I love debut novels as much as the next blogger. I love finding new talent, supporting authors who have recently ventured into the world of publishing, and becoming an OG fan of a soon-to-be-famous writer. But I also know that many authors say creating a second book (under pressure from publishers, book deals, and readers) is the hardest writing experience of their career. For that reason, I also love supporting sophomore authors—authors who made it through their first book release and decided to come back for more.
With that in mind, here are twelve YA sophomore novels releasing this year that should be on your TBR list.
The story of the Virgin Mary meets modern-day politics in this novel about a girl who finds herself (inconceivably) pregnant in the middle of her father’s congressional campaign. This book sounds riveting and unique—perhaps with a dash of the supernatural.
I loved Brandy Colbert’s rich and riveting debut novel, and I’ve heard great things about her sophomore novel’s intersectional black, Jewish, bisexual representation.
A book about a girl who writes a wildly-popular webcomic and loves her digital community? Sign me up.
Speaking of books about fan culture, this sophomore novel features a girl who never quite got over the boy band everyone loved in middle school—and one day, she gets to meet (and perhaps fall in love with) her favorite star.
This meta-fiction story about a teenager who turns out to be a character in a YA novel sounds quirky, unusual, and inventive.
This musical novel set at a performing arts school features an alto II who dresses up in drag to become a tenor I in her school all-male a cappella octet. In other words, I can’t wait to read it.
Set on a ranch in the arid Southwest, Samantha Mabry’s novel about forbidden romance, supernatural curses, and delicate survival sounds magical and atmospheric.
Amanda Maciel proved in her debut novel, Tease, that she has a talent for writing about gritty issues facing real teens. As a result, her sophomore novel about friendship, sexual assault, and mental health is sure to be fantastic.
When Taliah Abdallat finally gets the chance to reconnect with her long-estranged rock star father, she drops everything to travel with him to small-town Indiana to see her ailing grandfather. If this book is even a fraction as emotional and beautifully written as the author’s debut, My Heart and Other Black Holes, it will end up becoming a new favorite.
The bisexuality representation in this novel is supposed to be brilliant—plus the two central characters both sound complex and fascinating.
I’m always, always down for Victorian-era mysteries. If you are too, this book should be on your radar.
This book has been out in the UK since 2016, but since it didn’t hit shelves in my home country of the United States until this year, I’m counting it. The premise promises the story of a boy and a girl who you think are going to fall in love—but instead, they make a podcast. I’m more than here for this. What sophomore novels are you looking forward to reading this year?