My Most Anticipated YA Novels of 2020

December is officially here! That means it is time to start thinking about 2020 releases. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my most anticipated 2020 releases in different categories, starting with YA.

The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord

Release Date: January 7th, 2020


Acclaimed author Emery Lord crafts a gorgeous story of friendship and identity, daring to ask: What happens after happily ever after?

It’s senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing “the rest of her life,” Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be–how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Emery Lord’s award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life’s most important questions.

Emery Lord wrote one of my favourite YA novels, The Names They Gave Us, and I have been meaning to read more from her. Before I get into the actually premise, how cute is this cover?! I just love everything about it. I love YA novels that follow a character’s senior year. It is such an important and confusing time in a persons life. I also love a book with a lot of character development, and I get the feeling that I will get that from The Map from Here to There.

Darker and Deepest Red by Anna- Marie McLemore

Release Date: January 14th, 2020

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Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

With McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

Anna-Marie McLemore is the author of Wild Beauty, a novel that I absolutely adored. They are the master of magical realism. The premise sounds amazing and I am so intrigued by these red shoes. The early reviews have been incredible. One reviewer even said that it has ruined all other books for them- that is something I need to read!

Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis

Release Date: March 2nd, 2020

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The world is not tame.

Ashley knows this truth deep in her bones, more at home with trees overhead than a roof. So when she goes hiking in the Smokies with her friends for a night of partying, the falling dark and creaking trees are second nature to her. But people are not tame either. And when Ashley catches her boyfriend with another girl, drunken rage sends her running into the night, stopped only by a nasty fall into a ravine. Morning brings the realization that she’s alone – and far off trail. Lost in undisturbed forest and with nothing but the clothes on her back, Ashley must figure out how to survive despite the red streak of infection creeping up her leg.

Female of the Species by the same author completely took me by surprise. I was not expecting it to be as dark as it turn out to be, but I loved it. Be Not Far From Me sounds like it is going to be creepy and will keep me on the edge of my seat. I am here for a gripping survival story!

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

Release Date: March 10th, 2020

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You can’t rewrite the past, but you can always choose to start again.

It’s been twenty-seven days since Cleo and Layla’s friendship imploded.

Nearly a month since Cleo realized they’ll never be besties again.

Now, Cleo wants to erase every memory, good or bad, that tethers her to her ex–best friend. But pretending Layla doesn’t exist isn’t as easy as Cleo hoped, especially after she’s assigned to be Layla’s tutor. Despite budding new friendships with other classmates—and a raging crush on a gorgeous boy named Dom—Cleo’s turbulent past with Layla comes back to haunt them both.

Alternating between time lines of Then and Now, When You Were Everything blends past and present into an emotional story about the beauty of self-forgiveness, the promise of new beginnings, and the courage it takes to remain open to love.

I read The Beauty that Remains when it first came out, and I thought it was amazing. I am so excited to read more from Ashley Woodfolk. I love that it focuses on the complexities of friendship. So many novels talk about breakups, but you rarely see books about the fallout after friendships end. It seems like it is going to be emotional!

Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Release Date: March 10th, 2020

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Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.

Starfish is one of my favourite novels of the year, and I now need to read everything that Bowman writes. A book about a trapeze artist? Sign me up! There is something so captivating about novels set at a circus.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Release Date: May 14th, 2020

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Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Elizabeth Acevedo is an autobuy author me me- she is such an incredible author. Clap When You Land sounds like it is going to be absolutely beautiful. I love that it focuses on sisterhood. I am always intrigued by novels that deal with grief. There are so many ways to grieve and it is important that that is represented in books.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Release Date: May 19th, 2020

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

I am a little bit apprehensive, but I am definitely intrigued! I will definitely be getting my hands on a copy the day it comes out. I am excited to be in this world again!

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Release Date: June 2nd, 2020

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Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Nevermind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

A read a novella, Mem, by Bethany C. Morrow and it was really interesting. A Song Below Water sounds like something completely different. The cover is gorgeous, and at first glance I thought that it was a contemporary, but it is actually a fantasy novel about sirens. Yes please!

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Release Date: June 16th, 2020

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.

Rachel Lynn Solomon is the only author on this list I haven’t read anything from before, although You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone has been on my TBR for awhile. I have heard that it is incredible and heartbreaking. Today Tonight Tomorrow sounds like it is going to be a little more light-hearted and has one of my favourite tropes- enemies-to-lovers!


What YA novel are you most anticipating in 2020?


42 thoughts on “My Most Anticipated YA Novels of 2020

  1. I can’t wait for all the amazing releases in 2020! I’m not even caught up on all the 2019 releases ahah!


  2. I was pretty disappointed with the Emery Lord book. I loved the first book and was so excited for this sequel, but it wasn’t at all what I wanted it to be. I hope you end up enjoying it more than I did!

  3. I hadn’t seen Be Not Far From Me before, but wow, it sounds so intense and gripping! I don’t think it’s my usual genre, but something about it really intrigues me. Also, that cover! I think I am a little bit in love, because woods and fog are my aesthetic for sure.

  4. I have read one of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books and I adored it, so it’s high time I read another one. Her latest release sounds incredible. I’m a little bit nervous about The Hunger Games prequel. I don’t think it’s necessary, but I am curious. I love the concept of A Song Below Water and the cover is absolutely gorgeous.

    1. Anna-Marie McLemore is such a talented writer! I can’t wait for her new book. I totally get where you’re coming from with the prequel. I always worry that they are money grab, but I’m choosing to be optimistic! A Song Below Water is one of my favourite covers ever!

  5. I have a few of these on my list as well! I’ve already read Dark and Deepest Red and really enjoyed it, and I’m so happy I got an ARC of some of these so I cannot be more excited to read them and hopefully love them *fingers crossed*😊.

  6. Ah I love your list so much, Kristin, so many good books here! I haven’t read any Emery Lord book just yet, but I really want to 🙂 and I can’t wait to read Today, Tonight, Tomorrow, Harley in the Sky, When You Were Everything they sound all incredible 😀

  7. The Map From Here to There is actually the sequel to The Start of Me and You (which was adorable and my first Emery Lord book). I’m very much looking forward to it!!

  8. A lot of these are on my 2020 TBR too. I love the sound of Dark & Deepest Red and can not wait for the new Hunger Games book to come out. Fingers crossed it’s good as I adore the first three. Im really excited for Kingdom Of Back, Where Dreams Descend and way too many others. March in particular seems very release heavy to me; about a dozen books even come out on the same day 😲

      1. Yes it is. I somehow haven’t read anything by her yet 🙈 but if I don’t manage to before then I definitely hope to read that one straight away. Ideally I’ll get Legend or The Young Elites read by then though

  9. I will have to add some of these to my tbr! My two most anticipated are ‘One Of Us Is Next’ by Karen M. McManus, and ‘Hold Back The Tide’ by Melinda Salisbury

  10. I’m super excited for Clap When You Land and now I’m adding When You Were Everything to my TBR. I love books that center around family and friendship so both of these are right up my ally 😀

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