I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in April 2020. Up first is a short list of the books I highly recommend, followed by a long list of basically every book being published.
Get your library cards and indie bookstore pre-orders ready, y’all.
The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman (The Devouring Gray #2) – April 21
“Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat lurks in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most — her father, Ezra Bishop.
May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.
Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.
With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all. But the monster they truly need to slay may never been the Beast…” – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova (Hollow Crown #1) – April 28
“Renata was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata was used by the crown to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown. The Whispers may have rescued Renata years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred-or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she drained during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit-and the boy she’s grown to love-is taken captive by the notorious Principe Dorado, Renata must return to Andalucia and complete Dez’s top secret mission herself. Can she keep her cover, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the fate of the entire kingdom-and end the war that has cost her everything.” – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
So This Is Love by Elizabeth Lim (Twisted Tales series) – April 7
“What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella attempts a fresh start, looking for work at the palace as a seamstress. But when the Grand Duke appoints her to serve under the king’s visiting sister, Cinderella becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king-and the prince-out of power, as well as a longstanding prejudice against fairies, including Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother. Faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom, Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present…before it’s too late.” – Disney-Hyperion
Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Once & Future #2) – April 7
“Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail — the very definition of impossible. It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face to face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future…” – jimmy patterson
All YA Spec Fic
Crave by Tracy Wolff
“My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters.” – Entangled: Teen
The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns #4)
“As danger closes in, it will be up to Red to save the empire. If she can survive recruitment year—something no woman has ever done before.” – Greenwillow Books
The Loop by Ben Oliver
“Life inside The Loop-the futuristic death row for teens under eighteen-is one long repetitive purgatory. But when news of the encroaching chaos in the outside world reaches the inmates and disorder begins to strike, the prison becomes the least of their worries.” – Chicken House
Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan (Something Dark and Holy #2)
“Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.” – Wednesday Books
A Werewolf in Riverdale by Caleb Roehrig (Archie Horror #1)
“Jughead is a werewolf. Can he keep this secret from his friends — including werewolf-hunting Betty Cooper? Jughead has to get his dark side under control — before it is controlling him.” – Scholastic Press
Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost
“As the apocalypse looms, they must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor — only by reinventing the rules can they beat Life and Death at their own game in this exciting fantasy debut.” – Disney-Hyperion
Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons
“But something’s not quite right at the con–there are strange people in hazmat suits running around, enthusiastic cosplayers taking their shambling a little too far, and someone actually biting a cast member. Then, at a panel gone wrong, June and her friends discover the truth: the zombie apocalypse is here.” – Philomel Books
An Outcast and an Ally by Caitlin Lochner (A Soldier and a Liar #2)
“Sparks fly as the team constantly questions whether they can trust one another and everyone tries to navigate a war that will change everything.” – Swoon Reads
Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross
“When these three paths cross at the fringes of a war between monsters and men, shapeshifter queen and reluctant hero strike a deal that may finally turn the tide against the rising hordes of darkness.” – HarperTeen
Palace of Silver by Hannah West (Nissera Chronicles #3)
“Facing enemies on all sides, Glisette and Kadri must reckon with the role of magic. How far will they go to defend their power – and can they build an uprising of their own?” – Holiday House
The Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke
“They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death.” – Farrar, Straus and Giroux