2019 was an amazing year for diverse book releases and 2020 seems like it’ll be even better! This year, we’ll be seeing new releases from already-established authors and some incredible debuts from new authors! This list is made of my most anticipated middle-grade, YA and adult books of 2020.
With books from nearly all genres, you’ll definitely find something you love here! Click the book titles to make all the pre-orders your heart desires.
Without further ado, here are some of the most exciting books to look forward to in 2020!
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1. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
Publication Date: January 7th
Pitched for fans of Crazy Rich Asians, LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI follows Ever Wong, a Taiwanese-American girl who is sent by her parents to Chien Tan, an educational summer academy in Taipei notoriously known as Loveboat for its lack of adult supervision. Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?”
2. Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
Publication Date: January 14th
A retelling of one of Hans Andersen’s fairy tales, DARK AND DEEPEST RED follows two young couples in the past and future, whose fates are tied together. In summer, 1518, a Romani girl, Lavinia, her aunt Tante Dorenia and her boyfriend, a trans boy called Alifair are blamed for a strange, dancing sickness. Fast-forward to the modern-day, Rosella and Emil (a descendant of Lavinia’s family) must work together to cure the same sickness that has now afflicted Rosella.
3. All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
Publication Date: February 4th
Described as Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road leading her own Pirates Of The Carribean ship, Adalyn Grace’s debut novel is a magical tale about a Princess (Amora) who must team up with Bastian, a mysterious pirate to prove herself and protect her kingdom. Add in a destructive new magic, legendary monsters and a stow-away, and her task is going to prove far more difficult than expected! An excerpt of this book is available on EW so make sure you check it out! Trigger warnings from the author include: violence and death, attempted sexual assault, an abusive relationship and drinking.
4. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Publication Date: February 5th
THE SOUND OF STARS is a YA debut set in a dystopian world where all art, books and creative expression are illegal. However, our two MCs are a bisexual, fat Black girl, Ellie who loves books and an alien (Morris) who loves pop music. Their love for these forbidden things pulls them together and they embark on a dangerous road trip that just might save them both.
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5. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
Publication Date: February 18th
Sandhya Menon, the author of award-winning YA contemporary, When Dimple Met Rishi delivers yet another incredible story; this time, a diverse retelling of the popular fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Princess Jaya Rao’s family and the Emerson clan have been feuding families for decades. When the horrible Emerson clan targets Princess Jaya Rao’s little sister, she attends his boarding school to get revenge by making His Lordship Grey Emerson fall in love with her and then, breaking his heart. On the other hand, Grey is a misanthrope who’s under an ancient curse. The two begin to fall for each other and they grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
6. Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: March 3rd
The best-selling author of The Bone Witch is back with an own-voices YA urban fantasy about The magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice after a war with the Snow Queen. And now, Tala a Filipina heroine, Tala (who has little use for magic), and her family have been saddled with the responsibility of guarding the Avalon’s last Prince, Alexei. However, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, a legendary firebird has also appeared on her doorstep, and the Snow Queen who was long-thought dead wants the firebird’s magic for her own. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
7. Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Publication Date: March 3rd
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless, inspired by Grease in this coming-of-age story about second chance romances. Ollie meets his dream guy, Will over the summer break but towards the end of summer, Will jilts him without an explanation or even a test! When Ollie transfers to another school, he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to. Although, Will is an entirely different person there; closeted and the class clown, not to mention also a jerk. Ollie has no intention of letting Will break his heart again but this is not working out so well…
8. A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope (edited by Patrice Caldwell)
Publication Date: March 10th
This is a YA speculative fiction anthology centered around Black girl magic! Edited by Patrice Caldwell, it’s an anthology of 16 tales which explore the Black experience through the eyes of Black women and gender non-conforming people. The stories cover multiple genres like fantasy, sci-fi and paranormal. The stories are written by award-winning and best-selling authors like; Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, Ibi Zoboi and Patrice Caldwell (the editor).
9. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Publication Date: March 26th
Hugo Award-winning and NYT best-selling author, N.K. Jemisin releases her first standalone fantasy novel about five New Yorkers who must work together to save their city from destruction. Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five. But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.
10. Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
Publication Date: March 31st
This debut is an own-voices middle grade novel about the immigration crisis in America from the POV of a young Mexican-American, Efren Nava whose life is turned upside down when his mother is deported. In the wake of this, Efren struggles to look after his young brother and sister and find a way to get his Amá home. The author says, “I wrote the book for her (his daughter)… so she could see that people of colour, people of Mexican descent, are worth writing and reading about. I wanted her to see her world depicted in a book. I hope you connect with this story.” I hope you do too. Go get it!
11. Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega
Publication Date: April 7th
Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural, middle-grade fantasy about a young Black girl, Lucely and her best friend, Syd who cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits and must now wok together with Syd’s grandma and her cat to reverse the curse before it’s too late.
12. Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed
Publication Date: April 7th
This 2020 YA contemporary is the newest novel from Samira Ahmed, the author of Love, Hate and Other Filters, one of my favourite reads of all time. It explores the connection between 17-year-old American, French, Indian and Muslim, Khayyam in Paris (2019) and 19th-century Muslim woman, Leila. Khayyam is having a hard time on her holiday while centuries before, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favoured status in his harem. Together with a descendant of Alexandre Dumas, Khayyam begins to connect her life with Leila’s. Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.
13. Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
Publication Date: April 21st
In the second novel in the Modern Love series after The Right Swipe, romance author Alisha Rai discusses what happens when the privacy of innocent people is exposed by social media. Katrina is a camera-shy ex-model whose innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop is live-tweeted by a stranger. However, Katrina wants a low-profile life away from the attention.. Enter Jas Singh, bodyguard and friend who whisks her away from the prying eyes of the Internet!
14. Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova
Publication Date: April 28th
Inspired by the Inquisition-era Spain, Incendiary is a YA fantasy about Renata Convida, a magical Moria who has the ability to steal memories from people. This ability puts her at the center of the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now, she’s one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and she’s planning revenge against the people who cost her everything. When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. In the palace, Renata uncovers a secret in her past that could change the fate of the kingdom – and turn the tides of the war that has cost her everything.
15. Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
After her father goes missing, 12-year-old Maya uncovers that he is the keeper of the gateway between our world and The Dark. To find her father, she’ll need to unlock her own powers and fight a horde of creatures set on starting a war. Stranger Things meets Percy Jackson set on the south side of Chicago. This is another cute middle-grade 2020 book about Black Girl magic!
16. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Publication Date: May 12th
When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom-com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses. Nishat is a lesbian, Muslim Bengali student whose family does not accept her sexuality forcing her to hide who she is. However, when she enters a business competition at school selling henna designs, she falls for another girl, Flavia who’s starting the same business. Their lives get tangled and Nishat realizes there might be more to Flavia than she realized. This book includes conversations about cultural appropriation and the intersection between race and sexuality, while showing queer, Brown girls learning to love and accept each other.
17. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Publication Date: May 14th
Camino Rios lives in the Dominican Republic and is visited by her father every summer while Yahaira Rios lives with him in New York City. The two sisters know nothing about each other… until their father dies. In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.
18. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Publication Date: May 26th
This West-African inspired YA fantasy is set in a world where there are those of pure blood and those of impure blood. When Deka is deemed impure due to her golden blood, she is faced with a choice: stay in her village and accept a fate worse than death, or join an army of gifted girls and fight for the emperor. Her journey will reveal many surprises about the city and herself.”
19. I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch
Publication Date: May 26th
For fans of cute, sapphic romances, I Kissed Alice is an enemies-to-lovers 2020 YA contemporary. Rhodes and Iliana are artists at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts. Rhodes is incredibly gifted while Iliana is an intense, competitive transfer student. And of course, they hate each other’s guts. However, their online personalities who’re collaborating on a graphic novel are starting to fall for each other. What happens when the truth is revealed?
20. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
Publication Date: June 2nd
An amazing YA debut for fans of Children of Blood and Bone, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a West African-inspired fantasy about two people who have sworn to kill each other but end up falling in love. Karina, the Crown Princess of Ziran needs a King’s heart to raise her mother from the dead while Malik needs to kill the Crown Princess to get his abducted sister back. However, things get complicated when ancient evils stir and they begin falling for each other…
21. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Publication Date: June 2nd
Liz Lighty is a poor, Black girl in Campbell, Indiana who has plans to attend to attend the uber-elite Pennington College. Her plans come crashing down when she doesn’t get the financial aid she’s been expecting. So she decides to participate in the prom competiton to win the scholarship. Along the way, she becomes close to Mack, the new girl in school who’s also participating. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true? You Should See Me in a Crown is a story about queer, Black love and it’s perfect for everyone!
22. The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
Publication Date: June 9th
Ciara Smyth’s debut novel is an f/f rom-com about Saoirse, a recently-graduated girl who doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. And for good reason too; her mother has early onset dementia and she may have inherited it… However, when she meets Ruby at a party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. They agree to have a summer of fun inspired by rom-com montages. But what happens when this leads to something real?
23. I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
Publication Date: June 16th
Debut author, Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com about a plus-sized Korean-american bi girl who enters a reality competition to be a kpop star. Skye Shin dreams of joining the world of k-pop and to do that, she has to challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally-televised competition! When she nails her audition, she has to deal with the fat phobic industry, her sudden fame and feelings for fellow competitor, Henry Cho.”
Related: Most Anticipated 2019 Books
24. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publication Date: June 30th
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a re-imagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico — and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets. Noemi is a glamorous debutante who receives a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin and rushes to the rescue. There, she has to deal with her cousin’s new husband, his father and the house itself, the isolated High Palace which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
25. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Publication Date: July 7th
Cinderella is Dead is a fiercely-feminist book about queer, Black girls overthrowing the patriarchy! This book is set in a world where teen girls are forced to appear at the Annual Ball so that rich men can select them as wives. Sophia escapes from the ball and meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew.
26. Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor
Expected Publication: August 18th, 2020
A story about corruption, magic and revenge, Ikenga is about a boy, Nnamdi who intends to avenge his murdered father, an upright Chief of Police. He finds a mystical object that gives him superpowers and vows to use his powers for good and to fulfil his mission.
27. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Expected Publication: September 1st
One of the most-anticipated books of 2020, CEMETERY BOYS is about a Latinx trans, gay boy, Yadriel who’s hoping to release his cousin’s spirit and prove himself as a brujo. However, he accidentally summons the wrong ghost (resident bad boy, Julian) and ends up falling in love with him.
28. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Expected Publication: October 6th, 2020
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
29. The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood
Expected Publication: November 17th
Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, Bad Muslim Discount is a hilarious, timely, and provocative comic novel about being Muslim immigrants in modern America. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, debut author Syed Masood examines quirky and intense familial relationships, arranged marriage, Islamic identity, and how to live together in modern America.
30. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Expected Publication: November 17th, 2020
Chloe Gong’s debut YA fantasy is pitched as a Romeo and Juliet retelling by way of The Godfather! A monster has awakened in 1920s Shanghai, killing off citizens and stirring trouble between two feuding gangs. The rival heirs, Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, must work together before the monster destroys all they hold dear, even while the Chinese Civil War breaks out around them.”
So, that’s the list! I hope you were able to add many of these 2020 book releases to your TBR list! If you’re interested in any of them, it’ll help a lot if you pre-order them with my links in the book titles. Thank you! 😚❤
What books are you looking forward to in 2020?
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