Let’s be honest—we all have a favorite YA romance trope we can’t resist. Tell us your romance trope of choice (your secret is safe with us), and discover your next favorite novel! Whether it’s second-chance romance or forbidden love, we’ve got a YA book rec that you’ll adore.
YA Romance Trope: First love
Book Rec: Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett
This book celebrates all the joy and awkwardness of that first young love! Mahalia Harris wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend, Naomi. She also really wants the super-cute new girl Siobhan to like her back. While it’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, she decides to throw herself a big singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating, queer coming out party on her own terms. But with all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun? You’ll fall in love with this story no matter what day of the week it is!
YA Romance Trope: Dating a royal
Book Rec: American Royals by Katharine McGee
This series ticks several romance trope boxes, so there’s a good chance it will appeal to you even if you enjoy one of the other tropes on this list. Forbidden romance, love triangles, and royals dating commoners combine into an irresistible trilogy that any YA romance reader will adore.
YA Romance Trope: Second-chance romance
Book Rec: Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
If you love second chances as much as we do, then you’re going to adore Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute! It’s about ex-best friends Bradley and Celine who are forced to work together when they both sign up for a survival course in the woods. These two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship? If you need a story about the ups and downs of love and friendship, you’ll love this book!
YA Romance Trope: Sworn off dating romance
Book Rec: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
Would you still fall in love if you knew your relationship would end? Evie Thomas can foresee the ending of every romance, so she swears off dating forever. But when she meets X at a dance class, she must decide if the inevitable heartbreak is worth the joy of finding love.
YA Romance Trope: Dating on vacation
Book Rec: Nate Plus One by Kevin van Whye
When Nate learns his ex-boyfriend will be at his cousin’s lavish destination wedding in South Africa, he asks his best friend (and secret crush) Jai to be his plus-one at the wedding and his travel buddy around Johannesburg. The two leave for Johannesburg as best friends, but will they return from their vacation as something more? This swoony novel gives off plenty of dating-on-vacation vibes with a side of friends-to-lovers.
YA Romance Trope: Missed connections
Book Rec: French Kissing in New York by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
If you’re looking for a story that’s part missed connections and part dating on vacation, this one is for you! Margot can’t stop thinking about Zach, the dreamy American boy she met one magical night in Paris. One year later, she’s in New York City ready to roll up her chef’s-coat sleeves in Manhattan’s bustling restaurant scene, celebrate her father’s upcoming wedding . . . and reconnect with Zach. But a lot can happen in a year, and promises made in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower look different in the neon glow of the Big Apple. Margot is convinced she found her soul mate that night in Paris . . . but what if the universe has a different plan? Anything is possible in New York City.
YA Romance Trope: Fake dating
Book Rec: Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto
To ensure that their children find the right kind of romantic partner, Sharlot’s mother and George’s father do what any “good” parent would do: they strike up a conversation online, pretending to be their children. When the teens find out about their parents’ actions, they’re horrified. Not even a trip to one of the most romantic places on earth could possibly make Sharlot and George fall for each other. But as the layers peel back and the person they thought they knew from online is revealed, the truth becomes more complicated. As unlikely as it may seem, did their parents manage to find their true match after all? Grab your favorite drink and snuggle up with this laugh-out-loud romance novel about fabricated love turning real.
YA Romance Trope: Enemies to lovers
Book Rec: I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre
Looking for a queer enemies-to-lovers romance novel? You’ll fall for I Think I Love You. 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 romance?
YA Romance Trope: Opposites attract
Book Rec: The Matchbreaker Summer by Annie Rains
This novel is like The Parent Trap in reverse—summer camp, a devious breakup plot, and an unexpected romance! Paisley’s mom is getting remarried and closing the summer camp they run together. So Paisley teams up with her (cute but annoying) coworker Hayden to plot her mom’s relationship’s demise. But she doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.
YA Romance Trope: Study buddy romance
Book Rec: Salaam, with Love by Sara Sharaf Beg
The best part of reading a YA romance is the feel-good vibes, and this adorable novel delivers heaps of them. It’s about Dua, a Muslim teen spending Ramadan with her relatives in New York City. She wants to memorize verses from the Quran and enlists the help of Hassan, a cute drummer in a band. This heartwarming novel will keep you smiling the whole way through.
YA Romance Trope: Forbidden romance
Book Rec: Sunkissed by Kasie West
Dirty Dancing die-hards, this book is for you! A summer-long family camp at an exclusive resort results in Avery stretching her wings and learning more about herself. From secretly singing in a band to falling for a very off-limits staff member, Avery’s summer turns out far more exciting than she expected.
YA Romance Trope: Love triangles and squares
Book Rec: Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum
There’s nothing better than a love triangle, except maybe a love square. Whatever your desired romance shape, you’ll find plenty of messy friendship and relationship drama in Julie Buxbaum’s latest novel. And if you need more complicated love stories featuring quirky, cute, and adorkable teens, pick up her other novels, too.