Summer is the perfect time to read. What’s not to love about the season—some calming sun here, a good book there? To make it even better, we’ve compiled a list of the hottest and most eagerly awaited new releases that ought to fall into your lap and stay there forever. Here are 10 most anticipated YA books of summer 2023.
Ander & Santi Were Here
Jonny Garza Villa
The Santos Vista neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, is all Ander Martínez has ever known. The smell of pan dulce. The mixture of Spanish and English filling the streets. And, especially their job at their family’s taquería. It’s the place that has inspired Ander as a muralist, and, as they get ready to leave for art school, it’s all of these things that give them hesitancy. That give them the thought, are they ready to leave it all behind? To keep Ander from becoming complacent during their gap year, their family “fires” them so they can transition from restaurant life to focusing on their murals and prepare for college.
Release Date: May 2, 2023
Warrior Princess. That’s what Nigeria Jones’s father calls her. He has raised her as part of the Movement, a Black separatist group based in Philadelphia. Nigeria is homeschooled and vegan and participates in traditional rituals to connect her and other kids from the group to their ancestors. But when her mother—the perfect matriarch of their Movement—disappears, Nigeria’s world is upended. She finds herself taking care of her baby brother and stepping into a role she doesn’t want. Nigeria’s mother had secrets. She wished for a different life for her children, which includes sending her daughter to a private Quaker school outside of their strict group.
Release Date: May 9, 2023
The Luis Ortega Survival Club
Ariana Ruiz wants to be noticed. But as an autistic girl who never talks, she goes largely ignored by her peers—despite her bold fashion choices. So when cute, popular Luis starts to pay attention to her, Ari finally feels seen.
Luis’s attention soon turns to something more, and they have sex at a party—while Ari didn’t say no, she definitely didn’t say yes. Before she has a chance to process what happened and decide if she even has the right to be mad at Luis, the rumor mill begins churning.
Release Date: May 23, 2023
The Garden of Second Chances
Mona Alvarado Frazier
Juana’s life has taken a dark turn. Accused of her husband’s death, she’s now a seventeen-year-old mother, alone and undocumented in a prison cell. No one believes her when she claims she’s innocent, not even the prison staff or the gang leader in her block who torments her relentlessly.
Her only solace is in her baby, but as Juana struggles to survive the dangers lurking in prison, the threat outside grows even more terrifying. Her husband’s furious family wants to take the child away. With no hope in sight, Juana discovers a glimmer of light.
Release Date: June 6, 2023
Love & Resistance
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Chang is at her fourth school in seven years. Her self-imposed solitude is lonely but safe. At Plainstown High, however, Olivia’s usual plan of anonymity fails when infamous it-girl Mitzi Clarke makes a pointed racist comment in class. Tired of ignoring things just to survive, Olivia defends herself.
And that is the end of her invisible life.
Soon, Olivia joins forces with the Nerd Net: a secret society that’s been thwarting Mitzi’s reign of terror for months. Together, they plan to unite the masses and create true change at school.
Release Date: July 4, 2023
My Week with Him
Nikki can’t wait to leave Texas and follow her dreams of a music career . . . After a painful betrayal by her sister and a heated argument with their mother, Nikki is kicked out and finds herself homeless. She decides to go to California to pursue her singing career. When her best friend, Malachai, discovers her plan to flee Texas, he begs her to spend the remainder of spring break with him. He believes that over the course of a week, he can convince her to stay in Texas, or to at least graduate high school. But their plans are interrupted when Nikki’s little sister Vae goes missing. Nikki is forced to work alongside her difficult mother as they set off in search of Vae, with Malachai’s support.
Release Date: July 11, 2023
Play to Win
Miriam Butler’s life is going nowhere in the slowest, most excruciating way possible. Stuck in the same barely-paying job she’s had since she was sixteen and spending every night sleeping in the spare twin bed in her mother’s house, her existence might be hilarious if it wasn’t so bleak. One trip to her favorite corner store upends everything when she finds herself the winner of a Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot.
Unfortunately, not even life-altering roses come without their painful thorns. Hers just so happen to be in the form of an estranged husband who has the right to claim his share of her money.
Release Date: July 11, 2023
One of Us Is Back
Karen M. McManus
It’s been almost two years since Simon died in detention, and the aftermath has been hard to shake. First the Bayview Four had to prove they weren’t killers. Then a new generation outwitted a vengeful copycat. Now the entire Bayview Crew is back home for the summer, and everyone is trying to move on.
Only, this is Bayview, and life is never that simple. At first the mysterious billboard seems like a bad joke: Time for a new game, Bayview. But when a member of the Bayview Crew disappears, it’s clear this “game” is serious—and whoever’s in charge isn’t sharing the rules.
Release Date: July 25, 2023
Benjamin Morrison is about to start junior year of high school and while his family is challenging, he is pretty content with his life, with his two best friends, and being a part of the robotics club. Until an experiment at science camp has completely unexpected consequences.
He is going to be a father. Something his mother was not expecting after he came out as gay and she certainly wasn’t expecting that he would want to raise the baby as a single father. But together they come up with a plan to prepare Ben for fatherhood and fight for his rights. The weight of Ben’s decision presses down on him.
Release Date: August 22, 2023
Don’t go outside past dark. Come straight home after church. And above all—never, ever, go into Red Wood. These are the rules Latavia’s aunt gives her when Latavia arrives in Sanctum, Alabama for the summer. Though, weird as they are, living in Sanctum does have its pros. Mainly, the cute girl who works at the local ice cream shop.
But Sanctum is turning out to be as strange as the rules—and the longer Latavia’s in town, the more suspicious she is that the people there are hiding something. And the more clear it is that she’s an outsider. Everyone’s nice enough.
Release Date: September 12, 2023