YA Books Coming This Spring, Just In Time For Outdoor Reading

by Kerri Jarema

Like most things, all reading has its season. Yes, you can obviously pick up any book at any time you want, and lots of people do just that. But there are definitely certain genres and themes that seem to go together almost too perfectly with the weather outside. Who doesn't love to lose themselves in a slow-paced, humongous historical fiction when there is snow falling outside their window? Or fall into the pages of a super steamy romance while they're sitting poolside? And in the springtime, when the sun has finally started to reemerge and the temperature rises past a frigid 50 degrees? The books you add to your spring break carry-on or plop down on a picnic blanket in the park all have a few things in common, too.

Whether you love historical fiction or contemporary, fantasy or romance, all of these freshly released young adult books have fast-paced, page-turning plots, obsession-worthy characters, and are the perfect length to read while wiling away an afternoon enjoying the glorious weather. We've compiled a list of 15 spring books releasing in April and May, the very heart of the season. From suspense to fantasy to light and fluffy contemporary, these will all pair perfectly with any of your spring time adventures.


'Alex, Approximately' by Jenn Bennett (April 4, 2017)

Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California town as her online crush. Faced with doubts, Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth. But life is messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that she’s starting to feel more for Porter. And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes... because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own.

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'Defy The Stars' by Claudia Gray (April 4, 2017)

Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that's now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth's robotic "mech" armies for decades with no end in sight. After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel's programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis — even though her plan to win the war will kill him. Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel's devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.

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'The Upside of Unrequited' by Becky Albertalli (April 11, 2017)

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness — except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back. There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

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'Alex and Eliza: A Love Story' by Melissa de la Cruz (April 11, 2017)

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. The Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters— Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball. Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

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'Spindle Fire' by Lexa Hillyer (April 11, 2017)

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king's headstrong illegitimate daughter; Aurora, is beautiful and sheltered. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close. And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora's blood — and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken. As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen. Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape... or the reason for her to stay.

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'Duels and Deception' by Cindy Anstey (April 11, 2017)

Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan. Until Lydia — and Robert along with her — is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants.

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'Fireworks' by Katie Cotugno (April 18, 2017)

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along. But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where producer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered, too. It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift... and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime — if they can make it through.

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'Between Two Skies' by Joanne O'Sullivan (April 25, 2017)

Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to 16-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-16 fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings. It’s a small life, but it is Evangeline’s. And then Hurricane Katrina comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos of being forced out of her hometown, the pain of being separated from everything she knows and the destruction of her old life comes Tru — a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline’s aching heart. But will they be able to be together when everything else has fallen apart?

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'Windfall' by Jennifer E. Smith (May 2, 2017)

Alice doesn’t believe in luck — at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his 18th birthday, she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined... and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

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'Always And Forever, Lara Jean' by Jenny Han (May 2, 2017)

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and her sister Margot is coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family — and possibly the boy she loves — behind. When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

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'The Names They Gave Us' by Emery Lord (May 16, 2017)

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters — in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp — one for troubled kids — Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

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'The Love Interest' by Cale Dietrich (May 16, 2017)

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets. Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad? Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die. What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

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'When Dimple Met Rishi' by Sandhya Menon (May 30, 2017)

Dimple Shah is focused on college and her career, not finding what her mother would call "The Ideal Indian Husband." Rishi Patel is all about tradition and living up to his parents' expectations for him... which includes marrying someone they approve of and having a family. When their parents set them up for an arranged relationship, Rishi is totally on board, but Dimple has no idea until Rishi arrives at Insomnia Con, a summer program Dimple is attending for aspiring web developers. Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' by Maureen Goo (May 30, 2017)

Desi Lee is a gifted student on her way to Stanford. But she's a complete disaster when it comes to romance. So when a super hot new guy arrives at school, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years — where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos — and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

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'One of Us Is Lying' by Karen M. McManus (May 30, 2017)

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

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