The 20 Biggest YA Debuts of the Fall

It’s about to be the most wonderful time of the year. We’re talking autumn weather and pumpkin spice in everything that can be consumed, Halloween, and cozy reading time under snuggly blankets. It’s already been a great year for debuts, but we’re not quite done yet. From timely contemporaries to fresh West African-inspired fantasies to dragon epics that fill in the Game of Thrones-shaped hole in our hearts, there’s a little something for everyone this fall. Here are the biggest fall debuts for 2019. 

Crown of Coral and Pearl, by Mara Rutherford (August 27th)
When Nor’s twin sister is gravely injured, she’s chosen to take her place as the maiden of Varenia who will marry the prince of Ilara. Ilara has ruled over the village of Varenia for ages. Nor longed to leave her home behind, but the cold palace and colder prince is not what she had expected. As she gets closer to the prince’s brother and uncovers a plot that could destroy her village, Nor must find the strength to save everyone she loves.

Have a Little Faith in Me, by Sonia Hartl (September 3)
This laugh-out-loud romantic comedy has serious Saved! meets John Hughes vibes. When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. As with any impulsive plan comes problems. A major one being that CeCe doesn’t know anything about Jesus. Enter her best friend Paul. Together, they go to camp, and everything hits the fan when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend. Being the best friend he is, Paul goes along with the best romantic comedy trope ever: fake dating. As CeCe and Paul go along with their “relationship” a few things become clear: CeCe never really knew her ex and she confronts the night she lost her virginity. This all give way to the next best romantic comedy trope: friends to lovers. We have high hopes for this one.

Kingdom of Souls, by Rena Barron (September 3) 
This much anticipated high-fantasy looks perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Black Panther. Arrah is descended from the most powerful witch doctors in the land, but she can’t wield magic of her own. When children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah sells years of her life for magic. It’s a scorned, dangerous process, but the price is worth it. Or so she thinks. Her new, borrowed power brings more danger than she could have foreseen. Arrah must master her magic and complete the journey she set herself on.

There Will Come a Darkness, by Katy Rose Pool (September 3)
Five teens stand in the way of the Age of Darkness and destruction. A prince exiled from his kingdom. A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand. A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.  A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone. A dying girl on the verge of giving up. The prophecy has foretold them. One―or all of them―could break the world or save it. We can’t wait to binge read this debut epic fantasy!

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite (September 3)
That moment when a failed class report goes so wrong you get suspended and shipped off to Haiti. For Haitian-American Alaine, this two-month “volunteer” immersion project is not the vacation she’d imagined. In some ways, it’s even better. Though she is under the watchful eye of her Tati Estelle, her mom, and locals, Alaine is experiencing Haiti for the first time. There’s even a cute intern she has chemistry with. While learning about her family history, culture, and more superstitions than she has Instagram followers, this trip might turn out to be the best mistake that could have happened to her.

Serpent & Dove, by Shelby Mahurin (September 3)
Get ready for a tale of witchcraft and forbidden love in this stunning debut! Louise le Blanc is a runaway witch hiding from her cover in the city of Cesarine. Lou’s forsaken all magic and living off whatever she could steal, hiding from witch hunters like Reid Diggory. Reid is a huntsman for the Church who lived by one creed: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Lou’s actions land the pain in an arrangement neither could have foreseen: marriage. Dark and romantic, the first book in this duology will have you wanting more.

Frankly in Love, by David Yoon (September 10)
Frank Li is a Korean-American kid straddling two identities. He’s a typical Southern California boy through and through, but his traditional parents expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl. But Frank can’t control who he falls for, and the girl of his dreams is Brit…who just so happens to be white and not Korean. The stars are aligned when his friend, Joy Song, is in a similar situation. They hatch a plan to fake date each other, for their parents’ sake. Can their fake dating scheme work? Frank is about to find out.

Slay, by Brittney Morris (September 24)
We can’t wait for this debut! Touted as Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give, Slay follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Pantherinspired video game she created. This game is a safe haven for Black gamers. Kiera desperately needs this space since she’s one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. No one knows that she’s the mastermind behind the game. When a teen is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, the game comes under fire and mainstream media scrutiny. Kiera must fight to preserve the world she’s created and her secret identity, but what will she lose in the process?

Crier’s War, by Nina Varela (October 1st) 
Here’s an original fantasy with a steamy f/f slow-burn! In the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, are designed to be the playthings of royals. They usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will. Crier’s War follows Ayla, a human servant at the House of the Sovereign. She dreams of avenging her family’s death and only killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier, will due. But when the two women are brought together, their love is more powerful than revenge. As human unrest sweeps across the land, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war. 

The Good Luck Girls, by Charlotte Nicole Davis (October 1st)
This isn’t your dad’s Western. Set in the country of Arketta, Charlotte Nicole Davis’s highly anticipated debut follows a group of young women known as Good Luck Girls. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings, their luck is anything but. When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Chased by human and inhuman forces, they cling to each other for survival in an epic story like none you’ve read before.

Scars Like Wings, by Erin Stewart (October 1st)
This debut is perfect for fans of Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word. A year after the devastating fire that killed her parents and left her scarred, Ava Lee has to go back to high school. Her aunt and uncle are encouraging to resume some sort of normalcy. But Ava knows that there is no such thing as normal for her. Her fear of not being able to make friends is assuaged when she meets Piper. A fellow survivor, Piper pushes Ava out of her comfort zone, even introducing her to a boy who is perfect for her. But as the girls fight their own battles, Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.

Tarnished Are the Stars, by Rosiee Thor (October 15)
Three unlikely allies come together to end a deadly epidemic. Anna has worked her whole like to be a Technician and supply black-market medical tech to the sick people of her community. Even if it means breaking the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws. Nathaniel, the Commissioner’s son, wants to do anything possible to earn his father’s respect. His eyes are set on capturing the elusive outlaw Technician. Meanwhile Eliza, an assassin and spy disrupts everything. She will expose the Commissioner’s secret no matter the cost. While the trio discovers they might have more in common than different, the Commissioner might end them before any truth is brought to light. 

Fireborne, by Rosaria Munda (October 15th)
If you’re trying to fill the gap Game of Thrones left behind, then we’ve got a book for you. Channeling Red Rising vibes, Fireborne follows orphans Annie and Lee who live in a world where everyone can test into the governing class of dragonriders. Rising stars in the new regime, they’re from polar opposite upbringings but they have a place in the new world order. Most importantly, together. But when the old regime tries to reclaim the city, Annie and Lee have to decide where their loyalties lie.

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters, by Emily Roberson (October 22) 
This book is what happens you you mix classic Greek myths and reality TV in the best way. This fast-paced puts a spin into the story of Ariadne, Theseus, and the minotaur in the labyrinth. We all know how the original went, but Roberson’s version is more Keeping Up with the Kardashians than the Cretes. Here, Ariadne’s whole life is on TV. Her family runs an incredibly popular show called The Labyrinth Contest, in which fourteen teens are thrown in a maze and must kill a monster. You either win eternal glory or die. The ever charming Theseus seeks Ariadne’s help to win. But helping him win means ending the contest for good—and the death of the monster in the labyrinth. Despite their chemistry, Adriadne has to make a choice and take her destiny into her own hands, gods be damned. 

I Hope You Get This Message, by Farah Naz Rishi (October 22)
What would you do if you found out that you have one week to live? Not just you, but the whole world is ending. News outlets have received a message from the planet Alma, who claim to be the creators of Earth. The translated transmission says that they’ll hit Earth’s “kill switch” in one week. As the world is in flux, three teens Jesse, Cate, and Adeem are desperate to pull the last days of their life together just as the world is going to be ripped apart. 

The Light at the Bottom of the World, by London Shah (October 29)
This near future world depicts a reality where sea monsters swim through the ruins of London. Humanity is trapped underwater, hoping to find their way back to the surface. In this submerged city, Leyla McQueen is a submersible racer ready to compete in a prestigious annual marathon. If she wins, the Prime Minister will grant the race anything their heart desires. Leyla wants to help save her father. Facing the fathoms below and a corrupt government, Leyla is ready to risk it all to save her family.

A River of Royal Blood, by Amanda Joy October 29th
Two royal sisters fight for the Queendom of Myre in this North African-inspired fantasy. Eva was born with the magick of marrow and blood which hasn’t been seen for years. The last queen to wield this power was eight generations before when Queen Raina destroyed thousands, including her own sister. And so begins the Rival Heir tradition. With her new blood magick, Eva must face off with her older sister, Isa to the death. But when Eva’s life is threatened by outside forces, she turns to the fey for help to grow her magic into an unstoppable force. Will she choose her life over her sister’s?

Full Disclosureby Camryn Garrett (October 29)
New York Times bestselling author Becky Albertalli has called this book “Romantic, funny, hopeful, and unflinchingly real,” and we can’t wait until it hits shelves. Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. As their relationship progresses and the possibility of sex looms, she has to tell him that she’s HIV positive. The last time her diagnosis was revealed…well, she’s the new girl for a reason. But one day, she gets an anonymous note that reads: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too. Simone wants to hide, to remain a secret, but she has to find the strength to face reality head-on.

Songs from the Deep, by Kelly Powell (November 5th)
Mermaids and underwater creatures have allured readers for years. This addition to stories of the deep features a girl in search for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves. Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the sirens of her island town, despite their dangerous song. When a boy’s body is discovered on the beach and the sirens are accused, Moira isn’t convinced by the facts. She ropes in her friend Jude, the lighthouse keeper, to help her snoop around town for the real killer. But as the townspeople are calling for a mass hunt of the sirens, Moira and Jude might expose more than killer.

When the Stars Lead to You, by Ronni Davis (November 12th) 
Love heartbreaking and inspiring romances like those of Nicola Yoon and Jenny Han? Then this one is for right you. Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things: the stars and the boy she fell in love with last summer. But even after the most romantic and magical summer of her life, Ashton broke Devon’s heart. Now it’s senior year and Devon is putting the pieces back together. She’s determined to find joy again. That is until Ashton is right there on the first day of school. Can she open her heart to him again, or are they doomed to repeat the same heartbreak? You never forget your first love, and Davis’s novel of loss and first love is sure to be a memorable one.

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