The world of Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi is constantly growing. With readers of all ages gravitating towards escapism, these YA novels provide the adventure, romance, and fun that makes the summertime fly by. Mysterious letters from the past begin to appear in Ann Aguirre’s Heartwood Box; explore the life of Avatar Kyoshi in Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yes and Michael Dante DiMartino; and smuggle a prince across the world in Margaret Owen’s The Merciful Crow.
Head below for the full list of YA SFF titles heading your way in July!
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
WEEK ONE (July 2)
The Beckoning Shadow—Katharyn Blair (Katherine Tegen Books)
Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love. But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.
Queen of Ruin (Grace and Fury #2)—Tracy Banghart (Little, Brown BFYR)
When the new, brutal Superior banishes Nomi from Bellaqua, she finds herself powerless and headed towards her all-but-certain death. Her only hope is to find her sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi arrives, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of the new Superior, and only Nomi knows how. Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.
Immunity (Contagion #2)—Erin Bowman (HarperTeen)
Thea, Coen, and Nova have escaped from Achlys, only to find themselves imprisoned on a ship they thought was their ticket to safety. Now the nightmare they thought they’d left behind is about to be unleashed as an act of political warfare, putting the entire galaxy at risk. To prevent an interstellar catastrophe, they’ll have to harness the evil of the deadly Achlys contagion and deploy the only weapons they have left: themselves.
WEEK TWO (July 9)
Serafina and the Seven Stars (The Serafina Series #4)—Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion)
Peace and tranquility have finally returned to Biltmore Estate after hard-won battles against encroaching darkness. But as time passes without signs of danger, Serafina finds herself questioning her own purpose. Who is she if not Biltmore’s protector? When deceptively dark and unsettling events begin to take place at Biltmore, is Serafina merely desperate to once again play the role of heroine? Or are her home and loved ones in terrible danger from a strange and sinister force?
Heartwood Box—Ann Aguirre (Tor Teen)
When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right? Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind. To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…
The Storm Crow—Kalyn Josephson (Sourcebooks)
In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything. That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost. But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.
Titans—Kate O’Hearn (Aladdin)
Fifteen years ago, Olympus was destroyed and the Olympians were resettled on Titus. Since then Earth has been declared a quarantined world. Neither Titans nor Olympians are allowed to visit and under no circumstances are humans allowed on Titus. The Titans and Olympians are keeping the peace. But the deep-seated mistrust still lingers, so when a human ends up on Titus, he could be the spark that reignites the war…
The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World—Amy Reed (Simon Pulse)
Billy Sloat and Lydia Lemon don’t have much in common, unless you count growing up on the same (wrong) side of the tracks, the lack of a mother, and a persistent loneliness that has inspired creative coping mechanisms. When the lives of these two loners are thrust together, Lydia’s cynicism is met with Billy’s sincere optimism, and both begin to question their own outlook on life. On top of that, weird happenings including an impossible tornado and an all-consuming fog are cropping up around them—maybe even because of them. And as the two grow closer and confront bigger truths about their pasts, they must also deal with such inconveniences as a narcissistic rock star, a war between unicorns and dragons, and eventually, of course, the apocalypse.
The Traitor’s Kingdom (Traitor’s Trilogy #3)—Erin Beaty (Imprint)
Once a spy and counselor to the throne, Sage Fowler has secured victory for her kingdom at a terrible cost. Now an ambassador representing Demora, Sage is about to face her greatest challenge to avoid a war with a rival kingdom. After an assassination attempt destroys the chance for peace, Sage and her fiancé Major Alex Quinn risk a dangerous plot to reveal the culprit. But the stakes are higher than ever, and in the game of traitors, betrayal is the only certainty.
Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1)—Elizabeth Lim (Knopf BFYR)
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
WEEK THREE (July 16)
In the Woods—Carrie Jones, Steven E. Wedel (Tor Teen)
It should have been just another quiet night on the farm when Logan witnessed the attack, but it wasn’t. Hundreds of miles away, Chrystal’s plans for summer in Manhattan are abruptly upended when her dad reads tabloid coverage of some kind of grisly incident in Oklahoma. When they arrive to investigate, they find a witness: a surprisingly good-looking farm boy. As townsfolk start disappearing and the attacks get ever closer, Logan and Chrystal will have to find out the truth about whatever’s hiding in the woods…before they become targets themselves.
Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi—F.C. Yes, Michael Dante DiMartino (Amulet Books)
F. C. Yee’s The Rise of Kyoshi delves into the story of Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom–born Avatar. The longest-living Avatar in this beloved world’s history, Kyoshi established the brave and respected Kyoshi Warriors, but also founded the secretive Dai Li, which led to the corruption, decline, and fall of her own nation. The first of two novels based on Kyoshi, The Rise of Kyoshi maps her journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice who is still feared and admired centuries after she became the Avatar.
WEEK FOUR (July 23)
Soul of Stars—Ashley Poston (Balzer + Bray)
Once Ana was an orphaned space outlaw. Then she was the Empress of the Iron Kingdom. Now, thought dead by most of the galaxy after she escaped from the dark AI program called the HIVE, Ana is desperate for a way to save Di from the HIVE’s evil clutches and take back her kingdom. Ana’s only option is to find Starbright, the one person who hacked into the HIVE and lived to tell the tale. But when Ana’s desperation costs the crew of the Dossier a terrible price, Ana and her friends are sent spiraling through the most perilous reaches of the Iron Kingdom to stop the true arbiter of evil in her world: an ancient world-ending deity called the Great Dark. When facing the worst odds, can Ana and her crew of misfits find a way to stop the Great Dark once and for all?
How We Became Wicked—Alexander Yates (Atheneum/Caitlin Dlouhy Books)
A plague, called Wickedness, is pulsing through the world; and in its wake, it’s dividing the population into thirds: The WICKED: Already infected by the droves of Singers, the ultraviolet mosquito-like insects who carry the plague, the Wicked roam the world freely. They don’t want for much—only to maim and dismember you. But don’t worry: They always ask politely first. The TRUE: The True live in contained, isolated communities. They’re the lucky ones; they found safety from the Singers. And while the threat of the Wicked may not be eliminated, for the True, the threat has certainly been contained. The VEXED: The Vexed are the truly fortunate ones—they survived the sting of the Singers, leaving them immune. But they’re far from safe. The Vexed hold the key to a cure, and there are those who will do anything to get it. Three teens—Astrid, Hank, and Natalie—start to realize that the divisions of their world aren’t as clear as they seem, and are forced to question what being wicked truly means.
WEEK 5 (July 30)
Shatter the Sky—Rebecca Kim Wells (Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold. If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?
The Merciful Crow—Margaret Owen (Henry Holt & Co. BYR)
As a future chieftain of the Crow caste, sixteen-year-old Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her clan of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when her family is called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime. Instead, they find a still-living crown prince, his cunning bodyguard, and a common foe: a ruthless usurper queen who wants them all dead. Fie agrees to smuggle the prince across the nation in exchange for her people’s safety. But with the queen’s brutal hunters on their tail, she’s forced to make the sacrifices that define a true leader.