As 2016 draws to a close, I’m here to share a brief list of all the young adult books that have me absolutely buzzing all over for 2017 to get here as soon as possible. (No offense, 2016. You brought me Crooked Kingdom and A Torch Against the Night and The Graces, so I’m not too horribly upset with you.) I say “brief” because it is quite brief, only because I can’t remember all the books I can’t wait to get my hands on this new year, and am very ashamed for it.
So feast your eyes on my most anticipated 2017 releases, in no particular order. (P.S.: Especially good for fans of beyond incredible cover art.)
1. Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Lauded on Goodreads.com as the “coming-of-age story of the world’s greatest super hero,” Bardugo’s addition to the young adult DC Icons series tells the story of a young Diana still on Amazons’ secluded island of wonder women. When mortal girl Alia Keralis is washed ashore and Diana saves her life, breaking the greatest of Amazonian laws, the girls must race against time, armies of enemies, and tradition to save the world from war.
Basically, Wonder Woman and Leigh Bardugo? At the same time? How could we be so lucky?
But I’m also quite interested to see where Diana and Alia’s relationship goes, since recent canon-revival has given us a bisexual and kickass Diana to smash the patriarchy’s dumbass ideas on sexuality and gender.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer will be released August 29th.
2. Renee Ahdieh’s Flame in the Mist
Though a cunning and significantly talented alchemist, Mariko knows, as the daughter of a prominent samurai, it is not her intelligence but the influence her marriage will gain her family that matters most about her. When she is seventeen, Mariko is betrothed to one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. On the way to be married, her caravan is ambushed and Mariko must dress as a man to survive, infiltrate the rebellious Black Clan, and question everything she has ever known.
Ahdieh’s latest still promises a badass young woman ready to look every powerful man in her way directly in the eye. Not only is the feudal Japan setting new and refreshing, but Ahdieh has lauded Mariko as “cunning,” and I’m always ready for an empoweringly shifty and smart lady.
Flame in the Mist will be released May 16th.
3. Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch
At a very young age, Tea accidentally resurrects her favorite brother from the dead and throws her life into a series of hardships and adventures she never expected. As a bone witch — a witch with a knack for necromancy and more powerful magic —, Tea is feared and judged by others, but this magic legacy promises to lay a heavy burden on her shoulders. Taken from home to be trained as an asha, Tea will have to face dark forces and new obstacles as she comes of age.
I read this as an ARC about six months ago and have been waiting with bated breath to (a) see this gorgeous cover in real life and (b) handsell it like the world is ending. Chupeco’s writing is breathtaking and I would like to head the project to protect Tea.
The Bone Witch will be released March 7th.
4. Elise Kova’s Alchemists of Loom
The lives of Ari — unparalleled clockwork engineer turned organ thief — and Cvareh — a member of the usurping Dragon King’s court — clash as one searches for vengeance and the other for power. In a world rife with political turmoil, assassins, resistance, and shaky alliances, Ari and Cvareh seek selfish goals and their greatest desires in the search of the Alchemists of Loom.
Reasons I’m excited for this book: (1) This cover is beyond incredible. (2) I’ve been waiting with baited breath for a new mind-blowing steampunk YA release. (3) Kova’s world-building is meant to be beyond words and I can’t wait. (4) DID I MENTION THE COVER?
Alchemists of Loom will be released January 10th.
5. Stephanie Garber’s Caraval
Scarlett has spent her whole life protecting her little sister Donatella from the wrath of their cunning father. She has also spent much of her life dreaming about Caraval, a magical night of mystery and performance and glory. Just as she gives up her dreams of Caraval and reconciles herself to marriage to a secretive count , Scarlett receives tickets to attend Caraval. In a race against time, secrets, and her own fear, Scarlett must face the games of Caraval to bring her sister home safe and sound — all in time for her mysterious marriage.
Everyone is talking about Caraval right now. Sabaa Tahir is. Renee Ahdieh is. I am. I’m halfway through my Barnes and Noble bookseller ARC right now, and I’ve been loathe to put it down all day. Suffice it to say, we’re all in for a treat.
Caraval will be released January 31st.
6. Alwyn Hamilton’s Traitor to the Throne
When Amani al’Hiza fled her home at the start of Rebel of the Sands, she only wanted to escape a deadbeat world of cruel men and a crueler life. Now, months later, Amani has joined the forces of the rebellion to save the country of Miraji from a usurping bloodthirsty sultan. But, when she is thrust into the middle of regime — the sultan’s palace itself — and spies on her allies’ enemy, Amani begins to question what and who she thought she knew. Who is really the traitor to the throne?
I’ve been waiting for Traitor to the Throne since I saw I had only twenty pages left in Rebel of the Sands. I can’t wait to sink my toes back into the sand, the action, and the adventure with Amani.
Traitor to the Throne will be released March 7th.
7. Rhoda Belleza’s Empress of a Thousand Skies
The sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty and a war refugee turned dashing celebrity are forced to become allies when her assassination attempt is laid on his head. As war threatens and their reputations and lives hang in the balance, Crown Princess Rhee and Aly must together confront the galaxy’s dangers and darkest secrets. Though they set out to save only their own lives, Rhee and Aly will be faced with the responsibility and the choice to save the entire galaxy.
I’m a sucker for literal star-crossed lovers. As in, lovers who aren’t meant together but are also together in space. Also space princesses. And that cover.
Empress of a Thousand Skies will be released February 7th.
8. Susan Dennard’s Windwitch
The heroes and villains of Dennard’s Truthwitch have been torn asunder: Prince Merik is as destroyed as his beloved ship, and thoughts of vengeance on his treacherous sister are all that buoy him toward home and protecting the weak. Iseult, still dogged by the Bloodwitch Aeduan, now in her debt, must offer him a deal: She’ll pay him back the bounty on her own head if he leaves it be and seeks out kidnapped Safi instead. And Safi, still captive, must balance her life on a razor’s edge in a land of pirates and political treachery.
Have you read Truthwitch yet? No? Okay, well, stop everything you’re doing and go get it and read it now. Once you’re done, you’ll know why everyone and their aunts can’t wait for the return of our snarky and problematic faves.
Windwitch will be released January 10th.
9. Ava Jae’s Into the Black
On Safara, the redblooded humans and their alien monarchs have never seen eye-to-eye. After staving off a horrible event throughout the kingdom, ex-queen Kora and prince-turned-bounty-hunter Eros still have a lot to do on their desert planet. When the heir to Safara’s world throne is abducted and threatened by redblood rebels, Kora and Eros must put aside their fears and their past together before it’s too late to save the future king and all of Safara.
Okay, so Into the Black coming out in 2017 isn’t a done deal. But Jae’s young adult sci-fi debut Beyond the Red was so stunning and such a hidden gem, that I had to include it on this list. I just need more Kora and Eros ASAP.
EDIT: Just checked in with Sky Pony Press and Ava on the Twitter, and they’re saying Fall 2017 looks promising! Gotta go schedule my Beyond the Red re-read, bye!
10. Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale
Odd Vasilisa grew up at the very edge of the treacherous Russian wilderness, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Her world is one in which her people still honor the spirits and demons of the houses, the woods, the frost. But everything changes when her father brings home a new wife who is young and nervous and pious and strict. Soon, Vasya’s family and people come to fear and revile the spirits, drawing death and danger closer to their fold. Vasya must hold onto the fairy tales and legends, onto her own strength and cunning, and betray those she loves most to protect them from the coming winter.
A stunning, heart-wrenching debut, Vasya’s journey from little girl to self-possessed young woman reads like poetry that I want to push on everyone asking for a great book to curl up with as winter encroaches.
The Bear and the Nightingale will be released January 10th.
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What about you? What YA releases and debuts are you most looking forward to as 2017 approaches? Share in the comments below!