New Young Adult Speculative Fiction November 2020

I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in November 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.

Recommended

November 3, 2020

From Darkness by Kate Hazel Hall

“Sixteen-year-old Ari Wyndham lost her best friend in the sea. Everybody told her it was an accident, but Ari can’t forgive herself. Her own life is cut short when a tiger-snake delivers a deathly bite, and a beautiful, ghostly, and strangely familiar young woman appears, summoning Ari’s soul to the underworld. Ari, however, refuses to go.

Though she knows there will be a terrible price to pay for her transgression, the mysterious guide chooses to save Ari. Their rebellion upsets the balance of life and death in Ari’s remote coastal village. A rift opens from the underworld, unleashing dark magic: savage dog packs emerge at night, fishermen catch ghostly bodies in their nets, and children go missing.

Together, Ari and her guide battle the dark powers of the underworld and heal the rift. Though their bond seems unbreakable, it may not be enough. It is up to Ari to find the courage to do the one thing that will save the world from darkness.” – Duet

November 10

The Ever Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco (The Never Tilting World #2)

“After a treacherous journey and a life-shattering meeting with a twin neither knew they had, Haidee and Odessa expected to emerge from the Great Abyss to a world set right. But though the planet is turning once again, the creatures of the abyss will not rest until they have tasted another goddess’s sacrifice.

To break the cycle, Haidee and Odessa need answers that lie beyond the seven gates of the underworld, within the Cruel Kingdom itself. The shadows of the underworld may hunger to tear them apart, but these two sisters are determined to heal their world—together.” – HarperTeen

Lyrics & Curses by Candace Robinson (Cursed Hearts #1)

“Lark Espinoza could get lost in her music—and she’s not so sure anyone in her family would even care to find her. Her trendy, party-loving twin sister and her mother-come-lately Beth, who’s suddenly sworn off men and onto homemaking, don’t understand her love of cassette tapes, her loathing of the pop scene, or her standoffish personality. For outcast Lark, nothing feels as much like a real home as working at Bubble’s Oddities store and trying to attract the attention of the cute guy who works at the Vinyl shop next door—the same one she traded lyrical notes with in class.

Auden Ellis silences the incessant questions in his own head with a steady stream of beats. Despite the unconditional love of his aunt-turned-mother, he can’t quit thinking about the loss of his parents—or the possibility he might end up afflicted with his father’s issues. Despite his connection with lyric-loving Lark, Auden keeps her at arm’s length because letting her in might mean giving her a peek into something dangerous.

When two strangers arrive in town, one carrying a mysterious, dark object and the other playing an eerie flute tune, Lark and Auden find that their painful pasts have enmeshed them in a cursed future. Now, they must come to terms with their budding attraction while helping each other challenge the reflection they see in the mirror. If they fail, they’ll be trapped for eternity in a place beyond reality.” – Filles Vertes Publishing

Master of One by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett

“Rags is a thief–an excellent one. He’s stolen into nobles’ coffers, picked soldiers’ pockets, and even liberated a ring or two off the fingers of passersby. Until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to find an ancient fae relic for a sadistic royal sorcerer.

But Rags could never have guessed this “relic” would actually be a fae himself–a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince called Shining Talon. Good thing Rags can think on his toes, because things just get stranger from there…” – HarperTeen

November 17

Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi (War Girls #2)

“It’s been five years since the Biafran War ended. Ify is now nineteen and living where she’s always dreamed–the Space Colonies. She is a respected, high-ranking medical officer and has dedicated her life to helping refugees like herself rebuild in the Colonies.

Back in the still devastated Nigeria, Uzo, a young synth, is helping an aid worker, Xifeng, recover images and details of the war held in the technology of destroyed androids. Uzo, Xifeng, and the rest of their team are working to preserve memories of the many lives lost, despite the government’s best efforts to eradicate any signs that the war ever happened.

Though they are working toward common goals of helping those who suffered, Ify and Uzo are worlds apart. But when a mysterious virus breaks out among the children in the Space Colonies, their paths collide. Ify makes it her mission to figure out what’s causing the deadly disease. And doing so means going back to the homeland she thought she’d left behind forever.” – Razorbill

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights #1)

“The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang–a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns–and grudges–aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.” – Margaret K. McElderry Books

The Way Back by Gavriel Savit
“For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of midnight, congregating in the trees, harrowing the dead, even reaching out to try and steal away the living.

But the demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. When the Angel of Death comes strolling through the little shtetl of Tupik one night, two young people will be sent spinning off on a journey through the Far Country. There they will make pacts with ancient demons, declare war on Death himself, and maybe–just maybe–find a way to make it back alive.” – Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

November 24

Ruinsong by Julia Ember

“Her voice was her prison…Now it’s her weapon.

In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence has been forced to torture her country’s disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen’s bidding.

But when she is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must finally make a choice: Take a stand to free their country from oppression, or follow in the queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself.” – Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Full list

November 3, 2020

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

“When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals–not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed…love and hate…and fate.” – Feiwel & Friends

Lost Roads by Jonathan Maberry (Broken Lands #2)

“Gutsy and her friends, along with Benny and his crew, have just survived a massive attack on New Alamo by the Night Army–a mix of mindless shambling los muertos and sentient half-zombie ravagers. She’s also reeling from the revelation that the residents of her town were the lab rats of the biological testing facility linked to creating the most dangerous zom, the Raggedy Man, who controls all of the living dead.” – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige (The Ravens #1)

“For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.” – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Send Me Their Souls by Sara Wolf (Bring Me Their Hearts #3)

“The finale to the epic Bring Me Their Hearts series reaches its thrilling conclusion, full of intrigue, emotion, and of course romance.” – Entangled: Teen

November 10, 2020

The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White (Camelot Rising #2)

“When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?” – Delacorte Press

City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand

“But one guildmaster has broken tradition to protect her child, and as a result the whole city faces an uncommon threat: a pair of black iron spikes that have the power of both sword and needle on the rib cages of men have gone missing, but the mayhem they cause rises everywhere. If the spikes not found and contained, no wall will be high enough to protect the city–or the world beyond it. And Errol Thebes? He’s not dead and he’s certainly not safe.” – Dutton Books for Young Readers

Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault (The Queen’s Council #1)

“Happily ever after is only the beginning as Belle takes on the responsibility of becoming queen and learns to balance duty, love, and sacrifice, all while navigating dark political intrigue-and a touch of magic.” – Disney Hyperion

November 17, 2020

Goblin King by Kara Barbieri (Permafrost #2)

“When Janneke discovers the truth of Lydian and his madness, she’s forced to see her tormentor in a different light for the first time. The world they know is dying and Lydian may have been the only person with the key to saving it.” – Wednesday Books

Soulswift by Megan Bannen

“Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction? And as Tavik and Gelya grow closer, another question lingers between them: What will become of Gelya?” – Balzer + Bray

This Is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes

“What Daffodil doesn’t yet realize is that her job comes with a steep price. The house has a long-ago grudge it needs to settle…and Daffodil is the key to settling it.” – HarperTeen

November 24, 2020

Bright Shining World by Josh Swiller

“Just as Wallace is getting settled into a comfortable life in Kentucky, his father lets him know they need to immediately depart for a new job in a small town in Upstate New York which has recently been struck by an outbreak of inexplicable hysterics–an outbreak which is centered at the high school Wallace will attend. In the new town, go from disturbing to worse: trees appear to be talking to people; a school bully, the principal, and the town police force take an instant dislike to Wallace; and the student body president is either falling for him or slipping into the enveloping darkness.” – Knopf Books for Young Readers

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black (The Folk of the Air #3.5)

“This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old.” – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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