Now that we’ve got our fave books of 2022 figured out, ’tis the season to fill up our TBRs with our most anticipated books of 2023! (Minor spoilers possibly ahead for sequels and follow-ups.)

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Title: City of Nightmares (City of Nightmares #1)
Author: Rebecca Schaeffer
Publication Date: City of Nightmares
Series: 2023 January 10

Official Blurb:

Gotham meets Strange the Dreamer in this thrilling young adult fantasy about a cowardly girl who finds herself at the center of a criminal syndicate conspiracy, in a city where crooked politicians and sinister cults reign and dreaming means waking up as your worst nightmare.


Ever since her sister became a man-eating spider and slaughtered her way through town, nineteen-year-old Ness has been terrified—terrified of some other Nightmare murdering her, and terrified of ending up like her sister. Because in Newham, the city that never sleeps, dreaming means waking up as your worst fear.


Whether that means becoming a Nightmare that’s monstrous only in appearance, to transforming into a twisted, unrecognizable creature that terrorizes the city, no one is safe. Ness will do anything to avoid becoming another victim, even if that means lying low among the Friends of the Restful Soul, a questionable organization that may or may not be a cult.


But being a member of maybe-cult has a price. In order to prove herself, Ness cons her way into what’s supposed to be a simple job for the organization—only for it to blow up in her face. Literally. Tangled up in the aftermath of an explosive assassination, now Ness and the only other survivor—a Nightmare boy who Ness suspects is planning to eat her—must find their way back to Newham and uncover the sinister truth behind the attack, even as the horrors of her past loom ominously near.

Why I’m Excited:

They had me at “Ever since her sister became a man-eating spider and slaughtered her way through town, nineteen-year-old Ness has been terrified …” -Mandy C.

(Seconded by Stephanie)

Title: Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publication Date: 2023 January 10
Series: Alex Stern

Why I’m Excited:

The Alex Stern series is more adult than YA, but I’m always excited when a new Bardugo’s coming out. And I’m definitely also here for more of the dark academia vibes of Ninth House. -Mandy C.

(Seconded by Rosemary)

Title: Karma of the Sun
Author: Brandon Ying Kit Boey
Publication Date: 2023 January 17

Official Blurb:

Six Suns, six blasts in the sky; a seventh one, and the earth will die.


In the isolation of the Himalayas, the snows still fall, but they are tinged with the ash of a nuclear winter; the winds still blow, but they wail with the cries of ghosts. The seventh and final blast is near. As the world heaves its final breaths, the people of the Tibetan plateau—civilization’s final survivors—are haunted by spirits and terrorized by warlords. Though the last of the seven prophesied cataclysms is at hand, young Karma searches for a father who disappeared ten years earlier, presumed dead.


Driven by a yearning to see his father again before the end, and called by an eerie horn unheard by anyone else, Karma forges into the Himalayas and discovers that his father’s disappearance may be linked to a mystical mountain said to connect the physical world with the spirit lands—and a possible way to save their doomed future.

Why I’m Excited:

Post-apocalyptic Tibet. I mean, what more could you ask for? -Brian

Title: 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did)
Author: Tess Sharpe
Publication Date: 2023 January 24

Official Blurb:

Six moments lead us to two girls, one kiss, and three little words that were maybe always true in this gorgeous novel perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Jenny Han.

 
Penny and Tate have always clashed. Unfortunately, their mothers are lifelong best friends, so the girls’ bickering has carried them through playdates, tragedy, and more than one rom-com marathon with the Moms. When Penny’s mother decides to become a living donor to Tate’s mom, ending her wait for a liver transplant, things go from clashing to cataclysmic. Because in order to help their families recover physically, emotionally, and financially, the Moms combine their households the summer before senior year.


So Penny and Tate make a pact: They’ll play nice. Be the drama-free daughters their mothers need through this scary and hopeful time. There’s only one little hitch in their plan: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.

 
It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.

 
They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other. And some things—like their kisses—can’t be almosts forever.

Why I’m Excited:

I really enjoyed Sharpe’s last book, Girl Most Likely, so I’m hoping it’s more of the same: smart writing, a realistic, positive queer romance, and well-rounded characters. -Stephanie

Title: Retro
Authors: Sofía Lapuente and Jarrod Shusterman
Publication Date: 2023 January 24

Official Blurb:

What starts off as a light-hearted competition to live without modern technology for a year turns into a fight for survival in this unputdownable young adult thriller by New York Times bestselling author Jarrod Shusterman and debut author Sofía Lapuente.


To save her struggling family, Luna enters a competition offering reward money to anyone who can successfully live without modern technology for a year. But when this social experiment turns sinister and her classmates start disappearing, her family’s livelihood might not be the only thing she’s in danger of losing.

Why I’m Excited:

Could you go without modern technology for a year? This book will help you find out. -Brian

Title: Spice Road (The Spice Road Trilogy #1)
Author: Maiya Ibrahim
Publication Date: 2023 January 24
Series: The Spice Road Trilogy

Official Blurb:

The first book in an epic fantasy series for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal and Elizabeth Lim, set in an Arabian-inspired land. Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, seventeen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother whose betrayal is now their greatest threat.


In the hidden desert city of Qalia, secret spice magic awakens affinities in those who drink the misra tea. With an affinity for iron, seventeen-year-old Imani wields a dagger like no other warrior, garnering her the reputation as the next greatest Shield for battling the dangerous djinn, ghouls, and other monsters that lurk in the sands beyond city limits.


Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother who tarnished the family name after he was discovered stealing their nation’s coveted spice – a tell-tale sign of magical obsession. He disappeared soon after, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes, and leaving Imani reeling with both betrayal and grief.


But when Imani uncovers evidence her brother may be alive and spreading their nation’s magic beyond the desert, she strikes a deal with the Council to find him and bring him back to Qalia before he can reveal the city’s location. Accompanied by Qayn, a roguish but handsome djinni, and Taha, a powerful beastseer whose magical talents are matched only by his arrogance, they set out on their mission.


Imani will soon discover there are many secrets that lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes – and in her own heart – but will she find her brother before his betrayals endanger the fate of all of Qalia?


In this epic and action-packed fantasy, one young heroine navigates the treacherous road between protecting the ones you love and staying loyal to the place you call home.

Why I’m Excited:

I’m less excited that this is a trilogy because I hate waiting for books to be released but look at this cover! It’s giving very classic “fantasy-adventure quest” in an intriguing new world with spice-magic. I’m excited!  -Stephanie

Title: Viva Lola Espinoza
Author: Ella Cerón
Publication Date: 2023 January 24

Official Blurb:

A debut young adult novel that’s Booksmart with a dash of magic, about a Mexican American teen who spends the summer in Mexico City, meets two very cute boys, attempts to learn Spanish, and uncovers a family secret that changes her life forever.


Lola Espinoza is cursed in love. Well, maybe not actually cursed — magic isn’t real, is it? When Lola goes to spend the summer with her grandmother in Mexico City and meets handsome, flirtatious Rio, she discovers the unbelievable truth: Magic is very real, and what she’d always written off as bad luck is actually, truly . . . a curse. If Lola ever wants to fall in love without suffering the consequences, she’ll have to break the curse. She finds an unlikely curse-breaking companion in Javi, a seemingly stoic boy she meets while working in her cousin’s restaurant. Javi is willing to help Lola look into this family curse of hers, and Lola needs all the help she can get. Over the course of one summer — filled with food, family, and two very different boys — Lola explores Mexico City while learning about herself, her heritage, and the magic around us all.

Why I’m Excited:

Two of my great loves: Mexican food and Mexico City. Seriously. It’s an underrated town. -Brian

Title: Seven Faceless Saints (Seven Faceless Saints #1)
Author: M.K. Lobb
Publication Date: 2023 February 07
Series: Seven Faceless Saints

Official Blurb:

Discover what’s lurking in the shadows in this dark fantasy debut with a murder-mystery twist, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco.


In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.


After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazian military, Rossana Lacertosa is willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system—tapping into her powers as a disciple of Patience, joining the rebellion, and facing the boy who broke her heart. As the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, Damian Venturi is expected to be ruthless and strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting in a never-ending war have left him with deeper scars than he wants to admit…and a fear of confronting the girl he left behind.


Now a murderer stalks Ombrazia’s citizens. As the body count climbs, the Palazzo is all too happy to look the other way—that is, until a disciple becomes the newest victim. With every lead turning into a dead end, Damian and Roz must team up to find the killer, even if it means digging up buried emotions. As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?

Why I’m Excited:

A dark fantasy featuring a murder mystery and exes who must work together to solve it is right up my alley. I’m also Very Curious about the world-building in this one! -Mandy C.

Title: The Severed Thread (The Bone Spindle #2)
Author: Leslie Vedder
Publication Date: 2023 February 07
Series: The Bone Spindle

Why I’m Excited:

The Bone Spindle was one of my top books of 2022, so you can be sure I’m anxiously awaiting jumping back into adventure with Fi, Shane, and Briar Rose. -Mandy C.

Title: Artfully Yours
Author: Joanna Lowell
Publication Date: 2023 February 21

Official Blurb:

Sparks fly between a lordly art critic and a lady forger in this enthralling Victorian historical romance from the author of The Runaway Duchess.


Nina Finch isn’t suited for a life of crime. Raised by her art-forger brother, she can paint like Botticelli. But she’d so much rather be baking gooseberry tarts. She finally has the money she needs to open her own bakery. Unfortunately, her brother’s carelessness lands her—and their forgeries—directly under the nose of London’s most discerning art critic, Alan De’Ath. De’Ath knows the paintings are fake. He doesn’t know that Nina had a hand in their creation. In fact, he offers her a job in his household. Accepting it is the most dangerous thing she has ever done….


Alan takes pride in seeing things other people miss. He plans to catch the forger and cement his reputation. There’s only one problem: the closer he gets to the beguiling woman he hired, the less he trusts his perspective. Nina isn’t what she seems. But despite their false start, she just might hold the real key to his heart.


As Nina and Alan’s attraction grows, divided loyalties threaten to pull them apart and shatter their worlds. They’ll lose everything, or discover how powerful true love can be….

Why I’m Excited:

Lowell has been writing some of my favorite adult historical romances recently with realistic plotlines (don’t get me wrong: a drama-laden book has its place, but I don’t always want them to just instantly fall in love. Make ‘em work for it!). She takes the “show don’t tell” mantra to heart when it comes to explaining why these two people fall in love. -Stephanie

Title: She Is a Haunting
Author: Trang Thanh Tran
Publication Date: 2023 February 28

Official Blurb:

A house with a terrifying appetite haunts a broken family in this atmospheric horror, perfect for fans of Mexican Gothic.


When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised.


But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound, while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves her cryptic warnings: Don’t eat.


Neither Ba nor her sweet sister Lily believe that there is anything strange happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade will prove this house—the home her family has always wanted—will not rest until it destroys them. Maybe, this time, she can keep her family together. As she roots out the house’s rot, she must also face the truth of who she is and who she must become to save them all.

Why I’m Excited:

I don’t normally go for spooky books, but I could get in the mood for this! -Mandy W.

(Seconded by Stephanie)

Title: I’ll Take Everything You Have
Author: James Klise
Publication Date: 2023 February 28

Official Blurb:

From an Edgar Award-winning author, this historical noir novel follows the life-changing summer of sixteen-year-old Joe Garbe as he discovers queer community in 1930s Chicago and gets caught up in the city’s crooked underbelly.


In the summer of 1934, Joe Garbe arrives in Chicago with one goal: Earn enough money to get out of debt and save the family farm. Joe’s cousin sets him up with a hotel job, then proposes a sketchy scheme to make a lot more money fast. While running his con, Joe finds himself splitting time between Eddie, a handsome flirt on a delivery truck, and Raymond, a carefree rich kid who shows Joe the eye-opening queer life around every corner of the big city.


Joe’s exposure to the surface of criminal Chicago pulls him into something darker than he could have imagined. When danger closes in—from gangsters, the police, and people he thought were friends—Joe needs to pack up and get lost. But before he can figure out where to go, he has to decide who he wants to be.


I’ll Take Everything You Have is a vivid portrayal of queer coming of age in Depression-era Chicago, and a timeless story of trying to make your future bright when the rest of the world is dead set on keeping it hidden in the dark.

Why I’m Excited:

1930s gay romance by one of my favorite authors who hasn’t had anything published in far too long? Look for my Between Two Lockers interview in February! -Brian

Title: Immortality: A Love Story (The Anatomy Duology #2)
Author: Dana Schwartz
Publication Date: 2023 February 28
Series: The Anatomy Duology

Why I’m Excited:

Schwartz’s Anatomy: A Love Story ended with a surprising twist and a lot of unanswered questions, and I’m extremely curious to see where she takes this story and characters. Is [REDACTED] alive??? Are they immortal???  -Rosemary

Title: Lola at Last
Author: J.C. Peterson
Publication Date: 2023 February 28

Official Blurb:

This Pride and Prejudice–inspired tale—a companion to J.C. Peterson’s Being Mary Bennet—spins a modern Lydia Bennet’s life into a tumultuous and hilarious coming-of-age journey, complete with misadventures, misunderstandings, mayhem, and a romance worthy of Darcy and Elizabeth themselves.


Lola Barnes’s summer is not off to the best start.


Fresh off a scandal that tanked her social status, Lola has somehow managed to also alienate her twin sister, lose the friends she thought she had, and put a . . . fiery end to the first party of the summer.


(The boat was barely on fire, for the record—and all the partygoers were just fine.)


Lola is given an ultimatum: jail time, or spend the summer with the nonprofit Hike Like a Girl.


Everyone seems to expect Lola to fail. But even as Lola encounters bugs, blisters, and bears (oh my!), she finds something greater that she’d been missing all along: unexpected friends, a sweet romance, strength she didn’t know she had—and herself, Lola, at last.


J.C. Peterson breathes new life into Pride and Prejudice’s troublemaking Lydia Bennet in this unstoppably fun yet startlingly moving journey perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Emma Lord—proving that you can always find a new direction, no matter where you’re coming from.

Why I’m Excited:

When I wrote my review for Peterson’s Being Mary Bennet earlier this year, I said, AND I QUOTE: “I’d be interested in an entire book dedicated to Lola, the party girl who recently returned home after a scandalous semester in France.” Turns out I got my wish, Peterson had already written it! -Rosemary

Title: A Long Stretch of Bad Days
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publication Date: 2023 March 14

Official Blurb:

Lydia Chass doesn’t mind living in a small town; she just doesn’t want to die in one. A lifetime of hard work has put her on track to attend a prestigious journalism program and leave Henley behind—until a school error leaves her a credit short of graduating. Undeterred, Lydia has a plan to earn that credit: transform her listener-friendly local history podcast into a truth-telling exposé. She’ll investigate the Long Stretch of Bad Days: a week when Henley was hit by a tornado and a flash food as well as its first—and only—murder, which remains unsolved.


But Lydia needs help to bring grit to the show. Bristal Jamison has a bad reputation and a foul mouth, but she also needs a credit to graduate. The unexpected partnership brings together the Chass family—a pillar of the community—and the rough-and-tumble Jamisons, with Bristal hoping to be the first in her family to graduate. Together, they dig into the town’s worst week, determined to solve the murder.


Their investigation unearths buried secrets: a hidden town brothel, lost family treasure, and a teen girl who disappeared. But the past is never far, and some don’t want it to see the light. As threats escalate, the girls have to uncover the truth before the dark history of Henley catches up with them.


This gripping mystery from award-winning author Mindy McGinnis shows the power of a name and one lie and how two girls can use their voices to change a town forever.

Why I’m Excited:

After this year’s The Last Laugh, the synopsis for McGinnis’ newest book seems tame in comparison – two girls start a local podcast about a particularly bad week in their town’s history. But I’ve read enough Mindy McGinnis books to know that her thrillers are gonna THRILL. -Rosemary

Title: Midnight Strikes
Author: Zeba Shahnaz
Publication Date: 2023 March 14

Official Blurb:

In this explosive fantasy debut with a time-loop twist, a provincial girl must work with a roguish prince to stop an attack on the royal family and escape a nightmarish curse that forces them to relive the same night again and again.


Seventeen-year-old Anaïs just wants tonight to end. As an outsider at the kingdom’s glittering anniversary ball, she has no desire to rub shoulders with the nation’s most eligible (and pompous) bachelors—especially not the notoriously roguish Prince Leo. But at the stroke of midnight, an explosion rips through the palace, killing everyone in its path. Including her.


The last thing Anaïs sees is fire, smoke, chaos . . . and then she wakes up in her bedroom, hours before the ball. No one else remembers the deadly attack or believes her warnings of disaster.


Not even when it happens again. And again. And again.


If she’s going to escape this nightmarish time loop, Anaïs must take control of her own fate and stop the attack before it happens. But the court’s gilded surface belies a rotten core, full of restless nobles grabbing at power, discontented commoners itching for revolution, and even royals who secretly dream of taking the throne. It’s up to Anaïs to untangle these knots of deadly deceptions . . . if she can survive past midnight.

Why I’m Excited:

Time loop in a fantasy — SAY NO MORE, MON AMOUR. -Mandy W.

Title: While You Were Dreaming
Author: Alisha Rai
Publication Date: 2023 March 21

Official Blurb:

This YA debut from powerhouse romance author Alisha Rai tackles undocumented immigration against the backdrop of viral online fame, fake dating, and a love triangle. A must-read for fans of Nicola Yoon or Sandhya Menon.


If Sonia Patil had her way, she’d be attending her local comic con instead of covering a shift for her boss’s daughter. Since Sonia’s mom was deported and her sister, who never claimed deferred status under DACA, had to forgo college to support them, Sonia’s had her hands full with work, school, and pretending everything is okay at home.


Then Sonia, in homemade superhero cosplay, stumbles into saving her crush James’s life. When a video of the daring rescue goes viral, she—or, rather, a mysterious masked savior—is thrust into the spotlight. Now she’s hiding from TikTok detectives while trying to connect with James. And while she’s drawn to his friendly but oblivious nature, she can’t deny her escalating chemistry with another awkwardly charming boy.


Juggling crushes and a secret identity might just take superpowers. Will Sonia be able to hide in plain sight forever?

Why I’m Excited:

I’ve enjoyed Alisha Rai’s adult romances in the past and I believe this is her first YA novel, so I’m curious to see how her writing translates to this format. -Stephanie

Title: Chaos & Flame (Chaos & Flame #1)
Authors: Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland
Publication Date: 2023 March 28
Series: Chaos & Flame

Official Blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton comes the first book in a ferocious YA fantasy duology featuring ancient magic, warring factions, and a romance between the two people in the world with the most cause to hate one another.


Darling Seabreak cannot remember anything before the murder of her family at the hands of House Dragon, but she knows she owes her life to both the power of her Chaos Boon and House Kraken for liberating her from the sewers where she spent her childhood. So when her adoptive Kraken father is captured in battle, Darling vows to save him–even if that means killing each and every last member of House Dragon.


Talon Goldhoard has always been a dutiful War Prince for House Dragon, bravely leading the elite troops of his brother, the High Prince Regent. But lately his brother’s erratic rule threatens to undo a hundred years of House Dragon’s hard work, and factions are turning to Talon to unseat him. Talon resists, until he’s ambushed by a fierce girl who looks exactly like the one his brother has painted obsessively, repeatedly, for years, and Talon knows she’s the key to everything.


Together, Darling and Talon must navigate the treacherous waters of House politics, caught up in the complicated game the High Prince Regent is playing against everyone. The unlikeliest of allies, they’ll have to stop fighting each other long enough to learn to fight together in order to survive the fiery prophecies and ancient blood magic threatening to devastate their entire world.

Why I’m Excited:

Dragons on the cover, hello, yes, thank you. Looks like there’s warring factions and magic and lots of intrigue. It’s always interesting when two authors collaborate and I love that it’s a duology. -Stephanie

(Seconded by Mandy W.)

Title: I’ll Stop the World
Author: Lauren Thoman 
Publication Date: 2023 April 01

Official Blurb:

The end and the beginning become one in a heart-pounding coming-of-age mystery about the power of friendship, fate, and inexplicable second chances.


Is it the right place at the wrong time? Or the wrong place at the right time?


Trapped in a dead-end town, Justin Warren has had his life defined by the suspicious deaths of his grandparents. The unsolved crime happened long before Justin was born, but the ripple effects are still felt after thirty-eight years. Justin always knew he wouldn’t have much of a future. He just never imagined that his life might take him backward.


In a cosmic twist of fate, Justin’s choices send him crashing into the path of determined optimist Rose Yin. Justin and Rose live in the same town and attend the same school, but have never met―because Rose lives in 1985. Justin won’t be born for another twenty years. And his grandparents are still alive―for now.


In a series of events that reverberate through multiple lifetimes, Justin and Rose have a week to get Justin unstuck in time and put each of them in control of their futures―by solving a murder that hasn’t even happened yet.

Why I’m Excited:

Sorry, I’m just never not going to be interested in a time-traveling mystery that’s partially set in the ‘80s and has the potential for romance (I assume). -Stephanie

Title: Blood Debts
Author: Terry J. Benton-Walker
Publication Date: 2023 April 04

Official Blurb:

Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen.


On the anniversary of these brutal events, Clement and Cristina Trudeau—the sixteen-year-old twin heirs to the powerful, magical, dethroned family—are mourning their father and caring for their sick mother. Until, by chance, they discover their mother isn’t sick—she’s cursed. Cursed by someone on the very magic council their family used to rule. Someone who will come for them next.


Cristina, once a talented and dedicated practitioner of Generational magic, has given up magic for good. An ancient spell is what killed their father and she was the one who cast it. For Clement, magic is his lifeline. A distraction from his anger and pain. Even better than the random guys he hooks up with.


Cristina and Clement used to be each other’s most trusted confidant and friend, now they barely speak. But if they have any hope of discovering who is coming after their family, they’ll have to find a way to trust each other and their family’s magic, all while solving the decades-old murder that sparked the still-rising tensions between the city’s magical and non-magical communities. And if they don’t succeed, New Orleans may see another massacre. Or worse.


Terry J. Benton-Walker’s contemporary fantasy debut, Blood Debts, with powerful magical families, intergenerational curses, and deadly drama in New Orleans.

Why I’m Excited:

New Orleans, magical murder mysteries, and two estranged twins trying to unravel a decades-old family curse. This looks super promising! -Stephanie

(Seconded by Mandy W. and Rosemary)

Title: Stars and Smoke (Stars and Smoke #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: 2023 April 04
Series: Stars and Smoke

Official Blurb:

The Hating Game meets Mission: Impossible in Stars and Smoke, a smoldering new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu about a superstar tapped to become a secret agent and the reluctant young spy assigned to be his partner.


Meet Winter Young—rookie backup dancer turned global pop phenomenon. His star power has smashed records, selling out stadiums from LA to London. Now he’s bringing his swoon worthy assets to a whole new arena. . .


Infamous criminal tycoon Eli Morrison has just one weakness—his daughter, Penelope. And Penelope has just one wish for her nineteenth birthday—a private concert with Winter Young. When covert ops organization The Panacea Group approaches Winter with this once-in-a-lifetime chance to infiltrate Morrison’s inner circle, Winter must use his fame, cunning, and charisma to pull it off—only he won’t be on his own.


Posing as Winter’s bodyguard is the fiery Sydney Cossette, Panacea’s youngest spy. Sydney may be the only person alive impervious to Winter’s charms, but as the mission brings them closer, she’s forced to admit there’s more to this A-lister than slick dance moves and a handsome face. Panacea’s unlikeliest partners just might become its biggest heroes—and maybe even more—if they can survive each other first.

Why I’m Excited:

New Marie Lu — and a spy thriller romance, at that! -Mandy W.

(Seconded by Stephanie)

Title: Bianca Torres Is Afraid of Everything
Author: Justine Pucella Winans
Publication Date: 2023 April 11

Official Blurb:

Murder most fowl? In this sardonic and campy YA thriller, an anxious, introverted nonbinary teen birder somehow finds themself solving a murder mystery with their neighbor/fellow anime lover, all while falling for a cute girl from their birding group . . . and trying not to get murdered.


Sixteen-year-old Bianca Torre is an avid birder undergoing a gender identity crisis and grappling with an ever-growing list of fears. Some, like Fear #6: Initiating Conversation, keep them constrained, forcing them to watch birds from the telescope in their bedroom. And, occasionally, their neighbors. When their gaze wanders from the birds to one particular window across the street, Bianca witnesses a creepy plague-masked murderer take their neighbor’s life. Worse, the death is ruled a suicide, forcing Bianca to make a choice—succumb to their long list of fears (including #3: Murder and #55: Breaking into a Dead Guy’s Apartment) or investigate what happened.


Bianca enlists the help of their friend Anderson Coleman, but the two have more knowledge of anime than true crime. As Bianca and Anderson dig deeper into the murder with a little help from Bianca’s crush and fellow birding aficionado, Elaine Yee (#13: Beautiful People, #11: Parents Discovering They’re A Raging Lesbian), the trio uncovers a conspiracy much larger—and weirder—than imagined. But when the killer catches wind of the investigation, Bianca’s #1 fear of public speaking doesn’t sound so bad compared to the threat of being silenced for good.


In this absurdist, bizarrely comical YA thriller that is at turns a deceptively deep exploration of anxiety and identity, perhaps the real murder investigation is the friends we make along the way.

Why I’m Excited:

There’s a lot going on in this book, according to the blurb: “… an anxious, introverted nonbinary teen birder somehow finds themself solving a murder mystery with their neighbor/fellow anime lover, all while falling for a cute girl from their birding group … and trying not to get murdered.” Color me intrigued. -Mandy C.

(Seconded by Mandy W.)

Title: Happy Place
Author: Emily Henry
Publication Date: 2023 April 25

Official Blurb:

A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.


Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.


They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.


Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.


Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

Why I’m Excited:

I have loved every single adult romance Emily Henry has written to date, so I doubt Happy Place will be any different. But this second-chance romance  includes a group of best friends on a week long trip and I LOVE a dynamic friend group. -Rosemary

(Seconded by Mandy C. and Stephanie)

Title: Lying in the Deep
Author: Diana Urban
Publication Date: 2023 May 02

Official Blurb:

A juicy mystery of jealousy, love, and betrayal set on a Semester at Sea-inspired cruise ship, with a diverse cast of delightfully suspicious characters who’ll leave you guessing with every jaw-dropping twist.


After being jilted by her ex-boyfriend and best friend, Jade couldn’t be more ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime—11 countries in 4 months, all from the luxurious Campus on Board ship—and to wedge an entire globe between her and the people who broke her heart.


But when Jade discovers the backstabbing couple are also setting sail, her obsession with them grows and festers, leading to a shocking murder. And as their friends begin to drop like flies, Jade and her new crush must race to clear her name and find the killer they’re trapped at sea with….before anyone else winds up in body bags.


Perfect for readers of Natalie D. Richards, E. Lockhart, and Karen McManus!

Why I’m Excited:

I’m always a sucker for a good locked room (or in this case, locked boat) mystery. -Brian

Title: The Sun and the Star (Camp Half-Blood Chronicles #17)
Authors: Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro
Publication Date: 2023 May 02
Series: Camp Half-Blood Chronicles

Why I’m Excited:

A new Camp Half-Blood book means I really have to get my shizz together and resume reviewing Riordan. (I’ve fallen woefully behind lolcry.) -Mandy W.

Title: Painted Devils (Little Thieves #2)
Author: Margaret Owen
Publication Date: 2023 May 16
Series: Little Thieves

Why I’m Excited:

I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next from Margaret Owen—and from the deeply engaging world she created in Little Thieves. -Mandy C.

Title: Some Shall Break (None Shall Sleep #2)
Author: Ellie Marney
Publication Date: 2023 June 06
Series: None Shall Sleep

Why I’m Excited:

I definitely need more Marney-written serial killers in my life. -Mandy C.

Title: All That’s Left to Say
Author: Emery Lord
Publication Date: 2023 June 06

Official Blurb:

A poignant and powerful story of a grieving girl willing to risk everything, perfect for fans of Robin Benway and Jandy Nelson.


On prom night, Hannah MacLaren sits in the headmaster’s office in her fanciest dress, soaked to the bone. She pulled the fire alarm right as the queen was about to be crowned, and she’s in huge trouble. But Hannah had her reasons for ruining the biggest night of everyone’s lives.


One year ago, her cousin Sophie, who was also her best friend and the person she loved most in the world, died of an overdose. Drowning in grief, Hannah became obsessed with one question: Who gave Sophie those pills? Then she concocted a plan: enroll at her cousin’s fancy private school with a new look and a mouthful of lies, and find out the truth once and for all.


But she didn’t expect all the lines to blur. She didn’t expect Sophie’s friends to be so complicated. She didn’t expect to fall for her longtime enemy. Now, she has a choice: let herself really mourn Sophie and move on, or see her search through to its explosive end–even if it means destroying herself.

Why I’m Excited:

It’s been a few years since we got a new cast of characters from Emery Lord, and her newest book seems a little darker and edgier than previous ones. Plus there’s an enemies to lovers romance, sign me UP. -Rosemary

Title: Threads That Bind
Author: Kika Hatzopoulou
Publication Date: 2023 June 13

Official Blurb:

In a world where the children of the gods inherit their powers, a descendant of the Greek Fates must solve a series of impossible murders to save her sisters, her soulmate, and her city.


Descendants of the Fates are always born in threes: one to weave, one to draw, and one to cut the threads that connect people to the things they love and to life itself. The Ora sisters are no exception. Io, the youngest, uses her Fate-born abilities as a private investigator in the half-sunken city of Alante.


But her latest job leads her to a horrific discovery: somebody is abducting women, maiming their life-threads, and setting the resulting wraiths loose in the city to kill. To find the culprit, she must work alongside Edei Rhuna, the right hand of the infamous Mob Queen—and the boy with whom she shares a rare fate-thread linking them as soul mates before they’ve even met.


But the investigation turns personal when Io’s estranged oldest sister turns up on the arm of her best suspect. Amid unveiled secrets from her past and her growing feelings for Edei, Io must follow clues through the city’s darkest corners and unearth a conspiracy that involves some of the city’s most powerful players—before destruction comes to her own doorstep.

Why I’m Excited:

I’ll never get tired of Greek mythology — especially when it branches outside of the gods and figures who typically take centre stage. -Mandy W.

Title: A Song of Salvation
Author: Alechia Dow
Publication Date: 2023 July 11

Official Blurb:

From the author of The Sound of Stars and The Kindred comes a YA space opera about a reincarnated god and a grumpy pilot on a mission to save a beloved space DJ and stop an intergalactic war.


Zaira Citlali is supposed to die. After all, she’s the god Indigo reborn. Indigo, whose song created the universe and unified people across galaxies to banish Ozvios, the god of destruction. Although Zaira has never been able to harness Indigo’s powers, the Ilori Emperor wants to sacrifice her in Ozvios’s honor. Unless she escapes and finds Wesley, the boy prophesized to help her defeat Ozvios and the Ilori, once and for all.


Wesley Daniels didn’t ask for this. He just wants to work as a smuggler so he can save enough money to explore the stars. Once he completes his biggest job yet—bringing wanted celebrity Rubin Rima to a strange planet called Earth—he’ll be set for life. But when his path crosses with Zaira, he soon finds himself in the middle of an intergalactic war with more responsibility than he bargained for.


Together, Zaira, Wesley, and Rubin must find their way to Earth and unlock Zaira’s powers if they’re going to have any hope of saving the universe from total destruction.

Why I’m Excited:

Because a fun space romp is the closest we can get to escaping this planet! -Mandy W.

Title: A Tall Dark Trouble
Author: Vanessa Montalban
Publication Date: 2023 August 15

Official Blurb:

Practical Magic meets Erika L. Sanchez in this propulsive YA fantasy about a Cuban American family of brujas who get entangled in love, magic, and murder, alternating between 1980s Cuba and present-day Miami.


Twin sisters Ofelia and Delfi know better than to get involved with magic. Their mom has seen to that. After all, it was magic that cursed their family, turning love into a poison. Romance is off the table for the Sanchez women. They’ve seen the curse take hold enough times to know how that road ends. And yet. Sometimes a girl catches feelings and just can’t help herself.


When Ofelia and Delfi begin having premonitions of a series of murders, the sisters know it is time to embrace their magical inheritance to get to the bottom of the mystery and save innocent lives. Teaming up with their best friend Ethan and with brooding detective-in-training Andres, the sisters set out to learn the truth. They just need to make sure Mami doesn’t find out what they’re up to.


Meanwhile, in 1980 Cuba, Anita struggles with a different magical conflict. Her mother, Mama Orti, is a bruja who belongs to a secret coven of elders and Anita knows she will be forced to join the coven herself one day. She sees no escape, though the thought of staying and letting this future claim her is terrifying. Ofelia, Delfi, and Anita’s stories collide as each woman steps into her power and embraces who she truly is, refusing to be subdued by any person, coven, or curse.


In this stunning YA contemporary fantasy, debut author Vanessa Montalban explores the interlocking struggles of three generations of women in one family. An unputdownable debut for anyone who roots for magic, sisterhood, and love.

Why I’m Excited:

This blurb writer clearly knows what they’re doing, because they had me after the first two words. -Mandy W.

Title: Everyone’s Thinking It
Author: Aleema Omotoni
Publication Date: 2023 September 05

What We Know:

Pitched as a loose reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream if Shakespeare grew up watching Mean Girls and Dear White People.


At an elite boarding school in the English countryside, Nigerian cousins Iyanu and Kitan are thrown into the middle of a schoolwide conspiracy when everyone’s juicy relationship secrets are released “Burn Book style” the week before the annual Valentine’s Day Ball.

Why I’m Excited:

This sounds DELIGHTFUL, and hopefully will join the ranks of teen Shakespearean retellings like 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s the Man. -Mandy W.

Title: Up to No Good
Author: Rosie Danan
Publication Date: 2023 November 07

What We Know:

A brand new quirky romcom from Rosie Danan, author of The Roommate and The Intimacy Experiment, in which two best friends try to cover up an accidental murder in order to claim a surprise inheritance, while avoiding the suspicions of a handsome PI.

Why I’m Excited:

I love Rosie’s books and this one sounds like it’s going to be an absolute trip – just read the description. LET’S GO. -Stephanie

Title: The Luminaries #2
Author: Susan Dennard
Publication Date: 2023
Series: The Luminaries

Why I’m Excited:

I can’t wait to get my grabby little hands on the next installment of the Winnie and Jay saga. -Mandy C.


Which books are you most looking forward to in 2023? Let us know in the comments!

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Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.