Valentine’s Day might be over but that doesn’t mean some readers aren’t still in the mood to fall in love with a good love story! If you’re looking for some recent titles to spice up a suddenly sparse book display or you’re in need of some new recommendations for your eager romantic readers, the Hub bloggers are here for you!
This week we’ve gathered together to showcase just a few of our recent favorite young adult romances. Some of our picks are well-known titles while others might have slipped under the radar. Either way, we hope you’ll find something new and exciting to read or share. Want even more romantic reading inspiration? Check out Dawn Abron’s latest Diversify YA Life post highlighting interracial couples in young adult fiction or search our tags for past romance book lists.
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2016 Morris Award Winner; 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
After several months anonymously corresponding with a classmate he knows only as Blue, Simon Spier is sure of several facts: he is definitely gay, he is falling in love with Blue, and he does not want to share either of these realities with anyone else–at least, not yet. But then Simon’s emails fall into the wrong hands and suddenly, his–and Blue’s–secrets are in serious danger of being revealed. Can Simon find a way to come out on his own terms, without causing even more drama amidst his increasingly complicated group of friends, becoming the center of unwanted attention at school, or–worst of all–losing his chances with Blue, the perfect boy he’s never met? -Kelly D.
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
In high school, Gretchen and Toni were that couple. They prided themselves on the fact that they never fought and their friends all joked that they were already practically married. Gretchen and Toni had the kind of love everyone else envied. Then Gretchen decides that she’s not coming to Boston with Toni in the fall–she’s going to try out NYU for at least a semester instead, abandoning the plan the two have carefully constructed. Toni is angry and Gretchen is guilty but still they’re convinced that they’re going to make it. But while Toni, who’s quietly identified as genderqueer for about a year, finds a new sense of belonging with a group of older transgender students, Gretchen struggles to redefine herself as someone other than Toni’s girlfriend. Is love enough or is the distance between more than mere geography? – Kelly D.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Sandwiched between the dependable Margot and mischievous Kitty, Lara Jean feels secure as the shy and quirky middle Song sister. She’s content being the one who stays home to scrapbook or bake on Friday night and she finds expression for her unrequited crushes in writing letters that she hides in a hatbox under her bed. But then Margot is heading off to Scotland for college and within weeks, disaster strikes when Lara Jean’s secret letters are mistakenly mailed out. Now all her past crushes are coming back to haunt her as her first kiss, her camp crush, and the boy next door ( also Margot’s ex-boyfriend) each confront her about the letters. And suddenly Lara Jean’s dependable and tidy life is spinning out of control. -Kelly D.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
Sharing in witty banter whether in instant messaging or miming from separate windows across the street, Maddy and Olly are two oddballs for different reasons who find a friendship which later deepens. Maddy is a “bubble girl” locked in the sterilized safety of her house and she and Olly are awkward in their cuteness as they focus on the restrictions and the joys of life. – Sarah C.
Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Kate’s been sleep walking through her life since her mom died. One day she comes home from school to find the press camped out on her aunt and uncle’s lawn – waiting for her. Kate walks in the house and meets the man running for President – and her father. – Jennifer R.
Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart
Usually settling into a new town and seeing the sights is fun, but not when the whole town hates your father without meeting him. They think Mr. Carter’s going to destroy the town with his development, including destroying the land where the wild mustangs roam. Brie starts talking to Logan, he’s a protester, but he’s not the jerk she imagined him to be. As they get closer, the tension between their fathers heats up. How can think about a possible romance when their families are enemies? – Jennifer R.
A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy
Abby’s amazing at swimming. So amazing that at age 16, she’s hoping to qualify for the Olympic team. She’s on track. Until she faints after a race. Her coach makes her get checked out by a doctor before she’s back in the pool. Abby assumes that she’ll be back swimming before the end of the week, but the doctor hears something with her heart. Abby goes for more tests, not believing that her dreams could come crashing down. Who is she without swimming? – Jennifer R.
Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Maya longs to become a musician. For her Career Shadow Day, she’s paired with country superstar Jesse Scott. Their first meeting went terribly wrong. Jesse’s ego can barely fit through the door; it’s clear he’d rather be anywhere but spending time with her. Still, she gives it her best shot. Before long, defenses are broken down on both sides. What starts off as a nightmare could turn into a daydream. Can they help each other achieve their dreams? – Jennifer R.
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
Skylar has grown up poor, but her artistic ability and hard work have won her a scholarship to art school in San Francisco, if she can just survive the summer in her small town. But when her single mom loses her job and falls apart, and Josh, a former co-worker and crush, comes back from Afghanistan missing a leg, she struggles with leaving everyone behind. This is a a stunning, gripping coming-of-age story that is as much about family and friendship as first love. – Molly W.
What are some of your favorite young adult romances from the last couple years?
— Kelly Dickinson, currently The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig