Looking for a good YA romance? A young adult novel to cuddle up with to read for Valentine’s Day? From slow-burn romances to swoon worthy love interests, there are some of the most romantic young adult books I have read:
Exile for Dreamers by Kathleen Baldwin
This is book 2 in the School for Unusual Girls series, and while Tess’s romance was simply hinted at previously, here it absolutely flowers, and I was smitten. Love interest Lord Ravencross is a bit gruff but quite protective–yet Tess also pulls her own and never lets anyone treat her as too delicate or helpless. Baldwin excels at getting readers invested in the romances of her characters.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Written in compellingly beautiful prose, The Star-Touched Queen brings readers to a world where fates are written in the stars and hints of magic drift throughout the human world. Protagonist Maya has never liked what the stars say about her, however, until a mysterious suitor teaches her to reinterpret their prophecy, rather than attempt to rebel against it. Together the two have to trust it is their fate to belong to each other. The Star-Touched Queen is fantasy romance nearly at its finest.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
One of my favorite contemporary romances, this story is brimming with heart. Jace and Samantha’s relationship grows slowly and naturally, leading to a romance in turns sweet and just a little bit sensual. Additionally, readers are introduced to Jace’s large family, and his younger brothers and sisters will win readers’ hearts as easily as Jace does (especially George!). A highly recommended read that offers just the right blend of fun and thought-provoking themes.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
The romance–and the two characters in it–is really the high point of A Curse So Dark and Lonely. It’s been a while since I read a novel where I was so invested in the romance, captivated as I watched the two characters come closer together slowly but surely, hesitant to trust each other but hoping they could–and then that the trust would turn into something more. This is a lovely, slow burn romance that builds over the course of the novel and brings the readers right along with it.
Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
A slow-burn fairy tale retelling that had me riveted and is one of those rare books that reminds of me of exactly how compelling and original retellings can be. This is a uniquely beautiful story featuring characters who fall in love with each other’s best qualities.
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I put the whole series instead of picking just one book because, starting with Cinder, they are ALL pretty romantic, And while the books are often predicable, that’s what sort of lovely about them; one can’t wait to see one’s favorite couples get together (and, uh, defeat evil, etc. and all that other stuff going on in the plot….)
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Lola Nolan is happy. She has a fun job at the local movie theatre, a hot rocker boyfriend, and a blooming talent for creating clothes (or, in her words, costumes). Her peace is shattered, however, when the Bells move back in next door. Lola would love to keep hating Cricket Bell for leaving her two years ago, but with his growth spurt, his sense of style, and his determination to charm her, she might find that difficult.
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
A provocative, thoughtful story about what it means to love and what it means to be a friend, Kissing in America follows sixteen-year-old Eva as she journeys across the country to pursue a romantic relationship. She quickly learns, however, that real life is both unlike and yet unexpectedly similar to the steamy romance novels she likes to read.
Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds
Reynolds’s debut asks readers what they would do and what they would sacrifice for the people they love–and also shows the magic of reliving one’s love against from the first butterflies. (Full review coming on the blog Feb. 2021.)
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Can two people really fall in love in the course of a single day? I would generally say no, but Yoon does a great job of convincing me it could happen, as she brings her characters on whirlwind adventures throughout New York City.
Looking for more? Check out 14 Adorable YA Romances to Read for Valentines Day! Or try our flow chart to see Which Romantic Classic You Should Read Next.