What’s New In YA: January

Posted February 2, 2020 by Amber in What’s New In YA / 4 Comments

Hi everyone!

I have been wanting to do this new monthly feature for a super long time.

What’s New In YA is a feature I’ll do every month with the latest book deals, cover reveals, media news, author interviews, book-related articles and everything else I think of. The months can be so hectic so I thought it would be nice to have it all in one nice little place! I don’t include absolutely everything because I’m more of a Contemporary reader but we’ll see!

All The Book Deals From Publisher’s Weekly

Okay, so these aren’t actually all of the books, though it is a lot. 😂 I shared the ones I’m excited to read.

Kristen Pettit at HarperTeen has acquired Sarena (l.) and Sasha Nanua‘s YA fantasy duology in a two-book deal. The first book, Ria & Rani, follows two twins separated at birth—one now a princess, the other a street thief—who switch places, only to discover that their destinies may be to join together in a bid to stop their kingdom from falling apart. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media brokered the deal for world English rights.

Trisha de Guzman at FSG has acquired world English rights to These Precious Stones by Michael Barakiva (Hold My Hand). Pitched as Sailor Moon meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the contemporary YA fantasy features an eclectic group of queer and international teens who learn that they must bear the magical gems that will save the universe from an ancient galactic threat. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Josh Adams at Adams Literary handled the deal.

Carolina Ortiz at HarperCollins has bought world English rights to Ashanti Fortson‘s debut, Cress & Petra. Set in the near future, the YA graphic novel follows the friendship between Cress Orozco, an autistic teenager with plenty of problems and big thoughts about life, and Petra, a lab-made AI looking for adventure. Their intertwining experiences raise the question: what does it mean to be human? Publication is planned for fall 2022; Susan Graham at Einstein Literary Management negotiated the deal.

Emilia Rhodes at HMH has acquired, at auction, The Ravensby Kass Morgan (l.) and Danielle Paige, first in a series about two girls in a southern sorority where the powerful, seemingly perfect sisters are keeping a secret—they’re all witches. Publication is scheduled for January 2021; Lanie Davis and Joelle Hobeika at Alloy Entertainment brokered the two-book deal on behalf of the authors. Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media represents Paige.

Sara Goodman at Wednesday Books has bought Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz (And We’re Off). The gothic love story, set against the backdrop of 1830s Edinburgh, is about an aspiring young female surgeon, the resurrection man who brings her bodies to study, and a reclusive aristocrat who tempts them both with immortality. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Dan Mandel at Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal for North American rights.

Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has acquired, in a two-book deal, Me (Moth), a YA novel in verse, and an untitled YA novel by debut author Amber McBride. Me (Moth) features Moth, the granddaughter of a Hoodoo root worker, who thinks she is invisible, and a Navajo boy named Sani, who is the only one who really sees her, and what happens when they take a road trip and discover that their families were connected long before they were born. Publication of the first book is set for fall 2021; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency did the deal for North American rights.

Jody Corbett at Scholastic has acquired world rights to Speak for Yourself, a second book by Lana Wood Johnson (Technically, You Started It). Told partly through chat transcriptions, the novel reimagines Cyrano de Bergerac for the tech era. Aspiring tech genius Skylar tries to keep her academic competition team together by setting up her most valuable teammate with her archnemesis, only to realize she’s falling for him herself. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Bridget Smith at JABberwocky Literary Agency handled the deal.

Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, at auction, Where the Rhythm Takes You by debut author and #PitchWars alum Sarah Dass, a YA novel based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, set in the author’s native Trinidad and Tobago. Reyna’s life changed forever two years ago, when her mother died and her best friend (first kiss, first love) Aiden, suddenly moved to America. Now Aiden has returned to their island as an international pop star, but the last thing Reyna wants to do is risk her heart again. Publication is set for summer 2021, with a second untitled YA novel to follow. Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates did the deal for world English rights.

Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought, at auction, in a two-book deal, The (Un)Popular Vote by debut author Jasper Sanchez. Pitched as Red, White & Royal Blue meets The West Wing, this YA contemporary novel follows a transmasculine teenager who defies his congressman father and runs in a three-way brawl for class president. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Claire Friedman at InkWell Management brokered the deal for world English rights.

Miriam Newman at Candlewick has bought The Heartbreak Bakery, a new YA novel by Amy Rose Capetta (The Lost Coast; Once & Future) in an exclusive submission, in which agender teen baker Syd deals with first heartbreak by whipping up brownies—which break up everyone who eats them, including the owners of LGBTQIAP+ institution The Proud Muffin. With the help of magical baking and a cute transmasc bike messenger, Syd must save relationships and defend the bakery from disappearing in a fast-changing Austin, Texas. Publication is set for fall 2021; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties did the deal for North American rights.

Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired world English rights to Doomed by Laura Pohl (The Last 8), the story of four troubled friends, one murdered girl, and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed. While investigating the murder of their best friend, four reimagined fairytale heroines must uncover connections to their ancient curses and attempt to forge their own paths before it’s too late. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Sarah LaPolla at Bradford Literary Agency handled the deal.

Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books has bought, in a two-book deal, Preferably Paired by Christine Riccio (Again but Better). Inspired by The Parent Trap, the YA novel is a dramedy following two sisters navigating their way through a broken family and the highs and lows of impending adulthood. Publication is planned for spring/summer 2021; JL Stermer at New Leaf Literary and Media brokered the deal for North American rights.

Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has acquired, in a two-book preempt, world English rights to Jennifer Lynn Alvarez‘s YA debut, Gap Mountain. In the vein of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart, the novel features six friends and one secret. When a group of teens accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, one of them threatens to tell the truth about what happened—and goes missing, and the other five become suspects in her disappearance. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic handled

Molly Cusick at Sourcebooks has acquired, in a two-book deal, North American rights to bestselling thriller author Nina Laurin‘s YA debut, Like Her. The book follows a teen girl whose family moves into a mansion with a tragic history; the girl becomes spellbound by the spirit of a 19th-century socialite who was fatally obsessed with her own image and who now thirsts to enter the digital age of vanity. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Rachel Ekstrom at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal on behalf of Ruth Pomerance and Adam Wilson at INKubator Enterprises.

Gonzales’s ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ Cozies Up to Wednesday Books

Sophie Gonzales sold a YA novel titled The Ex-Girlfriend Getter-Backer Experiment to Sylvan Creekmore at Wednesday Books. Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary brokered the world rights deal. According to the publisher, the novel follows “a bisexual girl who gives out anonymous love advice at her high school.” When she’s blackmailed by a popular guy in her class “into helping him get his ex-girlfriend back… the unintended consequences of her advice end up affecting everyone, including herself.” The publisher added that the book, slated for spring 2021, was pitched as The DUFF meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

June’s ‘Jay’ Draws HarperTeen

After an auction, HarperTeen’s Megan Ilnitzki won Jason June’s Jay’s Gay Agenda. The world English rights, two-book agreement was brokered by Brent Taylor at Triada US. Taylor said the debut YA novel “follows the titular character after he moves to Seattle from his rural high school, introducing him to other queer teens for the first time, and allowing him to finally cross items off his gay romance to-do list.” The novel is scheduled for summer 2021.


All The Cover Reveals and Redesigned Covers

*Links below will take you to where the cover was revealed.


Here are a few new versions for covers and they’re all so, so gorgeous.


There’s also a few Middle-Grade cover reveals + articles I thought I would share

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana

The Boys In The Back Row by Mike Jung

The Campaign by Laurie Friedman + Interview


Bookish Excerpts

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

Deathless Divide (#2) by Justina Ireland

Ink In The Blood by Kim Smejkal

The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Shine by Jessica Jung

The Curse by Micol Ostow (Prequel to Nancy Drew, the CW series)

Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige are writing a sorority witchy book of my dreams

Adam Sass shared the second part of a prequel for Surrender Your Sons


All The Media News

  • We have a new trailer for P.S. I Still Love You! It might have made me a John Ambrose shipper. Goodbye Peter.

All The Bookish Tours/Author Events


All of The Author Interviews


Other Bookish Articles:


Have Some Twitter Threads:



Publishing ‘sphere:

Megan shares tips for subbing to agents


Wow, okay, so January has been a huge month with cover reveals. Which ones are your favorite? I love Who I Was With Her, Grown and Horrid. And of course it’s always a better year when Tiffany D. Jackson publishes a book. The book deals sound so interesting too. I am all over These Precious Stones. Sailor Moon meets Simon Vs? Yeah, I need it like, right now. What do you think of the feature? I haven’t perfected my format yet but I will.

Posted February 2, 2020 by Amber in What’s New In YA / 4 Comments


4 responses to “What’s New In YA: January

  1. Um HI this must have taken you the entire actual month to compile and I am IMPRESSED. Like I am over here selfishly adding all the PW announcements to Goodreads, screw everyone else 😂 Those new edition covers are SO good wow. I will be using some of them for a Cover Glow Up post in the future, no doubt. I also have to look up so many of these that I hadn’t heard about, so GOOD WORK HERE!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Unity Days 2020
    • Amber

      Omg, it legit did take me all month. This is why I’ve waited so long to do it because I knew it’d be a big undertaking finding everything. I’d been slowly collecting things over the time so that part was easy! It was the formatting everything (as we know is the devil for me). 😭 I’m glad you liked it though! The new editions are so gorgeous, ugh. I am SO excited for this Cover Glow Up post! Thank youuu. 🧡🧡🧡

  2. Holy butt load of information, this is amazing? You’ve created such an accessible resource for everything YA, including bookish articles??? I bow down to this post and its detail! Thank you so much for all of this. I feel ashamed because I feel like I should be reading all those articles you listed, but I didn’t even know they had articles like that existing. Thank you again!

    • Amber

      Oh, don’t feel bad because I didn’t even think of them existing either but I browsed a ton of websites and found them! I also bookmark anything on Twitter to mention later. Thank you for your sweet comment!

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