When it comes to young adult romance books, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a book that captures the spirit of the genre better than Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. This book grabs readers’ attention and hearts with the nostalgic flashback to 1986 (mixtapes? Yes, please!), the simplicity of the meet-cute happening on a school bus, and the honest, timeless portrayal of first love.
When you finished Eleanor & Park, you probably wished you could read it for the first time again – we get it. Read on to discover the 20 best books like Eleanor & Park.
The 20 Best Young Adult Romance Books Like Eleanor & Park
Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho
Like Eleanor & Park, Althea & Oliver is a young adult romance story set in a previous decade – this time, the 1990s. The story follows seemingly-opposite best friends Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley, inseparable since they were six, as Althea starts to see Oliver as more than a friend at the end of their junior year. But things get complicated when Oliver is diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, and Althea makes the worst decision of her life. Fans of Eleanor & Park will relish this vivid and romantic tale of two teens dealing with life’s impossibilities in love and illness.
You can purchase a copy of Althea & Oliver here.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
If you thought Eleanor & Park pulled at your heartstrings, prepare to have your heart ripped open. The Fault in Our Stars is an achingly raw and intense YA romance novel following the relationship between terminally ill Hazel and in-remission Augustus after they meet through a support group for kids with cancer. One thing they discover they have in common is a love for the same book, so the pair set out on a journey to find the reclusive author, only for Augustus to deliver a life-shattering revelation to Hazel. Best-selling author John Green will have you laughing, crying, and falling in love with Hazel and Augustus.
Pick up your copy here (you should order some tissues, too).
Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Better Than the Movies checks all the boxes of an excellent teen romance book: it’s sweet, light-hearted, and funny, and we guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. Follow rom-com-loving high school senior Liz Buxhaum as she tries to get the attention of her crush, Michael, with the hopes of being his date to the prom. As he becomes friends with Liz’s annoying neighbor Wes, Liz sees an opportunity to use Wes to help her. But when she realizes she actually likes being around Wes, it forces her to reconsider her understanding of love. Fans of Eleanor & Park will enjoy this endearing story, complete with class romance film quotes in each chapter and the accompanying playlist at the end.
Grab your copy of this charming YA romance book here.
Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Perfect for fans of enemies-to-lovers stories, this young adult romance should be at the top of your reading pile. This funny and romantic story is about overachieving arch-enemies Rowan Roth and Neil McNair as they navigate their senior class game. Even though the pair is determined to beat each other, they decide to team up until they’re the last seniors standing – and then it’s on. But the more time Rowan spends with Neil, the more she realizes he might be everything she wants in a boyfriend.
Those who enjoyed Eleanor & Park will love the witty banter and awkward, vulnerable depiction of these two delightful characters. Buy a copy here.
To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han
Nothing says high school romance like a crush, and Lara Jean has had plenty. While Lara never shared her feelings about them with anyone, she has written each boy a detailed letter detailing how she feels – but she keeps the letters hidden in a hat box. One day she discovers someone has mailed her letters, and her imaginary love life is exposed. As she deals with the fallout, she starts to think that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing after all. If you like Eleanor & Park, you’ll love the romantic journey of adorable, quirky, and naive Lara Jean.
Pick up your copy of To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before here.
My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth
New York Times best-selling author Alexene Farol Follmuth brings you this charming, opposite-attract YA romance about young love while exploring the hurdles girls of color encounter in the STEM field. Meet Bel, the surprising newbie on her high school’s robotics team, who’s trying to navigate her newfound knack for engineering. The only teammate who realizes Bel’s capabilities is Mateo, the team captain, but the pair clash so much that Mateo starts regretting inviting her to the team. But as the two work together on their National Championship project, the team becomes stronger – and so do Bel and Mateo. Anyone who loved Eleanor & Park will appreciate the witty humor and the balance this story carries between the budding romance and honest depiction of life as a high schooler.
Treat yourself by buying your copy here.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
You know a book will be perfect for Eleanor & Park fans when one synopsis calls it “The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park.” All the Bright Places is another story you will need tissues handy to read. Theodore and Violet find each other on the ledge of the school’s bell tower, each contemplating suicide. Somehow they save each other that night, and a school project pairs them up to explore their state’s natural wonders. Through the project, they find light in their seemingly-dark lives but learn that love can’t fix everything.
This story is a genuine, intense exploration of teenagers coping with depression and mental illness while finding strength in one another. Purchase a copy of this heart-wrenching young adult romance book here.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
This beautifully written YA romance follows logical thinker Natasha Kingsley and dreamer Daniel Bae over the course of twelve hours in New York City, where they can’t stop bumping into one another. While Natasha refuses to believe it’s anything more than coincidence, Daniel is convinced fate has played a hand in their meeting. But whatever brought these two together, they can’t help but find safety, happiness, and – yes – love in one another.
Fans of Eleanor & Park will love how Daniel and Natasha feel like old friends in this delightful, original story. Get your copy here.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
If anyone can spin a romantic yarn for young adults, it’s Sarah Dessen, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her contributions to YA literature and recipient of the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. In The Truth About Forever, she introduces readers to Macy, a young woman who witnessed her father die over a year ago. With her boyfriend away for the summer, Macy is preparing to spend hers working at her boring library job and studying for the SATs. But things don’t always go as expected, and Macy soon finds herself helping her sister renovate a beach house and filling in for her boyfriend at Wish Catering – and then there’s Wes, the artistic, sweep-you-off-your-feet boy who might be precisely who Macy needs.
Buy a copy of The Truth About Forever here.
When It Happens by Susane Colasanti
It’s senior year, and Sara and Tobey each have a few goals in mind. While Sara is determined to get into a top college, Tobey has his sights set on winning Battle of Bands. Both, however, are also hoping to find love. But Sara only has eyes for the jock Dave, and Tobey, unfortunately, only has eyes for Sara. If you liked Eleanor & Park, you will love this quirky, funny young adult romance book told from both Sara and Tobey’s perspectives. This sweet story has endearing characters with that “just right” amount of romantic tension to hook you from page one.
See if Tobey can win Sara’s heart by grabbing your copy here.
Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
Life doesn’t always go as you expect it to, and Kate Brown is learning that making lemonade out of lemons isn’t always how you fix things. Since becoming popular, Kate’s supposed best friend suddenly pretends she doesn’t exist. Kate’s dad is working at the mall after losing his job, and – it gets worse – Kate has to work with him. When Will, the guy Kate swears she isn’t into, starts showing interest in her, Kate decides to stop caring about everything. After all, you can’t get hurt if you don’t care, right?
Elizabeth Scott’s stunning writing makes this adorable, will-they-won’t-they story a must for anyone who enjoyed Eleanor & Park. Pick up Perfect You here.
All Laced Up (All Laced Up #1) by Erin Fletcher
A figure skater and a hockey star seem like a perfect match, right? Not in the case of Lia and Pierce. Too bad they have to teach a skating class together to save their beloved rink. Lia decides to knock Pierce off his pedestal by posting anonymous reviews of his hockey game on his team’s website. But by the time Lia realizes Pierce might not be the ego-maniac she thought, Pierce has found himself falling for the girl posting online. What will happen when Pierce finds out who she really is?
All Laced Up is another sweet young adult romance told from both main characters’ points of view. Prepare for a fun, super cute YA romance story, and buy a copy here.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
This captivating young adult romance is the perfect tale of blossoming romance between two high schoolers from opposite sides of the tracks. When lower-class Caymen Meyers meets upper-class Xander Spence in her mother’s shop, she immediately writes him off as just-another-rich-kid. But when Xander keeps coming around, Cayman finds herself starting to fall for him, and she can’t let her mom find out.
This enchanting story builds to an unforgettable climax you do not want to miss. Grab a copy here.
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins
Spending your senior year in Paris seems like a dream come true, no? Not for Atlanta resident Anna who will leave behind her bestie, her crush, and her job for (ugh) boarding school in the City of Light. She couldn’t be more disappointed – that is until she meets charming, sexy Etienne. Too bad Etienne is already spoken for. Full of near-misses and utterly adorable, this teen romance will have you falling in love with all the characters and turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Purchase your copy here.
The Upside of Unrequited (Simonverse #2) by Becky Albertalli
Shy, chubby, 17-year-old Molly has had 26 crushes, and not one of them has led to a relationship, mainly because Molly keeps her crushes secret. Then she meets fun, flirtatious Will, who is quickly on his way to becoming number 27. But Molly has been spending a lot of time with Reid, her nerdy, awkward co-worker. But they’re just friends, right?
Fans of Eleanor & Park will appreciate how Upside of Unrequited explores the journey to self-confidence and the self-loathing angst that comes with teen years. Pick up this heart-warming young adult romance here.
Dumplin’ (Dumplin’ #1) by Julie Murphy
When it comes to confidence and body positivity, self-proclaimed fat girl and Dolly Parton-obsessed Willowdean “Dumplin'” Dickson could have written the book. That is until her swoon-worthy new co-worker seems to be into her. Instead of building Willodean’s confidence more, his attention has let self-doubt creep into Willowdean. There’s only one way to deal with this: signing up for the town’s upcoming beauty pageant, much to the surprise of everyone around her. But maybe she will surprise herself most of all.
This touching, powerful, and triumphant YA romance will steal your heart. Get a copy here.
Long Story Short: A Novel by Serena Kaylor
Here’s another young adult romance featuring a STEM-loving heroine. Homeschooled math genius Beatrice dreams of studying at Oxford, but her parents aren’t sure she’s ready to live so far away. To curb their skepticism, Beatrice enrolls in a six-week-long Shakespeare summer camp. But her plans to show them she can be a typical teen might be in jeopardy after she makes friends and gets up to a bit of mischief. When she makes an enemy out of the (super hot) son of the camp’s founders, she realizes no equation can help solve human relationships. This adorable coming-of-age romance will satisfy any Eleanor & Park fan yearning for more.
Purchase a copy here.
Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach
Love enemies-to-lovers young adult romance books? Not Here to Be Liked has you covered. Eliza has her work cut out to become editor-in-chief after ex-jock Len decides to run against her. Even though he’s less-than-qualified for the job, Len’s leadership skills might lead to him winning the seat. Eliza fights back the way any editor-to-be would: she writes an essay exposing her resentment. The viral piece sparks an unintended, polarized feminist movement in the school. But when Eliza and Len join forces to show civility in their battle for the win, Eliza realizes she might feel (a lot) differently about Len than she initially thought.
Fans of Eleanor & Park will love this spunky YA romcom packed with the romantic rivalry of the ages and themes of friendship, feminism, and smashing the patriarchy. Buy yourself a copy here.
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
David and Julia’s Never List of rules for high school was supposed to keep them from having an average, typical high school experience. But Julia is oblivious to David’s secret: he’s already broken rule #8 (never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school) and has wanted to break rule #10 (never date your best friend) as long as he’s known Julia. So David eagerly plays along when Julia suggests they do everything on the list. These two are about to discover they may have missed out big time, both in high school and in love.
Never Always Sometimes is perfect for Eleanor & Park readers for its clever depiction of teen drama. Snag a copy of this fun YA romance book here.
Caffeine: A Young Adult Romance by Livia Halteh
Sixteen-year-old Aspen suffers panic-attack-inducing anxiety, and her medication has thrown in a side of insomnia to boot. While her coffee order at Café de Fleur helps, so does seeing the artsy, softer side of Issac Hensick, one of her high school’s “It Boys,” as he sketches at a nearby table. While he has a reputation, Aspen starts to think there’s more to him than the guy he is at school. This sweet, gentle story will have you enthralled on every page.
Buy a copy here.
You can’t go back in time and read Eleanor & Park for the first time again. Thankfully, there are a plethora of young adult romance books like Eleanor & Park for you to discover. This list is just 20 of the best books like Eleanor & Park. We hope you enjoy them!
What age can read Eleanor & Park?
Technically the young adult genre age range is 12-18 years old, but some young adult romance books are for the more mature end of this range. Eleanor & Park is likely best for ages 14+.
Is there a sequel to Eleanor & Park?
While Rainbow Rowell tinkered with the idea of a sequel to her beloved young adult romance, she currently does not have plans to make a sequel. However, you never know what the future may have in store, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements from her and her publishers.
Will Eleanor & Park be a movie?
Yes! The project was announced in May 2019 and is currently in development through Picturestart and Plan B Productions.
Is Eleanor & Park a banned book
Eleanor & Park is frequently challenged by schools and made the 2016 top 10 most challenged books for its “offensive language.”
Is Rainbow Rowell a pen name?
Nope. Rainbow’s publishing name is the same one listed on her birth certificate. With such a unique name, she must have been destined to write imaginative, quirky fiction books. Lucky us!
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