Rad Reads

A diverse list of highly anticipated YA novels to add to your TBR list

A new year means new reads! If you're like us, we're *so* excited to use all of our fave gift cards we got this Christmas on our top bucketlisted books.

With so many new releases, you might not know which books to get—we've got you covered! We gathered a list of the most highly anticipated YA novels that have Black, Latinx, Asian and LGBTQ+ characters for you to enjoy this year! 

Image: @bb_alston

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston 

13-year-old Amari Peters tries to find her missing brother, Quinton, whose disappearance has not gotten coverage from the local news or the police. Amari finds herself trying to secure a spot at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and must compete with the nation's wealthiest kids in order to solve the mystery.

Image: @paper.ashley

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth 

A rag-tag team consisting of four queer teens must form an alliance in order to maintain peace between The Eight Courts of Folk faeries and humans in the city of Toronto. Fans of The Cruel Prince and The City of Bones will fall in love with this new series. 

Image: @traveling.bibliophile

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

This is a heartfelt, cute rom-com about Noah Ramirez, a transgender teen who navigates through his first love while writing fake "happily ever after" trans love stories on his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary. Noah must learn to realize that real love does not follow the script. 

Image: @casey.mcquiston

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston 

August, a New York City newbie and loner, waits at the subway station to go home only to find Jane, a girl who somehow time-traveled from the 1970s. A whirlwind romance awaits. 

Image: @flatiron_books

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

Izumi Tanaka, a Japanese-American teen, discovers she is the princess of Japan during her senior year of high school. Izumi leaves behind her small California town to begin a *glamorous* and drama-filled life of being a royal.

Image: @namina.forna

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna 

16-year-old Deka lives in fear of being an outcast. During her village's blood ceremony, Deka's blood runs gold, making her run away in order to avoid death. She finds herself defending the country from mysterious beings as a member of the Alaki, the emperor's female army.

Image: @elimpix

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Shiori, Princess of Kiata, exposes her magical powers at her betrothal ceremony. Shiori's stepmother punishes her by turning her six brothers into cranes and issues death threats. She struggles to regain her kingdom, giving her no choice but to trust the same boy she tried so hard not to marry.

Image: @crystalwrote 

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

Charlie struggles with her body image. Growing up in a white, Connecticut town as a brown girl with a slim, popular BFF made her think that being thinner, whiter and quieter was the key to being beautiful. The novel follows Charlie's journey towards cultural acceptance and self-love.


What YA book are you reading in 2021? Let us know on IG @girlslifemag!


by Chaela Williams | 1/4/2021