Last Updated on March 10, 2023 by Jella Erhard
Explore some of the most exciting new fiction books for teens that are perfect for boys and girls. Read some of the most anticipated new YA books as well as some of the highest-rated gems with hilarious romances, twisty mysteries, and spooky horror stories.
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Best Fiction Books For Teens
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There are many exciting new YA books coming this year too that have brilliantly crafted characters, immersive worlds, and unique stories that’ll take their readers on fun, terrifying, and emotional adventures.
You’ll find here some of the most anticipated and beloved new fiction books for teens and adult readers who enjoy meaningful YA stories that deal with important themes and tell powerful stories about family, love, loss, identity, and everything in between.
RELATED: Best New Fiction Books To Read
Many of these books are also could also make great gifts for teen boys and girls who are looking for engaging and thoroughly enjoyable reads that’ll help them understand themselves and the world around them at least a little better.
However, you’ll also find here hilarious, sharp, deeply atmospheric and spooky reads that’ll transport you back in time and around the world. So, no matter if you’re looking for YA horror novels, rom-coms, twisty mysteries, thrillers, touching dramas, or magical fantasy-fictions teen books because you’ll surely find here something to fall in love with.
Into the Light by Mark Oshiro – March 2023
KEEP YOUR SECRETS CLOSE TO HOME
It’s been one year since Manny was cast out of his family and driven into the wilderness of the American Southwest. Since then, Manny lives by self-taught rules that keep him moving—and keep him alive.
Now, he’s taking a chance on a traveling situation with the Varela family, whose attractive but surly son, Carlos, seems to promise a new future.
Eli abides by the rules of his family, living in a secluded community that raised him to believe his obedience will be rewarded. But an unsettling question slowly eats away at Eli’s once unwavering faith in Reconciliation: Why can’t he remember his past?
But the reported discovery of an unidentified body in the hills of Idyllwild, California, will draw both of these young men into facing their biggest fears and confronting their own identity—and who they are allowed to be.
For fans of Courtney Summers and Tiffany D. Jackson, Into the Light is a ripped-from-the-headlines story with Oshiro’s signature mix of raw emotions and visceral prose—but with a startling twist you’ll have to read to believe.
Into the Light is one of the most beautifully written contemporary mystery thriller books for teens about identity and overcoming trauma.
While You Were Dreaming by Alisha Rai – March 21
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?
While You Were Dreaming is one of the most feel-good contemporary romance books for teens who love geeky but meaningful slice-of-life kind of stories about love and immigration.
As You Walk On By by Julian Winters – January 2023
The Breakfast Club meets Can’t Hardly Wait with an unforgettable ensemble cast in another swoony YA contemporary from award-winning author Julian Winters!
Seventeen-year-old Theo Wright has it all figured out. His plan (well, more like his dad’s plan) is a foolproof strategy that involves exceling at his magnet school, getting scouted by college recruiters, and going to Duke on athletic scholarship.
But for now, all Theo wants is a perfect prom night. After his best friend Jay dares Theo to prompose to his crush at Chloe Campbell’s party, Theo’s ready to throw caution to the wind and take his chances.
But when the promposal goes epically wrong, Theo seeks refuge in an empty bedroom while the party rages on downstairs. Having an existential crisis about who he really is with and without his so-called best friend wasn’t on tonight’s agenda.
Though, as the night goes on, Theo finds he’s not as alone as he thinks when, one by one, new classmates join him to avoid who they’re supposed be outside the bedroom door. Among them, a familiar acquaintance, a quiet outsider, an old friend, and a new flame…
As You Walk On By is one of the most charming contemporary queer romance books for teens about found family and unconditional love.
The Black Queen by Jumata Emill – January 2023
Nova Albright was going to be the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High—but now she’s dead. Murdered on coronation night. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and The Other Black Girl will love this unputdownable thriller.
Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating.
Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy—her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition.
No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids.
Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t fact the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova—and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it.
But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk.
Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her.
But Tinsley has an agenda, too.
Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.
The Black Queen is one of the most thought-provoking new queer thriller books for teens set in the deep South that explores a wide range of heavy themes including racism, white privilege, as well as child abuse.
My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron – March 2023
In the Remixed Classics series, authors from marginalized backgrounds reinterpret classic works through their own cultural lens to subvert the overwhelming cishet, white, and male canon.
This gothic YA remix of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde subverts the cishet white perspective of the original, starring a Black queer teen searching for the reason behind his best friend’s disappearance and the arrival of a magnetic stranger.
London, 1885. Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk, has returned to London for the first time since his life— and that of his dearest friend, Henry Jekyll—was derailed by a scandal that led to his and Henry’s expulsion from the London Medical School.
Whispers about the true nature of Gabriel and Henry’s relationship have followed the boys for two years, and now Gabriel has a chance to start again.
But Gabriel doesn’t want to move on, not without Henry. His friend has become distant and cold since the disastrous events of the prior spring, and now his letters have stopped altogether. Desperate to discover what’s become of him, Gabriel takes to watching the Jekyll house.
In doing so, Gabriel meets Hyde, a a strangely familiar young man with white hair and a magnetic charisma. He claims to be friends with Henry, and Gabriel can’t help but begin to grow jealous at their apparent closeness, especially as Henry continues to act like Gabriel means nothing to him.
But the secret behind Henry’s apathy is only the first part of a deeper mystery that has begun to coalesce. Monsters of all kinds prowl within the London fog—and not all of them are out for blood…
My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix is one of the most atmospheric historical fiction books for teens who love retellings and immersive horror stories.
Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury – February 2023
The Haunting of Hill House meets Sadie in this evocative and mind-bending psychological thriller following two teen girls navigating the treacherous past of a mysterious mansion ten years apart.
Daisy sees dead people—something impossible to forget in bustling, ghost-packed Toronto. She usually manages to deal with her unwanted ability, but she’s completely unprepared to be dumped by her boyfriend.
So when her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape.
But the house is nothing like Daisy expects, and she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…
A decade later, Brittney is desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother, a bestselling author who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion” allowed her to see the error of her ways. But Brittney knows that’s nothing but a sham.
She decides the new season of her popular Haunted web series will uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior and finally expose her mother’s lies.
But as she gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she’ll have to decide: if she can only bring one story to light, which one matters most—Daisy’s or her own?
As Brittney investigates the mansion in the present, Daisy’s story runs parallel in the past, both timelines propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.
Delicious Monsters is one of the spookiest new paranormal thriller books for teens and readers of all ages who love haunted house tales and mystery stories filled with dark secrets.
Promise Boys by Nick Brooks – January 2023
A blockbuster, dark academia mystery about three teens of color who must investigate their principal’s murder to clear their own names—this page-turning thriller is perfect for fans of Karen McManus, Jason Reynolds, Angie Thomas, and Holly Jackson.
The prestigious Urban Promise Prep school might look pristine on the outside, but deadly secrets lurk within. When the principal ends up murdered on school premises and the cops come sniffing around, a trio of students—J.B., Ramón, and Trey—emerge as the prime suspects.
They had the means, they had the motive—and they may have had the murder weapon. But with all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. Or is the true culprit hiding among them?
Find out who killed Principal Moore in Nick Brooks’s murder mystery, Promise Boys—The Hate U Give meets One of Us Is Lying.
Promise Boys is a chilling new YA mystery book for dark academia fans.
Out of Character by Jenna Miller – February 2023
If you asked seventeen-year-old Cass Williams to describe herself, she’d happily tell you she’s fat, queer, and obsessed with the Tide Wars books.
What she won’t tell you—or anyone in her life—is that she’s part of an online Tide Wars roleplay community.
Sure, it’s nerdy as hell, but when she’s behind the screen writing scenes as Captain Aresha, she doesn’t have to think about her mother who walked out or how unexpectedly stressful it is dating resident cool girl Taylor Cooper.
But secretly retreating to her online life is starting to catch up with Cass. For one, no one in her real life knows her secret roleplay addiction is the reason her grades have taken a big hit.
Also? Cass has started catching feelings for Rowan Davies, her internet bestie…and Taylor might be catching on.
As Cass’s lies continue to build, so does her anxiety. Roleplaying used to be the one place she could escape to, but this double life and offline-online love triangle have only made things worse.
Cass must decide what to do—be honest and risk losing her safe space or keep it a secret and put everything else on the line.
Out of Character is one of the funniest new contemporary romance books for teens who love nerdy and touching stories.
Nightbirds by Kate J. Armstrong – February 2023
In a dazzling new fantasy world full of whispered secrets and political intrigue, the magic of women is outlawed but four girls with unusual powers have the ability to change it all.
The Nightbirds are Simta’s best kept secret. Teenage girls from the Great Houses with magic coursing through their veins, the Nightbirds have the unique ability to gift their magic to others with a kiss.
Magic—especially the magic of women—is outlawed and the city’s religious sects would see them burned if discovered. But protected by the Great Houses, the Nightbirds are safe well-guarded treasures.
As this Season’s Nightbirds, Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer spend their nights bestowing their unique brands of magic to well-paying clients. Once their Season is through, they’re each meant to marry a Great
House lord and become mothers to the next generation of Nightbirds before their powers fade away. But Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer have other plans. They know their lives as Nightbirds aren’t just temporary, but a complete lie and yearn for something more.
When they discover that there are other girls like them and that their magic is more than they were ever told, they see the carefully crafted Nightbird system for what it is: a way to keep them in their place, first as daughters and then as wives.
Now they must make a choice—to stay in their gilded cage or to remake the city that put them there in the first place.
Nightbirds is one of the most magical historical fantasy fiction books for teens with brilliant world-building and a unique magical system.
Manslaughter Park by Tirzah Price – June 2023
Mansfield Park is the center of a deadly accident (or is it?) in the third book of Tirzah Price’s Jane Austen Murder Mystery series. Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper.
Aspiring artist Fanny Price is an unwelcome guest at her uncle Sir Thomas Bertram’s estate. It’s his affection for Fanny that’s keeping her from being forced out by her cousins Tom and Maria and nasty Aunt Norris, back to a home to which she never wants to return.
But then Sir Thomas dies in a tragic accident inside his art emporium, and Fanny finds evidence of foul play that, if revealed, could further jeopardize her already precarious position.
Edmund, her best friend and secret crush, urges Fanny to keep quiet about her discovery, but Fanny can’t ignore the truth: a murderer is among them.
Determined to find the killer, Fanny’s pursuit for justice has her wading into the Bertram family business, uncovering blackmail, and brushing with London’s high society when Henry and Mary Crawford arrive at Mansfield Park with an audacious business proposal.
But a surprising twist of fate—and the help of local legends Lizzie Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy—brings Fanny more complications than she ever expected and a life- altering realization she never saw coming.
Manslaughter Park is one of the most exciting new mystery books for teens who love retellings and want to pick up a fun YA mystery book series.
Last Violent Call: A Foul Thing; This Foul Murder by Chloe Gong – February 2023
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Chloe Gong comes two captivating new novellas surrounding the events of Foul Lady Fortune and following a familiar cast of characters from the These Violent Delights Duet!
In A Foul Thing, Roma and Juliette have established themselves as the heads of an underground weapons ring in Zhouzhuang, making a living the way they do best while remaining anonymous in their peaceful, quiet life.
But when they hear about several Russian girls showing up dead in nearby towns, they decide to investigate—and ultimately discover that this mystery is much closer to home than they ever imagined.
In This Foul Murder, Benedikt and Marshall have been summoned by Roma to find the elusive scientist, Lourens, and bring him to Zhouzhuang.
Time is of the essence aboard the week-long Trans-Siberian Express, but when someone is murdered on board, Benedikt and Marshall convince the officer in charge not to stop the train so that they aren’t thrown off-schedule.
Instead, they pretend that they are investigators and promise they can solve the murder, but as they dig deeper, they realize that the murder might having surprising ties to their own mission…
Last Violent Call: A Foul Thing; This Foul Murder is one of the most thrilling historical fiction romance books for teens.
The Sweetest Betrayal by Natalie Mae – February 2023
In this heart-pounding conclusion to The Kinder Poison trilogy—which People magazine proclaimed a “delicious high-stakes adventure”—war looms over Orkena, but can Zahru save her people without losing herself?
War has come to Orkena.
Zahru has risen as Mestrah, and she is determined to peacefully end the escalating tensions with Wyrim, her country’s long-time enemy.
Yet diplomacy proves to be futile, and when Zahru turns to Orkena’s allies for help, she finds that none are willing to come to her aid—not without Kasta ruling at her side.
As Wyrim advances on the capital, Zahru is desperate to protect her people, even if that means accepting Kasta’s help. But her enemy is merciless.
And as ambushes and betrayals push Zahru to increasingly dark tactics, she wonders if perhaps Kasta had it right all along: maybe peace was never an option … and maybe she was never meant to do this alone.
Can Zahru spare her enemy without sacrificing her kingdom? Or will Orkena’s salvation only come if Zahru becomes the monster her people need?
The Sweetest Betrayal is one of the most magical fantasy fiction books for teens and is a perfect pick for those who are looking for new YA fantasy book series.
Gwen and Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher – November 2023
Heartstopper meets A Knight’s Tale in this queer medieval rom com YA debut about love, friendship, and being brave enough to change the course of history.
It’s been hundreds of years since King Arthur’s reign. His descendant, Arthur, a future Lord and general gadabout, has been betrothed to Gwendoline, the quick-witted, short-tempered princess of England, since birth. The only thing they can agree on is that they despise each other.
They’re forced to spend the summer together at Camelot in the run up to their nuptials, and within 24 hours, Gwen has discovered Arthur kissing a boy and Arthur has gone digging for Gwen’s childhood diary and found confessions about her crush on the kingdom’s only lady knight, Bridget Leclair.
Realizing they might make better allies than enemies, they make a reluctant pact to cover for each other, and as things heat up at the annual royal tournament, Gwen is swept off her feet by her knight and Arthur takes an interest in Gwen’s royal brother.
Lex Croucher’s Gwen and Art Are Not in Love is chock full of sword-fighting, found family, and romantic shenanigans destined to make readers fall in love.
Gwen and Art Are Not in Love is one of the wittiest and most exciting new queer historical fiction books for teens a heartfelt story and brilliantly crafted characters.
Always the Almost by Edward Underhill – February 2023
A trans pianist makes a New Year’s resolution on a frozen Wisconsin night to win regionals and win back his ex, but a new boy complicates things in Edward Underhill’s heartfelt debut YA rom-dram, Always the Almost.
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Miles Jacobson has two New Year’s resolutions: 1) win back his ex-boyfriend (and star of the football team) Shane McIntyre, and 2) finally beat his slimy arch-nemesis at the Midwest’s biggest classical piano competition.
But that’s not going to be so easy. For one thing, Shane broke up with Miles two weeks after Miles came out as trans, and now Shane’s stubbornly ignoring him, even when they literally bump into each other.
Plus, Miles’ new, slightly terrifying piano teacher keeps telling him that he’s playing like he “doesn’t know who he is”—whatever that means.
Then Miles meets the new boy in town, Eric Mendez, a proudly queer cartoonist from Seattle who asks his pronouns, cares about art as much as he does—and makes his stomach flutter.
Not what he needs to be focusing on right now. But after Eric and Miles pretend to date so they can score an invite to a couples-only Valentine’s party, the ruse turns real with a kiss, which is also definitely not in the plan. If only Miles could figure out why Eric likes him so much.
After all, it’s not like he’s cool or confident or comfortable in his own skin. He’s not even good enough at piano to get his fellow competitors to respect him, especially now, as Miles. Nothing’s ever been as easy for him as for other people—other boys. He’s only ever been almost enough.
So why, when he’s with Eric, does it feel like the only person he’s ever really not been enough for…is himself?
Always the Almost is one of the most uplifting new contemporary romance books for teens about transsexuality and finding joy in life.
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