Where I work I’m known as the “Young Adult Romance” expert. When patrons come in looking for a good young-adult book, they come to me. Only it’s not just for romance. It’s any young adult book really, but I do read more contemporary & romance than any other genre of young adult fiction.
Since romance is typically included in the books I read and Valentine’s Day is this month (not that I care for it) I’ve decided to share some good, heart-warming romance novels you can find in the young adult section of your local library/bookstore. And yes, you might see some repeats of past recommendations.
10 Young adult Romance Recommendations
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares – Lily leaves her red notebook in the stacks of her favorite bookstore in hopes someone will find it and complete the dare she has written inside. So when Dash finds the book, he is intrigued and they begin a back-and-forth of sharing their dares, dreams, and desires, ultimately making a connection. But will their real-world selves actually be able to get along?
Love & Gelato – Lina is sent to Italy to get to know her father, a request that her mother had made before she died. However, Lina has no interest in Italy or her father and just wants to get back home. Things begin to change for her though when she is given her mother’s old journal that she’d kept while in Italy herself and she is sent on her own journey, along with her new Italian friend, Ren, and learns about her mother, father, and herself along the way.
Love à la Mode – Rosie and Henry meet on a plane traveling to Paris for an exclusive culinary arts program. They have an instant connection, one that includes their love for food. Meanwhile, their sparks grow as they work to prove themselves in the program, but as they begin to push their limits, they wonder if they have what it takes to be successful in the culinary field.
Lola and the Boy Next Door – Lola is the epitome of the ‘out of the box’ girl you grew up with in high school, as well as the rebel. Though she does want to please her fathers, she still dates and older guy and believes they are meant to be. But when her neighbor, Cricket Bell, and his family return, her world is thrown upside down as old feelings rush back for the boy next door.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Hadley misses her flight to her father’s wedding in London, to a woman she’s never met, so things aren’t looking great for her. Then she meets Oliver, a British boy who’s sitting next to her on the flight and has a tendency to talk. During the flight they connect, but then lose track of each other upon landing and wonder if they’ll ever see the other again.
Field Notes on Love – Hugo has two tickets for a cross-country train ride in the USA, however, they are in his ex-girlfriend’s name. On a whim, he and his siblings sent out a flyer across the internet looking for another Margaret Campbell and get a few responses. He takes a chance on Mae from New York and the two are awkward at first, but soon become close and push each other to go for their dreams and expand their horizons.
Perfect Chemistry – Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes couldn’t be more different, or could they? While Brittany appears to have the perfect life, she’s actually dealing with a mess at home. And Alex looks like a rough gang member (and he actually is), he also harbors a love for his family and will do anything to protect them. So when a bet is made for Alex to ‘get with’ Brittany, is it really just that or are there real feelings between the two?
The Art of French Kissing – Carter Lane wants nothing more than to be a chef, and absolutely nothing to do with her new rival in the summer culinary program, Reid Yamada. Their rivalry breaks out into an all-out war, but just when things couldn’t get more tense between them, they are suddenly forced to work together. And if they don’t, they can kiss the chance of a scholarship to the top culinary program goodbye.
Waiting for Tom Hanks – Annie Cassidy has dreams to write screenplays like Nora Ephron, and meanwhile is waiting for her own Tom Hanks to arrive in her “not much of a rom-com movie” life. When a movie begins filming in her neighborhood, Annie gets a job working as an assistant and meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, who couldn’t be any less like her dream Tom Hanks. As much as she tries to avoid him, Annie keeps finding that she has those cute, possibly romantic moments with Drew, but there’s no way he can be her ‘Tom Hanks’… could he?
Alex and Eliza – The fictional account of the love story between young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. It’s not an instant love connection, that’s for sure, since Hamilton is bearing bad news for the Schuyler family, and Eliza isn’t exactly the daughter to go along with family expectations. While Alex is instantly charmed by Eliza, she is more cool towards him, but maybe… just maybe, she’ll fall for him too.
And those are my book suggestions for YA Romance everyone! What I love about these books is they’re generally clean (as most of the books I read are). On occasion there might be some language, but there is in real life too. You can’t always hide from it. But when you notice a book is good and it doesn’t use strong language or suggestive/explicit scenes, I have to give major props to the authors that can pull that off.
Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some of your romance book suggestions?