Hot Off The Press: December 2023 (YA Only)

Hot Off The Press is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I share a selection of new books being published in the forthcoming month.

Another new month has begun, and you know what they say: New month, new books! And by ‘they’, I mean me, because it’s time for another edition of Hot Off The Press! With 14 new YA releases in today’s post, there’s no shortage of choices from a variety of different genres, and I sincerely hope you can discover at least one new title that’s right for you!

Please Note: Hi everyone! While Hot Off The Press will continued to be shared each month on Pop! Goes The Reader, these posts will now only include young adult novels. If you’re interested in a more complete list of 200+ new releases each month, including books for middle grade and adult audiences as well, this can now be found on Pop! Goes The Reader’s Patreon, along with a number of other exciting rewards, for a monthly pledge of $5! The Hot Off The Press posts take hours, if not days, to create, and I sincerely hope you can understand why I feel this change is necessary. Happy reading!



Publication Date December 6th 2022 by HarperTeen
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This delightfully tropey teen romance perfect for fans of Ashley Poston and Lyla Lee follows a queer teen actor navigating their gender identity — while pretending to date their co-star.

Queer actor Lily Ashton has found fame playing lesbian warrior Morgantha on the hit TV show Galaxy Spark. Lily knows how little representation queer girls have, so when the showrunners reveal that Morgantha’s on-screen love interest, Alietta, is going to be killed off, Lily orchestrates an elaborate fake-dating scheme with the standoffish actress who plays her, to generate press and ensure a happy ending for the #Morganetta ship.

But while playing a doting girlfriend on- and off-screen, Lily struggles with whether a word like “girl” applies to them at all.

Lily’s always been good at playing a part. But are they ready to share their real self, even if it means throwing everything they’ve fought for away?





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Thomas Nelson
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Mazy dreams of independence. Sir Berenger longs to play the hero. But in each other, they may find the secret to happily ever after.

Mazelina of Wexcombe has always dreamed of traveling with her father to lands beyond the confining walls of their castle. But his sudden death deprives her of the future she imagined. Abandoned by her eldest brother, Mazy is soon forced to seek help from her beloved brother Sir John at the great estate of Strachleigh.

Her visit leads to a friendship with the dashing and noble Sir Berenger of Dericott. He has notions of rescuing a damsel in distress. But Mazy is brave enough to defend herself — and has proven that her skills in archery and knife throwing rival that of a knight’s. So when he is called away to Prussian lands, Sir Berenger looks to distinguish himself in battle.

When Sir Berenger returns, he and Mazy meet again on the streets of London, where she is making a living selling goods in the market. Meanwhile, he has been summoned by the king to receive a reward for his service. But the recognition comes with a price: He must marry a wealthy, titled widow to please the king. But when Mazy begins to suspect treachery, she embarks on a journey to the fortress of snow to warn the brave knight — and secure her own fairy-tale ending.

In this fourth novel set in the Dericott universe, Melanie Dickerson weaves an exciting reimagining of the Snow Queen tale.





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Inkyard Press
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In the explosive sequel to These Feathered Flames, twin sisters Izaveta and Asya find themselves separated once again, but discovering a way back to each other may be their most perilous challenge yet.

Awakening to find herself trapped in a strange tower, Izaveta knows she must find her way back to the Tóurensi palace and claim the throne. But even with an unexpected ally’s help, she worries she might not be able to get news of her survival to her sister and escape this frozen land.

Back at home, Asya enlists Nikov’s help to prove Izaveta is still alive, even as she finds herself forced to navigate the political world she always sought to avoid to save her queendom, her loved ones, and herself.

But as the sisters work independently to reunite, a dangerous force lies in wait, trying to regain power in order to overthrow the monarchy…





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Entangled: Teen
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For fans of epic fantasy with adventure and romance, Curse of Shadows reveals a world of unique magic, breathtaking action, and unforgettable love.

Amassia teeters on the brink of the next Great Dying.

The second sun has returned as our Bone Throwers foresaw – casting the nine realms into war.

My name is Ash, and I fell in the battle for Baiseen. But I’m awake now, slowly putting the pieces back together.

My Heir has lost his throne.

My sailor is gone.

And there is an emptiness inside me I can’t explain.

Amid the chaos, someone must collect the original twelve whistle bones from all corners of the world. Marcus is named to lead the cause, but with his volatile phantom, he’ll need diplomacy as much as his sword. And we are not the only ones to seek the bones.

Yet succeed we must.

Because if we don’t, it will be death to all…





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows meets Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger in this spellbinding conclusion to the “vivid and compelling” (BCCB) New York Times bestselling Last Magician series.

Unite the Stones
Free the City
Remake the World

Once, Esta believed that she could change the fate of magic. She traveled to the past and stopped the Magician from destroying a mystical book that held the key to freeing her people from the Brink, an energy barrier that traps all Mageus who cross it.

But the Book was more than she bargained for. So was the Magician she was tasked to steal it from.

Hunted by an ancient evil, Esta and Harte have raced through time and across a continent to track down the powerful artifacts they need to bind the Book’s devastating power. They’ve lost family, betrayed friends, and done what they’d both vowed never to do: fallen in love with the one person who could truly destroy them.

Now, with only one artifact left, their search has brought them back to New York, the city where it all began. But nothing in Manhattan is as they left it. Their friends have scattered, their enemies have grown more powerful, and as the deadly Brink beckons, their time is running out.

If they can’t find a way to end the threat they’ve created, then the very heart of magic will die — and it will take the world down with it.





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Inkyard Press
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Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.

Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.

When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.

Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake — and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Wattpad Books
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In the sequel to Down World, Marina is lured back through the doors by a mysterious man.

“Time after time I come back to this cold brick door. Sealed, as it has been for over a year now, as I know it must remain forever. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I know I can never open the door to Yesterday again. I can never have Kieren back. Never talk to Brady about the things we saw under the lake all those months ago. And never tell my brother Robbie how my heart broke every day that he was trapped in the abyss lurking behind those immovable bricks.

Maybe I come to this room the way some people visit gravestones. The three doors are all I have left of my loved ones now. The rough, hard rectangles and their merciless mortar, staring back at me. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

And me in the waiting room.

To open any of these doors is to open a pathway to death. I know this. And yet, they call to me.”

Eighteen months have passed since Marina O’Connell first discovered the doors, and her life changed forever. She’s a senior now. And she’s living in a plane of reality with her stepmom and her dad, while Robbie and her mom are in Oregon. She and her best friend Christy are making plans for college. They’re crushing on Mr. Martel, the new history teacher. He’s young enough to inspire them to take the subject seriously, but there’s more to him than good looks. He isn’t who he seems, and when he confronts Marina with the secret they both share, she realizes that she can’t, or won’t, turn away from the doors that have been calling out to her for months.





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Sourcebooks Fire
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No matter how you try to hide it, the truth will always come out…

When a small plane crash ends with a group of seven teens washed up on a deserted island, their first thought is survival. With supplies dwindling and the fear of being stranded forever becoming more of a reality, they quickly discover that being the most popular kid in high school doesn’t help when you’re fighting to stay alive.

And when strange and terrifying accidents start to occur all around them, the group realizes that they are being targeted by someone who was on the plane, and that the island isn’t their only danger. A terrible secret from a party the night before the flight has followed them ashore ― and it’s clear that someone is looking for justice. Now survival depends on facing the truth about that party: who was hurt that night, and who let it happen?





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Disney-Hyperion
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The answers lie within.

Boarding school student Talia Morris has no idea her boyfriend, Nathaniel, is a Mystic, let alone second in line to the throne of a secretive, aspirational magical community ― one no mortal has ever been allowed to step inside. Until now. Nathanial’s cousin is about to be married in the biggest wedding the magical world has ever seen, and Nathaniel is allowed to bring a date. Talia is the lucky recipient of the golden ticket every Mystic wannabe in the world would kill for ― only she doesn’t want it. Talia thinks Mystic worship unnecessarily aggrandizes people for being born a certain way. When she finds out Nathaniel is “one of them,” she almost jumps ship. But Nathaniel loves her, and she loves him. So when he begs her to give his family and their community a shot, she reluctantly agrees.

Enter the most fantastical world any mortal has ever seen, and a magical wedding straight out of a dream. After a few days of bonding with Nathaniel’s family on the island, of seeing how beautiful their magic is and how peaceful their community, Talia’s about to be won over ― until the entire wedding party suddenly falls into an unexplainable coma and the community goes on lockdown. Talia, the outsider, is pegged as the culprit and has to do everything in her meager non-power to prove her innocence. As she embarks on a journey to find the truth, Talia soon discovers reality is not all it seems, and her past may put her in more danger than she ever imagined.

In this captivating YA fantasy, Talia must solve a multigenerational mystery and break a curse, all the while being torn between making her family proud and regaining the trust of the boy she loves.





Publication Date December 6th 2022 by Entangled: Teen
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This is where it ends. Victory at all costs in this thrilling conclusion to the Eleven trilogy by Jerri Chisholm.





Publication Date December 13th 2022 by HarperCollins
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Adiba Jaigirdar, author of one of Time‘s Best YA books of all time, gives Titanic an Ocean’s 8 makeover in this nail-biting heist set onboard the infamous ship.

Josefa is an unapologetic and charismatic thief, who loves the thrill of the chase. She has her eye on her biggest mark yet — the RMS Titanic, the most luxurious ship in the world. But she isn’t interested in stealing from wealthy first-class passengers onboard. No, she’s out for the ultimate prize: the Rubiyat, a one of a kind book encrusted with gems that’s worth millions.

Josefa can’t score it alone, so she enlists a team of girls with unique talents: Hinnah, a daring acrobat and contortionist; Violet, an actress and expert dissembler; and Emilie, an artist who can replicate any drawing by hand.

They couldn’t be more different and yet they have one very important thing in common: their lives depend on breaking into the vault and capturing the Rubiyat. But careless mistakes, old grudges, and new romance threaten to jeopardize everything they’ve worked for and put them in incredible danger when tragedy strikes.

While the odds of pulling off the heist are slim, the odds of survival are even slimmer…

Perfect for fans of Stalking Jack The Ripper and Girl In The Blue Coat, this high-seas heist from the author of The Henna Wars is an immersive story that makes readers forget one important detail — the ship sinks.





Publication Date December 20th 2022 by Clarion Books
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A road trip rom-com about heartbreak, social media hijinks, and learning to be happy with who you are, perfect for fans of Heartstopper, Becky Albertalli and Phil Stamper.

When their ex-boyfriends get together and start Instagramming a disgustingly perfect summer of love, Jack and Nate decide to concoct a mutual Insta-worthy summer adventure of their own to prove they’re just fine and everything’s great.

Of course, it’s hard to have an epic summer road trip when they’re stuck in a van with Nate’s mid-life crisis-bound parents and his annoying younger sister. And it’s been years since Jack and Nate have said more than a few sentences to each other. But their followers don’t have to know any of that.

How hard could faking the high life be? Posting as @TheHeartBreakBoys, the duo stumbles into one hilarious situation after another — and each discover that maybe the cure for heartbreak has been the boy riding next to him all along.





Publication Date December 20th 2022 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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In the sequel to Tracy Andreen’s debut romantic comedy So, This Is Christmas, we follow Finley and Arthur back to Barrington Academy for a swoony semester.

Finley and Arthur are back at boarding school and neither quite knows where the other stands — are they couple? Are they not a couple? What does one magical Christmas Eve kiss in Oklahoma mean for their relationship status? This confusion isn’t helped by the re-entry of old enemies into their school lives, especially ones that may or may not be crushing on Arthur. Finley is at a loss when navigating the complexities of her new (maybe) relationship, which could very well turn into love…if she doesn’t blow it.

So, This Is Love is a perfect read for the Valentine’s Day season, or for anyone looking for a delightful romantic comedy that has just a dash of drama. Once again, Tracy Andreen has proven that no one writes a holiday rom-com like her.





Publication Date December 27th 2022 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Stevie Bell solved the case of Truly Devious, and now she’s taking her detecting skills abroad when she becomes embroiled in a mystery from 1990s England. Another pulse-pounding and laugh-out-loud stand-alone mystery from New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson.

Senior year at Ellingham Academy for Stevie Bell isn’t going well. Her boyfriend, David, is studying in London. Her friends are obsessed with college applications. With the cold case of the century solved, Stevie is adrift. There is nothing to distract her from the questions pinging around her brain — questions about college, love, and life in general.

Relief comes when David invites Stevie and her friends to join him for study abroad, and his new friend Izzy introduces her to a double-murder cold case. In 1995, nine friends from Cambridge University went to a country house and played a drunken game of hide-and-seek. Two were found in the woodshed the next day, murdered with an ax.

The case was assumed to be a burglary gone wrong, but one of the remaining seven saw something she can’t explain. This was no break-in. Someone’s lying about what happened in the woodshed.

Seven suspects. Two murders. One killer still playing a deadly game.

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Hi! I’m Jen! I’m a thirty-something introvert who loves nothing more than the cozy comfort of home and snuggling my two rescue cats, Pepper and Pancakes. I also enjoy running, jigsaw puzzles, baking and everything Disney. Few things bring me more joy than helping a reader find the right book for them!

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