A YA Expert Recommends 5 YA Romances to Try


Romance books are always filled with swoony characters who have great chemistry. But YA romance books are truly the dearest in my heart. YA is a huge industry brimming with so many good reads of so many sub-genres like sci-fi and contemporary – for anyone who is interested in diving deep but doesn’t know where to start, it can truly feel overwhelming. 

Take it from the girl who started searching five years ago. 

Fortunately, these five YA romance books will help anyone who is interested in finding a home in the genre. The books are full of first loves and fighting for relationships. Their characters are adorably awkward and boldly brave. And their meet-cutes? 100% swoonworthy. 

Enjoy these five YA romance books. We’re absolutely positive you’ll fall in love with them. 

The Betrothed by Keira Cass

First things first: finding a fantasy. There are so many great ones in the world, and newly published The Betrothed by Keira Cass is officially on that list. 

Lady Hollis has grown up in King Jameson’s court at Keresken Castle, and now she has officially won his heart. Sounds like a sure happily ever after, right? Not so fast: at first, Hollis is absolutely thrilled, but falling in love with the king and being crowned queen may not be what makes her truly happy. But when she meets a commoner who can magically see right into her heart, Hollis is determined to fight for the future she truly wants. 

This book has everything you’d want in a fantasy romance: beautiful ball gowns, swoony love interests, fantastical magic. You’ll be glad this book is a series. 

After you finish it, check out Cass’ other books including the standalone, Siren, and series, The Selection. Each are filled with their own unique romances. 

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

Talk about a fantastic author pair. Yes No Maybe So is a contemporary standalone by Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda author Becky Albertalli and Amal Unbound author Aisha Saeed – but with a political twist. 

Who’d have thought you could fall in love while political canvassing? Jamie is used to volunteering for his local state senate candidate behind the scenes. But when he is thrust into the world of political canvassing, he’s sure he’s going to choke on his words. Maya’s summer is going horribly, but when her mother suggests political canvassing to help cheer her up, Maya is sure this summer is totally over. But when Jamie and Maya hit the streets together, they help support their local candidate – and seem to be falling for each other at the same time. 

This book will make you root for Jamie and Maya’s relationship – as well as learn a lot about participating in local elections. 

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

Look this way for a great LGBTQ+ read filled with heart-stopping romance and space missions. Stamper’s debut novel is the perfect YA romance to start with.

Cal is a super popular teen journalist whose family is moving from Brooklyn to Houston when his astronaut dad is picked up to be on a mission to Mars. Leon is a fellow “Astrokid,” and the pair find themselves falling for each other – fast. But when secrets of the mission are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the info without hurting those he cares about most. 

Cal and Leon’s relationship is really cute, and with mysteries surrounding the mission, you’ll never want to put this standalone down. 

This Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda

Historical fiction lovers, this ones for you. What starts off as a simple pen pal assignment soon grows into something more in this standalone by Fukuda. 

In 1935, Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is paired up to write letters to Charlie Levy, a girl who lives in Paris, France. Over the course of six years, their friendship grows, but when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and the Nazis increasingly persecute European Jews, both Alex and Charlie hold onto their letters and connection for hope of a better world. 

This story is full of heart, horrors, and hope, and the connection between Alex and Charlie will make you want to reread this romance after you read it the first time.

The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne

How about a romance that reaches for the stars? This sci-fi retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is filled with heart-stopping action and thrilling relationships. 

Princess Leo must marry in order to save her European spaceship, and it only gets harder when her former best friend and first love, Elliot, returns as a successful captain determined to make Leo’s life miserable. As Leo navigates fancy balls and love, she will have to navigate through treachery. 

This standalone is filled with unforgettable characters – and an even more stunning love story. 

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