Another new post for upcoming releases? Why not. I already made a post for my anticipated Fantasy books, and now it’s time for me to show y’all the list of Young Adult (YA) books I’m looking forward to read in 2021.
The YA books I’m talking about here is YA-Contemporary, not to get it confused with YA-Fantasy. I haven’t read many YA-Contemporary since 2017, only like 2-3 books per year after that. I’m hoping to get back into it in 2021.
The only time I was reading too much YA-Contemporary was during my teenage years, when I was still in high school. When I reach adulthood (the moment I turned 20), I started to stray away from the YA genre, especially for the Contemporary books and from that moment I’ve been reading a lot of New Adult and Adult Contemporary (Romance). As for Fantasy books, they still have a strong place in my heart and there is no way I want to stray away from them—be it Young Adult, New Adult or Adult.
Ever since I started reading too much of New Adult and Adult Contemporary books, I actually felt like a piece of me was missing, and I knew that piece was my love for YA Contemporary books. So, I’m making it my mission to read many YA-Contemporaries in 2021, just like how much I’ve been reading Fantasy books every year. It’s time for me to get back into reading YA.
P/S: the list of YA-Fantasy books are all in my MOST ANTICIPATED FANTASY BOOKS OF 2021 post!
Without wasting any more time, let’s see the list of YA books I’m excited for…
TO WHATEVER END BY LINDSEY FRYDMAN
Publication Date: January 4, 2021
What if every person you met, after just one touch, you have a vision of the last time you’ll see each other? Ever. Normally, these visions are innocent—two friends just drifting apart, a random stranger that brushed past you then never crossed your path again.
But not today.
When I accidentally touch him, within only moments of our first meeting, I’m bombarded by visions of his death.
And from what I can see, I’m the reason he dies.
Now I just need to figure out why, and how to stop this from happening. Because not only am I to blame, but his very last words to me are…I love you.
11 PAPER HEARTS BY KELSEY HARTWELL
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Ella’s life was picture perfect. She had a circle of close friends, a jam-packed social life, and an amazing boyfriend. But then something completely unexpected happened: a car accident after Valentine’s Day dance. When Ella woke up in the hospital, she couldn’t remember the accident…or anything about the weeks before it, including the reason she broke up with her boyfriend.
Now, a year later, she begins receiving paper hearts from a mysterious admirer who seems to have the answers she craves. Ella is intrigued. The hearts contain clues to help Ella remember her life before…and take her on a journey she never imagined. Following the paper hearts is the most spontaneous thing Ella has ever done…but will she find love?
LOVE SPELLS AND OTHER DISASTERS BY ANGIE BARRETT
Publication Date: February 1, 2021
I didn’t know when I wrote the first love spell that it would actually make things happen. Like, actually make people fall in love with each other…
How could I have known something like that? I mean, magic isn’t real, right?
But here’s the thing—the spell does work and so does the next one and the next one…and suddenly I’m getting a whole lot of attention from everyone at my high school. Me, Blend-into-the-Walls, Please-Let-Me-Introvert-in-Peace Rowan Marshall. And not only that, but I’ve also caught the attention of Luca Russo, a godlike, football-playing hottie who claims he likes me just the way I am. Ummm…
But as I’m about to learn, playing around with things you don’t understand means when things go wrong—like really, very awfully wrong—you don’t know how to fix them.
THE EDGE OF FALLING BY REBECCA SERLE
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Caggie never wanted to be a hero, but some things are decided for us. Growing up among Manhattan’s social elite, Caggie always had everything she could want, including a storied last name. But after saving a girl from the brink of suicide, Caggie becomes infamous, and now all she wants is to be left alone.
After all, she’s still reeling from the death of her younger sister last January, the subsequent destruction of her relationship with her high school boyfriend, Trevor, and the way in which her family has since fallen apart.
So when mysterious Astor appears on the Upper East Side, he just might be the rescue she needs. But what is he hiding? As life as she knew it begins to unravel, Caggie realizes Astor’s past may be as dark as her own. And in a world in which she’s been branded a hero, Caggie will soon discover that no one can save you…not until you save yourself.
AMELIA UNABRIDGED BY ASHLEY SCHUMACHER
Publication Date: February 16, 2021
Sparks fly between two teens as they grapple with grief, love, and the future.
Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.
In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.
When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.
Amelia Unabridged is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.
IT’S KIND OF A CHEESY LOVE STORY BY LAUREN MORRILL
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
After her mother gave birth to her in the bathroom of a local pizzeria, Beck Brix been given the dubious privilege of having minor fame, free pizza for life, and a guaranteed job when she turns sixteen—a job she unfortunately can’t afford to turn down.
Stuck with geeky co-workers instead of taking Instagram-ready shots with her wealthy, photogenic friends, Beck finally realizes what she’s spent her whole life trying to hide: that Hot ‘n Crusty is a part of her.
Then disaster strikes the beloved pizza parlor that’s become like home, Beck realizes that it takes losing something to really know what it’s worth.
FIVE WAYS TO FALL OUT OF LOVE BY EMILY MARTIN
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…
Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.
As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?
THE SECRET RECIPE FOR MOVING ON BY KAREN BISCHER
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
When Ellie is dumped by her boyfriend, she’s forced to make new friends (while watching her ex swoon over his new girlfriend).
Ellie Agresti’s not sure anything could be worse than being dumped by her boyfriend, Hunter, the first day of senior year.
But sharing a “life skills” class with him and his new girlfriend, Brynn? AND getting partnered with a “family” of misfits (A.J., the loudmouth; Isaiah, the horse-racing obsessive; and Luke, the tattooed stunt-biker)?
It’s recipe for certain disaster…until an in-class competition allows Ellie to channel her angst into beating Hunter and Brynn’s team, and she unexpectedly bonds with her own group—especially Luke—in the process.
But as Ellie soon discovers, it will take more than classroom triumphs to heal her broken heart—and find herself again.
THE HALF-ORPHAN’S HANDBOOK BY JOAN F. SMITH
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
A coming-of-age story with an empathetic, authentic exploration of grief with a sharp sense of humor and a big heart.
It’s been three months since Lila lost her father to suicide. Since then, she’s learned to protect herself from pain by following two unbreakable rules:
- The only people who can truly hurt you are the ones you love. Therefore, love no one.
- Stay away from liars. Liars are the worst.
But when Lila’s mother sends her to summer-long grief camp, it’s suddenly harder for Lila to follow these rules. Potential new friends and an unexpected crush threaten to drag her back into life for the first time since her dad’s death.
On top of everything, there’s more about what happened that Lila doesn’t know, and facing the truth about her family will be the hardest part of learning how a broken heart can love again.
KISSES AND CROISSANTS BY ANNE-SOPHIE JOUHANNEAU
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, with writing as crisp as a freshly baked baguette, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait.
Sixteen-year-old Mia, an American girl at an elite summer ballet program, has six weeks to achieve her dreams: to snag an audition with one of the world’s best ballet companies. But there’s more to Paris than ballet—especially when a charming French boy, Louis, wants to be her tour guide—and the pair discover the city has a few mysteries up its sleeve.
WHERE THE ROAD LEADS US BY ROBIN REUL
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
An uplifting coming-of-age story about two teens who hit the road on a journey to forge their own paths.
Jack has always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, but when his dad suddenly dies, Jack’s carefully thought out plans start to unravel. Longing for closure before he leaves for college, Jack decides to go to San Francisco and find his estranged brother, Alex. If he can heal things with Alex, he might be able to truly move forward.
Hallie is sitting on huge news that she isn’t ready to share with anyone. And she doesn’t want to think about it, either, because a friend from her online cancer support group has taken a turn for the worst. There’s a small window to travel to Oregon to say goodbye, so she buys a bus ticket and tells her parents she’s going to a friend’s for the weekend.
Jack and Hallie had a class together years ago and haven’t seen each other since, but fate puts them into the same ride-share to the bus terminal. When wildfires in Los Angeles cause major travel delays, Jack comes up with an unconventional way to get to their destinations. With the clock ticking and a lot on the line for both, the two set off on an unexpected adventure that may lead them to their own true selves…and maybe to each other.
shipped by meredith tate
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Can two IRL enemies find their happily ever after online?
Stella Greene and Wesley Clarke are Gene Connolly Memorial High School’s biggest rivals. While the two have been battling it out for top student, it’s a race to the bottom when it comes to snide comments and pulling the dirtiest prank. For years, Stella and Wes have been the villain in each other’s story, and now it’s all-out war.
And there is no bigger battle than the one for valedictorian, and more specifically, the coveted valedictorian scholarship.
But Stella and Wes have more in common than they think. Both are huge fans of Warship Seven, a popular sci-fi TV drama with a dedicated online following, and the two start chatting under aliases—without a clue that their rival is just beyond the screen. They realize that they’re both attending SciCon this year, so they plan to dress in their best cosplay and finally meet IRL.
While tensions at school are rising and SciCon inches closer and closer, the enemy lines between Stella and Wes blur when a class project shows them they might understand one another better than anyone else—and not just in cosplay.
LAST CHANCE BOOKS BY KELSEY RODKEY
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning?
Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt.
Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down.
Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be…extremely cute.
But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars.
SIXTEEN SCANDALS BY SOPHIE JORDAN
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Newly minted sixteen-year-old Primrose Ainsworth finds herself on a wayward birthday adventure through London with a mysterious hero.
The youngest of four daughters, Primrose Ainsworth is used to getting lost in the shuffle. But when her parents decide to delay her debut into English society, Prim hatches a plan to go rogue on the night of her sixteenth birthday.
Donning a mask, Prim escapes to the infamous Vauxhall Gardens for one wild night. When her cover is nearly blown, a mysterious stranger intercedes, and Prim finds an unexpected partner in mischief…and romance. But when it’s revealed her new ally isn’t who he says he is, her one night of fun may last past dawn.
Sometimes a little scandal can be a good thing.
BETWEEN YOU, ME, AND THE HONEYBEES BY AMELIA DIANE COOMBS
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Josie Hazeldine has just graduated from high school, and she’s ready for a summer full of sunshine, beekeeping, and…lying to her mom.
Josie’s mom couldn’t be more proud of her daughter going to college, something she never got to do. But Josie wants to stay in her California hometown and take over the family business, Hazeldine Honey. So that college acceptance her mom is thrilled about? Yeah, Josie turned it down. But she’s going to come clean—just not yet.
The neighbor’s artsy, adorable grandson who’s in town for the summer makes Josie’s web of lies even more tangled. He’s into Josie and the feeling is mutual, but he’s a Blumstein—the sworn enemy of the Hazeldines and their number one competition in the annual Honey Show at the end of July. As their secret fling goes on, Josie knows she’s getting in way too deep to leave him behind when summer’s over.
Can Josie keep the boy she can’t stop thinking about without the secrets she’s juggling crashing down around her?
YOU AND ME AT THE END OF THE WORLD BY BRIANNA BOURNE
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
This is no ordinary apocalypse…
Hannah Ashton wakes up to silence. the entire city around her is empty, except for one other person: Leo Sterling. Leo might be the hottest boy ever (and not just because he’s the only one left), but he’s also too charming, too selfish, and too devastating for his own good, let alone Hannah’s.
Stuck with only each other, they explore a world with no parents, no friends, and no school and realize that they can be themselves instead of playing the parts everyone expects of them. Hannah doesn’t have to be just an overachieving, music-box-perfect ballerina, and Leo can be more than a slacker, 80s-glam-metal-obsessed guitarist. Leo is a burst of honesty and fun that draws Hannah out, and Hannah’s got Leo thinking about someone other than himself for the first time.
Together, they search for answers amid crushing isolation, but while their empty world may appear harmless…it’s not. Because nothing is quite as it seems, and if Hannah and Leo don’t figure out what’s going on, they might just be torn apart forever.
IN THE WILD LIGHT BY JEFF ZENTNER
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He’s been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen.
But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind.
That’s all I have for this post, and honestly, these books do sound great and intriguing. I’m really looking forward to read it all.
Did you see any books you like in this post or the ones that are already on your TBR? Let me know in the comment!