We put together a list of the best YA romance books that we love. Some take place in school, some are fantasy or royal and some are steamy but, no matter what type of YA romance you are looking for, we’ve got you covered.
YA romance books have main characters that are young adults but that does not mean the plot lines and characters are not complex and well-written. We think every book on this list is perfect for teens and adults alike. Did we include your favorite?
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Best YA Romances Books of 2022 so far
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.
The sequel to Tokyo Ever After delivered the same rich details about Japanese history and customs, as well as covering the expectations of the royal family.
Izumi is learning all of these things thanks to her new tutor, Eriku, a handsome young man around her age. She’s desperately trying to be the perfect princess so that her parent’s wedding will be approved.
But should she be sacrificing who she is for their union? And what about her growing feelings for Eriku? This story was charming and delightful.
Best YA Romances Books of 2021
Just when I thought that nothing could top the Caraval series, Stephanie Garber writes this book. This YA fantasy will not disappoint her die-hard fans and for those that have never read Caraval, you can fall in love for the first time. I absolutely loved this book.
Evangeline Fox was raised in her father’s curiosity shop where she grew up learning about the legends. When Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry her step-sister, she offers the prince of hearts anything in exchange for stopping the wedding. This deal takes Evangeline to the North where the real adventure begins.
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, she does it to support her best friend and secret crush, Leo. She doesn’t expect to find an older sister she never knew she had. To find uncover the entire story and get to know her green juice-loving, Instagram queen sister, Abby heads off to camp where her sister works.
It also happens to be the same camp where Leo works as a staff chef. This Reese book club YA winter pick is a perfect YA romance book with a little more depth and emotion.
Best High School YA Romance Books
When Park moves over on the bus to make room for Eleanor, their unlikely friendship starts. This isn’t a lovey-dovey, hearts-flashing, music-playing romance.
Rather, it is a story about friendship, daring to be different, and finding someone who loves you exactly the way you are. This is one of those books that is perfect for everyone to read.
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 fuzzies. This is definitely our pick for best high school YA romance books
Violet and Finch meet unexpectedly on the top of the bell tower at school. She is counting the days until graduation will take her away and he is finding reasons to keep on going. This is a love story that you will not forget.
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).
Steamy YA Romance Books
This book has a cult-like following for a reason. The first book in the series is a loose fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in the world of Prythian. Magical creatures, humans, and fae are all prominent in the book.
This is a fast-paced, addicting, fantasy romance series. A love triangle develops by the end of the story and book two is jaw-dropping! This is on its way to becoming a classic from the list of enemies-to-lovers books. You will want to binge this series in one week. We could not leave this epic romance off a list of the best romance novels of all time.
While this book is technically a YA fantasy series, the books become very steamy and we definitely see this as one of the best fantasy books for adults on the list. We are so excited this is going to be one of the Hulu book adaptations.
If you loved ACOTAR, check out this list of books just like it. And with a Hulu book adaption in the works, you might want to head over to our guide on all of Sarah J. Maas’s books.
This hit book series is now a motion picture series starring Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin! Todd’s smash hit is set in college when bookworm Tessa meets bad boy Hardin.
Hardin and Tessa’s push-and-pull is at times frustrating but their chemistry is so good! Just make sure you have the second book in the series ready to go. This one ends on a cliffhanger. Not as popular with the US market, the Netflix book adaption was a smash over seas.
We don’t think about royals and the LGBTQ community because we don’t usually see openly gay royals, which is so sad in today’s society.
This charming romance was absolutely adorable. I crushed hard for their romance and found myself smiling the entire time. (Also love the nod to a female president…where do I sign up for one of those?)
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.
Best Fantasy YA Romance Books
The story begins with letters from Scarlett to Legend, the leader of Caraval- a game played once a year in a far-off destination. Every year, every time it is played, the game is different. Filled with magic and wonder, this destination-based competition is played by Scarlet as she tries to get this year’s prize – her sister Tella – before anyone else can.
There is a love story and magic as the stakes get higher the longer Scarlet plays. This is the first ya romance book in a three-part series that gets better and more complicated with each new book.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
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 vampire trilogy is definitely lacking the gore and fear factor and makes up for it with an amazing romance. I mean, I think there are people who still have their “Team Jacob” and “Team Edward” shirts. For the record, I was always Team Edward.
And if you love vampire books like we do, you can click see our great list!
Louise Le Blanche is a witch, and Reid Diggory is a witch hunter, but when they are forced to be married Lou has to keep her identity a secret and try not to fall for her handsome husband.
Set in the pre-industrial age in Paris, France, this historical fantasy book is perfect for lovers of YA! It’s got funny, fierce heroines, a steamy love story, and a cast that is actually diverse! I devoured all three books in this series.
This book started so strong for me, I was completely enraptured with this world. As the story continued, I found the story changed tones. What was once a hopeful story, slowly became a story of unreachable love.
200 years ago Weep was cut off from the world so much so that nobody can even remember the city’s real name. When Lazio starts dreaming of a blue-skinned woman, he cannot forget her.
I loved the Disney cartoon Gargoyles when I was a little girl, so when I saw a YA romance fantasy book about creatures, I knew I needed it. I read this to help ease me out of my House of Earth and Blood book hangover and it was a perfect read.
It’s actually a spin-off of one of Armentrout’s other series, which I didn’t know until after I read the story. I didn’t feel like I missed anything having read this first. Gargoyles are Wardens out to fight demons and protect humans, and one special human in particular. It’s more romance than fantasy.
Love YA Fantasy? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of YA Fantasy!
Best YA Romance Books: Dystopian Fantasy
This 4 book ya romance series is set in the future in a time of disease and war. This series is part twisted fairy tale, part dystopia, and part sci-fi fantasy.
Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel are re-imagined as you have never seen them before. All of them are smart and strong women far from the helpless damsels in distress we know them to be.
The first book introduces us to Cinder. She is a cyborg (part human, part machine) who lives with her…you guessed it… two step-sisters and step-mother.
In this trilogy, Chicago society is divided into factions dedicated to a particular virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. On a selected day, all 16-year-olds gather to choose their faction.
Beatrice must choose between staying with her family and becoming who she was meant to be. This first book in the trilogy is unlike anything I had read. It drew me in and kept me turning the pages until the end. Of course, nothing is as it seems in this dystopian YA Fantasy.
This is the first book in the Hunger Games series and it is epic! In the aftermath of what was once North America, there are 12 Districts surrounding the capital.
Each year, each district sends one boy and one girl to fight to the death in a competition called “The Hunger Games”. Katniss Everdeen volunteers as a tribute to save her younger sister from the certain death of the games. This sci-fi book has everything but at its heart, it is a perfect pick for books about sisters. This young adult fantasy book has heart while making you turn the pages!
This book reminded me of Fourth Wing because of the kill-or-be-killed attitude. It is either graduate or die.
If you love The Hunger Games, check out these 24 books just like it!
Love The Hunger Games? We do too! That’s why we created this List of Books Like the Hunger Games
Best LGBTQ YA Romance Books
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, making this one of the best romance books for teens.
I guess the theme for this month for the most part is fun, sweet romances that are light and easy to read. This book falls perfectly into that category. I enjoyed this YA romance that checked all the boxes for a feel-good light read.
Ben is in the post office with a box of his ex-boyfriends stuff. When Ben and Arthur have a meet cute in the post office, Arthur thinks it’s a sign or is it? Will he get another chance with this cute stranger from the post office?
Aristotle and Dante seem to have nothing in common when they first meet other than the fact that they are both loners. But, as they start spending more time together, they learn truths about themselves and develop a friendship that will change them both forever.
This award-winning book is such a fantastic YA romance that is so well written. It has so much emotion that it had me in tears which is not a usual thing for me.
I read this book in only two days. It was such a great YA romance 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.
Best Christmas YA Romance Books
In this YA Christmas book two teenagers are working at the inn where a famous holiday movie was filmed. Each is hiding secrets from their families, but confide in each other.
This enemies-to-lovers romance is a charming and innocent story that’s PG appropriate for teenagers. I loved all the cute Christmas scenes these 2 experience together.
It’s the perfect pick for our Christmas book round-up.
This is such a cute YA Christmas book. It’s a teenage version of The Holiday. In this story Holly and Noelle swap homes for a week around Christmas.
Holly wants to escape her ex-boyfriend, who is also her neighbor, and Noelle is out to win a social media challenge and prove herself as a teen influencer.
But as they get to know each other’s friends and family, their connection to each other grows too. And they learn a few Christmas lessons in the process.
A cute YA Christmas romance about Finley, who is home from boarding school, and her classmate, Arthur, who shows up at her grandmother’s inn for Winter break.
Why is there? Because Finley told everyone all about the quaint town of Christmas, Oklahoma where she is from… but she exaggerated and now Arthur wants her create a Christmas he and his aunt will remember.
Looking for more Christmas Books for kids and adults? Check out our Christmas Books Hub for book club guides, book lists, book-related present ideas, and more!
Sweet YA Romance Books for Teens
Ok, so I adored To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, but this YA romance felt much more juvenile. The love triangle, the antics, it was all just a little too young for my tastes.
Set when Belly turns 15, at the beach house she visits every summer with her mom, her brother, and her mother’s best friend’s family, this coming-of-age is geared towards 15-year-olds for sure.
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 is easily one of our favorite romance books for teens!
This is an adorable YA romance that had my tea-loving heart at the title but, the story was sweet and had me turning the pages. But fair warning, you will be hungry while reading this book.
Lila is leaving Miami to spend the summer in England with her mom’s best friend as a way to help Lila’s mental health. With the unexpected breakup with her boyfriend, her best friend leaving after graduation and the death of her beloved Abuela, Lila’s life is not where she thought it would be.
Slowly, with new friends and a new city, Lila starts to see a different side of life, and maybe change is ok.
This is a YA romance that has some depth as Frank Li must navigate his first love and making 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 wonderful debut.
YA Romances That Take Place Abroad
What a fun quick book by Emiko Jean. I feel like this book was one part Princess Diaries and one part Crazy Rich Asians.
Izumi Tanaka does not feel like she fits in as a Japanese American in her mostly white California town. When she finds out that her unknown father is actually the crown prince of Japan, she is determined to meet him.
This book was an entertaining and light summer read that will satisfy your desire to escape into a royal getaway.
Ahhh. This was just what I needed. A little bit of Paris, a little bit of ballet, and a perfect romance to go with it. This book reminds me of one of my favorite movies- Center Stage- but set in beautiful Paris. It made me feel like I was there and I couldn’t put the book down.
This is one of the best romance books for teens!
When it comes to books set in Italy that are escapist reads, this one is tops! In addition to offering a perfect description of all things food-related (yum), there was a sweet romance included.
It was like a double scoop of happiness. There are two more ya romance books in the series and I think I would like to indulge in both! The Netflix book adaption is a charming one.
Romance Books for Teens Set in New York City
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.
This ya romance book is smart and well-written. I loved reading it. Yoon has done something very difficult with this book. She switches back and forth between a few different narrators and still manages to maintain the flow of the story.
This National Book Award finalist is the story of Natasha and Daniel. They meet 12 hours before Natasha and her family are being deported to Jamaica. Where will their story take them? You can’t fall in love in 12 hours, can you?
This modern-day YA romance 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!
Royal Romances for Teens
We have talked about this series so many times that it has its own blog page of books that are similar. It is so much fun- think hunger games meets the bachelor. It’s a reality-tv royal match-making contest in a dystopian world.
But, in this case, the bachelor also happens to be the future king. Can you imagine if William held a contest to see who would be the future princess? This is on the top of our list of YA romance books and the book that brought us together.
I have been on some weird dystopian kick recently – which is funny because I had to be forced to read the Hunger Games. Now I can’t seem to stop! I’m sure I’ll switch gears this summer but right now I’m loving this young adult fantasy novel.
In this world, those with red blood are common and those with silver blood are elite with superhuman abilities. In the war against Silvers and Reds, Mare Barrow is special and so is this book. The ending was a total shock! I couldn’t put it down.
Look no further than this amazing royal YA romance book. If you haven’t read this romance loosely based on Wills and Kate’s love story, read no further. This is the end-all, be-all of Royal Reads.
This novel spans from the time Bex and Prince Nick’s meeting in college until the night before their wedding. It goes through the ups and downs of the relationship and ends on a cliffhanger. But do not worry. The Heir Affair is already out and you can read that one next.
Love everything royal? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of Royal Reads.
Historical YA Romance Books
This gothic historical fiction is centered around Hazel, a 16-year-old woman who lives in Edinburgh Scotland with her mother and younger brother. She has always had an obsession with anatomy and wants to be a surgeon despite the fact that no women are allowed to study to become doctors.
In order to study and pass her exam, she must have dead bodies to look at. Enter Jack, who earns extra money by taking bodies from their graves at night.
This was such a quick read with amazing details to keep the story moving. There were some surprise details that really added to the story. The ending, however, felt very rushed to me- especially when compared to the rest of the book. It left me feeling that I was missing something.
I listened to the audible version of this book and I was hysterical. It is a twist on the historical tale of Lady Jane Grey the 9 days Queen.
Instead of Catholics and Protestants, this book gave us people who could transform into animals and those who could not. It was ridiculous but funny and the authors cleverly wove in historical details and sayings attributing them to the characters.
This book’s premise had me a little skeptical, Greek Gods telling a love story set in WWI? I didn’t think it was up my alley. I must have had it recommended to me almost a dozen times now, and now I’m the one recommending this young adult fantasy novel.
It was two, sort of three, love stories in one historical romance book, but it touched on racism, PTSD, and the sacrifices of war. It was so well handled that I was sad to see it end.
Love Historical Fiction? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of Historical Fiction carefully divided by time-period.
More Amazing YA Romances
When 16-year-old Emmie sends her name and email address attached to a red balloon, it travels over 100 miles and leads her to Lucas. Now 14 years later, Lucas is getting married. The problem? Lucas is her best friend who she is also in love with.
This is characterized as a ya romance book but is equally compelling for adult readers. Yoon’s writing is smart, to the point and unlike any other author, I’ve read. She is able to make serious, intimidating subjects relatable.
Maddy is a 17-year-old girl who is allergic to everything. She has not been outside since she can remember. Then, one day, she sees a boy outside her window, and everything changes. I loved this book, although I did predict the ending.
A cute story about a traditional Indian boy and a not-so-traditional Indian girl. The characters meet at a computer programming seminar where Richi is supposed to woo his unsuspecting future bride, Dimple.
When Richi attends the computer program with the intention of winning Dimple over, what is the worst that can happen right? They clash and connect throughout the story as they try to determine if they really are destined for each other.
This book is sweet, fun, and romantic. It is easy to love the characters and cheer them on. 10 Things I hate about Pinky by Sanhya Menon is another great book to add to this list.
I absolutely adored this YA romance. It is wholesome and totally appropriate for a younger audience but sweet and fun for adults as well.
The story looks at what happens when you can no longer depend on your sight. Tessa learns to use her other senses with the help of Weston. He is a 16-year-old boy with an outgoing personality and no legs. He is the only one who knows what it is like to lose something you depend on every day.
Despite trying to push him away, Weston comes to visit Tessa and help her learn to really “see”. Even though you will guess the ending of the book (It has a very fairy tale feel to it), it is well written and I became emotional while reading it. This is one of the YA Romance books that is underrated.