I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in July 2019. Up first is a short list of the books I highly recommend, followed by a long list of basically every book being published. Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.
Get your library cards and indie bookstore pre-orders ready, y’all.
Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller (July 2)
YA Science Fiction, HarperTeen
“Solomon and Ash both experienced a traumatic event when they were twelve.
Ash lost all memory of that event when she fell from Solomon’s treehouse. Since then, Solomon has retreated further and further into a world he seems to have created in his own mind. One that insulates him from reality, but crawls with foes and monsters . . . in both animal and human form.
As Solomon slips further into the place he calls Darkside, Ash realizes her only chance to free her best friend from his pain is to recall exactly what happened that day in his backyard and face the truth—together.”
Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre (July 9)
YA Science Fiction, Mystery, Tor Teen
“In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found. When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to live with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?
Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind. To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…”
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (July 9)
The Blood of Stars #1 – YA Fantasy, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
“Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.”
Wilder Girls by Rory Power (July 9)
YA Science Fiction, Delacorte Press
“It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.”
The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee, Michael Dante DiMartino (July 16)
YA Fantasy, Amulet Books
“The longest-living Avatar in this beloved world’s history, Kyoshi established the brave and respected Kyoshi Warriors, but also founded the secretive Dai Li, which led to the corruption, decline, and fall of her own nation. The first of two novels based on Kyoshi, The Rise of Kyoshi maps her journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice who is still feared and admired centuries after she became the Avatar.”
How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates (July 23)
YA Science Fiction, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
“A plague, called Wicked, is pulsing through the world; and in its wake, it’s dividing the population into thirds:
The WICKED: Already infected by the droves of Singers, the ultraviolet mosquito-like insects who carry the plague, the Wicked roam the world freely. They don’t want for much—only to maim and dismember you. But don’t worry: They always ask politely first.
The TRUE: The True live in contained, isolated communities. They’re the lucky ones; they found safety from the Singers. And while the threat of the Wicked may not be eliminated, for the True, the threat has certainly been contained…
The VEXED: The Vexed are the truly fortunate ones—they survived the sting of the Singers, leaving them immune. But they’re far from safe. The Vexed hold the key to a cure, and there are those who will do anything to get it.”
Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells (July 30)
Shatter the Sky #1 – YA Fantasy, Simon & Schuster
“Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.
If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…
With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?”
All YA Spec Fic
The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair (July 2)
The Beckoning Shadow #1 – YA Fantasy, Katherine Tegen Books
“Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.”
Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart (July 2)
Grace and Fury #2 – YA Fantasy, Little, Brown
“Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.”
Immunity by Erin Bowman (July 2)
Contagion #2 – YA Science Fiction, HarperTeen
“They thought their nightmare was over, but Thea, Coen, and Nova’s rescue was only the beginning. After being imprisoned on a ship they thought was their ticket to safety, it’s clear that the threat they left behind isn’t as distant as they’d hoped—and this time the entire galaxy is at risk.”
Plague Land: No Escape by Alex Scarrow (July 2)
ReMade #3 – YA Fantasy, Sourcebooks Fire
“Leon is stuck in England, Grace is on her way to New Zealand, and Freya is heading to the “New United States,” formerly Cuba. The virus has annihilated all of humanity except for these three communities, and now it’s ready to talk with them. How each chooses to respond to the virus will ultimately decide their fate in this thrilling apocalyptic finale.”
The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed (July 9)
YA Science Fiction, Simon Pulse
“And as the two grow closer and confront bigger truths about their pasts, they must also deal with such inconveniences as a narcissistic rock star, a war between unicorns and dragons, and eventually, of course, the apocalypse.”
Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan (July 9)
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 – YA Horror, Scholastic
“Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?”
The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson (July 9)
The Storm Crow #1 – YA Fantasy, SourcebooksFire
“But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.”
The Traitor’s Kingdom by Erin Beaty (July 9)
The Traitor’s Circle #3 – YA Fantasy, Imprint
“After an assassination attempt destroys the chance for peace, Sage and her fiancé Major Alex Quinn risk a dangerous plot to reveal the culprit. But the stakes are higher than ever, and in the game of traitors, betrayal is the only certainty.”
In the Woods by Carrie Jones, Steven E. Wedel (July 16)
YA Horror, Tor Teen
“As townsfolk start disappearing and the attacks get ever closer, Logan and Chrystal will have to find out the truth about whatever’s hiding in the woods…before they become targets themselves.”
Within Ash and Stardust by Chani Lynn Feener (July 16)
The Xenith Trilogy #3 – YA Science Fiction, Swoon Reads
“But Delaney isn’t on Earth. She’s on Xenith, a war-torn planet half a galaxy away. Originally mistaken for an alien princess, Delaney has gone from kidnapped imposter to the recognized heir to an alien throne. Oh, and she’s engaged to the prince of an enemy nation whose ruthless father is on the warpath.”
Before I Disappear by Danielle Stinson (July 23)
YA Fantasy, Feiwel & Friends
“To survive the Fold, Rose must unravel the clues Charlie sends her from the missing town. And Rose has to find Charlie soon—or he’ll be gone forever.”
Soul of Stars by Ashley Poston (July 23)
Heart of Iron #2 – YA Science Fiction, Balzer + Bray
“Their journey will take the sharp-witted pilot, Jax, to the home he never wanted to return to, and the dangerous fate he left behind. And when Robb finds out who Jax really is, he must contend with his own feelings for the boy he barely knows, and whether he truly belongs with this group of outcasts.”
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill (July 23)
YA Fantasy, Scholastic
“Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans in the UK. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.”
>The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen (July 30)
The Merciful Crow #1 – YA Fantasy, Henry Holt
“A future chieftain…A fugitive prince…A too-cunning bodyguard…”