13 new YA releases that belong on your May reading list

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean. Image courtesy Flatiron Books
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean. Image courtesy Flatiron Books /
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Tokyo Ever After May book cover
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean. Image courtesy Flatiron Books /

As May dawns, we’re all looking forward to the months and weeks ahead – possibly for the first time in a long time. With spring officially here and summer on the horizon, many of us are desperately looking forward to some time to relax and soak up the sun. (Look, we’ve all been living through a pandemic for the past year. We deserve it.)

Luckily, an embarrassment of riches is headed to bookshelves this month in the world of YA fiction and fantasy, with something for every type of reader.

One of the biggest titles arriving this May is Realm Breaker, the newest novel from Victoria Aveyard, author of the bestselling Red Queen series. The first installment in a brand new fantasy saga, its story has all complex plotting and compelling characters we’ve come to expect Aveyard and her work.

Contemporary YA fans will delight in Sunkissed, a frothy, escapist romp from Kasie West, and enthusiastically return to the world of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ with Pumpkin, a charming story of self-acceptance and embracing your inner (drag) queen.

Our picks for 13 must-read May YA books have something for everyone

Since May is also Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, there are multiple fantastic sounding titles centering the Asian experience on our list, from Emiko Jean’s modern fairytale Tokyo Ever After to Stacey Lee’s highly anticipated historical story Luck of the Titanic, which is inspired by the eight real-life Chinese passengers who were on board the fateful voyage of the H.M.S. Titanic.

Here are 13 of our picks for must-read YA titles hitting a book store near you this May