February 2023 New Releases

 




Undated
Nightbirds by Kate J. Armstrong (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books) - moved from July 2023.
Stacey Barney at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired, in a preempt, North American rights to YA fantasy debut Nightbirds and its sequel, Fyrebirds, by Kate J. Armstrong. Pitched as Carnival Row meets The Great Gatsby, the story is set in a 1920s-inspired world where magic is illegal, but you can taste its delights if you know where to look. The mysterious Nightbirds—girls who can bestow their rare powers with a kiss, provided you can pay the price—are the city's best-kept secret until their identities are unmasked, forcing them into the shadows, where they discover their true powers. Josh Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the two-book deal for publication beginning in summer 2023.









The Black Queen by Jumata Emill (Delacorte)
Krista Marino at Delacorte Press has acquired, in an exclusive submission pre-empt, The Black Queen by debut author Jumata Emill, a YA thriller set in the deep South. When Lovett High School's first Black homecoming queen is murdered the night of her coronation, her best friend finds an unlikely ally in the search for her killer—her white rival nominee, who is the prime suspect in her death. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Alec Shane at Writers House brokered the deal for North American rights.











The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa (Random House) - moved from November 2022, date not yet updated on Goodreads.
Jenna Lettice at Random House has acquired Gabe Cole Novoa's The Wicked Bargain. The #OwnVoices YA fantasy follows a trans masculine Latinx teen pirate hiding magical abilities who, after a deal with the devil comes to a violent end, is rescued by the Caribbean's sole remaining pirate crew. But with the Spanish armada hunting the last of the pirates down, the magic they've been keeping secret may be their only redemption—or it could mean certain death. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Louise Fury at the Bent Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.

If I Can Give You That by Michael Gray Bulla (Quill Tree Books) - previously titled A Type of Bleeding, previously dated May 2022.
Karen Chaplin at Quill Tree has bought a debut YA novel tentatively titled A Type of Bleeding by Michael Gray Bulla. The coming-of-age story follows Gael, a trans teenager who joins his town’s LGBTQ+ support group and sparks a new friendship with a cute boy he meets there. When Gael’s aloof father returns home at the same time that his new friendship starts to become something more, Gael must decide whether the cost of protecting his heart is greater than the risk of letting the walls around it down. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media handled the deal for world English rights.


February 1st

The Last Confessions of Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (Simon and Schuster) - some editions dated February 2022.
50890806. sx318In this apocalyptic finale to the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, alliances will be tested, hearts will be broken, and no one will be left unscarred. Noah’s confessions end here.

Noah Shaw wants nothing more than to escape the consequences of his choices.

He can’t.

He’s sure the memories that haunt him are merely proof of a broken heart.

They aren’t.

He thinks he can move forward without first confronting his past.

He’s wrong.

A Crown So Cursed by L. L. McKinney (Imprint)
In the third book in L.L. McKinney's Nightmare-Verse trilogy, Alice gets one last chance to save Wonderland from itself.

Alice and the gang are trying to recover from recent events—but members of her crew start having weird dreams. The same dreams. It seems the evil in Wonderland may not be as defeated as they thought—because someone's building an army of Nightmares to attack the mortal world. But before Alice jumps into battle, she discovers she has a personal connection to Wonderland, and she must face what it means for the fight ahead.









February 7th
Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb (Little, Brown) - release date announced on twitter, not yet updated on Goodreads.
In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with a terrifying power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.

Rossana Lacertosa doesn’t believe in saints. After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazia military, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system. Even if she has to pay for it in blood—or face the boy who broke her heart.

Damian Venturi is sworn to protect the city. As the youngest captain of the Palazzo security in history, Damian is expected to be ruthless, strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting a gruesome, never-ending war left Damian with deeper scars than he wants to admit…and too many questions he’s afraid to ask.

When a murderer begins using the city’s slums as a hunting ground, targeting the weak and unprotected, the saints and their disciples are all too happy to look the other way. That is until a disciple ends up in the morgue. Tasked with finding the disciple’s killer, Damian’s investigation leads him to Roz, his childhood friend turned enemy. Together, they will have to put their past feelings aside to find the truth hiding in the pitch-black underbelly of Ombrazia.

As they unravel the mysteries behind the murders, they will discover that there’s something far more sinister—and far less holy—lurking beneath the surface. With darkness closing in and time running out, will Roz and Damian be able to save their city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?


This Time It's Real by Ann Liang (Scholastic)
Get ready to fall in love in this hilarious romcom about a girl who begins a fake relationship with the famous actor in her class, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han.

When seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin’s essay about meeting the love of her life unexpectedly goes viral, her entire life changes overnight. Now she has the approval of her classmates at her new international school in Beijing, a career-launching internship opportunity at her favorite magazine…and a massive secret to keep.

Eliza made her essay up. She’s never been in a relationship before, let alone in love. All good writing is lying, right?

Desperate to hide the truth, Eliza strikes a deal with the famous actor in her class, the charming but aloof Caz Song. She’ll help him write his college applications if he poses as her boyfriend. Caz is a dream boyfriend -- he passes handwritten notes to her in class, makes her little sister laugh, and takes her out on motorcycle rides to the best snack stalls around the city.

But when her relationship with Caz starts feeling a little too convincing, all of Eliza’s carefully laid plans are threatened. Can she still follow her dreams if it means breaking her own heart?

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder (Putnam)
Which threads of fate will hold—and which will break?

Clever, bookish Fi and her brash, ax-wielding partner Shane are back in this action packed sequel to the bestselling The Bone Spindle, the gender-flipped Sleeping Beauty retelling, perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and The Cruel Prince.

Fi has awakened the sleeping prince, but the battle for Andar is far from over. The Spindle Witch, the Witch Hunters, and Fi’s own Butterfly Curse all stand between them and happily ever after.

Shane has her partner’s back. But she’s in for the fight of her life against Red, the right hand of the Spindle Witch who she’s also, foolishly, hellbent on saving.

Briar Rose would do anything to restore his kingdom. But there’s a darkness creeping inside him—a sinister bond to the Spindle Witch he can’t escape.

All hopes of restoring Andar rest on deciphering a mysterious book code, finding the hidden city of the last Witches, and uncovering a secret lost for centuries—one that just might hold the key to the Spindle Witch’s defeat. If they can all survive that long…

Set in a world of twisted fairytales, The Severed Thread combines lost ruins, ride-or-die friendships, and heart-pounding romance.


Wildwood by Lauren Blackwood (Wednesday Books)
A thrilling Jamaican inspired fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood!

Eighteen-year-old Esther is a Wildblood. Kidnapped at the age of six and manipulated by the Exotic Lands Touring Company, she's worked as a tour guide ever since with a team of fellow Wildbloods who take turns using their magic to protect travelers in a jungle teeming with all the ghostly monsters of Jamaican legend.

When the boss denies Esther the promotion to team leader that was promised to her in favor of Dean, her backstabbing ex, Esther is determined to prove herself. Her magic may be the most powerful on the team, but she's the wrong image the boss wants to send their new client, Laertes Thorn, a renowned goldminer determined to reach an untouched gold supply deep in the jungle.

Thorn is everything Esther isn't - confident, impossibly kind, and so handsome he leaves her speechless. And when he entrusts the mission to her, kindness turns to mutual respect, turns to affection, turns to love.

But the jungle is treacherous, and between hypnotic river spirits, soul-devouring women that shed their skin like snakes, and her ex out for revenge, Esther has to decide - is promotion at a corrupt company really what she wants?

A fierce, lush fantasy by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood, Wildblood tells the story of a girl who must find the strength to defeat the demons of the jungle as well as her own to find where she truly belongs.

The Long Run by James Acker (Inkyard Press)
Two track and field athletes find an unexpected but powerful love in this unapologetically blunt and unforgettably real YA debut.
 
Sebastian Villeda is over it. Over his rep. Over his bros. Over being "Bash the Flash," fastest sprinter in South Jersey. His dad is gone, his mom is dead, and his stepfather is clueless. Bash has no idea what he wants out of life. Until he meets Sandro.
 
Sandro Miceli is too nice for his own good. The middle child in an always-growing, always-screaming Italian family, Sandro walks around on a broken foot to not bother his busy parents. All he wants is to get out and never look back.
 
When fate—in the form of a party that gets busted—brings these two very different boys together, neither of them could’ve predicted finding a love that they’d risk everything for…

Daughters of Oduma by Moses Ose Utomi (Atheneum) - moved from January 2023.
An elite female fighter must reenter the competition to protect her found family of younger sisters in this scintillating young adult fantasy inspired by West African culture, perfect for fans of The Gilded Ones and Creed.

Eat. Dance. Fight.

This is the life of the girls who compete in the Isle’s elite, all-female fighting sport of Bowing. But it isn’t really Dirt’s life anymore. At sixteen, she is old and has retired from competition. Instead, she spends her days coaching the younger sisters of the Mud Fam and dreading her fast-approaching birthday, when she’ll have to leave her sisters to fulfill whatever destiny the Gods choose for her.

Dirt’s young sisters are coming along nicely, and the Mud Fam is sure to win the upcoming South God Bow tournament, which is crucial: the tiny Fam needs the new recruits that come with victory. Then an attack from a powerful rival leaves the Mud without their top Bower, and Dirt is the only one who can compete in the tournament. But Dirt is old, out of shape, and afraid. She has never wanted to be a leader. Victory seems impossible—yet defeat would mean the end of her beloved Fam. And no way is Dirt going to let that happen.


Out of Character by Jenna Miller (Quill Tree Books)
Alyssa Miele at Quill Tree has bought Out of Character by debut author Jenna Miller, a queer, fat-positive contemporary YA romance that explores online and offline relationships in all their messiness. Cass Williams escapes the stressors of the real world by roleplaying online in secret, but after falling for her roleplay bestie, she must decide if she can be honest about her double life. Publication is set for winter 2023; Michaela Whatnall at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the two-book deal for world rights.


February 14th

When You Wish Upon a Lantern by Gloria Chao (Viking) - moved from 2022.
Acclaimed author Gloria Chao creates real-world magic in this luminous romance about teens who devote themselves to granting other people's wishes, but are too afraid to let themselves have their own hearts' desires—each other.

Liya and Kai had been best friends since they were little kids, but all that changed when a humiliating incident sparked The Biggest Misunderstanding Of All Time—and they haven’t spoken since.

Then Liya discovers her family's wishing lantern store is struggling, and she decides to resume a tradition she had with her beloved late grandmother: secretly fulfilling the wishes people write on the lanterns they send into the sky. It may boost sales and save the store, but she can't do it alone . . . and Kai is the only one who cares enough to help.

While working on their covert missions, Liya and Kai rekindle their friendship—and maybe more. But when their feuding families and their changing futures threaten to tear them apart again, can they find a way to make their own wishes come true?


The Pledge by Cale Dietrich (Feiwel and Friends) - moved from September 2022.

Scream meets The Taking of Jake Livingston in this young adult horror novel by Cale Dietrich featuring a masked killer who targets frat boys.

Freshman Alex believes that joining a fraternity is the best way to form a friend group as he begins his college journey. The frat he’s pledging seems welcoming and fun, and accepting of his identity as queer. It would feel better if Gray, the other queer frat boy was friendlier, but Alex can deal with that if it means being part of this popular group.

And then… one of the frat boys is killed by a masked, knife-wielding murderer. The police and the university believe it’s random – a case of a drunk kid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But when another frat boy is murdered, Alex and Gray start to wonder if they might be the next targets, and if the pledge/hazing rituals have gone too far.

Elements of horror, mystery, and a gay hate-to-love romance make this a story readers won't want to miss.

Always the Almost by Edward Underhill (Wednesday Books) - release date not yet updated on Goodreads.
A trans pianist makes a New Year's resolution on a frozen Wisconsin night to win regionals and win back his ex, but a new boy complicates things in Edward Underhill's heartfelt debut YA rom-dram, Always the Almost.

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Miles Jacobson has two New Year’s resolutions: 1) win back his ex-boyfriend (and star of the football team) Shane McIntyre, and 2) finally beat his slimy arch-nemesis at the Midwest’s biggest classical piano competition. But that’s not going to be so easy. For one thing, Shane broke up with Miles two weeks after Miles came out as trans, and now Shane’s stubbornly ignoring him, even when they literally bump into each other. Plus, Miles’ new, slightly terrifying piano teacher keeps telling him that he’s playing like he “doesn’t know who he is”—whatever that means.

Then Miles meets the new boy in town, Eric Mendez, a proudly queer cartoonist from Seattle who asks his pronouns, cares about art as much as he does—and makes his stomach flutter. Not what he needs to be focusing on right now. But after Eric and Miles pretend to date so they can score an invite to a couples-only Valentine’s party, the ruse turns real with a kiss, which is also definitely not in the plan. If only Miles could figure out why Eric likes him so much. After all, it's not like he’s cool or confident or comfortable in his own skin. He’s not even good enough at piano to get his fellow competitors to respect him, especially now, as Miles. Nothing’s ever been as easy for him as for other people—other boys. He’s only ever been almost enough.

So why, when he’s with Eric, does it feel like the only person he’s ever really not been enough for...is himself?

And Other Mistakes by Erika Turner (Feiwel and Friends)
A teenage girl deals with insecurities, a stressful family life, tension with friends, and being on the cross-country team, in And Other Mistakes, an inspiring Young Adult story by Erika Turner about accepting one’s self, flaws and all.

For most of her life, Aaliyah's home situation hasn't been great, but she's at least had her childhood best friend and role as a cross-country star to balance it out. But once she got outed by a church elder last spring, everything came undone -- including Aaliyah.

Now, senior year is about to start and she is determined to come back faster and wiser. No more letting other people define her. No more losing herself to their expectations.

Except... well, with new friends, old flames, nosy school counselors, and teammates who don't trust her yet, the route already feels rough. And what's with the new girl, Tessa, who gives Aaliyah butterflies every time she looks at her? Regardless, she'll be fine. Because this is the year to prove to everyone—and most of all, herself—that she's more than her mistakes. After all, even Aaliyah can't outrun everything.


The Sweetest Betrayal by Natalie Mae (Razorbill)
In this heart-pounding conclusion to The Kinder Poison trilogy—which People magazine proclaimed a "delicious high-stakes adventure"—war looms over Orkena, but can Zahru save her people without losing herself?

War has come to Orkena.

Zahru has risen as Mestrah, and she is determined to peacefully end the escalating tensions with Wyrim, her country’s longtime enemy. Yet diplomacy proves to be futile, and when Zahru turns to Orkena’s allies for help, she finds that none are willing to come to her aid—not without Kasta ruling at her side.

As Wyrim advances on the capital, Zahru is desperate to protect her people, even if that means accepting Kasta’s help. But her enemy is merciless. And as ambushes and betrayals push Zahru to increasingly dark tactics, she wonders if perhaps Kasta had it right all along: Maybe peace was never an option ... and maybe she was never meant to do this alone.

Can Zahru spare her enemy without sacrificing her kingdom? Or will Orkena’s salvation only come if Zahru becomes the monster her people need?

February 21st
Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah (Wednesday Books) - moved from fall 2022.
The flowers see everything.

The town of Bishop is known for exactly two things: recurring windstorms and an endless field of sunflowers that stretches farther than the eye can see. And women—missing women. So when Delilah, Jude, Whitney and Bo’s mothers go missing, no one in Bishop is surprised. The case is shut and the girls are left with a dusty old house and the shattered pieces of their lives. Until the wind kicks up a terrible secret at their mothers’ much delayed memorial.

Delilah just wants to move on. She's been looking after them all since their mothers went missing with the help of her boyfriend, Bennett. They just have one tiny problem: every time Bennett touches her she feels an unbearable pain searing through her.

Whitney would like for the women in her life to stop disappearing. Or dying. First, she lost her mother. Then, she lost her girlfriend, Eleanor. She finds some relief when she visits an old weathervane from the time the town was founded where she can hear Eleanor’s voice asking her for more. But more what?

Jude, Whitney’s twin sister, would rather stay home and ignore it all, but the wind kicks up her secret, too: her summer fling with Bennett, Delilah’s boyfriend, that feels like more than just a fling.

Bo wants answers, and she wants them now. She’s convinced something happened to their mothers and that the townsfolk know what it was. She’s sure of it. That’s why she pushed them to do a memorial for their mothers.

Bishop has always been a strange place. But what the girls don’t know is that this old town founded on blood is also deadly—and when it’s through with them, no one might survive.


Never A Hero by Vanessa Len (HarperCollins)

February 28th
My Dear Henry: A Jekyll and Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron (Feiwel and Friends)
In this gothic YA remix of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, a teen boy tries to discover the reason behind his best friend's disappearance―and the arrival of a mysterious and magnetic stranger―in misty Victorian London.

London, 1885. Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk, has returned to London for the first time since his life― and that of his dearest friend, Henry Jekyll―was derailed by a scandal that led to his and Henry's expuslion from the London Medical School. Whispers about the true nature of Gabriel and Henry's relationship have followed the boys for two years, and now Gabriel has a chance to start again.

But Gabriel doesn't want to move on, not without Henry. His friend has become distant and cold since the disastrous events of the prior spring, and now his letters have stopped altogether. Desperate to discover what's become of him, Gabriel takes to watching the Jekyll house.

In doing so, Gabriel meets Hyde, a a strangely familiar young man with white hair and a magnetic charisma. He claims to be friends with Henry, and Gabriel can't help but begin to grow jealous at their apparent closeness, especially as Henry continues to act like Gabriel means nothing to him.

But the secret behind Henry's apathy is only the first part of a deeper mystery that has begun to coalesce. Monsters of all kinds prowl within the London fog―and not all of them are out for blood...

Remind Me to Hate You Later by Lizzy Mason (Bloomsbury) - moved from September 2022, then from October 2022, then from November 2022.
A story about the lengths influencers will go to for fame, the pressures of social media, and the grief of losing a loved one to suicide, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Gayle Forman.

Seventeen-year-old Jules grew up in her mother's spotlight. A “parenting influencer”, Britt shares details of her daughter's life-pictures, intimate stories, insecurities, all-to a point that becomes unbearable to Jules.

And suddenly she's gone.

Natalie has only barely begun to grieve her best friend Jules' death when Britt announces her plans to publish a memoir that will dissect Jules' life and death. But Nat knows the truth behind Britt's "perfect" Instagram feed-Jules hated the pressure, the inauthenticity, the persona.

There's so much more to Jules than Britt and her followers could ever know. As Nat connects with Jules's boyfriend, Carter, and their shared grief and guilt bonds them, she becomes determined to expose Britt as a fraud, to understand what really happened, who is to blame.
In a world that feels distorted by celebrity and the manipulations of social media and public opinion, Natalie and Carter need something real to hold onto. Remind Me to Hate You Later is a moving account of grief, depression, complex relationships, love, and the search for truth.

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