Our top picks for YA romance novels

     In pursuit of love, our minds wander everywhere–such as to books. Reading gives the ultimate experience of love, by letting us submerge ourselves into words. Living vicariously through our favorite characters’ lives lets us explore a whole new world of possibilities, without all the real life complexities. To celebrate Valentine’s day this year, we offer here three of our favorite romance novels that will leave you with a smile and maybe even a few tears.

     “Beach Read” by Emily Henry

     Critically acclaimed Beach Read is the summer romance novel of the century. Published in 2020, it brought love to lonely hearts during the pandemic and is still adored by romance readers all over. Even though this novel is not realistic, we love how it takes you to another world. Set at a western Michigan beach, this novel by Emily Henry is one of our favorites because it has everything a romance lover could ask for: a trope of enemies lined up against lovers, close proximity, and of course, a grand romantic gesture. The two main characters, Augustus Everett and January Andrews, are sworn enemies. After her father’s death, January, a romance novel writer, is spending the summer at her beach house in hopes of gaining inspiration for her next novel. After several failed relationships, January has given up on love. Her neighbor Augustus, despises romance and is working on his next literary fiction novel. Their proximity forces January and Augustus to strike a deal — January teaches Augustus how to write romance novels and in return, he teaches her how to write a literary fiction book. Although both characters start off hating each other, life takes them on an unexpected path and soon the lines between hate and love begin to transform.


The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

     Although published nine  years ago, this novel continues to capture hearts and spawn tears for readers across the world (including myself). The Fault in Our Stars by John Green follows teenagers Hazel and Augustus through their fight with cancer. Their to-do list consists of attending support groups, taking medication and therapy, with no room left for love.With everything in their life revolving around their battles against terminal cancer, , their love for poetry, books and everything between dims. With time, their relationship builds and they eventually even find solace in each other. And then they lived happily ever after… right? We don’t want to make you cry on Valentine’s day, but this book might just be an exception. 

Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell

     Set in Omaha, Nebraska, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell follows Eleanor Douglas and Park Sheridan through their sophomore year of high school. Eleanor is a new student and seen as big and awkward by her classmates. Not only is she bullied in school, she also faces an abusive home life. Park, one of the only Asian-Americans at his school, constantly feels like an outsider. He feels the same at home, as his father constantly pushes him to be more “masculine.” The only safe haven both Eleanor and Park have is their seat next to each other on the school bus. Instead of setting impossible standards for the perfect love story, this book shows us how love grows over time and comes in different forms for each person. In this slow-burn romance, Eleanor and Park find comfort in each other by sharing music, books and meaningful conversations. Soon their friendship turns into something much more, helping them get through their year of high school. If you are looking for a book to make your heart swell, Eleanor and Park should be at the top of your list!

Happy Valentine’s Day!