YA Readers' Most Anticipated Books for June

Posted by Sharon on June 1, 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 June: An anonymous trolling incident turns deadly in Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s Ace of Spades. Climate change takes a supernatural turn in Rachel Griffin’s Nature of Witches. And a young Muslim woman overcomes tragedy in Tahereh Mafi’s An Emotion of Great Delight. Plus: weird botanicals, psychic visions, and some decidedly deceased camp counselors.
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!

In 1978, four counselors from Camp Wonder Falls were found dead in the woods near the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies posed in a grim tableau. Now amateur investigator Stevie Bell has been invited to work on a true-crime podcast about the gruesome cold case. With her friends from Ellingham Academy in tow, Stevie discovers that something sinister still lurks in those woods. Zoinks, Scoob!

This debut thriller from South London writer Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is being hawked as a combination of Get Out and Gossip Girl, which sounds like a lot of fun, in a dark way. Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, students at the prestigious Niveus Private Academy, have been selected as senior class prefects. All is well until an anonymous troll starts using text messages to undermine them. Then the game turns deadly.

This fourth installment of Susan Dennard’s popular Witchlands series continues the epic fantasy saga set in a world where everyone is born with a specific magical skill—a “witchery.” You’ve got your Bloodwitches, your Sightwitches, your Windwitches… Meanwhile, Threadwitch Iseult has been reunited with her heartsister Safi, but ancient villains from legend have reawakened across the Witchlands. Bonus trivia: Dennard also authors the very fun Something Strange & Deadly series.

From the author of Cinderella Is Dead, the contemporary fantasy novel This Poison Heart kicks off a new series about a Brooklyn girl whose strange gift with plants is growing into something else entirely. When Briseis and her parents inherit a derelict old estate in upstate New York, Briseis finds out that she’s been bequeathed another kind of inheritance as well. Her family’s mystical powers are strong, but can one young woman fight off a centuries-old curse?

Told in two overlapping stories across three timelines, this genre-bending novel from Kiese Laymon (Heavy: An American Memoir) features City Coldson, a teen investigating the disappearance of Baize Shephard in 2013. Sounds simple enough, right? But then City is given a book called Long Division, about a boy named (you guessed it) City Coldson, who travels into the future from 1985 to steal a laptop from none other than Baize Shephard. Now that's downright weird…

National Book Award–nominated author Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea) returns readers to the anxious days of 2003, with the U.S. at war with Iraq and anti-Muslim sentiment on the rise. Teenager Shadi is bearing more than any young person should have to—her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is in crisis, and Shadi’s heart has just been broken in the worst way.

Powered by the ambient anxiety pervading our swiftly tilting planet, Rachel Griffin’s innovative new story combines contemporary urban fantasy with dire ecological parable. Clara’s magical powers change with the seasons, and she’s struggling mightily with the heavy weather of encroaching climate change. Witches have maintained the climate for centuries, and now it’s up to Clara to find her heart and determine the fate of all.

Here’s a stumper: You’re a teenage witch and you’ve just failed the mystical equivalent of the SATs. Your only shot at a second chance is to complete the following task: Fall in love, then kill that person. If you don’t, every member of your family and your witchy bloodline will be stripped of their powers. That’s the dilemma facing young Voya Thomas in the debut novel from author Liselle Sambury. Choices, choices…

Winner of this month’s unofficial Best Book Title contest, Jason June’s debut novel, Jay’s Gay Agenda, is concerned with just that. Jay Collier has recently moved from small-town rural Washington to the big city of Seattle. Welcomed into his new queer community, he can now start checking off items on his treasured to-do list, which is titled—yes, that’s right—Jay’s Gay Agenda. Collier’s sex-positive YA romance chronicles the hookups, heartbreaks, and hormones of one young man’s big-city adventure.

Liam Cooper is learning about grief. He just lost his older brother Ethan, who was killed in a hit-and-run, and his childhood friendships are fading away. Liam finds himself spending time with Marcus, Ethan’s best friend, who’s going through much the same process. Author Mason Deaver says this new book is about grief, but also about the importance of moving forward. Bonus trivia: a Spotify playlist of songs that inspired the story.

Mixing contemporary YA with romance and a splash of magical realism, Instructions for Dancing revolves around the eternal question: Is love really worth all the hassle? Evie Thomas has given up on romantic love forever, largely due to the visions she gets whenever she looks at a couple. Where others just see the outside of a relationship, Evie sees the inside—plus the past, the future, and the end of each romance. But then Evie meets a boy in dance class…

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

Check out more recent articles, including:
33 Can't-Wait Works of YA Speculative Fiction for Summer
30 New Contemporary YA Romances for Sweet Summer Lovin'
It's Time for Summer Reading on Goodreads!

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Samiksha (new)

Samiksha Bhattacharjee Looking forward to reading some of these!

message 2: by Em (new)

Em I'm hanging out for Darling by K Ancrum, The Witch King by HE Edgmon, Afterlove by Tanya Byrne and Love and Other Natural Disasters by Misa Sugiura :3 so many amazing books coming out this month!

message 3: by Neide (new)

Neide Gomes I'm really excited for The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson! I loved Truly Devious!

message 4: by Kameswara (new)

Kameswara I'm waiting for The box in the woods by Maureen Johnson! I finished the truly devious trilogy in May and I'm in love with it

message 5: by Tameka (last edited Jun 04, 2021 05:34AM) (new)

Tameka Fleming I can't wait for Liselle's Sambury's debut. The premise has me hooked. Kalynn Bayron's novel sounds intriguing but I'm not sure I like her kind of stories. I'll wait to see what others say about it.

message 6: by TMR (new)

TMR So excited for all of these.

Precious Queen & Z.H Diaz So excited

message 8: by Patri (new)

Patri They look very good!! I can't wait!

Morgan (youarethelibrarian) Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon should be added to this list!Of Princes and Promises

message 10: by Rabhya (new)

Rabhya Maini the box in the woods!!! ahhh going crazy for it day and night :D

message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I'm looking forward to Into The Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool

Jimin'sRamenNoodles (Jinlo) Bias is taking off REALLY hot this year. She's a debut author that is gaining ratings pretty quickly, because Korean Popculture (K-pop) is taking off pretty quickly all around the world. People seem to really love this K-pop book in particular!
Bias by Lucy Gold

back to top