10 of Our Most Anticipated Indie YA Books of 2018

Capping off this fantastic preview season is a look at the most exciting of the next six months’ indies, i.e. upcoming releases across all genres by independent publishers. Indies might be a little more likely to go under the radar because they come from smaller houses, but don’t let these ten go under yours!

See all 2018 previews here.

The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, by NoNieqa Ramos (Carolrhoda, February 1)
This uniquely formatted and hard-hitting debut introduces readers to Macy, whose diagnosis of “disturbed” doesn’t remotely do justice to the life she’s surviving. Her father’s in prison, her mother parades a string of awful boyfriends through her home, her brother has been taken by Child Protective Services, and neither her safety and welfare nor being fed is ever a guarantee. But what Macy does have are two great friends, a machete, and a powerful vocabulary.

Road to Eugenica, by A.M. Rose (Entangled, February 5)
Drea isn’t the same girl she was yesterday. Now she’s got a whole host of brand-new abilities both mental and physical, and it’s pretty damn cool. But beneath this strange development lies a terrifying secret: Drea wasn’t born, she was created. With mysterious new boy Maddox and her best friend, Dylan, at her side, Drea searches for answers while doing her best to stay safe and hidden from whoever’s looking to hunt her down. But none of them could possibly be prepared for what they uncover.

Honor Code, by Kiersi Burkhart (Carolrhoda, March 1)
Going to Edwards Academy is a dream come true for Sam; it’s by far her best shot at getting into Harvard. But while she was prepared for academic rigor, she didn’t expect the hazing and humiliation that comes for all newbies. Then her tormentors make it even worse by pairing her with an entitled older guy, and in one horrible night, everything changes for Sam. But can she both speak up and hold on to her future? Told from three different perspectives and on both sides of the night, this meditation on privilege, rape culture, and the ways in which they feed each other is a particularly timely read.

Freefall Summerby Tracy Barrett (Charlesbridge, April 3)
When you’re mother’s been killed in a skydiving accident, your father isn’t likely to let you run wild. Now, at sixteen, Clancy’s had enough of behaving perfectly for both her dad and her boyfriend. Enter Denny, a skydiving student who also happens to be in college…and believes Clancy is, too. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right? But when her lie snowballs out of control, the consequences could be dire.

Someday, Somewhere, by Lindsay Champion (KCP Loft, April 3)
Struggling New Jersey-ite junior Dominique doesn’t expect anything from the concert at Carnegie Hall she attends with her class, but she finds herself immediately drawn to the talent of the the violinist in the first row. She pretends to be an NYU student to track him down, and what follows is a whirlwind courtship of music and magic with Upper East Side piano prodigy Ben. But between her secret and his obsession with perfection, it’s only a matter of time before everything crumbles.

Your Robot Dog Will Die, by Arin Greenwood (SoHo Teen, April 17)
In the near future, an experimental fluke leads dogs to become hyperintelligent and changes their very nature so they’re no longer man’s best friend at all. Now, the few that remain have been rounded up as scientific specimens on Dog Island, which is also where their robot replacements are tested before they’re sold into the world. For Nano, Wolf, and Jack, who’ve grown up on Dog Island, falling for the robot dogs only to have them disappear after testing is always painful, but it’s become their reality. Then Nano finds the real thing, and life will never be the same.

The Girl and the Grove, by Eric Smith (Flux, May 8)
Fresh off his fantasy duology that ended with Inked, B&N Teen’s very own Eric Smith is back with the story of foster girl Leila, who struggles with both inconsistent and temporary family life as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Environmental advocacy, hanging out with her best friend, and adjusting to life as a new adoptee keep Leila plenty busy, and her life seems to be on an upswing…if you don’t count the voices in her head, luring her to the grove in Fairmount Park. There, she’ll begin to uncover her life’s magical legacy, and the truth behind her powerful connection to nature.

The Art of French Kissing, by Brianna Shrum (Sky Pony, June 5)
If you know me at all, you can probably guess this is one of my favorite covers of all time, but even if I were not obsessed with macarons, nothing jumps onto my list faster than a book with culinary themes, especially if it features competition. That’s exactly what greets Carter in Savannah, where she’s hoping to win the grand prize of a full scholarship to culinary school. Standing in her way is Reid Yamada, who quickly becomes her biggest rival. And there’s heat between them that has nothing to do with ovens and burners…

Tell Me No Lies, by Adele Griffin (Algonquin, June 12)
Lizzy is movin’ on up, dating a hot guy she never could’ve landed a few years earlier and learning how to party with her new friend, Claire, even if it means school takes a backseat. But what Lizzy isn’t telling Claire is that things with Matt aren’t what she’d always hoped they would be. And what Claire isn’t telling Lizzy are the details behind the breakup that forced her to change schools. With both of them weighed down by their secrets, someone will need to crack to save their friendship.

The Art of Escaping, by Erin Callahan (Amberjack, June 19)
Mattie dreams of being an escape artist, but it’s a dream she keeps secret from everyone, even her best friend, Stella. Then Stella leaves for the summer, and left to her own devices, Mattie decides it’s time to finally see what she can do. She hunts down Miyu, who has family roots in escapology, and convinces her to become her trainer. But when a popular athlete from Mattie’s high school stumbles upon her practicing, she’s sure that’s the end of it all. There’s no way Will would keep her secret…unless he had one of his own.

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