Rom-Com Tropes (and Books) We Can’t Get Enough Of

Crushes, love triangles, breakups, and more! There’s so much to love about love stories, whether you’re watching on the big screen or pulling books from the shelf, and that includes the fact that there are so many tried-and-true rom-com tropes to take comfort in and enjoy. If you’re currently obsessed with YA rom-coms like the To All the Boys trilogy or What If It’s Us, then have we got a list for you! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite rom-com tropes, from the breakup rebound to the date on a date, and paired a book recommendation with each one. So dive right in and get ready to add to your TBR list!

The Date on a Dare

This trope can take less savory forms, like in the movie She’s All That, when two popular guys make a bet about one of their less popular classmates (and hijinks and romance ensue). But in Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye, there’s none of that! The dare: each week, Bryson Keller has to date the first person who asks him out on Monday morning. The surprise: Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes when he asked. As the two boys kick off their week of secretly dating, Kai suspects it won’t end well. But then Kai and Bryson actually get to know each other better. . . .

Date Me, Bryson Keller

Date Me, Bryson Keller

By Kevin van Whye

"One of the most adorable, big-hearted, charming books in existence." --Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a '90s rom-com! 


Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--...

The Breakup Rebound

A breakup rebound story can take different forms: the main character can fall in love with someone new after experiencing heartbreak, or they can fall back in love with their ex. In Girl Crushed by Katie Heaney, Quinn is going through a girlfriend and a best friend breakup—until new girl Ruby enters the picture. But will crushing on Ruby only make Quinn realize how much she still loves Jamie? Can your first love be your second love, too?

Girl Crushed

Girl Crushed

By Katie Heaney

Leah on the Offbeat meets We Are Okay in this pitch-perfect queer romance about falling in love and never quite falling out of it--heartbreak, unexpected new crushes, and all.

Before Quinn Ryan was in love with Jamie Rudawski, she loved Jamie Rudawski, who was her best friend. But when Jamie dumps Quinn a month before their senior year, Quinn is suddenly girlfriend-less and best friend-less.

Enter a new crush: Rub...

The Rivals to Romance

Are you a sucker for a story in which two people who don’t like each other slo-o-o-wly get to know each other better and discover they actually do like each other? Us too! In I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre, archnemeses Emma and Sophia compete for a trip to Los Angeles. Will they end up falling for each other along the way? You’ll have to read to find out!

I Think I Love You

I Think I Love You

By Auriane Desombre

A YA contemporary rom com about two girls who start as rivals but after a twist of events, end up falling for one another--at least they think so. A pitch perfect queer romance--and it's a paperback original!

Arch-nemeses Emma, a die-hard romantic, and more-practical minded Sophia find themselves competing against one another for a coveted first-prize trip to a film festival in Los Angeles . . . what happens if their rivalry turns into a rom...

The Opposites Attract

The power of romance is so strong that it can woo two people who seem totally different—and that’s what we call the opposites attract. In Nic Stone’s Jackpot, Rico and her popular and wealthy classmate Zan are thrown together to track down the owner of a winning lotto ticket. A story about love, luck, class, and privilege, this is an opposites attract for the ages.

Jackpot

Jackpot

By Nic Stone

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Martin--which Angie Thomas, the bestselling author of The Hate U Give, called "a must read"--comes a pitch-perfect romance that examines class, privilege, and how a stroke of good luck can change an entire life.

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas 'n' Go, who after school and work race...

The Falling in Love on Vacation

Nothing could be better than getting to enjoy a trip abroad and falling in love at the same time, and that universal truth is at the core of the love-on-vacation rom-com trope. In Anne-Sophie Johanneau’s Kisses and Croissants, Mia heads to Paris, the City of Love, for the summer, and what awaits her but a budding romance with the très cute Louis? (And a harsh ballet instructor, a bitter rival, and all the sights, scenes, and snacks of Paris, of course!)

Kisses and Croissants

Kisses and Croissants

By Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, with writing as crisp as a freshly baked baguette, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait for fans of American Royals and Netflix's To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

Mia Jenrow has always known she's destined to be a professional ballerina. In fact, it’s in he...

The Love Triangle

Ah, the love triangle. The classic of all classics, especially when it comes to YA rom-coms. Kristin Rockaway’s My Epic Spring Break (Up) offers a fresh take on love triangles for all the fans out there! Ashley vows to have fun on her spring break—and that includes following her heart. Good thing her crush Walker is around! But so is Jason, her childhood friend turned prankster.

My Epic Spring Break (Up)

My Epic Spring Break (Up)

By Kristin Rockaway

A fun and upbeat romance about a girl who finds a cheat sheet for love.

Spring break . . . heartache?

For coder extraordinaire Ashley, high school is all about prepping for college. Her love life? Virtually nonexistent. She's never been on a date. Never been kissed. Never been in love.

When her plans veer off course, Ashley realizes she might be missing out on her high school experience. Now that spring break is finall...

The Holiday Romance

There’s no more magical time to fall in love than around a holiday (any holiday)—think of all the festivities! If you love a holiday romance, check out New Year’s Kiss by Lee Matthews, which takes place around—you guessed it—New Year’s Eve. (This one doubles as a love-on-vacation story, too!) On vacation in Vermont with her family, Tess makes a bucket list of things to do to shake her out of her comfort zone—and the cute guy she meets in the lobby is happy to help her check things off. . . .

New Year's Kiss

New Year's Kiss

By Lee Matthews

If your New Year's resolution was to find the perfect upbeat romance read...this is it! Tess is ready to ring in the new year--will she have a new boy by her side?

Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont--and they aren't happy about it. Their stern grandmother, who owns the holiday resort, is not known for her warmth and good humor. But when shy, str...

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