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With so much going on in the world these days, it’s no surprise many of us are seeking to unplug from reality and escape — through a good book and a little imagination, that is. But with so many new reads coming out each month, especially new young adult books, it’s hard to know what’s worth reading and what you can skip in favor of the CliffsNotes. That’s why we’ve asked the book lovers at Goodreads for their takes on the best new YA book releases of April 2021, and, spoiler: many of them are high-fantasy page-turners that’ll transport you to another world.
From a new queer teen rom-com by reader-favorite author Becky Albertalli to the third and final book in the Something Dark and Holy book series by Emily Duncan, there are plenty of new books to read you’ll want to make space for on your bookshelf or Kindle.
The 10 best new YA books of April 2021 include:
- The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
- Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan
- Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price
- House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
- The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell
- The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
- Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
- These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
- She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
- Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
Below, you’ll find even more details about Goodreads’ top new YA reads of the month. In case you didn’t know, Goodreads creates this list based on how many of the brand’s more than 110 million members add a book to their want-to-read shelves — so you know these really are books everyone will be talking about.
1. The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Fantasy, science fiction and romance all wrapped into one, The Infinity Courts is a page-turner you won’t want to put down.
The story begins when 18-year-old Nami Miyamoto is murdered on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her. “When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die, according to Goodreads. “She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.”
2. Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan
The third and final book in the Something Dark and Holy book series by author Emily A. Duncan, Blessed Monsters is a high-fantasy read worth adding to your bookshelf.
Goodreads describes it as “the startling conclusion” to the New York Times bestselling series. Will the girl, the monster, the prince, the queen be able to unite once to fight the dark chaos they’ve unleashed, or is it already too late?
3. Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price
The first book in the Jane Austen murder series, Pride and Premeditation, reimagines the iconic story of Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy ” in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit,” according to Goodreads.
The story begins when a murder shocks the London upper classes. “Seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates,” according to Goodreads. “As the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.
4. House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
Don’t let the stunning cover fool you. House of Hollow is a paranormal thriller that you won’t be able to tear through fast enough.
Iris and her sisters had an unusual childhood, one with unusual circumstances they don’t entirely remember. When Iris’s sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, things begin to unravel. “As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children,” according to Goodreads.
5. The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell
“Evade the serpent. Heed the curse. Rewrite the present.” The Serpent’s Curse is the third book in The Last Magician book series from author Lisa Maxwell.
The highly anticipated trilogy begins with heroine Esta, who’s “trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mageus from the Order’s control,” according to Goodreads. The story picks up steam when a powerful goddess hidden within the book’s pages is unleashed, putting Esta’s skills to the test.
6. The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
Lynette Noni is the writer behind the six-book bestselling series YA fantasy series The Medoran Chronicles. Now, Noni is back with the first in a new high-fantasy series for teens.
The story kicks off when 17-year-old Kiva Meridan, who has spent a decade surviving as a prison healer, is charged with keeping the terminally ill Rebel Queen alive long enough to undergo a Trial by Ordeal. It’s a deadly judgment that is reserved for only the most dangerous of criminals. When a message from Kiva’s family arrives with a single order — “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” — Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in the queen’s place. “If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom,” Goodreads says. “But no one has ever survived.”
7. Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
Kate in Waiting might be the queer teen romance you need to add to your summer reading list.
The story centers on best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker, who do almost everything together — but don’t call them codependent. “But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off script,” Goodreads says. “Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.”
8. These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
Dubbed as a queer retelling of the Russian folktale The Firebird, this is the first book in a new high-fantasy series full of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Goodreads says: “When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm. But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.”
9. She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
This LGBTQ contemporary romance has everything: enemies turned lovers, fake relationships, high school sports and laugh-out-loud hilarity.
The story begins when Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with her nemesis, Irene Abraham, after losing to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up. Things only get worse when Scottie and Irene are forced to carpool together. “Their bumpy start only gets bumpier the more time they spend together, according to Goodreads. “But when an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex (and climb her school’s social ladder at the same time), she bribes Irene into playing along.”
10. Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
This Jamaican-inspired high-fantasy YA novel follows two enemy witches — Iraya and Jazmyne — who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy, Killing Eve style.
“Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat,” Goodreads says. “But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain — except the lengths they will go to win this game.”
If you liked this story, check out 10 of the top new books that came out in March 2021.
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