much I wanna read them all, I'm just so excited to get SO MUCH QUEER REP IN HERE! My heart feels like it could swallow the sky :)

message 13: by gab (new)

gab I’m excited for Henna Wars and The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes!!!

message 14: by Brigid (new)

Brigid Berry wrote: "The Fascinators, The Henna Wars, and Felix Ever After! Regardless of how much I wanna read them all, I'm just so excited to get SO MUCH QUEER REP IN ..."

Yesss to this!

message 15: by Jenny (new)

Jenny I ordered Aurora Burning and the Betrothed(bn has a signed first edition copy!) Can't wait to read them. Also House of Dragons should be on this list sooooo excited for that one.

message 16: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Harwell The Language of CherriesTHE LANGUAGE OF CHERRIES by Jen Marie Hawkins - Kirkus Starred review - YA magical realism/romance set in an Icelandic cherry orchard!!

⠀⠀˒ glo !! So excited for the new Hunger Games book omgggggg. May the gods be ever in your favor people.

message 18: by Kaitlyn (new)

Kaitlyn I’m asking for A ballad of songbirds and snakes for my birthday and I’m so excited.

message 19: by Sjm (new)

Sjm Thirteen by Ameia Mikula-Noble

message 20: by Lori (new)

Lori Definitely the ballad of songbird and snakes.

message 21: by Phoenix (new)

Phoenix InkyPixie wrote: "I am really excited for The Betrothed and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I haven't read Aurora Rising yet, but I love the cover for Aurora Burning!"

Aurora Rising is a great book-the cover art drew me in and the story went right along with it

message 22: by Fenris (new)

Fenris None of them interest me at all.

message 23: by Brooklyn (new)

Brooklyn O None of them r my cup of tea

message 24: by Nicole (new)

Nicole I'M waiting for Aurora burning.

message 25: by tonya_with_an_o (new)

tonya_with_an_o I finished Aurora Burning last week and it was incredible. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are a great author duo.

message 26: by Chiamaka (new)

Chiamaka I love kiera cass books they are so good. I am just in love with the selection series.

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