Publishing pulled out some seriously big guns for this frontloaded penultimate month of 2017, from the explosive start of a new sci-fi series by New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer to a welcome rom-com return from sophomore author Lily Anderson, and pretty much every single thing you can imagine in between. Looking to start a new fantasy series? Alex R. Kahler and New York Times-bestselling author Livia Blackburne have got you covered! Need a coming-of-age contemp brimming with music love? Welcome back to the critically acclaimed Jasmine Warga! Australian debut YA to satisfy the itch you haven’t been able to scratch since Jellicoe Road? Allow me to introduce you to Shivaun Plozza and her fabulous Frankie Vega. Looking to fall in love with some brand-new voices? Just try to resist Fred Aceves or Ruth Lehrer. And of course, you can pick up some of your favorite series right where they left off, with sequels by Erin Bowman, Ava Jae, and Traci Chee.
Renegades, by Marissa Meyer (November 7)
Nova wants nothing more than revenge against the Renegades, the supernaturally empowered so-called champions of justice who supposedly restored the peace of their world after an anarchic revolution and now reign as inspiration to all. Well, not all—the Renegades were nowhere to be found when she needed them, and then they took away the only person left who mattered to her. Ten years later, she’s on their list of most-wanted villains…in the form of her alter ego, Nightmare. But since no one knows the girl behind the mask, nothing’s to stop her from infiltrating the Renegades to serve the remaining anarchists’ ends. Unfortunately, doing so also means betraying Adrian, a Renegade boy who’s slowly cracking through her defenses. This super-fun series starter is full of twists, turns, and morality questioning, and action action action.
Here We Are Now, by Jasmine Warga (November 7)
It’s been a minute since Warga’s highly lauded debut, My Heart and Other Black Holes, and it was definitely worth the wait. Taliah’s stunned to uncover evidence that rock star Julian Oliver is her father, and even more stunned when he shows up on her doorstep, asking her to travel with him to his hometown to see his dying father. Dragging her best friend along, she makes the trip to Indiana, and as she gets to know Julian and his family better, the story of his past with her mother slowly unfolds, showing Taliah there’s more than one parent whose truths she never knew.
Retribution Rails, by Erin Bowman (November 7)
In this companion to Vengeance Road, Reece Murphy has been pulled into the Rose Riders gang—thanks to the symbolism he didn’t know on a gold coin he was given. Now he’s determined to track down the man who gave it to him so he can trade his way out. His first big clue comes from Charlotte, a journalist he encounters during a train robbery by the Rose Riders that goes wrong, and ultimately, they’re pushed to work together so each can achieve their own ends.
Rosemarked, by Livia Blackburne (November 7)
Zivah is the youngest high healer in the history of Dara, but the pride and joy is shortlived when she’s immediately thrust into her first task: healing the Amparan soldiers who oppress her people and have been afflicted with the deadly rose plague. Not only does she successfully save her enemies, but she emerges rosemarked, contagious and marked for death. Grateful for her aid, the commander she heals sends her to a colony for the rosemarked in order to allow her to continue her healing. But Zivah and other enemies of Ampara have their own ideas, and her ability with herbs, and the bravery of a rose plague-immune tribesman named Dineas, may be the only chance both their people have at freedom. Blackburne does an excellent job ratcheting up the stakes and the moral complexity of working both with and against your enemies, and I warn you now that you are going to be dying for the sequel when you finish. But it’s totally worth the pain, especially if you’ve been looking for something to fill the political fantasy hole left by the end of Marie Rutkoski’s Winner’s series.
Now is Everything, by Amy Giles (November 7)
In this debut, told in alternating timelines, we meet Hadley McCauley, who’s narrating after a plane crash in the Now, when she’s living under the thumb of her abusive father and risking everything by getting close to a new boy in the Then. No dating is just one of the many strictly enforced rules in the McCauley home, which may look perfect on the outside, but has become a prison to Hadley on the inside. She struggles to adhere to the rules (which include extremely early morning wakeups for exercise) and keep her sister from facing the same cruelty, but when she falls for classmate Charlie, that No Dating rule becomes impossible, and the consequences of breaking it are more dire than she can handle, and what happens next will stun everyone who thought they knew her and her family.
The Closest I’ve Come, by Fred Aceves (November 7)
It takes about half a page of this debut to become convinced Aceves is an author to watch, but there’s no point at which you’ll want to put down his strongly voiced coming-of-age, perfect for fans of When I Was the Greatest. Marcos is growing up in the wrong neighborhood, with an abusive father figure, never enough money, and no love of any kind, from any direction. He’s convinced his upbringing will forever hold him back until one of his teachers recommends him for an after-school program geared toward lifting up kids who show potential. There, he makes close friends with both his crush, Amy, and Zach, the kid he most recently beat up. Gradually, Marcos learns to stand up for what he wants, achieve more than he thought he could, and shed the toxic masculinity that’s been holding him back.
Kat and Meg Conquer the World, by Anna Priemaza (November 7)
If you love dual-POV friendship-centric fandom books a la Queens of Geek and Gena/Finn (and who doesn’t?), Priemaza’s debut is the perfect next stop. It alternates point of view between anxious, insular Kat and extroverted Meg, who’s found her ADHD to be a social stumbling block. Though the two wouldn’t seem to have much in common, they’re joined by their love of LumberLegs, a hilarious gamer who posts videos of himself playing. Neither expected a friendship out of their science fair partnership, but finding a bond when it’s something they both struggle with is nothing short of magic.
Frankie, by Shivaun Plozza (November 7)
Frankie’s voice reads like the lovechild of Parker Fadley and Taylor Markham, and that’s about the highest compliment I can pay anything. A great pick for fans of Melina Marchetta, Plozza’s debut centers around an extremely pissed-off girl named Frankie who’s just learned she has a half-brother from the mother who abandoned her when she was four-years-old. The aunt she’s living with thinks she’s better off leaving getting to know newfound sibling Xavier alone, but Frankie can’t help her curiosity, especially when the suspension she incurred after beating up a boy in her class left her with some extra free time. But when Xavier goes missing, Frankie’s life only gets more complicated and angrymaking; no one seems to give a damn that he’s disappeared, except his sometimes-partner in literal crime, Nate. Nate, who has excruciatingly blue eyes and is more supportive of Frankie than she realizes. Nate, who might be the only thing left in her life she isn’t screwing up.
The Speaker, by Traci Chee (November 7)
Chee’s New York Times-bestselling debut, The Reader, sees its story continue in this sequel, which picks up with Sefia and Archer on the run in the forest, doing their best to leave the Guard in their dust. While Sefia continues to study the Book to uncover their next moves, Archer finds the nightmares of his past will only subside if he hunts down impressors and frees the boys they’ve taken. As they travel together on this quest, and Sefia continues to research into the past, Sefia watches the soft, gentle boy she knows become someone who craves violence. But they’ll both need to work together to stop the threat of impending war.
The November Girl, by Lydia Kang (November 7)
Anda is half human, half witch: specifically, she embodies the November storms that destroy ships that dare cross her path and uses their deaths to keep her island, Isle Royale, alive. And now she’s faced with Hector, a boy who’s run to Isle Royale to hide from his abusive family until he turns 18, and is now stuck at Anda’s mercy. But even though violence is how she survives, something about Hector makes Anda want to keep him safe.
This Mortal Coil, by Emily Suvada (November 7)
Cat’s a hacker, but not simply the kind who can break into technology. She hacks genes, something she’s able to do since people in her world are encoded with a technology that makes it possible to change their DNA. She’s also been on her own since her brilliant scientist father was kidnapped by the Catarxus Organization two years earlier. When a Catarxus soldier arrives to tell Cat her father is dead, he also tells her that her father created a vaccine that would cure the deadly Hydra Plague that’s been decimating the world’s population and turning so many who remain into cannibals. Unfortunately, the vaccine is encrypted, and they need Cat’s help to solve the puzzle. But does her father’s warning not to trust Catarxus still stand years later? Or is he the one who wasn’t to be trusted?
Into the Black, by Ava Jae (November 14)
Jae’s debut, Beyond the Red, is a personal favorite, so I’m psyched for the sequel to release and bring readers back to the world of Eros and Kora, although at this point, they could not be further apart. Eros is kidnapped before he can return to the capital, and once-queen Kora is stuck fighting off everyone who would steal his rightful throne. But when a popular outsider becomes a contender, Kora knows it’s time to set out and find Eros herself so he can claim the crown. But things don’t go entirely as expected, especially between the pair of them.
Runebinder, by Alex Kahler (November 14)
Ravenborn series author Kahler returns with a brand-new fantasy set after magic has returned to the world and now-human monsters roam the streets, guided by necromancers and Kin. They can only be defeated by Hunters, those who possess the very same magic that once brought the world down. But even as Hunters continue to fight, they know it’s a losing battle. Tenn is one of the fighters, uncontrollably empowered by elemental spheres, and when he draws the attention of both Kin Tomás and fellow Hunter Jarrett, he faces that his power could have far bigger consequences than he ever considered, and it’s up to him to wield it to keep the world safe instead of hastening its destruction.
Good and Gone, by Megan Frazer Blakemore (November 14)
Lexi’s watched her older brother, Charlie, languish on the couch for months after a breakup. Then suddenly, he’s up on his feet, raring to go on a road trip to find a missing musician. It’s all a little too suspicious, which is why she’s going with him. And, honestly, it’s perfect timing for her; she’s got her own bad breakup to get over, with Seth, who dumped her seemingly out of nowhere. But as the trip progresses, Lexi’s reflections on what she had with Seth show a darker truth, one rife with manipulation and regret. With some distance, and her brother working out his own depression at her side, she’s finally able to process what really went down between them, and heal so that she can move on once and for all.
Being Fishkill, by Ruth Lehrer (November 14)
Fishkill Carmel’s life hasn’t been a happy one, and no matter how hard she works to build up her defenses, there’s only so much she can do when faced with an apathetic mother and abusive grandfather. But meeting Duck-Duck Farina, a girl in her class who welcomes her into her home and is exactly the kind of quirky-but-tough that Fishkill needs in her life, gives her somewhere to escape, build herself back up, and explore the matters of her heart. Then her mother re-enters her life, and suddenly nothing is safe. This book tore my heart clean out of my chest, but in a category short on books with younger protagonists, and especially ones exploring their sexuality, and especially ones that represent rural poverty, it’s an extremely worthwhile pain.
No Saints in Kansas, by Amy Brashear (November 14)
Many know the story of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, about the shocking murder of a Kansan family in 1959, but no one knows this version. Told from the perspective of Carly Fleming, a fictional friend of mercilessly slaughtered teen girl Nancy Clutter, it follows its own investigation into the killings—specifically, it tells the story of Carly trying to clear Nancy’s boyfriend Bobby’s name. He was, after all, the last one to see the family alive, but what Bobby and Carly know that no one else does is that Nancy was quietly struggling, ready to snap under the pressure of being perfection personified. Carly knows Bobby’s innocent, but when she pushes too hard to try to prove it, she’ll end up a suspect herself, which only makes matters murkier when the real murderers are caught…and her father’s the one appointed to defend them.
Beulah Land, by Nancy Stewart (November 16)
Vi knows it’s not safe to be out as a lesbian in the Missouri Ozarks, but she can’t help who she is. All she wants is to get through the day and to become a veterinarian like her boss, but Dale has other plans, and they don’t involve letting Vi be. The only way Vi knows to get Dale off her back is to expose his participation in a dogfighting ring, something she attempts to do with the help of her best friend, Junior. But putting together all the necessary ties to save herself may blow her family’s history apart.
Not Now, Not Ever, by Lily Anderson (November 21)
Elliot’s parents are tearing her in all different directions for the summer, but little do they know, she’s not following any of their wishes. Instead, she’s rebranded herself as Ever and gotten herself admitted to a hypercompetitive summer camp that features a three-week academic decathlon and a hell of a prize for the winner: a scholarship to Rayevich College, aka Ever’s dream school, given it’s the only one with a science fiction lit program and she’s got her eye on the goal of following in her idol Octavia Butler’s footsteps. But an unpleasant surprise awaits her at camp and threatens to blow her cover—an extra-unwelcome threat once she finds the scholarship isn’t the only draw in this sharp, brainy rom-com take on The Importance of Being Earnest.
The Temptation of Adam, by Dave Connis (November 21)
Watching porn is how Adam copes with everything that’s falling down around him, but when his illicit and maybe-a-little-too-frequent habit is discovered, it lands him in an addiction support group. The Knights of Vice start off as a nuisance, but as he bonds with his fellow addicts, Adam starts to see a purpose in the group meetings. He also starts to see a real live in-person girl he might actually click with, and a missing piece of his life comes back into place. Now Adam’s got every reason to fight to get his full mental health back, and it’ll start with figuring out exactly what set off his addition in the first place.
R.I.P. Eliza Hart, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (November 28)
Ellie and Eliza might not have been friends anymore, despite Ellie’s best efforts, but that certainly doesn’t mean Ellie wanted her dead. In fact, she’ll do anything to learn the truth behind the death of her classmate, especially since Eliza turning on her technically gave Ellie the motive that makes her look like suspect number one. But the deeper she digs, the more she’s forced to reexamine her own memories of their friendship, and whether Eliza’s end is one she is uniquely equipped to understand.
The Chaos of Standing Still, by Jessica Brody (November 28)
Ryn is stuck. Figuratively, she’s stuck in the memories of her best friend, Lottie, who died a year earlier, and still clings to a single unread text message on her phone that would reveal Lottie’s last words to her. Literally, she’s stuck in the airport on New Year’s Eve, commemorating the tragic anniversary alone during a blizzard. Until she isn’t alone, because Xavier’s bumped into her, and they accidentally swapped phones. Over the course of 24 hours, the two will swap a whole lot more, finally allowing Ryn to open up about the depth of her grieving, and maybe even to start to live again.