Instead of listing my favorite books of 2019, I decided to put together a selection of my most anticipated YA books of 2020. I finished well over 100 books in 2019. Most of the books I’m looking forward to most in 2020 are by authors whose novels I loved in 2019.
Publication dates are pretty well set for the first half of 2020, but are less available for books scheduled to come out later in the year, so I’m limiting my most anticipated YA books of 2020 to the first half of the year, with one notable exception.
Presented in chronological order:
One of Us Is Next
by Karen McManus
January 7, 2020
This is the sequel to McManus’s bestselling One of Us Is Lying, which was billed as Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club. One of Us Is Next features the same cast of characters from the first book in the series. This time, their school is terrorized by a Truth-or-Dare app turned deadly.
by Melissa Albert
January 7, 2020
The other big release on January 7th is Melissa Albert’s Night Country, volume two in her The Hazel Wood series. Alice Proserpine and Ellery Finch are back, and it seems like the Hinterlands aren’t done with them yet. I loved the original’s complex-but-understandable world building, and can’t wait for the sequel.
by Adam Silvera
January 14, 2020
I loved Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not, which has some fantasy elements, and What If It’s Us, his collaboration with Becky Albertalli. Infinity Son is Silvera’s first foray into straight up Science Fiction/Fantasy, featuring two brothers caught up in a magical war. I can’t to see how Silvera’s heartbreaking relationships fare in this new genre.
I loved Becky Albertalli’s bestselling Simonverse Trilogy, and What If It’s Us, her collaboration with Adam Silvera, so I’m expecting great things from Yes No Maybe So. Aisha Saeed is the bestselling author of the award-winning Amal Unbound. Yes No Maybe So is their story of a Jewish boy and Muslim girl who meet (and maybe fall in love?) while door-knocking for a political campaign.
The Kingdom of Back
by Marie Lu
March 3, 2020
I really enjoyed Marie Lu’s Science Fiction/Fantasy Legend series and Warcross. The Kingdom of Back is a historical fantasy featuring musical prodigy Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang’s older sister. As a woman in the 18th century, she’ll have to give up music when she marries. Or maybe, with the help of a magical stranger, she won’t…
All Your Twisted Secrets
by Diana Urban
March 17, 2020
All Your Twisted Secrets is the debut novel from Diana Urban. It’s got a great premise: six teens are invited to a scholarship award dinner, but are locked in the room with a chilling choice. They have one hour to decide which one to kill with a lethal injection, or a ticking time bomb will explode, killing them all.
They Went Left
by Monica Hesse
April 7, 2020
Monica Hesse is the bestselling author of Girl in the Blue Coat. In They Went Left, Hesse tells the story of a teenage girl’s pledge to help families reunite in the aftermath of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps across Europe. Girl in the Blue Coat was one of my 2019 favorites, so I can’t wait for this follow-up.
by Veronica Roth
April 7, 2020
Okay, so this is cheating a little because Chosen Ones isn’t a YA title. Veronica Roth is best known for her two YA series, Divergent and Carve the Mark. Chosen Ones is her first adult novel. It’s about the group of five adults who were teens fifteen years earlier when they defeated the Dark One.
Clap When You Land
by Elizabeth Acevedo
May 14, 2020
I LOVED Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X and With The Fire On High. Clap When You Land is about a girl from the Dominican Republic and a girl from New York City, brought together when their fathers die in a plane crash. Like The Poet X, Clap When You Land is written in verse.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
by Suzanne Collins
May 19, 2020
A prequel to The Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is guaranteed to be a massive bestseller for author Suzanne Collins. The book takes place 64-years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.
Surrender Your Sons
by Adam Sass
September 15, 2020
I had to include Surrender Your Sons with these first-half titles, even though it won’t be out until mid-September. It doesn’t even have a cover yet (I stole this image from Adam’s Instagram)! But listen to this synopsis: A gay teen’s summer vacation becomes a nightmare when his religious zealot family has him kidnapped and taken to a conversion camp on a forgotten island. There, he teams up with other kidnapped LGBTQ+ teens to uncover the camp’s dark secrets.
Those are my most anticipated YA books of 2020 (the first half), with one adult title and one fall title thrown in for good measure. Which of these are you most excited for? Are there others you’re looking forward to that didn’t make my list? Let me know in the comments below.