23 YA Books by Black Authors for Your 2023 TBR

A collage of the covers included in this article

From newly crowned royals to sweet romances to chilling mysteries, there is no shortage of incredible YA books being published by Black authors in 2023. In honor of Black History Month, we rounded up 23 books that we can’t wait to dive into. With this list as your guide, you’re certain to have an incredible TBR for this month and every one to follow.

Forever Is Now by Mariama J. Lockington

This novel-in-verse follows Sadie, a bisexual Black girl, as she’s diagnosed with agoraphobia and learns to manage her mental health while finding her place as an activist within an online community.

Rhythm & Muse by India Hill Brown

Cinderella meets Cyrano? Music to our ears! A song contest hosted by podcaster Delia is the chance Darren needs to step into the spotlight and meet his dream girl, if he’s brave enough to take it.

Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood

This YA novel transports readers to Jamaica. In the jungle, tourists are protected from monsters by guides known as Wildbloods, like Victoria who is willing to venture deep into danger to prove herself.

The Jump by Brittney Morris

Team Jericho is made of the greatest scavenger hunters Seattle has ever seen, and they’ll all be put to the test when a mysterious organization called The Order creates a challenge that could change their lives.

A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow

Readers looking to get out of this world can look forward to this summer space opera. Zaira, a reborn god without powers, is searching for Wesley, a smuggler destined to help her defeat the god of destruction.

You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron

Charity’s summer job is playing the “final girl” at a camp where guests pay to be scared. But the horror becomes too real when coworkers go missing and Charity and her girlfriend end up on the run from a real killer.

House of Marionne by J. Elle

Debutantes and magic and assassins—what more could we ask for? Quell must become a perfect debutante for the Order, a magically elite society. If she doesn’t, someone might learn that she possesses a deadly secret.

That Self-Same Metal by Brittany N. Williams

One of our must-read spring books, this historical fantasy features plenty of political intrigue as Joan, a metal bender working at Shakespeare’s acting company, navigates human and Fae society.

The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean

Everything in James’ life turns upside down when he ascends the throne of England in this romantic thriller. He’s lost his father and when his boyfriend disappears, he’s left alone to navigate the dangers of palace life.

Sing Me to Sleep by Gabi Burton

Saoirse Sorkova is keeping secrets. She hides her siren identity, hides her tenuous control over her powers, and when she is assigned to help the prince hunt an assassin—she hides the truth that she’s the one they’re searching for.

There Goes the Neighborhood by Jade Adia

Rhea, Malachi, and Zeke want to protect their South Los Angeles community and stir up rumors of a fake gang to scare away gentrifiers. But things take a turn when a landlord’s death is blamed on the fictitious gang.

The Black Queen by Jumata Emill

This debut thriller is set in the aftermath of the murder of a town’s first Black homecoming queen. Duchess is determined to get justice for her best friend Nova’s death, and she already has a suspect locked in.

Her Good Side by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Is there anything better than the fake dating trope? Bethany and Jacob both feel out to sea when it comes to relationships, and helping each other learn to navigate the waters feels like a great idea until real feelings develop.

The Song of Wrath by Sarah Raughley

In this historical fantasy sequel to The Bones of Ruin, tightrope dancer Iris Marlow learns that she’s destined to bring about the apocalypse and must find a way to stop it while being hunted by a mysterious stranger.

We Don’t Swim Here by Vincent Tirado

You may have spotted this YA horror novel on our roundup of highly-anticipated 2023 releases and it’s no surprise with its eerie and captivating premise of a girl drawn to a gorgeous lake that holds deadly secrets.

The Blackwoods by Brandy Colbert

Beloved YA author Brandy Colbert writing a multigenerational story about a Black Hollywood family? We don’t need to see the cover or the synopsis to know this is at the top of our fall 2023 TBR!

Ride or Die by Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu

Loli Crawford and Ryan Pope have been stirring up trouble since kindergarten, but when Loli begins a dangerous game of challenges with a boy called X, it puts everything—including her oldest friendship—at risk.

Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury

A mansion in northern Ontario holds dark secrets in this psychological thriller. The novel ties together two narratives: Daisy, who can see the dead, and Brittney, a college student investigating what happened to her a decade later.

Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker

Twins Clement and Cristina Trudeau were torn apart by tragedy, but when it becomes clear that they’re being targeted as the heirs of New Orleans’ dethroned magical family, they must learn to embrace their magic together.

Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

In this must-read mystery, there’s little love lost between the strict Principal Moore and the students at Urban Promise Prep School. But when he’s murdered, three boys have to work together to clear their names and find the real killer.

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert’s YA debut was on our team’s most-anticipated reads of the year and should definitely be on the TBR of any romance readers looking for a comedic tale of academic rivals falling hard.

The Shadow Sister by Lily Meade

In this highly-anticipated speculative thriller, Casey is searching for answers after her missing sister returns. Between odd behavior and lost memories, Sutton isn’t the same and Casey is determined to find out why.

The Beauty Trials by Dhonielle Clayton

Return to the world of the Belles this year. Set three years after The Everlasting Rose, this stand-alone opens with Queen Charlotte announcing the return of a deadly competition to crown the next Queen of Orléans. 

What’s your most-anticipated 2023 release by a Black author?

Stuff Your Shelves

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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