There’s something truly magical about holding a book in your hands. Will it take you on a journey through the stars? Will it transport you to a land where magic is being reborn? Will it reunite you with characters you miss dearly? The books here will do all of that and more. We’ve rounded up ten of this spring’s must-read young adult SFF books. It’s up to you: Choose your own adventure, readers.
Earlier this year, Tomi Adeyemi stole our hearts with her reaction to holding her debut novel in her hands for the very first time. If that video didn’t solidify her as one of your faves, this book will. Maji possessed magical gifts that allowed them to create fire, move oceans, or conjure the souls of the departed. They once lived peacefully in Orïsha, but no longer. It’s been eleven years since King Saran ordered the maji put to death, including Zélie Adebola’s mother. Now 17, Zélie is willing to risk anything to bring magic back to her land—even defying Inan, the crown prince who seems determined to follow in Saran’s footsteps. The first book of the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy is an intense and unforgettable adventure about injustice, power, magic, and love. Readers will wish they had the power to summon the sequel the moment they turn the final page.
On shelves: March 6
Last spring Tahereh Mafi announced that she would be writing three more books in the Shatter Me series, and fans have eagerly been awaiting the day they could reunite with Supreme Commander Juliette Ferrars and Aaron Warner, who share the narration in this new installment. The story begins two weeks after the end of Ignite Me and sees Juliette tested in her new role as the leader of Sector 45. Have the last three books prepared her for this job, or will tragedy unravel her? You’ll have to read to find out.
On shelves: March 6
Shortly after the witch Rona Blackburn arrived on Anathema Island, she struck up a romance with one of the island’s eight founders. When the relationship splintered, Rona cast a spell that would forever link her bloodline with those of the founders. Ever since, Blackburn women have been cursed with ill-fated romances with descendants of the original eight. Seventeen-year-old Nor Blackburn believes the curse has stopped with her. She barely possesses any magic, and has yet to find herself wrapped up in a romantic affair. But the curse is all too real, and it’s coming for Nor whether she wants it to or not. In a starred review Publishers Weekly called Leslye Walton’s novel “a rewardingly complex tale that brims with suspense and romance.”
On shelves: March 13
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are taking us to the stars one last time. In this third and final volume of the Illuminae Files series, readers reunite with Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik. After boarding the container ship Mao, the group leaves the danger of Jump Station Heimdall behind, but aren’t certain of where to go next. Mao wasn’t built to house 2,000 refugees, and the only option may be to fly to Kerenza, though none of them know what they might find there seven months after the invasion. New readers should begin their journey at the first book in the series, while longtime fans should buckle up and enjoy the ride.
On shelves: March 13
Jane McKeene comes into the world two days before the dead rise at the battle of Gettysburg. The war between the North and South transforms into one between the living and the dead, and black and Native children are required to attend schools to learn to kill zombies. Jane is enrolled in one such school in Baltimore, though she dreams of the day she’ll be able to return home to her mother. But her hopes are dashed when an attempt to help a friend earns her a powerful enemy. Justina Ireland’s worldbuilding truly stands out and fans of historical fiction will appreciate the clever ways she’s woven and updated real history to fit her zombified America. This is a book filled with action, adventure, on-point social commentary, and a breathless finale that will leave readers craving the sequel. We’re calling it now: Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation is going to be one of the best YA books of the year.
On shelves: April 3
Warner and his sister Prayer live in an alternate America where a person’s physical size is connected to their wealth. The richest citizens can be hundreds of feet tall, while Warner and Prayer are as small as rats. Warner knows that they must scale up from littlepoors if they hope to survive. But navigating a world not built for littlepoors is dangerous, and changing their stature comes at a steep price. Booklist called Jesse Andrews’ latest novel a “scathing satire of economic inequality,” and a starred review from School Library Journal said it was “endlessly discussable.” Read up and join the conversation.
On shelves: April 3
Adrienne Young’s Viking-inspired debut transports readers to a world at war. Every five years, the Aska and Riki meet on the battlefield, continuing a fight that has lasted for centuries. During the last battle, Eelyn watched a Riki warrior kill her brother Iri. She’s spent years waiting for the moment she’d be able to avenge him, but when she arrives on the field, she’s shocked to find her brother alive and fighting alongside the enemy. Eelyn pays for her moment of distraction and is captured by a Riki fighter named Fiske. Instead of killing her, Fiske takes her back to the Riki camp, where she begins to discover why Iri left. Readers looking for a fierce heroine who isn’t afraid to be ruthless will fall head over heels for Eelyn.
On shelves: April 24
It’s time to return to Prythian. Not long ago, the King of Hybern threatened to destroy everything that Feyre knew and loved. But Feyre and her mate Rhysand built an army of allies, and together they defeated Hybern and his forces. Prythian finally seems to be at peace, and yet members of Feyre’s court still carry painful scars that haven’t healed. Feyre must find a way to help her friends move forward, while also stepping into her role as High Lady—just in time for the Winter Solstice. Feyre and Rhys split the narration, giving readers insight into what the future holds for the Night Court. This is the first installment in a spinoff series set in the world of Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series. Fingers crossed that the stars have listened and all of our dreams for our favorite characters will be answered.
On shelves: May 1
Readers have been hooked on Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series since they first met Mare Barrow and are ready to see her bring the kingdom of Norta crumbling to the ground. Over the course of the last three books, Mare has faced loss and betrayal, but nothing can put out the fire within her. Alongside Silver allies and the Scarlet Guard, Mare is willing to do whatever it takes to give Reds their freedom. Fans are sure to be excited to reunite with Mare, Cal, and Maven—while crossing their fingers that their favorite characters survive.
On shelves: May 15
Rielle Dardenne lives in a world where many are gifted with the ability to perform elemental magic. There are seven elements in total, though those with the power to use magic can only control one. No one knows that Rielle can control all seven. There’s a prophecy that claims only two queens are destined to have the power to control all of the elements: the Sun Queen and the Blood Queen. When Rielle reveals her powers to save Audric, the crown prince and her best friend, the king declares she must prove that she is the Sun Queen by surviving seven trials. Rielle shares narration with Eliana Ferracora, a bounty hunter living a millennium later who possesses mysterious healing powers. This is the first in Claire Legrand’s Empirium trilogy and readers will be left waiting with bated breath for the sequel.
On shelves: May 22