October's Most Anticipated YA Reads

Posted by Sharon on October 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 October: Three young women work to save their beloved bookstore, and an apprentice alchemist tries to defeat the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone. Also look for Italian witches, an ambitious royal thief, and a very cool short story compilation on the American immigrant experience.

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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Witches looking for true love have limited options, especially in 19th-century Italy. But sometimes a demon comes along and nature takes its course. Emilia is a beautiful, young streghe—a witch who lives in secret among humans to avoid persecution. When her twin sister, Victoria, is murdered, she teams with Wrath, a kind of black sheep among the seven demon brethren. Look, you take love where you can get it.


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The sixth and concluding installment in The Queen’s Thief series will determine the ultimate fate of Eugenides the thief, now the improbable high king of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis. Megan Whalen Turner’s popular series has been a two decade–plus mainstay in YA fantasy for very good reason, and this final book promises all of the author's usual dazzling tricks and plot twists to her faithful fans.

Read our cover reveal interview with Megan Whalen Turner.


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For anyone who likes their fantasy with a delegation of fuzzy critters, Among the Beasts & Briars has a beguiling premise. Young Cerys, a gardener’s daughter in the kingdom of Aloriya, carries a bit of magic in her blood. That’s going to come in handy when the ancient pact between the kingdom and the Lady of the Wilds is breached. Cerys’ companions: a powerful bear and a vexing fox. Into the woods!

Check out our exclusive interview with Ashley Poston.


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Author Claire Legrand’s popular Empirium trilogy wraps up with Lightbringer, in which we learn the final fate of two queens separated by 1,000 years. Sequel to Furyborn and Kingsbane, the new novel finds Rielle embracing the role of Blood Queen as Eliana—a millennium into the future—returns to the Empire’s capital, broken and betrayed. Legrand has a great selection of middle-grade books, too, including the delightful Foxheart.


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Meet-cute via blackmail? Eh, stranger things have happened. Corinne Troy needs to change her public image at school, and charming Henri Haltiwanger is just the person to help her do it, especially when she discovers the secret about his dog-walking side hustle. When Ben Philippe (The Field Guide to the North American Teenager) writes about matters of the teenage heart, we're always along for the ride.


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According to legend, the Philosopher’s Stone is an alchemical artifact that, if properly assembled by scientific and magical means, can grant everlasting life. That’s the upside. The downside, as acolyte alchemist Thea Hope can tell you, is that it inflicts violent madness on those who attempt the feat. After her mother is killed by the Stone’s curse, Thea flees to Oxford with rival alchemists on her trail, desperate to create the artifact at any cost.


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This remarkable anthology features short stories on the American immigrant experience by 15 different YA authors, all of whom are themselves immigrants or children of immigrants. The stories span the globe—from Mexico to Australia, Fiji to India, Argentina to New York City—with characters who must endure racism and xenophobia, even as they encounter love and unexpected joy in their new homes. This is also a great way to sample the wares of 15 different authors, from veterans to hotshot rookies.


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Set over the course of one fateful day, author Aminah Mae Safi’s cerebral debut novel follows three young women as they try to save their beloved indie bookstore from extinction. Before the day is out, a secret crush will be revealed, a large shipment of Air Jordans will arrive (for some reason), and several heads will be shaved (for some other reason.) Most importantly, the fate of the beloved Wild Nights Bookstore will be determined.


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Recommended for fans of Wicked Saints and the Three Dark Crowns series, this dark fantasy story takes readers to the city of Occhia, where water is scarce—like, really scarce. In fact, the only source of water in the city is a magical being called the watercrea, who demands perpetual blood sacrifice to provide the precious resource. Emanuela Ragno is among those meant to be sacrificed, but she has no intention of dying for the greater good. Author Mara Fitzgerald’s debut is queer-themed YA fantasy with an antiheroine heart.


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From the author of We All Fall Down and Six Months Later comes another twisty mystery thriller with a compelling setup. When a sudden blizzard diverts teenage Avery’s flight to visit her mom, she hitches a ride with several other students looking for a way home. But as the weather worsens, the vibe gets more and more sinister. One of the travelers, it seems, has a different (possibly final) destination in mind for everyone.


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

Check out more recent articles, including:
Ashley Poston on Writing a Different Kind of Fairy Tale Retelling
October's Most Anticipated New Releases
Justin A. Reynolds Shares the Black Teen Stories that Give Him 'All the Feels'

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Ryan (last edited Oct 02, 2020 06:27PM) (new)

Ryan Come On In is the one I'd want to read the most, but A Golden Fury, Five Total Strangers and This Is All Your Fault sound interesting as well


message 2: by Desiree (new)

Desiree Matthews "This Is All Your Flault" sounds like something me and my friends would do.


message 3: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward Earthlings by Sayaka Murata


message 4: by Mairy (new)

Mairy Currently reading A Golden Fury and loving it!


message 5: by Lynnae (new)

Lynnae Andersen Really intrigued by Come On In and, although thrillers aren't usually my jam, I also want to read Five Total Strangers. I haven't read the first two in the series yet, I plan on purchasing Lightbringer and reading the whole trilogy by the end of the year.


message 6: by La'Tavia ☾ (new)

La'Tavia ☾ Come on In, This Is All Your Fault, and Charming as a Verb seems really interesting. I'm so excited to read them!!!


message 7: by Joy (new)

Joy Heath Kingdom of the Wicked looks sooo cool!


Babe With A Bookcase I've definitely bookmarked at least three of these now - Kingdom of The Wicked (loved the tone of voice in the synopsis - sold!), Charming As A Verb (never heard of a blackmail meet-cute before) and This Is All Your Fault (even though this seems very Gen Z). Thank you for this list!


Victoria Jimenez "Come On Me" seems interesting. I think I'm "Charmed" out of magic books and the paranormal. This books sounds to be real, what's really going on in America.


message 10: by Fanny (new)

Fanny I feel like "Come On In" is just what I've been looking for.


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