Young adult romances are known for their relatable characters with realistic struggles and their sometimes lighthearted, sometimes heart-shattering coming-of-age stories.
Whether you’re looking for a simply swoon-worthy rom-com, a contemporary tale of forbidden love, or a historical saga of self-discovery and whirlwind romance, you’ll find it in this article!
From solid themes of family, identity, and struggles with disabilities to hauntingly beautiful yet heart wrenching stories and adorably sweet romances that will have you blushing and kicking your feet, prepare to become obsessed with these 30 YA romances!
YA Romance Books
YA romances have been capturing the hearts of millions of readers around the world for decades.
The modern-day landscape of the Young Adult genre has become incredibly diverse with stories of interracial relationships, culture clashes, and the journeys of mentally ill and disabled people who pursue the love that they deserve as well despite their hardships.
Each of these novels offers its unique take on the universal experience of falling in love while tackling current issues and exploring complex struggles.
From first kisses, first times, and navigating first heartbreaks to battling sickness, overbearing parents, and other complicated circumstances in order to experience love the way it deserves to be experienced, these 30 novels can connect to readers on an emotional level regardless of their backgrounds.
So, whether you’re a lovesick teenager experiencing your very first crush or a grown adult looking to recount the romantic memories of your adolescence, this list of the 30 best young adult romance book has got you covered!
The 30 Best Young Adult Romance Books
Not Your Ex’s Hexes by April Asher
Starting with a paranormal fantasy slash romance, Not Your Ex’s Hexes follows Rose Max, who has been training to become the next Prima on the Supernatural Council her whole life, and Damian Adams, a veterinarian who also happens to be half-demon.
The two have a one-night-stand but neither is looking for a serious relationship so they intend to forget all about it. However, when Rose is sentenced to community service at Damian’s animal sanctuary, the two start up a friends-with-benefits relationship that slowly turns into something more.
But it can’t. Because Damian’s ex has put a hex on him; If he falls in love, he will lose his heart and humanity.
And They Lived… by Steven Salvatore
This sex-positive, fairytale-inspired YA novel tells the story of Chase Arthur. An up-and-coming animator in his freshman year of college, Chase is a hopeless romantic who’s obsessed with Disney films and finding his true love.
But he thinks it’ll be impossible. He’s suffering from body dysmorphia, recovering from an eating disorder, and struggling to figure out his gender identity. He doesn’t expect to meet anyone who’ll want anything to do with him, romantically.
Then he meets Jack Reid. A no-nonsense poet who loves words more than anything and dreams of finally getting to experience life outside of his sheltered world.
Having grown up in a conservative family, he’s still trying to figure out his sexuality and working on his internalized homophobia.
The two of them fall for each other–hard. But when Jack’s childhood best friend comes to campus for a visit, their relationship is threatened and they both have to decide what they’re willing to risk in order to truly live.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
This contemporary romance novel follows the story of three friends as they attend SupaCon, a comic book and pop culture convention. There’s Charlie, a bisexual, Chinese-Australian vlogger-turned-actress who’s promoting her first movie at SupaCon.
She’s always stood out from the crowd and she’s always embraced it, but she’s not so thrilled to be standing out because of a nasty public breakup with her co-star, Reese Ryan. She’s determined to show everyone at Supacon that she’s over him.
Enter internet-famous, superstar actress, Alyssa Huntington. When Alyssa shows up as a surprise guest, Charlie comes to find that her crush on Alyssa isn’t as one-sided as she originally assumed.
Then there’s Taylor, an autistic blogger who struggles with anxiety. There’s nothing she fears more than change–even if she does want her relationship with her best friend, Jamie, to change just a little bit.
She’s had a crush on him for the longest, but she doesn’t want to change their relationship… However, she begins to rethink her rules of playing it safe when she hears about a contest for her favorite fandom.
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
Worried about Lila’s mental health, Lila’s parents send her on a trip to Winchester, England with some family friends in an attempt to help her relax.
This was never a part of her life’s plan. Her plans included taking over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, moving in with her best friend after graduation, and then living happily ever after with her boyfriend.
But now she’s stuck in a sunless small town with a grumpy inn cook on a trip that feels more like a nightmare than a vacation…Until she meets Orion Maxwell, a tea shop clerk with a few problems of his own.
Orion decides to become Lila’s tour guide and is hell-bent on making her happy. Soon, Lila finds herself charmed by the beautiful England countryside and Orion’s determination. She can’t help dreaming up a new future for herself.
One that would mean leaving behind everything else that she’d worked so hard for.
End of Story by Kylie Scott
In this 2023 release, Susie Bowen inherits a fixer-upper from her aunt, but her excitement is short-lived as she realizes that her contractor is her ex’s best friend, Lars, who was there to witness their embarrassing public breakup six months ago.
That’s just the icing on top of the cake. The cherry on top? Susie and Lars find a divorce certificate with both their names on it hidden inside a wall. It’s dated ten years into the future–which means the spark between the two of them is going to have to fade quickly.
After all, it seems like their relationship will be doomed from the start.
All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle
All the Right Reasons is a classic tale as old as time. A 17-year-old girl joins her mother on a reality tv dating show for single parents. She tries to help her scorned mother find love with another contestant only to fall for the contestant’s son. We’ve all been there.
But meddling producers, clout-chasing contestants, and the show’s rules make it impossible for a relationship to develop between the two of them. If Cara wants her mom to be happy, she’s going to have to ignore her feelings for Conner.
Easier said than done.
A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison
Are you searching for an enemies-to-lovers YA novel with Black main leads? A Love Hate Thing is a must-read!
Tyson Trice is recovering from being shot and still reeling from years of trying to survive on the rough streets of Lindenwood when he’s suddenly thrust into the wealthy community of Pacific Hills. There, he meets Nandy Smith, a good girl with a prim and proper image.
Nandy’s afraid that both her summer plans and her reputation are at risk when her parents decide to take in a troubled boy. And sure, she can’t stand him and he wants nothing to do with her either, but there’s a concerning level of attraction growing between them that neither of them can deny.
This Summer will certainly be one to remember. Nandy just can’t decide whether that’s a good thing or not.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
America in 1954 was not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, and definitely not in Chinatown, where red-scare paranoia threatened everyone’s safety–especially Chinese-Americans like Lily.
Despite his hard-won citizenship, Lily’s father is at risk of deportation, and Lily’s relationship with Kathleen Miller can’t see the light of day unless they want to cause an even bigger uproar.
But Lily can’t help that she fell for Kathleen. Walking under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club, their relationship blossomed into something beautiful before either of them could stop it.
They’re just hoping that it won’t end nearly as bad as they think it will.
Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan
Bangladeshi-American teenager, Karina Ahmed, fully intends on playing by her parents’ rules, keeping her head down, and getting through high school without any sort of fuss.
But then her parents leave to go back to Bangladesh for four weeks and the school’s resident bad boy, Ace Clyde, tells a lie that leads to her having to make the biggest decision of her life within just 28 days.
“Karina is my girlfriend.”
Just four words, but now Karina is stuck with fake-dating Ace and she hates that he’s the perfect fake boyfriend who gives her all the (totally real) feels. She just wants her parents to hurry up and return home so things can get back to normal–until she doesn’t.
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Amy is used to being treated like some kind of helpless child and not being taken seriously due to her condition. She’s pleasantly surprised when her peer helper, Matthew, treats her like a regular person.
The book’s summary tells you everything you need to know about this insightful story of love and perseverance!
“Amy is unflinchingly honest about her limitations. Born with cerebral palsy, she can’t walk or talk without help. But trapped inside this uncooperative body lies a brilliant mind and a luminous spirit – a girl capable of truly loving and worthy of being loved in return.
Matthew has his own set of challenges – a mind consumed by unwanted repeated thoughts, obsessive rituals, and a crippling fear that he can’t explain. But underneath all of the anxiety lies a deep seed of hope for someone to come along who believes in him…
This is the story of Amy and Matthew. It may not be a fairy tale romance or set in an imagined world far from our own, but the love they share is real. And yes, there’s magic in it.”
The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park
This hysterical rom-com follows Nate Jae-Woo Kim, who is in desperate need of some cash, and Kate Anderson, his colleague who happens to have a plan that will win them both plenty of money.
Nate is just contemplating one of his classmates’ offers to commit grade fraud for a ridiculous amount of money when Kate suggests that the two of them team up to win a weekend-long survivalist competition that a local tech company is holding.
The cash prize is huge and Nate’s sure that the two of them can win as long as they’re partners, but there’s just one little problem…
He doesn’t know how he will make it through a full weekend with her without his heart beating right out of his chest.
Exes and O’s by Amy Lea
Tara Chen is an influencer who is obsessed with romance novels and desperate to find her true love.
She’s had her heartbroken ten times by ten different exes–they all dumped her because of her teensy tiny habit of being just a tad bit clingy–and she’s determined to reconnect with them all because she’s sure that at least one of them has to be #TheOne.
Her new roommate, a firefighter named Trevor Metcalfe, would rush into a billion burning buildings before rushing into a relationship. When Tara asks him for help on her mission to find her second chance romance, he begrudgingly agrees.
But he soon finds that it might be time for him to finally start a new chapter in his life, and Tara finds that he seems to be the only one who truly appreciates her for her authentic self.
Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
A romance that takes place in Paris between a ballerina and a swoon-worthy French boy who’s determined to show her around his city. What could be better than that?!
Mia Jenrow has always believed that she was destined to follow in her legendary, great, great–too-many-greats-to-count–grandmother’s footsteps and become a professional ballerina.
She plans a magical summer trip to Paris to pursue her dreams, but the trip is nothing like how she’d thought it’d be. Her rival, Aubrey, is determined to one-up her on every occasion, and her ballet instructor seems determined to push her past her breaking point.
And then there’s Louis. Stupidly handsome, devastatingly beautiful Louis.
He might be the biggest challenge of them all.
The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
When her mother’s job causes them to have to move across the country, Deaf teen Maya has to leave her hard-of-hearing school and attend a regular high school for her senior year. She’s terrified.
Adjusting to the hearing culture is difficult and frustrating, and her new friends and classmates aren’t helping as their questions about what it means to be deaf begin to make her question her ideas of self-worth.
Determined to keep looking forward to life after graduation, Maya refuses to let anything knock her off track–even the unexpected romance that’s started blooming between her and one of her attractive schoolmates.
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney
Looking for a rom-com with passion, intensity, and two characters with overwhelming chemistry? Look no further!
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry follows Quinn, who writes every little detail down in her beloved journal which soon goes missing, and Carter, who Quinn loathes–but he was the last known person to have her journal and she needs his help to get it back.
When an anonymous account posts one of the journal pages to Instagram and blackmails her into facing her biggest fears, Quinn and Carter set off on a journey to help Quinn tackle her terrors.
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali
Zayneb and Adam–two struggling Muslim teens–meet each other when Zayneb goes to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early spring break after getting in trouble with her teacher–a bigot who won’t stop teaching his class about how “bad” Muslims are.
Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s pissed. And rightfully so.
But she gets suspended for confronting him and he begins to investigate her activist friends, which she feels awful about. It’s why she decides to always present a “nicer” version of herself while in Doha.
She crosses paths with Adam, who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and hasn’t told his grieving father about it yet after the death of his mother–whose memory he’s trying to keep alive for his little sister.
The two of them meeting is pure magic. A marvel and an oddity that just might help them both.
XOXO by Axie Oh
A modern forbidden romance that takes place in the magical world of K-pop, XOXO follows Jenny, a girl who dreams of being a professional cellist and has no time for boys or anything else aside from pursuing her dream.
Then she meets Jaewoo, an idol that she feels drawn to even though he’s the exact kind of distraction she’d usually steer clear of.
He’s handsome and mysterious and lives an ocean away. Their love could never in a million years work out–until Jenny and her mother have to move to Seoul and pursuing a romance with him suddenly becomes a very real possibility.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
A classic and ever-popular book-turned-movie, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before follows Lara Jean, a Korean-American girl living in Oregon. Her previously nonexistent love life gets pretty complicated when every single one of her crushes finds out about her feelings for them at once.
She’s written them all love letters, but they were only meant to be for her eyes only. Then, they’re accidentally mailed out and Lara’s imaginary love life turns into real-life chaos.
If you haven’t read this masterpiece already, you definitely must!
The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas
The State of Grace is a touching story about a Fifteen-year-old girl named Grace who just wants to live life as a normal teenager despite her Asperger’s diagnosis. She just wants to fit in–but she gets more than she bargained for when she falls in with the cool crowd after discovering that the most popular boy in school likes her.
On top of dealing with her now flourishing love life and newfound popularity, she has to keep her little sister from spiraling out of control as their mom is distracted and their dad isn’t present.
Everything is at risk of falling apart unless Grace can figure out how to fix everything on her own.
The Year of Cecily by Lisa Lin
If it’s a strong-willed protagonist, complicated family dynamics, and passionate romance that you seek, you’ve found it! The Year of Cecily follows San Francisco attorney Cecily Chang who is determined to reboot her life by achieving her list of New Year’s resolutions.
But not until after she’s visited her home in Brooklyn for the Lunar New Year. She’s not looking forward to dealing with her chaotic family–nosy, judgmental relatives and a critical mother who meddles too much. Gee, what could go wrong?
But as long as she doesn’t run into Jeffrey, who carelessly ended things with her a decade ago, she’ll be fine. (Surprise, surprise, it doesn’t work out the way she wants it to).
Now a successful screenwriter, Jeffrey has his mind set on winning Cecily back–and he’s not willing to give up until he’s written a happy ending into their story.
Kiss and Repeat by Heather Truett
Stephen Luckie’s father is a scientist who’s drilled the scientific method into him from a young age, which comes in handy since Stephen’s found a new experiment to conduct.
He has Tourettes and he’s always wondered if it was his tics that prevented him from getting a girlfriend, but when he kisses a girl at a party he realizes that his body goes completely still during the kiss.
So, he sets out on a mission to kiss as many girls as possible–for science, of course–and, in the process of his experiment, begins to wonder whether it was the way that he treated girls that had prevented him from getting a girlfriend in the past instead.
With two girls romantically interested in him, Stephen sets out on a journey of self-discovery, reevaluating himself and trying to figure out what he’s willing to risk–and gain–by being his true self.
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
Bao Nguyen and Linh Mai are two Vietnamese American teens who fall in love despite their parents’ age-old rivalry.
Bao finds himself to be unremarkable while Linh would describe herself as a firecracker, with so many hopes and dreams underneath the surface just waiting to shoot out while she remains calm and steady until she’s finally lit up.
Both work at their parents’ restaurants–which neighbor each other–but they’ve spent most of their lives avoiding each other due to the not-so-lighthearted feud. But a chance encounter brings the two of them together and sparks begin to fly as they each wonder why they hadn’t connected sooner.
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
Nar figures it’s about time she finds someone who shares her idea of what romance actually is when her boyfriend proposes to her at random in front of a bunch of drunken men in a bar.
Her mother is hell-bent on finding her a successful Armenian man to settle down with, but it’s Erebuni, an intriguing young woman who’s fully in touch with her heritage, that catches Nar’s attention.
Erebuni makes Nar feel understood along with helping her see the beauty of their shared culture, but there’s a slight problem with their relationship.
Nar hasn’t quite come out as bisexual just yet.
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time, The Henna Wars is a Bildungsroman rom-com that follows Flávia and Nishat who have a love-hate relationship.
When a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, they both decide to show off their talent as incredible henna artists.
The competition is only made more difficult by their poorly hidden feelings for one another–and Nishat has to decide whether she wants to stay in the closet to stay close to her beloved family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.
The Summer of Lost Letters by Hannah Reynolds
Itching to read another sweet, summer romance? The Summer of Lost Letters tells the story of Abby Schoenberg, who just broke up with her first boyfriend and isn’t at all excited for the summer before senior year.
All of her friends are off doing exciting things in exciting places and she’s stuck in the same old place with no adventure of her own to go on…Until she finds the letters amongst other items in her recently deceased grandmother’s possessions.
The love letters were sent to her grandmother from a man named Edward, who lives in a mansion on Nantucket Island. Abby decides to head there to learn more about her grandmother’s past, not-so-quiet life in Germany, and her relationship with Edward.
But when she meets Edward’s incredibly handsome grandson, Noah, things get complicated. Noah doesn’t want her digging around in the past, but there are a few familial mysteries that Abby is determined to solve.
Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Wes has been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids.
Her annoyingly hot neighbor has always had a knack for pissing her off with pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn garden gnomes, but he’s her only hope if she’s going to have the big, romantic prom moment that she’s been hoping for all this time.
Her mysterious and totally aloof crush, Michael, has been the apple of her eye since forever. When he moved away, she figured she’d never have a chance with him, but now he’s moved back to town and taken a liking to the ultra-irritating Wes.
Since the two are now friends, Wes is sure that he can get Michael to finally pay Liz some attention, but as the two begin to scheme together, Liz realizes that she actually likes being around Wes.
The more time the two of them spend together, the more Liz has to reevaluate everything she ever thought she knew about love.
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
In this extraordinary and moving novel, Parker Grant has enough on her plate. Despite being blind, she’s determined to make it onto her school’s track team, and she has to juggle practice with being there to give out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates.
In addition to that, she’s trying to cope with the death of her father three months ago. So, the last thing she needs is to have to deal with the boy who broke her heart, Scott Kilpatrick. After being gone for years, he suddenly reappears and refuses to accept Parker’s ‘No second chances, ever’ rule.
Scott forces her to confront her past and soon, Parker begins to learn about what really happened–with Scott and with her father–and starts to think that maybe some rules are meant to be broken after all.
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Bradley Graeme is a star-football player with OCD that he manages well enough–according to him–and good grades in all his classes, aside from the one he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
Celine is a quirky content creator who happens to be obsessed with conspiracy theories, and while her followers love her kooky conversations, her classmates do not. She’s not exactly popular.
Which is why–In Celine’s humble opinion–Bradley abandoned her for the ‘in’ crowd years ago. What was once a strong friendship between them has now turned into nothing but a bitter rivalry.
But when they’re forced to work together as a team to win a grand prize they must confront their history, deal with the spark they seem to have in the present, and think about their future together.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple Shah is a recently graduated, aspiring web developer who is sick of her parents’ obsession with finding her the “ideal Indian husband”. She’s happy to be getting away from all that nonsense as she attends a summer program–a great opportunity for future web developers like her.
Rishi, on the other hand, is a hopeless romantic who believes in the power of tradition and wants to enter an arranged marriage and become a part of something much bigger than himself. He’s ecstatic when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same program as him.
The two are opposites who clash again and again, but love finds a way to present itself in unexpected ways.
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
In this fun-filled romance, Ever Wong is expecting to attend a strict educational program in Taiwan and instead, she finds Loveboat, a summer-long free-for-all where hookups happen constantly, adults turn a blind eye, and the party never seems to end.
But the students aren’t what they seem. Ever is working to become a doctor but happens to have a secret passion for dance. Rick Woo is the thorn in Ever’s side, but underneath his perfect exterior, he’s hiding a big secret.
When their lives and the lives of two other secret-bearing students collide, Ever is guaranteed a summer that she will never be able to forget!
Whether you’re a die-hard romance fan, a newcomer to the genre, a teenager having their first run-in with love, or an adult who is looking to relive their past experiences through these lovable characters, I hope you were able to find exactly what you were looking for with the help of this article!
What age group reads the most romance novels?
Any age over 18 for steamy romance books.
Who is the biggest publisher of romance novels?
Kensington Publishing is the foremost American publisher of romance novels.
What book genre makes the most money?
Romance/Erotica books make the most.
What is the age range for YA novels?
Young adult fiction refers to books written for readers roughly between the ages of 12 and 18.
Can adults over 18 read YA novels?
Books aimed at a particular age can still be read by people of any age! While the YA genre is primarily targeted at adolescents, approximately half of YA readers are adults.
Why do so many adults read YA?
Every coming-of-age story is relatable in some way, and YA novels often remind older readers of their teenage years.
What is the difference between YA and NA?
YA does not usually include main characters over the age of 18 or in college, but these characters are featured in new adult books.
How many pages is a typical YA romance novel?
The typical YA romance book is around 175 – 200 pages.
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