The Most Anticipated YA Books of March

Posted by Sharon on February 28, 2021
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 March: Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars duology finishes up with the sequel Rule of Wolves. An anonymous love-life adviser gets outed in Perfect on Paper. And two young artists face deadly danger in the thriller She's Too Pretty to Burn. Also watch for pirates in trouble, witches in love, and a killer on the loose in Edwardian London.
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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Cassandra Clare’s latest Shadowhunters book picks up where last year’s Chain of Gold left off. A killer is loose in the dangerous and magical streets of Edwardian London. All the usual suspects are back: Cordelia Carstairs, Lucie Herondale, Grace Blackthorn, and the Merry Thieves. There are, however, complications. Lucie has some dubious necromancy planned, that serial killer seems to be targeting the Shadowhunters specifically, and the arch-demon Belial may be skulking around behind some innocent-looking plot points. That guy!

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Author Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars duology wraps up with Rule of Wolves, in which young king Nikolai Lantsov faces off against darkness both outside his borders and deep within his heart. Meanwhile, the Stormwitch, Zoya Nazyalensky, must decide whether to embrace her own dark powers, and undercover spy Nina Zenik has a whole new set of problems deep in enemy territory. King! General! Spy! Sounds like fun springtime reading.

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The second installment of Holly Jackson's across-the-pond hit series makes its way onto U.S. shelves this month. After the events of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, girl detective–turned–podcaster Pip is determined to hang up her investigative hat. But just when she thinks she's done with the sleuthing game for good, a disappearance that the police won't take seriously pulls her right back in. Those sleeping dogs, they just won't lie.

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The debut novel from author Angeline Boulley sets an intriguing new direction for YA thrillers. As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member, 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, whether in her hometown or on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis wants to study medicine, but that’s put on hold when she witnesses a shocking murder. She agrees to go undercover to solve the crime, using her knowledge of chemistry and traditional Native medicine.

Read our exclusive interview with Angeline Boulley.

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Young adventurer Fable, teenage seafarer, was raised on the waves. As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, she was born with passion in her heart and salt in her veins. Now that she’s free of her father, Fable and the crew of the good ship Marigold must square off against new dangers. This concluding volume of the Fable series promises plenty of action and high-seas intrigue, plus a bit of romance for those times of calmer waters.

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The deep, dark woods have been an enduring trope in storytelling since the very first fables, and this new adventure from author Aiden Thomas looks like a cool update to the tradition. The problem: Children are disappearing from the small coastal town of Astoria. The twist: Five years ago, Wendy and her brothers went missing in those same woods. Wendy made it back. Her brothers didn’t. So now it’s up to Wendy to confront her past and go back into the woods…

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Darcy Phillips has a nice little thing going. She dispenses anonymous romantic advice to her classmates by way of a love letter dead drop in locker No. 89. Darcy’s advice is rock-solid, spot-on—everyone knows this. Darcy’s own love life? That’s a different story. As a bisexual girl with complicated feelings, Darcy values her anonymity—for now, anyway. So when Alexander Brougham threatens to blackmail her operation? Well, this aggression will not stand.

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Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is being billed as a snow-drenched romantic fantasy. Set in an icy, haunted mansion, the story features two rivals from enemy kingdoms who must join forces to defeat a rapidly encroaching darkness. A cold darkness. Saft’s debut novel folds in elements of the haunted-house story, the classic mystery, the suspense thriller, and the old-school Gothic romance. It’s like four books in one, really.

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Inspired by the classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, author Wendy Heard’s new book is being billed as a psychological YA thriller that explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power. Veronica and Nico are friends and artists on the underground scene in San Diego. When a new girl catches Veronica’s eye, the chaos starts to ramp up: A fire. Two murders. Three drowned bodies. She’s Too Pretty to Burn is recommended for readers of E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver, and Kara Thomas.

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Isda lives in the opera house—and only in the opera house. Cast into a well at birth, she was saved from death by Cyril, the opera house owner, who wants to harness her magical abilities for his own greedy ends. But everything changes the day Isda meeting Emeric, the charming young man who may be able to help her escape from her lonely existence. This debut novel from author Jessica S. Olson has a unique premise and an appealing vibe.

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How’s this for a dilemma: Tasmin is a witch, maybe the most powerful of her generation. But she’s been exiled by the coven and cursed with the inability to love. Wren, on the other hand, is a Source—a person more or less made of magic but who lacks the power to wield it herself. Between the two, a most curious love bargain is struck. This debut LGBTQ fantasy romance from Adrienne Tooley is recommended for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire.

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

Check out more recent articles, including:
Readers' Most Anticipated Books of March
Meet These Highly Anticipated March Romances
Goodreads' Staff Recommends Their Favorite Audiobooks

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by TMR (new)

TMR I’m so excited for these.

message 2: by Ry (new)


message 3: by Em (new)

Em I'm really excited for The Gaps by Leanne Hall and Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall. surprised that Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera isn't on this list though

message 4: by Bookishmagic (new)

Bookishmagic I hope that at least one book from this list will be published in Russia...

message 5: by ✰Allie✰ (new)

✰Allie✰ So excited for rule of wolves!!!

message 6: by Evi (new)

Evi I'm dying to read Down Comes the Night and Rule of Wolves!!

message 7: by bookish (new)

bookish tanna Don't forget Muted by Tami Charles !!

message 8: by nitya (new)

nitya Firekeeper's Daughter, yesssss! Heard so many good things.

message 9: by makaila (new)

makaila swank RULE OF WOLVES!!! AND CHAIN OF IRON!!!

message 10: by Ayra (new)

Ayra Ahhhh can't wait for my boy Nikolai in Rule of Wolves!!!

message 11: by Hoolia (new)

Hoolia Can't believe Mary HK Choi's Yolk isn't on this list!

message 12: by Jessica-Rae (new)

Jessica-Rae Toovey Can’t wait to read them all!

message 13: by Harrysgayvodka (new)

Harrysgayvodka All of these books look sooooo good tho

book_dragon_not_worm Some of these are so gay, my heart hurts

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