Who can resist a novel with a great love story? Probably lots of people, but I am not one of them! This year is going to be another great one for heart-fluttering swoon-worthy reads in Young Adult, covering every genre from dragon riders to sci-fi anarchists, 18th century homosexuality to 21st century arranged marriage, heart-eating demons to time-traveling soldiers. Take a look at our most anticipated 2017 YA love stories, each with a little something different.
Which ones are you most looking forward to?
Heartstone by Elle Katharine White (Harper Voyager, January 17th)
Basic Premise: A debut fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but with dragon riders, wyverns, and gryphons. Aliza Bentaine must band together with the frustrating (and handsome) Lord Merybourne to solve the mystery of their kingdom and the monsters that keep attacking.
Why I’m excited: There certainly aren’t a lot of books with a lot of these fantastic creatures, and who doesn’t love a great fantasy retelling of a classic novel?
Soulmated by Shaila Patel (Month9Books, January 24th)
Basic Premise: Liam, a royal empath, searches for his soulmate to help his family’s political standing, and thinks he’s found it in Laxshmi. Laxshmi seeks freedom from her parents’ expectations and hopes Liam can give that to her.
Why I’m excited: With a fantasy element in Liam’s empath abilities and an interracial relationship, this covers a lot of great themes.
Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski (Swoon Reads, April 18th)
Basic Premise: Two nerdy queer best friends help each other find love.
Why I’m excited: There’s just something about gay kids obsessed with Star Trek that speaks to me on a personal level.
Cold Summer by Gwen Cole (Sky Pony Press, May 2nd)
Basic Premise: Kale Jackson can’t control his time traveling, and only ever goes to one time —fighting as a soldier in World War II, which causes him to develop PTSD. When Harper moves back to town, she has to help Kale find out how to stop time traveling before it’s too late.
Why I’m excited: I’ve never seen a book on time travel touch on such an important topic as PTSD, so I’m curious to see how Cole handles it.
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (Balzer + Bray, May 9th)
Basic Premise: Ramona is the only out lesbian in her small Southern town. When her childhood friend Freddie moves back, her feelings begin to shift, and she starts to question her own identity.
Why I’m excited: This will be a fascinating look into the fluidity of sexuality, and a unique take on the “gay for you” trope. Plus Dumplin’ was a great book so I know Murphy’s writing holds up.
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Putnam Books for Young Readers, May 16th)
Basic Premise: After a bloody ambush, Mariko dresses herself as a peasant boy to infiltrate the Black Clan and find out who has a target on her back.
Why I’m excited: Mulan meets Tamora Pierce in Feudal Japan. I NEED THIS NOW.
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (Feiwel & Friends, May 16th)
Basic Premise: Two teenage spies must make a girl fall in love with one of them for a secret mission. The one she does not choose will die. But it’s hard to focus on the mission when the two boys begin to fall for each other.
Why I’m excited: Best love triangle EVER.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (Simon Pulse, May 30th)
Basic Premise: Dimple just wanted to attend a web development summer program and get away from her mother pushing her to find a husband. She has no idea that Rishi is there to convince her to marry him, at their parents’ behest.
Why I’m excited: An amusing premise with a multicultural twist!
Want by Cindy Pon (Simon Pulse, June 13th)
Basic Premise: In Pon’s latest novel, the rich buy special suits that protect them from pollution and viruses in the environment. Jason Zhou has to infiltrate the Jin Corporation, in hopes of taking down the corruption from the inside, but finds himself falling for the CEO’s daughter.
Why I’m excited: A futuristic sci-fi with people of color, which is a rarity.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Katherine Tegen Books, June 27th)
Basic Premise: Monty and his crush Percy embark on a tour of Europe and stumble upon an artifact that sends them on an intense and dangerous manhunt across the continent.
Why I’m excited: 18th century boys in love!
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, August 8th)
Basic Premise: Dee sells her heart to a demon to get out of a bad living situation, and she only has her fellow deal-making friends to help her out. When she starts to feel more for one of them, she wonders if she can give someone her heart when she doesn’t have one anymore.
Why I’m excited: Illusive was great so I can count a quality story, and I dig books with demons. This one has a Gina Damico-esque feel.
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill, September 27tth)
Basic Premise: Sin-beasts are lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt when someone commits a sin. When a sin-eater slays a beast, the guilt it is made of goes into his mind, eventually driving the sin-eater mad. When Taj is called upon to eat the sin of a royal, he is pulled into a conspiracy to destroy the city, and the princess, that he loves.
Why I’m excited: Nigerian fantasies aren’t common in the YA world, and this one in particular sounds remarkable. No cover art yet!
27 Hours by Tristina Wright (Entangled Teen, October 3rd)
Basic Premise: Jude was raised to love hellhounds, but can’t resist falling for a boy who hunts them. Nyx can hear the moon speak, and is in love with her best friend, Dahlia. They must end the war between the colonies and the monsters before one of them end up extinct. Only 27 hours to save their home, and the clock is ticking.
Why I’m excited: A cast of queer teenagers has me on board.
Goodreads | Indiebound
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second)
Basic Premise: A 19th century prince secretly loves to wear dresses and hires an ambitious seamstress. As time passes, the two develop feelings for each other, and they must learn to balance their own desires with royal expectations.
Why I’m excited: There is a shortage of books about people who are on the LGBT spectrum but don’t quite fit into the provided identities. This is also the only graphic novel on the list, and Jen Wang is an excellent artist. No official cover art or release date on this one yet, though!
We consume quite a bit of coffee (and tea) as we work on Girls in Capes. If you loved this article, you can show us your support by buying a staff writer a cup of coffee.