Romance is such a common genre and there are so many romance books out there. Though a lot of them aren’t geared toward tweens, there are also so many that are appropriate for young adults and just as exciting.
All of the books on this list have crushes, drama, and romance, and they are perfect for tweens. Let’s get into it!
Best Romance Books For Tweens and Young Adults
Flipped By Wendelin Van Draanen
Ever since second grade, Juli has had a crush on Bryce. But Bryce doesn’t feel the same way about Julie, and he’s been avoiding her all these years. Now, in eighth grade, their roles have switched. Julie no longer thinks Bryce is all that, and Bryce is starting to see that Julie might not be so bad after all.
This romantic comedy is funny and exciting, told from the perspectives of both Bryce and Julie.
You can read Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen here.
Charming as a Verb by Benjamin Philippe
Henri is the popular kid in school, who is utterly charming and the star of the debate team. He also walks dogs for his rich neighbors, hoping that he’ll be able to make his dream come true of attending Columbia University.
When Henri’s classmate, Corrine, discovers the dishonesty behind Henri’s dog-walking project, she blackmails him into helping her change how she comes across in school. Henri accepts her offer, and soon they start to feel things for each other that they didn’t expect.
You can find Charming as a Verb by Benjamin Philippe here.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean is sixteen and has loved exactly 5 boys in her life. She wrote love letters to all of them, letters she poured her heart into and never expected anyone else to read. Lara Jean has kept those letters safe for years, but one day, they are gone.
When Lara Jean finds out that someone has mailed the letters, she is mortified. But things don’t go how she expects, and soon her love life is much less imaginary than it used to be.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han can be found here.
Crushing It by Joanne Levy
Kat is in seventh grade and knows that she isn’t popular, and to make matters worse, her best friend/cousin Olivia changed over the summer and now she’s on the dance team, making her much more popular than she used to be.
Another person who changed over the summer is Tyler, Kat’s best friend, who she now thinks is really cute. But when Olivia confesses that she likes Tyler, Kat tries to put her feelings to the side and help set the two up. Still, Kat can’t help but feel like they’re tricking Tyler into falling for the wrong girl.
Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai by Debbi Michiko Florence
Jenna Sakai got dumped over winter break, and now she knows that relationships end in disappointment. So this semester, Jenna has committed to having no feelings, just reading books and keeping her head down.
But Jenna starts to feel lonely with everything that’s happening, and she keeps thinking about Rin, a cute but obnoxious boy who won’t stop taking her booth at the diner. He is mysterious and stubborn, but as he and Jenna talk more, they both start to open up.
You can find Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai by Debbi Michiko Florence here.
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Alice has always been in love with her best friend Teddy. On his birthday, Alice gives him a lottery ticket as a joke along with a note that tells him how she feels. But then something completely unexpected happens: Teddy wins 140 million dollars.
It seems like a miracle, but the money goes straight to Teddy’s head, and his new extravagant life starts to come between him and Alice.
You can find Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith here.
Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko
It’s 1900 and Lizzie Kennedy is stuck at a snobby school that she doesn’t like. All Lizzie wants is to be a scientist, but that isn’t acceptable for girls. So Lizzie goes on as many house calls as she can with her father, a physician.
When rumors of the plague in their home of San Francisco start surfacing, many people (including Lizzie’s father) are denying it. But not everyone is convinced, and Noah, the Chinese cook’s son, is making Lizzie wonder what is really true. Together, she and Noah work to find out what is going on so that they can save the city.
Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko can be read here.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
In 1986, Eleanor and Park both know what it’s like to be outcasts. When they meet one day on the school bus, the two share an immediate connection. From then on, all they want is to spend time together.
But Eleanor and Park also know that young love almost never lasts, and the odds are against them. Still, they are intent on trying.
You can read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell here.
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Bridge, Emily, and Tab are best friends who have always lived by one rule: No fighting. They are starting seventh grade, and all of the girls are changing. Emily has new curves and a boyfriend, Bridge has survived an accident and doesn’t know how she is still alive, and Tab is a member of the Human rights club.
Then there is Sherm Russo, a boy who is also in seventh grade, who is starting to fall for a girl.
This book follows their story of friendship and growing up as the girls try to make it through seventh grade together without going their separate ways.
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead can be purchased here.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Nix is the daughter of a time traveler, and she has been to so many different places in different times. But when her father finds the map he’s always wanted, Nix’s entire existence is at stake. The map is from 1968 Honolulu, the year before Nix’s mom died while giving birth.
Nix has a connection with Kash, a Persian thief who’s been on their ship for two years. She doesn’t want to lose him, and she also doesn’t want to lose herself. But nobody knows what will happen if her father changes the past, and it could change everything for Nix, too.
You can read The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig here.
Glitter Gets Everywhere by Yvette Clark
When Kitty’s mom dies, Kitty just wants her life to feel “normal” again. But when her dad tells Kitty and her sister that they will be moving from their home in London to New York, Kitty has to leave the one place that helps her remember her mother.
Kitty starts to become friends with a boy in New York and slowly adjusts to her new life there. As she lives her life and tries to overcome her grief, Kitty realizes that her mother isn’t just tied to one place, and Kitty can carry memories of her wherever she goes.
You can find Glitter Gets Everywhere by Yvette Clark here.
The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys by Barbara Dee
Finley and Maya are best friends, and they know everything there is to know about middle school boys. They’ve broken them down into groups: Frogs, croakers, and tadpoles. Frogs are at the top of the chain, the boys who are mature, and tadpoles are at the bottom, the boys who are extremely childish.
But when Zachary Mattison comes back to school after disappearing for a year, Finley doesn’t know what to think of him. Then the frog life cycle that Finley and Maya have written out gets into the wrong hands, and it causes a battle to break out among the boys and the girls.
The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys by Barbara Dee can be read here.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Caymen is seventeen and knows that she doesn’t trust rich people. When she meets Xander, a handsome and extremely wealthy boy, she is careful not to get wrapped up in his charms. After all, her mother warned her that rich people have a short attention span, and Xander would never last.
Still, Xander seems so loyal and caring, Caymen starts to wonder if she can overlook his money. But when she finds out something about their relationship, Caymen doesn’t know if they will be able to overcome this obstacle.
You can read The Distance Between Us by Kasie West here.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Macy’s father recently died and she and her mother are grieving. Macy is also working a boring job at the library, studying for the SATs, and waiting for her boyfriend, Jason, to return from Brain Camp.
But suddenly things start changing when Macy gets a new catering job. She meets Wes, a mysterious and artistic boy, and she starts a new project with her sister, discovering long-lost memories along the way. Soon, Macy is questioning what she thought she once knew.
You can find The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen here.
Romeo Blue by Phoebe Stone
Flissy’s parents left her in Bottlebay, Maine to be safe while they went to face the violence of World War II in Europe. Now that it’s been a year, Flissy loves her life there, and she’s grown to love Derek, the boy the Bathburns have adopted.
When a man shows up claiming to be Derek’s biological father, he starts asking all sorts of strange questions. Flissy can see that he is up to no good, and she is going to get to the bottom of it.
Romeo Blue by Phoebe Stone can be read here.
All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown
A deadly disease has killed most of the people in the world, including everyone that two boys Andrew and Jamie have ever loved. When Andrew ends up at Jamie’s house, they know they should be wary of each other, but something makes it easy to trust one another.
It’s too dangerous in their shelter, so Andrew and Jamie embark on a search for civilization. But Andrew and Jamie both have secrets that could cost them everything, and to make matters more complicated, Jamie is starting to have feelings for Andrew.
You can find All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown here.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Simon is 16 and he is gay, but people don’t know it. He’s been emailing with a boy using the pen name Blue, and he is starting to fall for him even though they’ve never met. But when an email gets into the wrong hands, Simon finds himself being blackmailed so that his secret (and Blue’s identity) doesn’t get out.
Simon has to be the popular kid’s wingman. Now his life is complicated, and Simon finds himself going out of his comfort zone more and more each day.
You can purchase Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli here.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
For most girls, The Selection is an amazing chance to live in a palace and compete for the love of Prince Maxon. But when America is selected, she is distraught. It means that she has to walk away from her love for Aspen and enter a competition for something she doesn’t even want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon, and suddenly she is questioning everything about the future she once imagined.
The Selection by Kiera Cass can be found here.
The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley
Melody McIntyre is a stage manager who is very successful in almost everything she does, but the one thing she doesn’t have success in is love. Mel knows that falling for people during school performances always ends badly, so she’s sworn off love until their current play is over.
But this proves to be difficult when Mel meets Odile Rose, a sweet and funny person who is also super talented. Now, Mel has to try not to fall in love, because she knows it will end badly like it always does.
You can read The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley here.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Liz doesn’t feel like she belongs in her small town, and she knows that she will leave the moment she graduates high school. But she was counting on financial aid to help her in college, and when that is taken away from her, Liz’s plan is destroyed.
Then Liz remembers about a scholarship awarded to the school’s prom queen and king, and though it’s not really her thing, she is determined to go to her dream college. As Liz attempts to gain enough popularity to be crowned prom queen, she starts hanging out with the new girl in school, Mack, who is funny and interesting. But Mack is also running for prom queen, and Liz doesn’t know how that might affect their relationship together.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson can be purchased here.
Can a 12-year-old read romance books?
You don’t need to be an adult to read romance, and there are plenty of YA romance books that are perfect for 12-year-olds. There are plenty of adult romance novels that wouldn’t be suitable for younger audiences, but as long as you make sure the book is made for young adults beforehand, 12-year-olds can absolutely read romance books.
Do middle-grade books have romance?
There are a ton of middle-grade books with romance. In fact, most of the ones on this list fit into that category! Of course not all middle-grade books have romance but many do, you just have to look for them.
What are the most popular romantic books for tweens?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
Matched by Ally Condie
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
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