7 YA Books with Clean Romances

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia Reyes lives in a Society where everything is decided for her—what clothes she wears, what food she eats, and even what man she marries. The Society informs Cassia that the computer system has chosen her childhood friend Xander as her future spouse, but when she views the digital card containing his personal information, another face flashes onto the screen: her mysterious neighbor Ky. Torn between her love for Xander and her newfound love for Ky, Cassia begins to question a life without choices and to dream of a future where she has the freedom to express herself. Features kissing.

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Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

letters to the lost

Juliet is still processing the death of her mother, a photojournalist, by visiting her grave and leaving her letters.  Declan Murphy is serving a community service sentence by mowing the cemetery.  When Declan finds Juliet’s letter, he writes back and soon the two are revealing things they cannot reveal to anything else.  But as they get to know each other, they also begin to worry that the truth about their pasts may be too much for them to handle.  The romance does not progress beyond kissing.

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More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

more than we can tell

Eighteen-year-old Rev Fletcher was doing fine until his abusive stepfather contacted him for the first time in years. Just as Emma Blue was doing fine coding her own video game until a ticked off player starts sending her obscene threats. A chance meeting between the two opens up the potential of finding healing through sharing. But first both of them will need to learn to trust.  Kissing happens and implied making out.

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a skilled mechanic, but that does not much matter since she is also a cyborg, a second-class citizen.  But then she meets Prince Kai and suddenly she may be responsible for the fate of her world.  A science-fiction retelling of “Cinderella.”  Contains kissing.

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Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet

Meade Creamery, founded in 1944 by Molly Meade, has always been special to Amelia. Four years ago she had the honor of becoming a Meade Creamery girl and now, her last summer working there before heading off to college, she dreams of making memories that will last forever. Then Molly Meade dies and her rich grandnephew Grady inherits the stand. Grady is desperate to prove to his father that he can manage his own business. But, in the process, he threatens to destroy everything Amelia loves about the stand.  At one point the protagonist begins to take off her shirt.  However, in the end, the couple do not progress beyond kissing.

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Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Before Lina’s mother dies, she insists that Lina go to live with her old friend Howard in Italy. Somehow she forgot to tell Lina what her grandmother does–that Howard is really her father. Lina doesn’t want to live with a man she barely knows. And she certainly doesn’t want to stay in Italy, even if it is beautiful. But then she receives her mother’s old journal and she’s suddenly experiencing Florence for the first time along with her mom. As Lina continues to read, however, things don’t seem to be adding up. Why did her mom leave Italy? And who is Howard, anyway?  Contains some kissing.

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The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

light between worlds

Five years ago, the Hapwell siblings were transported to a magical world while hiding during an air raid.  Now sixteen-year-old Evelyn spends her days wishing she could return while her older sister Philippa tries to make a life where they are.  Then Evelyn goes missing and Philippa cannot bear the thought that she was the cause.  Contains kissing.  One character suggests he wants to wait for marriage when another begins to undress.

14 thoughts on “7 YA Books with Clean Romances

  1. Grab the Lapels says:

    I’m glad that books like this exists, especially for people like me who weren’t having sex in high school. Well, I mean, they’re not really for me now, I’m 33. But I would have appreciated them in high school. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I pretty much only read the Sweet Valley Twins in high school, and they never do more than kissing either. Well, at least not until they get to college. However, as an adult I did appreciate that in the new Julie Murphy book, Puddin’, they do discuss either having sex with their boyfriends or are considering it. I like that that conversation can happen out in the open among friends without the characters feeling shame.


    • Krysta says:

      Sometimes it seems to me like everyone in YA ends up having sex, but there are definitely teens out there who are not. (And I think the number of teens not sexually active has been going up, actually.) So, yeah, it is nice to see other types of relationships depicted.

      I still have to read Dumplin’ and Puddin’! I have like ten books out from the library now, though. I am drowning in books. I need to stop.


  2. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    This is such a great list to do! I really like the premise for letters to the lost. And Cinder (and the whole lunar chronicles) is a great clean YA romance. And I really enjoyed Love and Gelato 😀


    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I really loved Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell. They have split PoVs, which was cool, because you don’t always see the guy’s side in romances. But they also deal with more than romance. I really liked the friendship between Rev and Declan.

      I’ve only read Cinder. I never made it to the other books in the series!

      And Love and Gelato is cute! I thought Love and Luck wasn’t quite as good.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maisy says:

    I’ve heard of many of these but I’ve just never got round to them. I have just started Matched! I can’t wait to see if it’s as cute and clean as promised 🙂


    • Krysta says:

      I’m glad you found it useful! It’s kind of difficult to find clean romances sometimes. I just want something sweet, not something graphic. 😦


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