November is shaping up to be a month of fresh starts. In the YA world, nothing can stop the fierce teens who face unconquerable evils or risk everything for friendship or love. I often say that one of the things that defines young adult books is an ending of hope. That’s not to say everything is wrapped up in a neat bow. Nothing can ever be that simple. But it does leave the door open for a better future.
This month, I’ve got seven books about sisterhood, magic, love, and devilish princes that prove my point. Happy reading!
The Ravens - Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige (available now)
It’s still the season of the witch. Powerhouse authors Kass Morgan (The 100) and Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) have teamed up to bring us a brand new coven — Kappa Rho Nu. This isn’t your average sorority. Sure, there are parties and fundraisers. But beneath the exclusive Greek life at Westerly College, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu are really witches. Morgan and Paige each take up a different sister with something to lose. Vivi Deveraux wants to redefine herself and joining the Ravens of KRN is just her ticket. Scarlett Winters, on the other hand, comes from a long line of Ravens. She’s a legacy and the hopeful presidential candidate that will lead the sorority. When Vivi and Scarlett are teamed up for initiation, they delve deeper into the world of oaths, betrayals, and secrets.
The Camelot Betrayal - Kiersten White (available now)
I’m still catching up on the first book in Kiersten White’s Camelot Rising trilogy, but I am trash for anything Arthurian and Kiersten White. The sequel to The Guinevere Deception follows White’s take on “the most famous queen who never lived.” Now that she’s queen and Arthur is expanding the kingdom’s influence, everything is technically going according to plan. But Guinevere can’t shake the haunting nightmares and signs of troubles to come. If you’re familiar with the Arthurian legends, you’ll be delighted in the ways White has taken hold of the classic characters and twisted them into her own versions. Lancelot is a lady knight and is trying to prove herself as Queen’s guard. Arthur is as grand as he always is, but he isn’t truly the perfect king he’s usually painted as. I’m excited to see where White takes the trilogy next.
Rebel Rose - Emma Theriault (available now)
Emma Theriault’s debut series, The Queen's Council, reimagines the Disney Princesses but with the real history behind their stories. In the kick-off novel, Rebel Rose, Belle’s happily-ever-after was just the beginning. We all know the story — she fell in love with the beast and broke the Enchantress's curse. Now, she’s a queen, but not everyone wants her to stay that way. The year is 1789 and revolution is sparking all over France. When Belle finds a magic mirror that shows her a warning that sets her on a path to embrace her strength, discover the line of queens before her, and discover what’s there, underneath.
These Violent Delights - Chloe Gong (November 17)
When I read the first page of These Violent Delights by debut author Chloe Gong, I literally had to put it down because the writing was so exquisite, I knew I needed to savor it. It isn’t often (if ever??) that we get YA books set during the Roaring '20s outside of the United States. Gong sets her Romeo & Juliet inspired novel in 1926 Shanghai with rival gangs and a monster living in the depths of the Huangpu River. Juliett Cai is a former flapper turned heir of the Scarlet Gang. Her first love (and ex) Roma Montagov is her enemy and the heir of the White Flowers. But as a monster rises, the long-time rivals have to set their guns aside before there is no city left to fight over. This is perfect for fans of Jade City with lots more romance!
Soulswift - Megan Bannen (November 17)
Megan Bannen’s latest novel, Soulswift, a dark epic fantasy, is the story of Gelya, a girl who channels the One True God through song, AKA a Vessel. She lives in a cloister with others like her. But when she discovers a coverup by the Ovinists who raised her, she teams up with an enemy soldier named Tavik and they inadvertently turn Gelya into a human vessel for a demon. On the run from everything and everyone, Gelya and Tavik race to exorcise the demon from Gelya’s body, even if it might unleash something far worse on the world. Perfect for fans of The Winner’s Curse and The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories - Holly Black (November 24)
If you’ve spoken to me in the last two years then you’ve probably heard me talk about Holly Black’s Folk of the Air series. Starting with The Cruel Prince, the story follows Jude Duarte, a reverse changeling who was kidnapped and reared in a fairyland kingdom called Elfhame. She’s driven by revenge, anger, and the desire to have power. That need for power comes from her altercations with Prince Cardan. This is one of the most twisty trilogies I’ve ever read. Black is a master at tricksy fairy language and at creating emotionally complex characters with murderous ambition. How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories is a novella that gives a deeper insight into the enigmatic (and dramatic) Prince Cardan. Each story is accompanied by beautiful art illustrated by Rovina Cai, which also makes it the perfect addition to anyone’s fairy collection.
Ruinsong - Julia Ember (November 24)
Julia Ember’s mix of queer romance and magical prose makes her a powerful voice emerging in YA SFF. Her latest novel, Ruinsong, is about a world where magic is sung. Cadence, a powerful mage, is forced to use her gift to torture the disgraced nobility of the land. But when Cadence is reunited with a childhood friend, Remi, she might have a way to break free. Remi might be the daughter of a Viscount, but she’s also got ties to the kingdom’s growing rebellion. There’s music, magic, and a slow burn love between two girls ready to fight for a better world. Ruinsong is also a standalone, and perfect if you don't want to commit to a series.