Adam Sass Shares His Most Anticipated Indie YA Books of 2021

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Adam Sass’s Surrender Your Sons is high on my TBR! I was really excited when Flux set this blog post up. Here, he’s sharing five fabulous YA books that he’s looking forward to in 2021. 

Title: Surrender Your Sons

Author: Adam Sass

Publisher: Flux

Age range/Genre: YA thriller

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Connor Major’s summer break is turning into a nightmare.

His SAT scores bombed, the old man he delivers meals to died, and when he came out to his religious zealot mother, she had him kidnapped and shipped off to a secluded island. His final destination: Nightlight Ministries, a conversion therapy camp that will be his new home until he “changes.”

But Connor’s troubles are only beginning. At Nightlight, everyone has something to hide—from the campers to the “converted” staff and cagey camp director—and it quickly becomes clear that no one is safe. Connor plans to escape and bring the other kidnapped teens with him. But first, he’s exposing the camp’s horrible truths for what they are—and taking this place down.

Adam: Independent releases had a banner year in 2020, and they’re poised to be even more fascinating and necessary going into 2021. For this list, I chose titles that speak very much to my interests right now: nail-biters and escapism! Let’s get these thrills started:

Published by Flux

M/M YA set during a fictional pandemic might be exactly what I need as our current, actual pandemic struggles to end. But Maria Mora’s book has enough sci-fantasy goodness in it to make it feel removed enough for readers who might be plague-fatigued. It sounds like Proxy meets Never Let Me Go as Nate, a genetically engineered surrogate, comes to terms with the fact that he was basically invented as a cure to protect society’s elite from a deadly pandemic.

Published by Tor Teen

TJ Klune made me and everybody else obsessed with The Extraordinaries last year, so naturally I’m on pins and needles for the sequel, Flash Fire! Nick got his superhero boyfriend, but Happily Ever After is going to have to wait until he figures out if Nova City’s newest heroes are virtuous or villainous. Klune writes with such humor, heart, and realness, I’m basically on board with whatever he plans on writing next!

Published by Sourcebooks Fire

A YA novel based on one of the most famous serial killers in US history? You’ve got my attention. In real life, HH Holmes built a demonic hotel to lure victims from the neighboring World’s Fair, kill them, and disappear their remains. In Bryce Moore’s upcoming thriller, a seventeen-year-old girl gets a job in Holmes’s hotel after her sister goes missing there. The Holmes murder castle holds a fascinating place in the minds of many thriller lovers, and I can’t wait to read this fictionalized investigation!

Published by Bloomsbury YA

Katie Zhao’s upcoming How We Fall Apart is bringing much needed diversity to the Elite Prep School Murder genre in what’s being described as “an Asian-American recast of Gossip Girl.” After a top student at Sinclair Prep goes missing and is later found dead, an anonymous poster uses the school’s social media app to point fingers at Nancy and her friends. Nancy will have to solve the murder before the anonymous poster can expose her darkest secrets.

Published by Duet Books (cover yet to be revealed)

For years, CB Lee has dominated the indie press YA world with the thrilling, four-part Sidekick Squad series, which will wrap up this year with Not Your Hero. Abby finally faces off with the evil Hero’s League, but first she has to regain her powers and mend pretty much every relationship in her life. This series has grown to epic proportions, so I’m sure that Not Your Hero will step up the game even further.

Adam Sass writes pop-as-hell stories with queer characters in the driver’s seat. In his books, he strives to capture the three “H’s” of the queer experience:

HUMOR.

HEART.

HORROR.

He is the author of the celebrated, buzzy conversion camp escape thriller SURRENDER YOUR SONS, as well as a story in the upcoming sci-fi anthology OUT THERE.

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