The Upside of Falling is what happens when the high-school need to fit in clashes with that irresistible pull of young love. This is why Young Adult Romance is so fun to read. For teens, it gives them a story they can relate to, and the understanding that as complicated as growing up and falling in love can be, there is always hope for the future.
And when grownups read YA Romance, we get to go back to all the good parts of being a teenager, and relive those intense feelings that fade away as we get older.
If you loved The Upside of Falling and want to laugh and cringe your way through falling in love, then here are 20 more YA Rom-coms you’ll probably love.
If you crave more of Becca and Brett’s fake-to-real romance, try these:
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
Hani–a popular Bangladeshi-Irish teenager living in Dublin–has only ever dated boys. So when her two best friends dismiss her coming out as bi, she blurts out that she’s dating Ishu Dey–a closeted queer Indian-Irish classmate.
Ishu agrees to fake-date Hani as long as Hani helps Ishu get votes for Head Girl–an accomplishment she needs to impress her family. But navigating a fake relationship against the backdrop of being queer and Bengali is tricky–and the longer they fake it, the more the two girls begin to have real feelings for each other. Find Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating here.
I Hate You More by Alexandra Moody
Ally Lockwood has vowed to hate Chase Williams since she was 14–despite his amazing looks and apparent charm. So when Chase’s parents move out of town during Ally’s senior year and her parents agree to let him live at their house, Ally hatches the perfect plan to get rid of him: convince him to date her until Ally’s overprotective father kicks him out.
Of course, perfect plans don’t always work out the way you want them to…Find I Hate You More here.
Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan
Sixteen-year-old Karina Ahmed dreams of majoring in English in college–but she’s terrified of letting down her Muslim parents who insist she go to medical school. When Karina’s English teacher asks her to tutor Ace Clyde, the school’s notorious bad boy, Karina can do so without her parents finding out–they’ve left for Bangladesh for a month.
When Ace tells his parents that he’s dating Karina, she is furious. But as time goes on and Ace does all the right things, she finds herself having feelings for him. With her parents’ return looming ever closer, Karina wonders: is she willing to sacrifice what she feels for Ace to please them? Find Counting Down with You here.
Love a good enemies-to-lovers story? I’ve got you covered:
You Say It First by Katie Cotugno
Meg’s life seems perfect–from her quiet suburban life and acceptance to Cornell in the fall, to her idealistic job at a voter registration center–she’s got it all. Colby, on the other hand, is struggling through a family tragedy and a terrible job–in a town eight hours away.
When a voter registration call connects Meg and Colby, it does not go well. Still, there is a connection there–one that is explored through subsequent long-distance calls that eventually turn into a friendship–and maybe something more. Find You Say It First here.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
As the handsome and charming son of the first woman president of the US, Alex Claremont-Diaz is a sparkling example of America’s greatest. So when photos of him shoving the British Prince Henry–Alex’s bitter rival–into a $75,000 wedding cake, the PR damage control is immediate: Alex has to stage a social media truce with Henry.
When Alex’s fake posts and emails start to become real, a friendship–and then something more–begins to blossom from across the world. Find Red, White & Royal Blue here.
Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Rowan Roth has been competing with her rival, Neil McNair, in everything from test scores to pull-up contests since freshman year. On the last day of her senior year, Rowan grabs at her final chance to prove herself through Howl, a scavenger hunt with a $5,000 cash prize.
The two enemies decide to partner up in the beginning, a strategic decision that will lead to Rowan ultimately crushing Neil in the end. But as the night goes on and the two get to know each other, Rowan starts to wonder if maybe she and Neil are more alike than she thought. Find Today, Tonight, Tomorrow here.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Everyone knows that fast-food chain Big League Burger is in a Twitter feud with Girl Cheesing, a family-owned deli. Ever since Girl accused Big League of stealing their famous grilled cheese recipe, their Internet battle has gone viral.
What they don’t know is that behind the battle lines are Pepper Evans and Jack Campbell, two teenagers who–while fighting for their family restaurants online–are also falling for each other in an anonymous chat app developed by Jack. As the war rages online, can two teens cut through the noise and find a way to each other? Find Tweet Cute here.
Icebreaker by Hanna Grace
An annoying mix-up has forced figure skater Anastasia Allen to share a rink with the obnoxious Nathan Hawkins and his hockey team. Still, she is determined not to let this setback interfere with her college scholarship–or her chance at making Team USA.
But when her skating partner gets injured, the only person available to replace him is Nathan. Despite the ice, things heat up between Anastasia and Nathan, and Anastasia has to remind herself she could never like a hockey player…could she? Find Icebreaker here.
Are meet-cutes your thing? Here you go:
The Do-Over by Lynn Painter
After crashing her car, losing her journalism fellowship, and catching her boyfriend Josh making out with his ex-girlfriend, all Emilie wants to do is escape to her grandma’s house, eat some ice cream, and go to sleep.
The next morning, though, she wakes up back in her own bed and discovers that it’s February 14th–all over again. As Emilie tries to free herself from the world’s most awkward time loop, she keeps running into Nick–her chemistry lab partner who, as the day repeats itself, Emilie discovers is actually quite handsome and charming. Find The Do-Over here.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Every fall, Deja and Josiah’s friendship picks up where it left off. As coworkers at DeKnock’s World Famous Pumpkin Patch and Autumn Jamboree, they are best buds–but only between September and October.
This year is Deja and Josiah’s senior year–their last at the patch–and everything feels different. On their last night together, Deja refuses to let Josiah feel sad about it and takes him on a grand adventure to do all the things at DeKnock’s that he’s never actually done. Along the way, the two teenagers discover the truth about each other–and their special friendship. Find Pumpkinheads here.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
When Arthur and Ben meet at an NYC post office, then get separated, then meet again, their relationship gets off to a clunky start. Still, there is something there that feels special, even as Ben struggles through his recent break-up and Arthur gets caught up in his Broadway dreams.
As summer passes, the Universe keeps throwing obstacles in their way. But their romance grows and Arthur can’t help but wonder: can life–or at least romance–really be like a Broadway musical? Find What If It’s Us here.
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
In this geeky re-telling of Cinderella, Elle Whittimer is a teenager stuck living with–naturally–her step-monster and terrible step-sisters. Her greatest escape is Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her dad, and dreaming about the upcoming ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball.
Darien is a teen actor who’s quickly become disillusioned by fame, and as the latest actor to be cast as Prince Carmindor in the latest Starfield reboot, he’s not exactly looking forward to this year’s Con. That is, until he meets a geeky fangirl who shows him that magic is all around us. Find Geekerella here.
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Even though she’s in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Lina just wants to get out of Tuscany and go home. The only reason she’s there is because of her mom’s dying wish–that Lina go find her father and meet him for the first time.
However reluctantly she begins her journey, the discovery of her mother’s old journal piques Lina’s curiosity–as does a charming local boy named Ren. Together, Ren and Lina embark on a journey of discovering the magic of Italy, the past, and first love. Find Love and Gelato here.
Looking for a loveable quirky or misfit protagonist? We’ve got those too:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean may be quiet and shy, but she loves fiercely. Over the past few years, she’s hand-written honest love letters to the five boys she’s had crushes on. Getting her deepest thoughts and feelings on the page was easy–because she was never planning on sending them.
So when Lara Jean’s younger sister Kitty finds and actually mails Lara Jean’s letters, Lara Jean suddenly has to navigate the mayhem that unfolds. Along the way, she realizes that some of the unintended consequences of her feelings aren’t so bad after all. Find To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before here.
The Boyfriend List by J.L. Wyer
Shy, nerdy, and clumsy, Maegan Murphy hates being the only girl in school who’s never had a boyfriend. So in a moment of feeling sorry for herself, she makes a list of every boy she’s ever had a crush on.
Then–to her horror–the list goes missing and photocopies end up taped onto every locker at school. With that, a chaotic series of events involving Grayson Ramsay and Christian Alexander–two boys who happen to be on the list–spirals out of control in a hilarious chain reaction. Find The Boyfriend List here.
It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
As someone who has struggled with her physical appearance throughout adolescence, Natalie feels decidedly awkward and unsure of herself when she begins a romance with Alex, the cool and popular older brother of her friend Zach.
And with this on top of her parent’s divorce and her two best friends hooking up, Natalie’s life has gotten complicated fast. As she navigates this new chapter, Natalie learns a lot about growing up, friendship, and love. Find It Sounded Better in My Head here.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
As one of the only poor Black students at a mostly rich white high school, Liz Lighty can’t wait to get a music scholarship, get out of her tiny Midwestern town, and get to Pennington College. But she doesn’t get the scholarship, and her plans come crashing down.
When Liz’s brother convinces her to run for Prom Queen–and win the $10,000 scholarship that comes with it–Liz has to step out of the shadows where she’s always hidden, and make herself popular. To complicate things even more, Liz finds herself falling for the new girl Mack–who also happens to be running for Queen. Find You Should See Me in a Crown here.
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
It’s winter in New York City, and Dash is browsing his favorite bookstore, trying to chase his bad holiday mood away. What he finds instead of his favorite book, however, is a red notebook full of challenges–a sort of scavenger hunt–written and placed on the shelf by Lily, a shy 16-year-old who wants to find a boyfriend.
Lily and Dash spend the next few weeks writing letters and challenges and hiding and seeking the notebook all over New York City. Falling in love this way is fun, romantic, and thrilling, but when the two finally meet, will the reality turn out to be different? Find Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares here.
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Even though she is insanely confident in everything relating to school and extracurriculars, Korean-American Desi Lee is a trainwreck when it comes to boys and dating. When she decides to conquer this last frontier before finishing high school, Desi studies her father’s beloved K dramas and formulates a plan–”K Drama Steps to True Love”–that will help her win over the handsome and elusive Luca Drakos.
As Desi fumbles her way through figuring out how to fall in love, she realizes she has a lot to learn about how life doesn’t always go exactly according to plan. Find I Believe in a Thing Called Love here.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertelli
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso has always been self-conscious, especially compared to her skinnier, prettier fraternal twin, Cassie. Molly’s twenty-six crushes have all been unrequited, and because the thought of rejection is terrifying, she’s never been able to make a move.
When Cassie’s girlfriend Mina introduces Molly to Mina’s super cute friend, she wonders if she can gather her courage once and for all. But there’s also Reid, Molly’s coworker whose nerdy musings on Tolkien are pulling at her heartstrings.
As she navigates the awkward waters of first love, Molly has to decide: does she choose the ideal boy? Or the one she actually likes? Find The Upside of Unrequited here.
Is The Upside of Falling a Young Adult book?
Yes! The book was written for a teen audience, and even though the main characters are in high school, the book is rated as 12+ on Common Sense Media.
Is there a sequel to The Upside of Falling?
As of now it’s a standalone, but with two books already published in two years, Alex Light is proving to be quite a prolific writer…who knows what could happen?
What’s up with Alex Light and Wattpad?
Alex Light started writing stories on Wattpad and Episode Interactive when she was a teenager. Now, with over 100 million online reads, she’s a published young adult author. The Upside of Falling (2020) was her first book, and Meet Me in the Middle, her second, was published in 2022. Find her on Instagram @alexlightstories.
Which romance trope is in The Upside of Falling?
The Upside of Falling plays on the fake-romance-turned-real, in which two parties decide–for one reason or another–that they should pretend to be a couple. Usually, chaos and hilarity ensue, along with some real-life unintended consequences. Ultimately, the two people end up developing real feelings for each other, and both have learned some lessons along the way. It’s a fun trope that leaves readers feeling optimistic and light-hearted.
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