Today is the day to talk June 2021 YA Releases, and more specifically my Top 5 Reads. In this post I’ll be sharing my Top 5 books (plus a few more) of June. Make sure to check out our updated YA Book Release Calendar for more books (YA and New Adult) coming out this month.
A Closer Look at June 2021 YA Releases
It’s Pride Month!
And I’m excited to feature some LGBTQIA+ books hitting shelves (or already have) this month. Let’s dive into the new June 2021 YA Releases that you should definitely add to your TBR’s.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
There’s one thing Jay Collier knows for sure—he’s a statistical anomaly. He’s the only out gay kid in his small rural Washington town. While all his friends can’t stop talking about their heterosexual hookups and relationships, Jay can only dream of his own firsts. Compiling a romance to-do list of all the things he hopes to one day experience—his Gay Agenda.
Then, against all odds, Jay’s family moves to Seattle. He starts his senior year at a new high school with a thriving LGBTQIA+ community. For the first time ever, Jay feels like he’s found where he truly belongs. Where he can flirt with Very Sexy Boys and search for love. But as Jay begins crossing items off his list, he’ll soon be torn between his heart and his hormones. Because after all, life and love don’t always go according to plan.
Science Fiction LGBTQ
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
Two boys, alone in space.
After the first settler on Titan trips her distress signal, neither remaining country on Earth can afford to scramble a rescue of its own, and so two sworn enemies are installed in the same spaceship.
Ambrose wakes up on the Coordinated Endeavor, with no memory of a launch. There’s more that doesn’t add up: Evidence indicates strangers have been on board, the ship’s operating system is voiced by his mother, and his handsome, brooding shipmate has barricaded himself away. But nothing will stop Ambrose from making his mission succeed—not when he’s rescuing is his own sister.
In order to survive the ship’s secrets, Ambrose and Kodiak will need to work together. And learn to trust one another… especially once they discover what they are truly up against. Love might be the only way to survive.
Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
Voya Thomas is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?
With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.
Witchshadow by Susan Dennard
War has come to the Witchlands . . . and nothing will be the same again.
Iseult has found her heartsister Safi at last, but their reunion is brief. For Iseult to stay alive, she must flee Cartorra while Safi remains. And though Iseult has plans to save her friend, they will require her to summon magic more dangerous than anything she has ever faced before.
Meanwhile, the Bloodwitch Aeduan is beset by forces he cannot understand. And Vivia—rightful queen of Nubrevna—finds herself without a crown or home.
As villains from legend reawaken across the Witchlands, only the mythical Cahr Awen can stop the gathering war. Iseult could embrace this power and heal the land, but first she must choose on which side of the shadows her destiny will lie.
My Plus 2
Historical Fiction / Fantasy / Retelling
The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid
In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline. Her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. Soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice. Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.
Monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route. Slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain. They have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman. He’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.
As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.
Daughter of Sparta by Claire M. Andrews
Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior. Hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis upends the life she’s worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods’ waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother’s life will be forfeit.
Guided by Artemis’s twin, Daphne’s journey will take her from the labyrinth of the Minotaur. To the riddle-spinning Sphinx of Thebes. Teaming up with mythological legends such as Theseus and Hippolyta of the Amazons. And pit her against the gods themselves.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.
But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.
Is your backlist finally shrinking? If you’re like me, Beat the Backlist Challenge is the perfect way to keep track of ticking off books from our backlist.Cecelia Beckman
Search no further for a Backlist Recommendation for the month of June. As I post books I’m eyeing to read and purchase this month, I still have a goal of reading books from my backlist.
Yes, I know I’m a mood reader… but if I want to check off those titles that have been on my shelves for well… You know what I mean, then I’ll be joining you this month on my backlist recommendation of Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
And as we celebrate Pride month here in the United States, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe will be one more book to show appreciation for our LGBTQIA+ authors and community.🌈
See any June 2021 YA Release you can’t wait to read?Sheaf & Ink, Cecelia Beckman
Share any June 2021 YA releases you’re looking forward to in the comments.
We love hearing from you.