High school romance books are so much fun to read. These books perfectly capture the angst of high school, the social interactions of teens, and the universal desire for love. Teenage love can be erratic and the ensuing drama is definitely fun to read about- unless you are living that drama!
In those cases, these books are almost a playbook for how to navigate high school romances.
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Diverse High School Romance Books
Imagine if all your past crushes found out you liked them all at once. EEK! That’s what happens to the heroine, Lara Jean Covey when the love letters she wrote get mailed!
I love Lara Jean – she is quirky, cute and totally reminds me of me in high school – except she gets to date the most popular boy at school. But their relationship is fake —- or is it?
This accurate depiction of high school crushes also focuses on Maya, an Indian-American Muslim, who faces Islamophobia in her suburban Chicago school.
In the story, Maya’s budding relationship with a non-muslim classmate helps her break out of her shell and determine what kind of life she really wants, even if it goes against her strict parent’s wishes. The love story feels genuine and realistic for high school and the end left me with warm and fuzzies.
This book was exactly what I hoped it would be. It was a fun, light book that is a perfect distraction. We have teenage angst, love triangles, and likable characters that are easy to read about.
A solid fluff read or a palate cleanser – because we definitely need those every once in a while.
Is Romance your favorite genre? We created the Best List of YA Romances carefully divided by sub-genre so you can find your next favorite read.
High School Romances Set in New York
This modern-day YA classic retelling of Anna Karenina was SO GOOD. It’s set in NYC at an elite prep school with total Gossip Girl vibes.
Manhattan’s teenage elite are partying, shopping, and hosting incredible parties. Anna K is torn between her long-term boyfriend and her attraction to Count Vronsky.
There are enough twists to make it interesting, but it was such a wonderful escapist read. I can’t wait to tackle the sequel!
I’m always down for a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite books of all time. I was particularly interested in this take because it features modern, black teenagers.
At this point in our country’s awakening, it’s important to read from diverse perspectives. I’ve never tackled a retelling from a non-white author before, but I’m so glad I did.
Princess Diaries is such a charming royal tale. Mia is an ordinary girl going to high school in NYC when she suddenly discovers she’s actually a princess!
Soon she goes from being a social outcast to a popular girl. As her princess lessons pick up, she struggles with figuring out who she is, and which of the men in her life like her for more than her royal status.
LGBTQ High School Romance Books
I read this great LGBTQ book in only two days. It was such a great YA about Simon who is not openly gay and is looking for a way to tell his family.
He also must navigate the social complexities of high school. When his emails fall into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being exposed. I really liked this book. It was well-written and at its heart is a sweet romance.
This LGBTQ YA Romance is a refreshing and sweet romance about Shara Wheeler, her academic rival Chloe, Smith, her quarterback boyfriend, and Rory her neighbor before disappearing and leaving clues for the three to find her.
The scavenger hunt is both a literal and figurative search for Chloe, Smith, and Rory to find Shara and themselves in the process. This smart book had me listening nonstop. This is a sweet romance pick from books set in high school
Kate and her best friend Anderson have communal crushes that work well when they are from afar but not so well when the crush comes to school and joins the school musical.
Matt Olsen was the cute guy to crush on from camp who now had the potential to come between Andy and Kate. Will their friendship be able to withstand heartache and will Kate be able to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight?
Becky Albertalli captures the angst of high school and heartache with perfection.
Bully Romances Set in High School
Orphan Ella is sent to live with the Royal family, friends of her deceased dad. The Royal brothers all want Ella gone – out of their home, out of their school, out of their life! But Reid and Ella’s spark is making it hard for him to stay away.
I’m obsessed with this series. Teen angst, snobby classmates, ridiculous storylines, this is the best fluff there is! And it is the perfect example of a pick for a list of enemies-to-lovers books- Ella and Reid cannot be more extreme in their feelings. This is one of the best YA romance books to read in one sitting (and it does get a little steamy).
Drama, parties, hot boys, and backstabbing friends – this book is everything a guilty pleasure should be.
Jackie and I both fell hard for the Kade boys and their journey to accepting Samantha as their future stepsister, friend, and romantic interest. Even though this book takes place in high school, it is really quite a steamy YA romance.
This bully romance revolves around Tate and her next-door neighbor and former best friend, Jared. Jared has tormented and bullied Tate for the entirety of her high school years, prompting her to study abroad for one.
Now she’s back and she’s not going to let Jared get away with it anymore. But as she learns to fight back, she also uncovers his true feelings.
Fantasy High School Romance Books
Twilight started a phenomenon and obsession with vampires in the same way that Harry Potter created an obsession with magic. This is obviously my opinion but I am sticking with it. This is a must-read young adult fantasy book.
This vampire series is definitely lacking the gore and fear factor and makes up for it with an amazing romance. When Bella Swan goes to live with her father, she is immediately drawn to Edward Cullen, a mysterious teenager with an old soul. Soon, she discovers he is a vampire. I will not ruin the rest of this cult-like pick from vampire books. But, if you have not read this vampire book yet, what are you waiting for?
It is an iconic urban fantasy series. This love story definitely qualifies as one of the best romance novels of all time. If you love vampire books, you can also check out our list of the best fantasy books for teens.
I picked up the first two books in this YA fantasy series after turning in a few books and quickly fell in love with the first book and the story of Daniel and Luce’s love.
Luce has been sent to Sword and Cross boarding school, a place for other troubled kids like her. The minute she gets to the school, Daniel catches her eye but he will not give her the time of day. But there is definitely more to Daniel and Luce will discover his secrets no matter what the cost.
This Fae series needed to be included in the best fantasy books for teens. This is one of the urban fantasy books that is totally addicting. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Royal vampires and their bodyguards train at the famed Vampire Academy where this book is set. Lissa is a princess and her best friend, Rose, is preparing to be her protector. This is a ya fantasy that is not to be missed.
When a series of crazy events threaten Lissa’s safety, Rose is on a mission to figure out who is behind the threats….. if she doesn’t get distracted while lusting over her teacher first. If you like the Zodiac Academy books, we think you will love this pick from fantasy romance books for teens!
Love Fantasy Books? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of YA fantasy!
More High School Romance Books
This YA romance has some depth as Frank Li must navigate his first love and make his parents happy.
They sacrificed everything to come to The United States from Korea and they want him to be with a nice Korean girl. Frank’s first love is a white girl. This book is funny, sweet, and a wonderful debut.
This is a very sweet YA romance about a fake relationship. I read this for our summer reading challenge. Becca Hart has not believed in true love since her father left them.
When her former BFF teases her for never having a relationship, she pretends that she has a boyfriend and is even more shocked when the captain of the football team pretends that it is him. He has his own reasons for wanting an uncomplicated, fake relationship.