New year! New books! New reading goals!
The first month of the new year has now passed, and with it, some fantastic YA books have been released, setting the bar high for what is sure to be a fabulous year of stories! From fantasy to history to contemporary – and some with a splash of each – LGBTQ+ romances and refreshing thrillers, there is a young adult book in the new year for everyone.
So, if your New Year's Resolution is to read more books, this list of January young adult releases is sure to start your year off right!
January 2024 Releases
A Fragile Enchantment by Allison Saft
Niamh Ó Conchobhair has never let herself long for more. The magic in her blood that lets her stitch emotions and memories into fabric is the same magic that will eventually kill her. Determined to spend the little time she has left guaranteeing a better life for her family, Niamh jumps at the chance to design the wardrobe for a royal wedding in the neighboring kingdom of Avaland.
But Avaland is far from the fairytale that she imagined. While young nobles attend candlelit balls and elegant garden parties, unrest brews amid the working class. The groom himself, Kit Carmine, is prickly, abrasive, and begrudgingly being dragged to the altar as a political pawn. But when Niamh and Kit grow closer, an unlikely friendship blossoms into something more—until an anonymous columnist starts buzzing about their chemistry, promising to leave them alone only if Niamh helps to uncover the royal family’s secrets. The rot at the heart of Avaland runs deep, but exposing it could risk a future she never let herself dream of, and a love she never thought possible.
A Drop of Venom by Sajni Patel
All monsters and heroes have beginnings. This is mine.
Sixteen-year-old Manisha is no stranger to monsters—she’s been running from them for years, from beasts who roam the jungle to the King’s army, who forced her people, the naga, to scatter to the ends of the earth. You might think that the kingdom’s famed holy temples atop the floating mountains, where Manisha is now a priestess, would be safe—but you would be wrong.
Seventeen-year-old Pratyush is a famed slayer of monsters, one of the King’s most prized warriors and a frequent visitor to the floating temples. For every monster the slayer kills, years are added to his life. You might think such a powerful warrior could do whatever he wants, but true power lies with the King. Tired after years of fighting, Pratyush wants nothing more than a peaceful, respectable life.
When Pratyush and Manisha meet, each sees in the other the possibility to chart a new path. Unfortunately, the kingdom’s powerful have other plans. A temple visitor sexually assaults Manisha and pushes her off the mountain into a pit of vipers. A month later, the King sends Pratyush off to kill one last monster (a powerful nagin who has been turning men to stone) before he’ll consider granting his freedom.
Except Manisha doesn’t die, despite the hundreds of snake bites covering her body and the venom running through her veins. She rises from the pit more powerful than ever before, with heightened senses, armor-like skin, and blood that can turn people to stone. And Pratyush doesn’t know it, but the “monster” he’s been sent to kill is none other than the girl he wants to marry.
Dungeons and Drama by Kristy Boyce
Musical lover Riley has big aspirations to become a director on Broadway. Crucial to this plan is to bring back her high school’s spring musical, but when Riley takes her mom’s car without permission, she's grounded and stuck with the worst punishment: spending her after-school hours working at her dad’s game shop.
Riley can't waste her time working when she has a musical to save, so she convinces Nathan—a nerdy teen employee—to cover her shifts and, in exchange, she’ll flirt with him to make his gamer-girl crush jealous.
But Riley didn’t realize that meant joining Nathan's Dungeons & Dragons game…or that role playing would be so fun. Soon, Riley starts to think that flirting with Nathan doesn't require as much acting as she would've thought...
by Megan Lally
She thought she had her life back. She was wrong. It was a mistake to trust him.
Shivering and bruised, a teen wakes up on the side of a dirt road with no memory of how she got there―or who she is. A passing officer takes her to the police station, and not long after, a frantic man arrives. He's been searching for her for hours. He has her school ID, her birth certificate, and even family photos. He is her father. Her name is Mary. Or so he says.
When Lola slammed the car door and stormed off into the night, Drew thought they just needed some time to cool off. Except Lola disappeared, and the sheriff, his friends, and the whole town are convinced Drew murdered his girlfriend. Forget proving his innocence, he needs to find her before it's too late. The longer Lola is missing, the fewer leads there are to follow…and the more danger they both are in.
Shut Up, This Is Serious by Carolina Ixta
Belén Dolores Itzel del Toro wants the normal stuff: to experience love or maybe have a boyfriend or at least just lose her virginity. But nothing is normal in East Oakland. Her father left her family. She's at risk of not graduating. And Leti, her super-Catholic, nerdy-ass best friend, is pregnant--by the boyfriend she hasn't told her parents about, because he's Black, and her parents are racist.
Things are hella complicated.
Weighed by a depression she can't seem to shake, Belén helps Leti, hangs out with an older guy, and cuts a lot of class. She soon realizes, though, that distractions are only temporary. Leti is becoming a mother. Classmates are getting ready for college. But what about Belén? What future is there for girls like her?
Most Ardently: A Pride & Prejudice Remix by Gabe Cole Novoa
London, 1812 . Oliver Bennet feels trapped—not just by the endless corsets, petticoats, and skirts he's forced to wear on a daily basis, but also by society's expectations. The world, and the vast majority of his family and friends, think Oliver is a girl named Elizabeth. He is therefore expected to mingle at balls wearing a pretty dress, entertain suitors regardless of his interest in them, and ultimately become someone's wife.
But Oliver can't bear the thought of such a fate. He finds solace in the few times he can sneak out of his family's home and explore the city rightfully dressed as a young gentleman. It's during one such excursion when Oliver becomes acquainted with Darcy, a sulky young man who had been rude to "Elizabeth" at a recent social function. But in the comfort of being out of the public eye, Oliver comes to find that Darcy is actually a sweet, intelligent boy with a warm heart, not to mention attractive.
As Oliver spends more time as his true self, often with Darcy, part of him dares to hope that his dream of love and life as a man can be possible. But suitors are growing bolder―and even threatening―and his mother is growing more desperate to see him settled into an engagement. Oliver will have to choose: settle for safety, security, and a life of pretending to be something he's not, or risk it all for a slim chance at freedom, love, and a life that can be truly his own.