8 YA New Releases That Went Straight on my TBR

I’m not usually much of a new-release-attuned person (I’ve been prefacing my posts like this a lot recently; maybe I need to re-evaluate my self-perception) but right now there are a lot of new books in YA that I am super excited to read.


I’m not usually much of a new-release-attuned person (I’ve been prefacing my posts like this a lot recently; maybe I need to re-evaluate my self-perception), but right now there are a lot of new books in YA that I am super excited to read.

I’ve never done a new releases post, but here we go!

I’m counting anything as a new release that was published in the second half of 2020 or that will be published in 2021.

The Books:

(Over half of these are mysteries. Do you think YA mystery/mystery-thriller could become the new paranormal or dystopia in the YA world? I feel like the genre has been popularized recently by the success of authors like Karen M. McManus, and I really, really hope I’m right.)

1) Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett– November 10th, 2020

Genre: YA, thriller, mystery, contemporary

Current Goodreads rating: 3.82/5

I found this one on a list of YA new releases, and I was drawn in by the premise. It follows a college freshman who is tricked into joining a cult called The Kingdom. At first, she’s excited to be part of a welcoming community, but as she spends more time with the group, they start to become more and more manipulative.

I have never read a book about this topic, so it sounded like an important and interesting read. (Also, the main character has the same name as me)

2) These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong– November 17th, 2020

Genre: YA, retellings, historical fantasy, romance

Current Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

I’ve been seeing this book absolutely everywhere, and although I don’t normally reach for fantasy, it’s set in 1926 Shanghai and despite considering myself an avid historical fiction reader, I don’t think I’ve read anything set in that particular era or place. It’s described as a retelling of Romeo and Juliet but with rival gangs and some sort of plague/monster/evil force.

3) Admission by Julie Buxbaum– December 1st, 2020

Genre: YA, contemporary

Current Goodreads rating: 3.72/5

I’m going to be applying to college next year (what?!), so the premise of this book instantly caught my attention. Ostensibly inspired by the real-life incident from a few years ago, It follows a girl named Chloe who finds herself at the center of a high-publicity college admissions scandal when it is revealed that her parents had a bit of a hand in her acceptance to her dream school.

I actually read the first few teaser chapters for this on Libby a few weeks ago before I put it on hold, and it seems like it will be a quick, light and interesting read.

4) The Cousins by Karen M. McManus– December 1st, 2020

Genre: YA, mystery, thriller, contemporary

Current Goodreads rating: 3.86/5; my rating: 4/5

I suppose it’s cheating to include The Cousins on this list, considering I’ve already read it at the time this post is going up, but I’m still going to do it.

Karen McManus has officially become one of my favorite authors! This was probably my least favorite of her books, but it still got 4/5 stars from me.

The Cousins follows three cousins (obviously) who have been invited to spend the summer on their elusive grandmother’s island. The mystery: years ago, their grandmother suddenly disowned each of their parents, and hasn’t contacted them since… until now.

5) You Have a Match by Emma Lord- January 12th, 2021

Genre: YA, contemporary, romance

Current Goodreads rating: 4.04./5

I don’t really read YA contemporary romance anymore (I had a short phase in the summer when I read it a lot, but it’s generally not my thing) However, Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute was one of the best books I read last year, and I’m excited to read her sophomore novel.

This book follows a girl named Abby who takes a DNA test and learns that she has a sister, Savannah, whom she’d never known about. The two meet up at summer camp and try to uncover why Savannah was put up for adoption (I’m getting The Parent Trap vibes from this). I may have to save this one for the summer, but it sounds like it will be good.

6) Kill Joy (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #0.5) by Holly Jackson- February 18th, 2021

Genre: YA, mystery, thriller, contemporary

Current Goodreads rating: N/A

I actually wasn’t aware this book existed until about a month ago. Going solely based off the cover and the blurb, it seems like it’s going to be some sort of locked-room murder mystery (that’s a major extrapolation on my part, though, and there aren’t any reviews out yet). But I love that trope, so I am cautiously optimistic for this prequel.

Edit: a few weeks after publishing this post and after doing some further digging, it seems that this is some sort of mini book (is it a full-length book or not? I’m not sure) that’s being released for World Book Day this year.

7) Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price– March 9th, 2021

Genre: YA, retellings, historical fiction, mystery, romance (… that’s a lot of genres)

Current Goodreads rating: 4.27/5

Pride and Premeditation– first of all, I love that title- is marketed as Pride and Prejudice but as a murder mystery. I just read Pride and Prejudice about a year ago, so the original is (decently) fresh in my mind, and this retelling sounds great!

The premise casts Lizzie Bennet as a prospective lawyer who is set on solving a murder that has shocked London society, and Mr. Darcy as a strict law firm heir who thinks Lizzie should leave the sleuthing to the authorities.

8) The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson– April 27th, 2021

Genre: YA, mystery, thriller, contemporary

Current Goodreads Rating: N/A

I did not know there was going to be another addition to the Truly Devious series until I saw this on Goodreads the other day while I was getting ready to write this post.

This book picks off after Stevie has solved the Ellingham case from the first three books in the series, and her consequential fame has made her something of an established detective. When she is recruited by Camp Bounty Lake to investigate some strange goings on, she finds herself involved in yet another cold case with sinister ties to the present.

Those are all 8 of the YA new releases I can’t wait to read this year! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any other books you’re excited for?

Sorry this post went out kind of late, I slightly underestimated the time it would take me to write….

18 comments on “8 YA New Releases That Went Straight on my TBR”

  1. I hope you like These Violent Delights! I wasn’t sure if I would like it either, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down!! I am also very excited for The Box in the Woods. I don’t read a lot of mystery, but I really liked the Truly Devious series. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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