Must-Read YA Romances by Authors of Color

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We should always support authors of color. A great way? Reading and sharing their books, of course! This list is composed of great young adult romances by Writers of Color. These eight books will become some of your new favorites in no time. 

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

When Ever Wong is sent from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she is thrust into a group of over-achieving students – including prodigy Rick Woo, who Ever’s parents always measure her to. But little does Ever’s parents know that the program is actually an infamous teen-meet market nicknamed Loveboat where kids are more interested in clubbing and drinking snake-blood sake than calligraphy. Ever is set out to break all of her parents’ rules this summer – but hopefully not her heart. 

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Princess Alyrra has spent most of her life in the shadows thanks to her cruel family and court. When she is forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, she leaves to meet him with little hope for a better future. But when she is magically attacked, she is switched with another woman giving Alyrra the first chance to make her own decision: she can either start a new life or fight for a prince she’s never met. And Prince Kestrin is not what she initially assumes. By walking away, his life may be in danger, but by returning to court, her own may be on the line. 

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed

Khayyam is spending her August in Paris, and as the daughter of professor parents and as a hopeful art historian, it should be a dream trip. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is possibly ghosting her, her chance of getting into her dream college is now unlikely, and she just really wants to go back to Chicago and get her life in order. 200 years prior, Leila is struggling to survive as the Pasha’s favorite and is trying to keep her lover a secret from him. Back in present day, Khayyam as well as the descendent of Alexandre Dumas is on a mission to uncover Leila’s story. 

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles 

Magicians must compete to become the next headliner for the Conquering Circus, but there seems to be more danger behind the scenes than anything else. Soon magicians start to disappear one by one, and three – showgirl Kallia, keeper of the club Jack, and judge Demarco – must come to face their own dark secrets before they are next. 

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon 

Pinky is proud of being a social justice warrior and enjoys ruffling her conservative parents’ feathers. After helping his ailing mother, Samir likes to control as much as he can from writing down schedules for every minute of the day or making lists in his planner. Pinky is tired of her parents complaining about her poor choice in boyfriends, so she gets Samir to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. Little do they know there might be fireworks. 

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

It’s been more than 200 years since Cinderella found her prince at the ball. Now girls are required to appear at the Annual Ball so men can choose their brides based on the girl’s finery. Those who aren’t chosen are never heard from again. Sophia would much rather marry her best friend Erin, and at the ball, Sophia flees to Cinderella’s mausoleum where she meets Constance, the last of Cinderella’s and her stepsister’s descendants. The pair decide to team up to overthrow the king together. 

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

Gul has spent her life running thanks to the star mark on her arm – the one that got her parents murdered by King Lohar’s soldiers. When a group of rebel women take her in to teach her warrior magic, Gul is determined for revenge. Cavas’s father is terminally ill and he will do anything to save him – even join the king’s army. But when Cavass meets Gul, sparks fly and he becomes a part of her mission. 

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the best tailor in the land, but girls are expected to just marry well. When a messenger from the palace requests Maia’s ailing father to participate in a competition to land a job as the tailor in court, Maia dresses up as a boy and goes to compete. Maia must outwit the eleven other competitors as well as avoid the court magician, Edan, who seems to see through her disguise. But when given the last task to create three magical dresses, Maia must embark on a journey to make them and Edan is instructed to go with her. 

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