2022 looks strong with such interesting stories set to be told and February is going to adorn these anticipated, highly impressive titles. Authors like Abdi Nazemian and Akwaeke Emezi, who have already given gems like Like A Love Story and Pet respectively, are returning with shiny new novels. Debut authors like Laila Sabreen and Vanessa Len stepping in with a young adult contemporary and a young adult fantasy respectively; and some books like Amari and the Great Game is the sequel to a very well received fantasy book of last year. ✨

N A V I G A T E

01. The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang
02. Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
03. Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor
04. Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee
05. Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry
06. Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed
07. Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi
08. From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos
09. Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon
10. Golden Boys by Phil Stamper
11. Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie
12. You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen
13. Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow
14. These Deadly Games by Diana Urban
15. Lulu & Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela Velez
16. The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights by Alexandria Rogers
17. No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado
18. Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe
19. The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian
20. All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle
21. Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi
22. Reclaim the Stars: An Anthology by Zoraida Cordova
23. Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O’Neil
24. Full Flights by Ashley Schumacher
25. The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
26. Only a Monster by Vanessa Len
27. League of Liars by Astrid Scholte
28. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
29. Extasia by Claire Legrand
30. The Turning Pointe by Vanessa L. Torres
31. The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan
32. Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli
33. This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi
34. Debating Darcy by Sayantani DasGupta
35. The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto
36. Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston
37. Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak
38. A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross
39. The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart
40. What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris

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The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang

When the tyrannical patriarch Leo Chao is found dead, his sons witness the exacting gaze of the entire town that has dined on this family restaurant’s delicious Americanised Chinese food for years. The ensuing trial shows motives for all three brothers: the reckless head chef, the financially successful, and the gentle but lost college student in this literary mystery.

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Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

Seven can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven in the Black Moon Ceremony meant for witchlings to become full-fledged witches in a magical town. But she’s a Spare and stuck as a Witchling in this coven of the less powerful. Now she and the other two Spares must do the impossible to gain their full powers or fail and end up being turned into toads forever.

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Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor

Ingrid never had a fortune and the heir to a hefty political legacy is her only way to climb the social ladder. The obstacle: his father, Senator Holt, refuses to acknowledge her. So when he announces his run for president, Ingrid is quick to strike a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition. But now she questions where her true allegiances lie in this world where magic buys votes.

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Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee

Savannah made sure she got into a top college and the ivy-covered walls of Wooddale University accepted her. But when she witnesses microaggressions, and when Clive Wilmington’s statue is vandalized with blackface by Wooddale’s most popular student, Savannah is grappling with the challenges of attending an elite university with a disturbing racist history.

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Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry

The Book of Chidani—stories about the fabled kingdom that cut itself off from the world to save the Igbo people from danger—calls Cameron ever since his grandmother locked it away after his parents disappeared one night, two years ago. When he and his best friends decide to open it again, they are magically transported to Chidani and find a kingdom in extreme danger.  

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Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed 

For Omar, the son of a servant, a scholarship to the boarding school is a game changer. But when he arrives, Omar is dejected to know first-year scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams. But then he learns something even worse—the school deliberately asks more from them than kids who can pay tuition. Now with the help of his new friends, he sets out to change a rigged system.

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Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her—she’s drawn to pretty things and can’t help but occasionally ‘borrow’ them. When her father is falsely accused of a crime and gets taken in, she brainstorms a way to bring her father back, she turns to her Weird but True facts and devises the perfect plan. But what if it means giving in to her bad habit in this middle-grade novel in verse.

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From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos 

On her seventeenth birthday, Hannah wakes up transformed, a pair of golden eyes with knife-slit pupils staring back at her from the mirror. Her mother leaves Hannah and Gabe, her brother, behind to find a cure. But when she doesn’t return, the two discover a family they never knew and a tragic history—from Prague under Nazi occupation to a realm of Jewish mysticism and legend.

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Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon 

Sunny is determined to make a series of rash decisions—number one: he stopped wearing his turban, cut off his hair, and shaved his beard. He is now going to skip the big fandom party because even his cosplay doesn’t look right without his beard. But when Mindii steals his notebook and Sunny chases after her, it all turns into a prom-night rom-com romp. 

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Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

Gabriel, Reese, Sal, and Heath are best friends, bonded in their small rural town by their queerness, their good grades, and their big dreams. They are about to embark on the summer before senior year of high school, where each is going on a new, big adventure. What begins is an unforgettable summer about friendship, starring four queer boys in this start to a duology. 

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Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie

Ophelia is a romantic at heart and what she likes most are her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and way too many boys. But when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, Ophelia navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in this debut contemporary.

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You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen

Sabriya’s summer plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home, and when the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia growns, she turns to an online journal. As the blog goes viral, two more teens—Zakat and Farah—join Bri to run this outlet. But when the pushback and hateful comments start flowing in, they must risk everything to make their voices heard.

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Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow

Farrah and Cherish are the only two Black girls in their country club community. Cherish—adopted by the wealthy white Whitmans—is given the kind of adoration that creates a dissonance Farrah can exploit. A troubled Farrah manipulates her way further into the Whitman family but the longer she stays, the stranger this household seems as a slow-burn social horror unravels.

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These Deadly Games by Diana Urban

When Crystal gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her litter sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play a kidnapper’s game where each bizarre task is meant to hurt—and kill—her friends, one by one. As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth before it’s too late in this YA mystery and thriller.

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Lulu & Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

Overachiever Lulu’s plan includes nailing her interview for a dream internship at Stanford, the last stop on her school’s cross-country college road trip. Middle sister Milagro wants nothing to do with college or a class field trip but her plan for spring break—Lose Your Virginity—is thwarted, so she hops on the bus to get back at her ex. On this journey, both discover the true meaning of sisterhood.

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The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights by Alexandria Rogers

Ellie is determined to eschew her heritage as a witch—the most hated member of society—and Caedmon believes magic can’t possibly exist. But to save the world from falling into darkness, Ellie must accept her witch magic and Caedmon must rise to become the knight he’s meant to be, to reforge the lost, shattered sword of Excalibur in this middle-grade fantasy. 

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No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

Max, twenty-one, has a picture-perfect life with tons of followers on Instagram. Except it’s all fake. She is actually Kat, a quiet and sarcastic teenager with nothing glamorous—a crappy school year and her best friend’s unrequited love. When one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, everything falls apart in this queer contemporary.

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Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe

Mae has always lives on the island, on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it. But as she turns eighteen, her time with the Prospers may soon come to an end. When the spirits start inexplicably dying, she and her friends begin to unravel the mysteries of the island, a secret from her past, and the Prosper’s magic.

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The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian

At an elite boarding school, five teens—Beth who returns as a sophomore after a year of judgement from her roommate Sarah, Sarah who knows better, Spence who is the privileged daughter of NYC elites, Ramin who arrives as a transfer student from Iran, and Freddy who knows he has to stand up to his friends—are brought together in a coveted writing group where secrets are revealed.

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All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle

Cara and her mother have been cast as leads on a new reality dating show for single parent families where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. But Cara can’t get him out of her head and must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras in this young adult romance.

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Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Eucalyptus is a special school where Bitter can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the town of Lucille. Pulled between old friendships, her passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn’t sure where she belongs—in the art studio or in the streets—and at what cost.

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Reclaim the Stars: An Anthology Edited by Zoraida Córdova

Acclaimed YA authors take the Latin American diaspora to places fantastical and out of this world in this anthology of seventeen fantasy and science fiction short stories. From princesses warring in space to the haunting ghost stories in Argentina, and mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean, this collection breaks borders and realms to prove stories are truly universal.

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Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O’Neil

When the empire crumbles, Russia of 1918 is on the edge of civil war—the poor are devouring the rich. Anna, whose entire family is massacred, offers a peasant girl a diamond to take her far south; not realising that the girl is a communist herself. For her brother who needs help, Evgenia accepts the offer and finds herself on the wrong side of the war in this historical thriller.

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Full Flight by Ashley Schumacher

Football season is also the season of marching contest and for new saxophonist Anna, it’s her first chance to prove herself. When she’s assigned a duet with mellophone player Weston—the boy her small-minded town thinks is trouble—she’s equal parts thrilled and intimated. But when her strict parents want to keep them apart, together they learn how first love shapes us.

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The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

To save her brother and his love, Mina throws herself into the sea to be the Sea God’s bride—a sacrifice that her people believe will one day end their suffering, when the ‘true bride’ will be chosen. Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of gods and beasts, she must seek help from a mysterious young soulless lord to wake the Sea God before time runs out.

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Only A Monster by Vanessa Len

It’s summer, Joan is in London with her late mother’s eccentric family, and she loves her nerdy job. But she soon learns her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters with hidden powers. And Nick, her cute co-worker and crush, is a legendary monster slayer. To battle him, Joan must work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron, heir to a monster family that hates her own.

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League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

Cayder wants to see illegal users of magic brought to justice. So when he lands an opportunity to apprentice under a premier public defender, he takes it. But when he meets the three criminals he’s supposed to defend, their teenage lives seem complicated. And the prison also happens to be at the heart of a horrible tear in the veil between their world and another dimension

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Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Delilah, a photographer, swore she would never go back to her childhood town but that changes when she must photograph her stepsister’s wedding. Claire is raising her young daughter mostly on her own while running a bookstore and depends upon a life without surprises. When both are forced together during wedding preparations, a steamy queer rom-com commences.

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Extasia by Claire Legrand

Today she will be a saint of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountains. In this bone-chilling horror, a girl who joins a coven to root out a vicious evil that’s stalking her village will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people.

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The Turning Pointe by Vanessa L. Torres

Rosa is poetry in pointe shoes and destined to become the star dancer of her studio as the daughter of a tyrant ballet master. When Nikki, the cross-dressing, funky boy who works in the dance shop, leaps into her life, Rosa is weighed down by family expectations. She wants to break away from a life in tulle and find freedom through dance in 1980s Minnesota.

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The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

As an Emperor’s Justice, Sir Konrad Vonvalt’s duty is to uphold the law of the empire and his reputation as one of the most revered—and hated—Justices is enough to get his job done. When he investigates the murder of a noblewoman, he finds his authority being challenges like never before as a web of secrets and lies is unraveled in this start to a new epic fantasy trilogy.

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Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli

Adriana is figure skating royalty but fame doesn’t always mean fortune and her family’s legendary skating rink is struggling. When the finances drop, her partner Brayden suggests they give into the rumours about their intense  chemistry. But while training alongside her first crush, Freddie, Adriana is caught between her past and present, and the golden future she’s worked so hard for.

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This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

Alizeh is the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight. The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined the servant girl with strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would soon uproot his kingdom in this epic YA trilogy of clashing empires and forbidden romance.

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Debating Darcy by Sayantani DasGupta

Lela is a life-long speech competitor and she plays to win. But when she meets the corrigible Firoze, a debater from an elitist private school, and their paths are set to collide, Leela wonders why she must tolerate him when she can one-up him. Though, the situation is more complicated in this reinterpretation of Pride and Prejudice where her winning streak—and heart—is at stake.

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The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Lia is determined to fit in the prestigious Draycott Academy that she has won a full ride to on a track scholarship. But on her first day she witnesses a girl being forcefully carried away by campus security. As she uncovers the secrets of Draycott—complete with a corrupt teacher, a golden boy, and a blackmailer—she’s unsure of what she has gotten herself into.

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Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston

After showing courage as a Junior Agent, Amari is being offered a chance by the secretive League of Magicians to stand up for magiciankind as its new leader. But she declines with enough on her plate. Her refusal allows a magician with dangerous plans to step forward, and the Great Game begins: a competition to decide who will determine the future of magiciankind in this sequel to Amari and the Night Brothers

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Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak

When the mysterious First Lady Lara asks Sofie—an intrepid journalist and ex-White House correspondent—to write her official biography, Sofie’s curiosity gets the better of her. Surprisingly, Lara is entirely candid about her past; even about her beloved father’s work as an undercover KGB officer in Paris. As Lara’s story unfolds, Sofie finds herself in the middle of a dangerous game of cat and mouse. 

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A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

Jack is summoned home, Cadence, after ten long years to find the young girls disappearing from the isle. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows what the capricious spirits—that find mirth in the lives of the humans who call this magical land home—answer to. As the two rivals become allies in this adult fantasy, it becomes apparent that everything is far more sinister.

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The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart

Paradox is a hotel for time travelers where the clocks run backwards on occasion and, rumor has it, ghosts stroll the halls. January, head of security, suspects there’s a murderer on the loose because she is somehow the only one who can see the corpse in question. With accidents stalking prestigious guests and a blizzard starts rolling in, a murder mystery must be solved.

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What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris

Eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice and her teenage sister are sent by their overwhelmed mother to their estranged grandfather after their father dies of an overdose and the debts incurred from his addiction cause the loss of their family home. Over the course of a single summer, KB attempts to make sense of her new life after the death of her father and disappearance of her mother.

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what book are you most excited to read from these? 💛

5 replies on “40 Best New Books of February 2022 To Read

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