What the heart wants: YA romances

Summer flings, paranormal romances, soulmates, unlikely lovers tossed together, sweet stories, long relationships, passionate affairs--it's all here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleepless by Cyn Balog
YA Fiction
Eron, a supernatural being known as a Sandman whose purpose is to seduce humans to sleep, falls in love with a sad teenaged girl who is mourning her boyfriend's death.
 


Thwonk by Joan Bauer
YA Fiction
A cupid doll comes to life and offers romantic assistance to A.J., a teenage photographer suffering from unrequited love.
 


Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
YA Fiction
In a world where the pale-skinned Naughts are discriminated against by the politically and socially powerful dark-skinned Crosses, teenagers Callum--a Naught--and Sephy--a Cross--test whether their love is strong enough to survive their society's racism.
 


24 Girls in 7 Days by Alex Bradley
YA Fiction
Jack Grammar, average American senior, has no date for the prom until his so-called best friends post an ad in the school newspaper and assemble a list of eager girls, giving him just seven days to meet and date them all before asking one special girl to the prom.
 


The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
YA Fiction
The summer after graduating from an Iowa high school, eighteen-year-old Dade Hamilton watches his parents' marriage disintegrate, ends his long-term, secret relationship, comes out of the closet, and savors first love.
 


Royally Jacked by Niki Burnahm
YA Fiction
Valerie's life is pretty good. While she's not the most popular girl in school, she does have decent grades, great friends, and a potential boyfriend. All a girl could want. Then her mother announces that (1) she's gay, and (2) she's leaving Valerie's dad for her girlfriend. Not what Valerie envisioned for her future. And just when Valerie is getting over this bombshell, her father tells her he's gotten a new job as protocol chief for the royal family of some obscure European country. Valerie's world has come unglued. She can either stay in Virginia with her mom and her uber-organized, veggie-burger-eating girlfriend, or go with her dad, leaving everything she knows for some place she's never heard of. Valerie opts to go, and quickly discovers that it was a mistake -- until she meets the prince, and all bets are off!
 


Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
YA Fiction
In the summer of her junior year, sixteen-year-old Ruby McQueen and her mother, both nursing broken hearts, set out on a journey to reunite an elderly woman with her long-lost love and in the process learn many things about "the real ties that bind" people to one another.
 


Wild Roses by Deb Caletti
YA Fiction
In Washington State, seventeen-year-old Cassie learns about the good and bad sides of both love and genius while living with her mother and brilliant, yet disturbed, violinist stepfather and falling in love with a gifted young musician.
 


Maine Squeeze by Catherine Clark
YA Fiction
Colleen Templeton spends a romantic summer before starting college working at Bobb's Lobster, sorting out her feelings for two possible boyfriends, and sharing a house with friends on the tiny Maine island she calls home.
 


Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
YA Fiction, YA Audiobooks
After being expelled from a fancy boarding school, Cyd Charisse's problems with her mother escalate after Cyd falls in love with a sensitive surfer and is subsequently sent from San Francisco to New York City to spend time with her biological father.
 


Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
YA Fiction
High school student Nick O'Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart.
 


Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti
YA Fiction
Lani and Erin are lifelong best friends and total opposites. Lani's a down-to-earth Taurus; Erin's a fiery Leo. Lani likes to do her own thing, while Erin prefers an entourage. They've always had wildly different tastes, from pizza toppings to guys. That is, until Erin starts dating Jason. From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can't deny the amazing connection she feels with him. It's like they've known each other their whole lives. She's not sure if he feels it, too - but even if he does, he's off-limits. Lani's determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than hurt her best friend. Then Erin goes away for the summer and Jason seems to appear everywhere Lani turns. How long can she keep running from the guy who just might be the love of her life?
 


Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
YA Fiction
Seventeen-year-old Angie, living with her family in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, finds herself in love for the first time the summer after high school graduation.
 


The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
YA Fiction
The summer following her father's death, Macy plans to work at the library and wait for her brainy boyfriend to return from camp, but instead she goes to work at a catering business where she makes new friends and finally faces her grief.
 


Burning City by Ariel and Joaquín Dorfman
YA Fiction
Sixteen-year-old Heller Highland, who is living with his grandparents while his parents are away, burns rubber across Manhattan delivering bad news by bicycle, and as a summer heat wave melts the city, he is struck by first love.
 


Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
YA Fiction
When wealthy, seemingly perfect Brittany and Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, develop a relationship after Alex discovers that Brittany is not exactly who she seems to be, they must face the disapproval of their schoolmates--and others.
 


Beastly by Alex Flinn
YA Fiction
A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.
 


Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
YA Fiction
In a small southern town with a secret world hidden in plain sight, sixteen-year-old Lena, who possesses supernatural powers and faces a life-altering decision, draws away from her true love, Ethan, a mortal with frightening visions.
 


Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
YA Fiction
Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people.
 


The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
YA Fiction
In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.
 


An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
YA Fiction, YA Audiobooks
Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.
 


The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
YA Fiction
June is starting at her sixth school in four years when she meets Wes, who has just broken up with a girlfriend, and although they do not share an instant or intense connection, attraction turns to love and they wonder where it will lead.
 


The Falconer's Knot by Mary Hoffman
YA Fiction
Silvano and Chiara, teens sent to live in a friary and a nunnery in Renaissance Italy, are drawn to one another and dream of a future together, but when murders are committed in the friary, they must discover who is behind the crimes before they can realize their love.
 


A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
YA Fiction
As she tries to sort out her feelings of love, seventeen-year-old Cass, a spunky math genius with an introverted streak, finds a way to memorialize her dead best friend.
 


The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
YA Fiction
The friendship of three high school girls and their relationships with their friends and families are tested when two of them fall in love with each other.
 


Firelight by Sophie Jordan
YA Fiction
When sixteen-year-old Jacinda, who can change into a dragon, is forced to move away from her community of shapeshifters and start a more normal life, she falls in love with a boy who proves to be her most dangerous enemy.
 


Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
YA Fiction
When Lord Death comes to claim sixteen-year-old Keturah while she is lost in the King's Forest, she charms him with her story and is granted a twenty-four hour reprieve in which to seek her one true love.
 


The Joys of Love by Madeline L'Engle
YA Fiction
After graduating from college in 1941, Elizabeth Jerrold pursues her dream of becoming a stage actress, landing a position as an apprentice in a summer theater company where she hones her acting skills and falls in love with an aspiring director.
 


Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
YA Fiction
In three intertwining short stories, several high school couples experience the trials and tribulations along with the joys of romance during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town.
 


Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
YA Fiction
When Paul falls hard for Noah, he thinks he has found his one true love, but when Noah walks out of his life, Paul has to find a way to get him back and make everything right once more.
 


The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
YA Fiction, YA Audiobooks
A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tensions between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more.
 


I Know It's Over by C. K. Kelly Martin
YA Fiction
Sixteen-year-old Nick, still trying to come to terms with his parents' divorce, experiences exhiliration and despair in his relationship with his girlfriend Sasha especially when, after instigating a trial separation, she announces that she is pregnant.
 


I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
YA Fiction
Eighteen-year-old Bronwen has long felt that she was switched with another child at birth, and so although she loves Jared, she must decide if she is ready to be married or should, instead, live on her own first.
 


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
YA Fiction, YA Audiobook
When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.
 


The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
YA Fiction
Seventeen-year-old Haven Moore leaves East Tennessee to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she meets playboy Iain Morrow, whose fate may be tied to hers through a series of past lives.
 


Frogs & French Kisses by Sarah Mlynowski
YA Fiction
Love spells run amok in New York City when high school freshman Rachel asks her younger sister, who is a witch, for magical help in winning the affection of heartthrob Raf Kosravi.
 


The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
YA Fiction
In the months after her sister dies, seventeen-year-old Lennie falls into a love triangle and discovers the strength to follow her dream of becoming a musician.
 


Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
YA Fiction
When Delilah, her mother, and her aunt spend the summer in Vermont settling Delilah's estranged grandmother's estate, long-held family secrets are painfully brought to light and Delilah finally learns some difficult truths about her family's past.
 


Delirium by Lauren Oliver
YA Fiction
Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, she falls in love.
 


Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer
YA Fiction
Sophomore iconoclast Cindy Gold publishes an anti-prom letter in her high school newspaper, but when she develops a crush on her SAT tutor, on top of the ones she already has on popular senior Adam Silver as well as a boy she has been exchanging instant messages with, she begins to doubt her own convictions.
 


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
YA Fiction
When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.
 


Brooklyn Rose by Ann Rinaldi
YA Fiction
On St. Helena Island, South Carolina, fifteen year-old Rose meets and marries Rene, a Yankee from Brooklyn, New York, who takes her north to his home where she encounters many differences in attitudes and lifestyles.
 


The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton
YA Fiction
A celebration of friendship, sisterhood, and true love follows the Dashwood sisters--practical Elly, drama queen Abby, and tomboy Georgia--as they share their romantic woes and mishaps.
 


Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
YA Fiction
Chelsea Keyes, a high school basketball star whose promising career has been cut short by a terrible accident on the court, and Clint Morgan, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who gave up his sport following a game-related tragedy, meet at a Minnesota lake resort and find themselves drawn together by the losses they have suffered.
 


Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
YA Fiction
There's a difference between falling and letting go. Lauren has a good life: decent grades, great friends, and a boyfriend every girl lusts after. So why is she so unhappy? It takes the arrival of Evan Kirkland for Lauren to figure out the answer: She's been holding back. She's been denying herself a bunch of things because staying with her loyal and gorgeous boyfriend, Dave, is the "right" thing to do. After all, who would give up the perfect boyfriend? But as Dave starts talking more and more about their life together, planning a future Lauren simply can't see herself in and as Lauren's craving for Evan, and moreover, who she is with Evan becomes all the more fierce Lauren realizes she needs to make a choice...before one is made for her.
 


Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
YA Fiction
Seventeen-year-old Hannah does everything she can to avoid being noticed due to the scandalous occupations of her parents, but she might have to make an effort to change that after she develops a crush on two guys at her part-time job.
 


Immortal by Gillian Shields
YA Fiction
Falling in love with the mysterious Sebastian, Evie Johnson, a scholarship student at the Wyldcliffe Abbey School, is haunted by a sisterlike figure that seems to be sending her a warning.
 


Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
YA Fiction
Julie and Ashleigh, high school sophomores and Jane Austen fans, seem to fall for the same Mr. Darcy-like boy and struggle to hide their true feelings from one another while rehearsing for a school musical.
 


What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
YA Fiction, YA Audiobook
Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right. A novel in verse.
 


Accidental Love by Gary Soto
YA Fiction
After unexpectedly falling in love with a "nerdy" boy, fourteen-year-old Marisa works to change her life by transferring to another school, altering some of her behavior, and losing weight.
 


When Irish Guys are Smiling by Suzanne Supplee
YA Fiction
Seeking to get away from debutante balls and her pregnant young stepmother in Nashville, seventeen-year-old Delk Sinclair goes to Connemara, Ireland for a semester of study, where she falls for a handsome young Irishman and finally begins to recover from the death of her mother.
 


Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
YA Fiction
After seeing her best friend, a Dark Immortal called Incy, torture a human with magick, Nastasya, a spoiled party girl, enters a home for wayword immortals and finally begins to deal with life, even as she learns that someone wants her dead.
 


A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
YA Fiction, YA Audiobooks
After benignly haunting a series of people for 130 years, Helen meets a teenage boy who can see her and together they unlock the mysteries of their pasts.
 


Photo credit: flickr user Esther Cantero