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2021 Summer Book Preview: YA

Love YA? Here’s what to read as the weather warms.

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Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

Release date: June 22

Six powerhouse YA authors collaborate to tell the stories of six Black teen couples during a summer heatwave blackout in New York City. “This joyful collaboration brings a necessary elation to stories of Black love, queer love, and alternative forms of affection, all of which are all tenderly highlighted in these narratives,” writes Publishers Weekly in a starred review.


Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Release date: June 1

Nicola Yoon, bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star (both of which have been turned into feature films), returns with a book about a teen who suddenly gains the power to see other people’s relationship history and must decide if her own budding romance is worth the risk of heartbreak. “Everything Yoon touches turns to gold and this cinematic supernatural romance will be no exception,” writes Booklist in a starred review.


An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi

Release date: June 1

National Book Award-nominated author of A Very Large Expanse of Sea Tahereh Mafi’s latest book is set in 2003 and follows teen Shadi as she navigates a world of grief and sadness: Her brother died unexpectedly, her mother is grieving, her father recently had a second heart attack, and her best friend stops talking to her. Booklist calls it “a bluntly powerful read that shouldn’t be missed” in a starred review.


The Witch King by H. E. Edgmon

Release date: June 1

In this debut, the first in a duology, a transgender witch must return to the fae kingdom to face the life he left behind when he fled to the human world, including his arranged marriage to a fae prince he once loved. School Library Journal calls it “a complex fantasy debut, rich in nuanced LGBTQIA+ representation and timely social commentary.”


Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa

Release date: June 8

This debut stars Julián Luna, a closeted high school student in Texas who accidentally outs himself on Twitter one drunken night and finds his life dramatically changed – including the new possibility of pursuing a romance with Mat, his longtime online crush. In a starred review, Kirkus calls it “an open-hearted expression of love in its many forms.”