The Best New YA Books of April 2024 

Books Lists YA Books
The Best New YA Books of April 2024 

 April showers supposedly bring May flowers, but they also apparently bring a ton of new book releases, which admittedly is rather refreshing after a March that was a bit slower than usual in terms of fresh titles. And the world of YA is definitely blooming once more, with everything from buzzy debuts and anticipated sequels to new stories from some of the genre’s biggest and most well-respected authors. 

Young adult fiction is generally one of the most eclectic genres out there, featuring stories that run the gamut from romance and fantasy to thrillers and contemporary coming-of-age stories. (There’s so much variety this month that some of April’s YA offerings can be found in our monthly fantasy roundup, just to save space.) 

Here are our picks for the best YA books of April. 

The Reappearance of Rachel Price YA Books 2024

The Reappearance of Rachel Price by Holly Jackson

Release Date: April 2 from Delacorte Press

Why You’ll Love It: A new YA thriller from Holly Jackson, author of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, is always a cause for celebration, particularly when the final product is as smart and well put together as this twisty story of Bel, a young woman who was abandoned in the back seat of a car when she was just a baby. The subsequent mystery of her mother’s disappearance is made even more complicated when she mysteriously reappears sixteen years later, with an unbelievable story about what happened to her. Full of twists, red herrings, and tantalizing clues, it’ll keep you zipping through pages right till the end. 

Publisher’s Description: Lights. Camera. Lies.

18-year-old Bel has lived her whole life in the shadow of her mom’s mysterious disappearance. Sixteen years ago, Rachel Price vanished and young Bel was the only witness, but she has no memory of it. Rachel is gone, long presumed dead, and Bel wishes everyone would just move on.

But the case is dragged up from the past when the Price family agree to a true crime documentary. Bel can’t wait for filming to end, for life to go back to normal. And then the impossible happens. Rachel Price reappears, and life will never be normal again.

Rachel has an unbelievable story about what happened to her. Unbelievable, because Bel isn’t sure it’s real. If Rachel is lying, then where has she been all this time? And – could she be dangerous? With the cameras still rolling, Bel must uncover the truth about her mother, and find out why Rachel Price really came back from the dead . . .

Black Girl Survives In This One YA Books April 2024
The Black Girl Survives in This One edited by Desiree S. Evans and Saraciea J. Fennell

Release Date: April 2 from Flatiron Books

Why You’ll Love It: Flipping standard horror tropes on their heads, this anthology collects short stories spotlighting Black women and girls as the heroes of their own stories. The fifteen stories run the gamut in terms of tropes and subject matter, and hail from a variety of authors like Brittney Morris, Justina Ireland, Charlotte Nicole Davis, and  Zakiya Dahlia Harris. 

Publisher’s Description: Be warned, dear reader: The Black girls survive in this one.

Celebrating a new generation of bestselling and acclaimed Black writers, The Black Girl Survives in This One makes space for Black girls in horror. Fifteen chilling and thought-provoking stories place Black girls front and center as heroes and survivors who slay monsters, battle spirits, and face down death. Prepare to be terrified and left breathless by the pieces in this anthology.

The Misdirection of Fault Lines YA Books April 2024

The Misdirection of Fault Lines by Anna Gracia

Release Date: April 2 from Peachtree Teen

Why You’ll Love It: A story about the complex messiness and confusion of adolescence, told through the lens of a tennis tournament. This contemporary novel from the author of The Boys I Know, The Misdirection of Fault Lines follows the story of three Asian American girls on a journey of self-discovery as they compete for a shot at their dreams at a prestigious (read: exclusive) tennis tournament. Three rotating POVs allow Gracia to explore issues of class, trauma, addiction, grief, representation, and desperation in a variety of deft and genuinely compelling ways. 

Publisher’s Description: Three teen girls compete at an elite tennis tournament for a shot at their dreams—if only they knew what their dreams were.

Alice doesn’t belong at the Bastille Invitational Tennis Tournament. She needed a sponsorship to attend. She only has a few wins on the junior circuit. And now, she has no coach. Tennis was a dream she shared with Ba. After his death, her family insisted she compete anyway. But does tennis even fit into her life without him?

Violetta is Bastille’s darling. Social media influencer, coach’s pet, and daughter of a former tennis star who fell from grace. Bastille is her chance to reclaim the future her mother gave up to raise her. But is that the future she wants for herself?

Leylah has to win. After a forced two-year hiatus, Bastille is her last chance to prove professional tennis isn’t just a viable career, it’s what she was built for. She can’t afford distractions. Not in the form of her ex-best friend and especially not by getting DQ-ed for her “attitude” before she even sets foot on the court. If she doesn’t win, what future does she have left?

One week at the Bastille Invitational Tennis Tournament will decide their fates. If only the competition between them stayed on the court.

Your Blood My Bones YA Books April 2024

Your Blood, My Bones by Kelly Andrew

Release Date: April 2 from Scholastic Press

Why You’ll Love It: A dark paranormal romance from the author of The Whispering Dark, Your Blood, My Bones is tragic and disturbing by turns, involving everything from childhood friendship and secret curses to ritual sacrifice meant to hold back an ever-encroaching evil. An intriguing mix of fantasy and horror, the tension between lead characters Wyatt and Peter—who can only end the seemingly eternal cycle of violence and death between them by killing one another—is suffocatingly good. 

Publisher’s Description: Wyatt Westlock has one plan for the farmhouse she’s just inherited — to burn it to the ground. But during her final walkthrough of her childhood home, she makes a shocking discovery in the basement — Peter, the boy she once considered her best friend, strung up in chains and left for dead.

Unbeknownst to Wyatt, Peter has suffered hundreds of ritualistic deaths on her family’s property. Semi-immortal, Peter never remains dead for long, but he can’t really live, either. Not while he’s bound to the farm, locked in a cycle of grisly deaths and painful rebirths. There’s only one way for him to break free. He needs to end the Westlock line.

He needs to kill Wyatt.

With Wyatt’s parents gone, the spells protecting the property have begun to unravel, and dark, ancient forces gather in the nearby forest. The only way for Wyatt to repair the wards is to work with Peter — the one person who knows how to harness her volatile magic. But how can she trust a boy who’s sworn an oath to destroy her? When the past turns up to haunt them in the most unexpected way, they are forced to rely on one another to survive, or else tear each other apart.

The Prospects YA Books April 2024

The Prospects by K.T. Hoffman

Release Date: April 9 from Dial Press 

Why You’ll Love It: Sports romances are all the rage right now and this charming YA debut about a trans minor-league baseball player who is reunited with a former college teammate is warm and full of joy. 

Publisher’s Description: Gene Ionescu is content to play in the minor leagues. He’s seen teammates get their big breaks, but as a gay trans man in the world of competitive baseball, he’s unlikely to share the same destiny.

When Gene’s long-time rival, Luis Estrada, is unexpectedly drafted onto Gene’s team, everything changes. Luis is standoffish, talented and inconveniently gorgeous, and – to add insult to injury – his arrival puts Gene’s role on the pitch in jeopardy. This means war.

The two men can barely get through a game together and the whole team suffers. But when Luis surprises Gene with a softer side to his haughty demeanour, Gene offers an olive branch.

Soon they discover that their chemistry on the pitch might lead them all the way to the playoffs. And their chemistry off the pitch . . . well, that could be enough to change the game forever.

Pretty Furious Most Anticipated YA Books 2024

Pretty Furious by E.K. Johnston

Release Date: April 16 from Dutton Books for Young Readers

Why You’ll Love It: Popular Star Wars author E.K. Johnston returns to the world of contemporary YA with this feminist story of a squad of besties who make a pact to dispense justice on the worst, most bigoted residents of their small Canadian town. Female friendship + community-wise revenge plot? Yes, please.

Publisher’s Description: In the small town of Eganston, Ontario, five good girls have had enough. They’ve experienced the best of what their community has to offer, but they’ve seen the darker side too. Together, they’ve decided that it’s time for a reckoning and that justice is their privilege to give.

The One That Got Away With Murder YA Books April 2024

The One That Got Away with Murder by Trish Lundy

Release Date: April 16 from Henry Holt and Co.

Why You’ll Love It: High school can be deadly in more ways than one. At least if you go by young adult fiction. In the world of YA thrillers, teens aren’t just forced to navigate the complex hierarchies of the high school social scene, but threats of a much more dangerous variety. Such is the case in The One That Got Away with Murder, a propulsive murder mystery about privilege, power, and the secrets those things can protect. 

Publisher’s Description: Robbie and Trevor Cresmont have a body count—the killer kind. Handsome and privileged, the Crestmont brothers’ have enough wealth to ensure they’ll never be found guilty of any wrongdoing, even if all of Happy Valley believes they’re behind the deaths of their ex-girlfriends. First there was soccer star Victoria Moreno, Robbie’s ex, who mysteriously drowned at the family lake house. Then, a year later, Trevor’s girlfriend died of a suspicious overdose.

But the Crestmonts aren’t the only ones with secrets. Lauren O’Brian might be the new girl at school, but she’s never been a good girl. With a dark past of her own, she’s desperate for a fresh start. Except when she starts a no-strings-attached relationship with Robbie, her chance is put in jeopardy. During what’s meant to be their last weekend together, Lauren stumbles across shocking evidence that just might implicate Robbie.

With danger closing in, Lauren doesn’t know who to trust. And after a third death rocks the town, she must decide whether to end things with Robbie or risk becoming another cautionary tale.

Merciless Saviors YA Books April 2024

Merciless Saviors by H.E. Edgmon

Release Date: April 16 from Wednesday Books

Why You’ll Love It:  H.E. Edgmon’s Godly Heatens was one of the best YA books of 2023, a deliciously unhinged story of a pack of feral teens who also happen to be interdimensional gods that have been living repeating lives together through the centuries. Sequel Merciless Saviors picks up right where its predecessor left off, as the chaos from Gem Echolls’s decision to absorb the power of the God of Air has unforeseen and potentially dangerous consequences for them and all the other gods.   

Publisher’s Description: That day at the First Church of Gracie changed everything for Gem Echols, and not just because Marian and Poppy betrayed them. Forced to use the Ouroboros knife on Zephyr, who had kidnapped their parents, Gem now has the power of the God of Air.

While for any other god things might work out okay, the Magician—whose role within the pantheon is to keep the balance—having the power of another god has thrown everything into chaos. The Goddess of Death can now reanimate corpses; the God of Art’s powers are now corrupted and twisted, giving life to his macabre creations; and, while the God of Land has always been able to communicate with creatures of the Earth, now everyone can hear their cries.

As Gem, Rory, and Enzo search for a way to restore the balance without sacrificing themselves, new horrors make them question how far they’re willing to go. In the end, Gem may be forced to fully embrace their merciless nature and kill off their own humanity—if it ever really existed in the first place.

Kill Her Twice YA Books April 2024

Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

Release Date: April 23 from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Why You’ll Love It: A compelling historical mystery from the author of The Downstairs Girl and Luck of the Titanic, Kill Her Twice is set in the early 1930s and follows the story of three sisters in L.A.’s Chinatown who must solve the murder of hometown celebrity and rising Chinese American film star Lulu Wong. Bursting with historical details and thoughtful explorations of Chinese American culture, the story deftly explores a story of sisterhood, grief, prejudice, and community. 

Publisher’s Description: Los Angeles, 1932: Lulu Wong, star of the silver screen and the pride of Chinatown, has a face known to practically anyone, especially to the Chow sisters—May, Gemma, and Peony—Lulu’s former classmates and neighbors. So the girls instantly know it’s Lulu whose body they discover one morning in an out-of-the-way stable, far from the Beverly Hills mansion where she moved once her fame skyrocketed.

The sisters suspect Lulu’s death is the result of foul play, but the LAPD—known for being corrupt to the core—doesn’t seem motivated to investigate. Even worse, there are signs that point to the possibility of a police cover-up, and powerful forces in the city want to frame the killing as evidence that Chinatown is a den of iniquity and crime, even more reason it should be demolished to make room for the construction of a new railway depot, Union Station.

Worried that neither the police nor the papers will treat a Chinese girl fairly—no matter how famous and wealthy—the sisters set out to solve their friend’s murder themselves, and maybe save their neighborhood in the bargain. But with Lulu’s killer still on the loose, the girls’ investigation just might put them square in the crosshairs of a coldblooded murderer.

The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge YA Books April 2024

The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge by Matthew Hubbard

Release Date: April 30 from Delacorte Press

Why You’ll Love It: Three queer besties in Alabama, inspired by the cinematic classic The First Wives Club, decide to get revenge on their exes in this delightful YA romp. 

Publisher’s Description: Ezra Hayes has always felt like a background character compared to BFFs Lucas and Finley. He would do anything to be seen as a romantic lead, even if it means keeping a secret summer boyfriend, Presley. But when he discovers that Presley is a lying cheater, and his best friends are having boy problems of their own, they want revenge.

Their plans to get even involve sabotaging the largest party of the year, entering a drag competition, and even having Ezra run against his ex for Winter Formal King. Then the school district starts to actively censor queer voices with their Watch What You Say initiative. Taking to TikTok to vent frustrations, Ezra begins “The Last Boyfriends Student Rebellion.”

Between ex-boyfriend drama and navigating viral TikTok fame, Ezra realizes this rebellion is about something more important than revenge. It’s a battle cry to fight back against outdated opinions and redefine what it means to be queer in small town Alabama.

Lacy Baugher Milas is the Books Editor at Paste Magazine, but loves nerding out about all sorts of pop culture. You can find her on Twitter @LacyMB

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin