Best YA Fiction Novels To Check Out This Summer (2023) | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Summer 2023 YA Fiction Novels

With the Summer of 2023 approaching soon and school being on a break, young adults have ample of time to go on a binge-reading spree. The upcoming summer promises a fun beach read after the other with ample novels releasing in the next few months alone. However, with so many YA Fiction novels releasing in the next few months, it becomes difficult to pick one genre to read from.

We’ve got you covered with our brief list of 10 of the popular romance, thriller or contemporary YA Fiction novels that will be released in the Summer of 2023 for you to read.

Chasing Pacquiao by Rod Pulido

Release Date – May 2nd

Genre – Queer, YA, Contemporary

Plot – The novel follows the life of Bobby who is surviving his notoriously violent high school unscathed. Coming out for being queer would put an unavoidable target on his back, especially in a Filipino community that frowns on homosexuality. It’s best to keep his head down, get good grades, and stay out of trouble.

But when Bobby is unwillingly outed in a terrible way, he no longer has the luxury of being invisible. A vicious encounter has him scrambling for a new way to survive. Bobby is inspired by champion Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao to take up boxing and challenge his tormentor. Then Pacquiao publicly declares his stance against queer people, and Bobby’s faith – in his hero and in himself – is shaken to the core.

The Rules of Us by Jennifer Nissley

Release Date – May 9th

Genre – Queer, Romance, Contemporary

Plot – This queer romance follows the life of a couple who does everything together. Jillian and Henry take the same classes, have the same hobbies, and applied for the same super-competitive scholarship so they can go to the same dream college. They even come out as gay to each other on the same night leading to their sudden breakup.

Jillian knows the only way to keep everything on track is to approach their breakup with the same precision and planning as their scholarship application. They will still be “Jillian and Henry” even if they’re not together anymore. However, one thing this former couple had not planned was Henry meeting the boy of his dreams as Jillian starts obsessing over a cool girl at school.

Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee

Release Date – May 16th

Genre – Queer, Romance, Food

Plot – This YA food romance follows the story of Dylan Tang working hard to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom. He also wants to do so to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn. Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips leading him to be distracted.

Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up around him and somehow convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons. In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be an act but Dylan still finds himself falling for Theo.

The Night in Question by Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson

 Release Date – May 30th

Genre – Mystery, Thriller, Murder

Plot – This murder thriller focuses on the lives of Iris and Alice who find themselves in the middle of another Castle Cove mystery in the sequel to the New York Times bestseller ‘The Agathas’. The Night in Question follows Alice and Iris’s lives in Castle Cove after they cracked the biggest case of the fall: the death of Brooke Donovan. Together, the duo put Brooke’s killer away for good, and since then things around town have been almost back to normal. But if Alice and Iris know anything, it’s that sometimes quiet is just the calm before the storm.

The truth is, Brooke’s disappearance wasn’t the first mystery to rock Castle Cove, and it won’t be the last. So when their school dance at the infamous Levy Castle—the site of film starlet Mona Moody’s unsolved death back in the 1940’s—is interrupted by a violent assault, Iris and Alice pull out their murder boards and get back to work.

To understand the present, sometimes you need to look into the past. And if this duo wants a chance at solving their new case, that’s exactly where they’ll need to start digging. Only, what they uncover might very well kill them.

Borrow My Heart by Kasie West

Release Date – June 13th

Genre – Romance, YA, Contemporary

Plot – This novel is a modern-day romance where a girl overhears a guy getting verbally destroyed by his friends for being catfished, she jumps in to save the day—and pretends to be his online crush. Wren is used to being called a control freak. She doesn’t care; sticking to the list of rules she created for herself helps her navigate life. But when a cute guy named Asher walks through the door of her neighbourhood coffee shop, the rulebook goes out the window.

Asher is cute, charming and being catfished by his online crush. So Wren makes an uncharacteristically impulsive decision and she pretends to be the girl he’s waiting for to save him from embarrassment. Suddenly she’s fake-dating a boy she knows nothing about who is nothing but amazing to her. It’s not long before Asher has her breaking even more of her own rules. But will he forgive her when he finds out she’s not who she says she is?

House Party

Release Date – June 27

Genre – YA, Anthology, Contemporary, Short Story

Plot – This anthology novel includes short stories from 10 bestselling, critically acclaimed authors who deliver a fresh novel of interconnected stories that follows a group of young adults over the course of a few wild, transformative hours at an epic house party! Featuring: Angeline Boulley, Jerry Craft, Natasha Díaz, Lamar Giles, Christina Hammonds Reed, Ryan La Sala, Yamile Saied Méndez, justin a. reynolds, Randy Ribay, and Jasmine Warga. House Party offers a delightful snapshot of diverse classmates getting ready to say goodbye to high school and hello to life’s next chapter—but not before they make their final night together one they’ll never forget!

Invisible Son by Kim Johnson

Release Date – June 27th

Genre – YA, Thriller, Mystery

Plot – From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of This Is My America comes another thriller about a wrongly accused teen desperate to reclaim both his innocence and his first love. Andre Jackson is determined to reclaim his identity. But returning from juvie doesn’t feel like coming back to a place he once called home.

Andre’s Portland, Oregon, neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying, and COVID-19 shuts down school before he can return. Moreover, his suspicions about his arrest for a crime he didn’t commit even taint his friendships and it seems like his whole life has been erased. The one thing Andre is counting on is his relationship with the Whitaker kids—especially his longtime crush, Sierra.

When Sierra’s brother Eric is missing, their adoptive parents fight to keep up the act that their racially diverse family is picture-perfect. If Andre can find Eric, he just might uncover the truth about his own arrest. But in a world where power is held by a few and Andre is nearly invisible, searching for the truth is a dangerous game.

I’d Rather Burn Than Bloom by Shannon C.F. Rogers

Release Date – July 11th

Genre – YA, Contemporary

Plot – Packed with voice, this is a powerful coming-of-age YA novel about a Filipina-American teen who tries to figure out who she really is in the wake of her mother’s death. Some girls call their mothers their best friends but Marisol could never relate. She and her mom were forever locked in an argument with no beginning and no end. One day, Marisol’s mother dies suddenly and now she is left with no one to fight against she is haunted by all the things that she both said and didn’t say.

Marisol is left without anyone to fall back on when she sleeps with her best friend’s boyfriend and then punches said best friend in the face instead of apologizing for her mistake. Marisol is determined to stay angry because for her, there really is a lot to be angry about. Now as Marisol begins to develop a new friendship, she reluctantly starts to open up to the possibility of finding a replacement emotion to anger.

One of Us is Back by Karen M. McManus

Release Date – July 25th

Genre – Mystery, Crime, Murder

Plot – The popular teenage murder mystery that inspired the Peacock and Netflix TV series, One of Us is Lying will be coming back with a third installment of the acclaimed One of Us… series. One of Us is Back will be the third and final part in this popular book series. Ever since Simon died in detention, life hasn’t been easy for the Bayview Crew. First, the Bayview Four had to prove they weren’t killers. Then a new generation had to outwit a vengeful copycat. Now, something new is coming to haunt the Bayview Four again.

At first, the mysterious billboard seems like a bad joke as it read, “Time for a new game, Bayview”. Now, when a member of their crew disappears, it’s clear this ‘game’ just got serious – and no one understands the rules. Everyone’s a target. Someone unexpected has returned to Bayview, things are starting to get deadly. The thing is, Simon was right about secrets-they all come out, eventually. And Bayview has a lot it’s still hiding.

House of Roots and Ruin by Erin A. Craig

Release Date – July 25

Genre – Fantasy, Horry, Gothic

Plot –  This modern masterpiece is a retelling of the classic Gothic thriller-fantasy about doomed love, menacing ambition, and the ghosts that haunt us forever. House of Roots and Ruin follows the story of seventeen-year-old Verity Thaumas who lives at her family’s estate, Highmoor, with her older sister Camille, while their other sisters have scattered across Arcannia.

Their sister Mercy sends word that the Duchess of Bloem—wife of a celebrated botanist—is interested in having Verity paint a portrait of her son, Alexander. Verity jumps at the chance, but Camille won’t allow it. Forced to reveal the secret she’s kept for years, Camille tells Verity the truth one day: Verity is still seeing ghosts, she just doesn’t know it. Stunned, Verity flees Highmoor that night and—with nowhere else to turn—makes her way to Bloem.

At first, she is captivated by the lush, luxurious landscape and is quickly drawn to the charming, witty, and impossibly handsome Alexander Laurent. And soon, to her surprise, a romance blossoms. But it’s not long before Verity is plagued with nightmares, and the darker side of Bloem begins to show through its sickly-sweet façade.

So there we have it, our list of the 10 Best YA Fiction novels that will be released in the Summer of 2023!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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