7 Best Books About Interracial Relationships Update 05/2022

Love is a pretty powerful thing. It has been able to bridge cultural gaps, break down binary systems, and build empathy between people who have different life experiences. Loving someone is a superpower in this way. It can change not only the lives of those in the relationship, but also how others see and think about them. Even so, there are some things that can go wrong. Today, interracial relationships are in our own lives, on our screens, and in the stories we read. So it’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, interracial marriages were made legal across the United States after the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia in 1967. A report from the U.S. Census Bureau says that more than 10% of married-couple households in the United States are interracial, which includes both married couples from different races and married couples from the same race who are married to each other.

Every relationship is made up of the unique identities and backgrounds of each person. During these relationships, both people learn about each other’s traditions, world views, and experiences. But these relationships can also be eye-opening because you can see for yourself what your partner has to deal with on a daily basis. It’s important for people who are in relationships with people from different races to be aware of and talk about these imbalances of power and how that affects their relationship. Love, empathy, and complexity can grow from interracial relationships. We’re highlighting some of our favorite stories about interracial couples where their love and desire to help each other overcame the challenges that came from having two different lived experiences. Any more ideas? What do you think? Let us know in the comment box below!

YA Books With Interracial Relationships

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Tessa Johnson, 16, is a writer who has never felt like the main character in her own life. This is her first romantic comedy, and it is full of Black Girl Magic. She hasn’t seen herself on the pages of the romance novels she likes, so she writes her own. She only tells her best friend and #1 fan Caroline about her swoon-worthy love stories.

When Tessa gets into a creative writing class at a well-known art school, she can’t wait to show off her stories. For her first class, the words are just… gone. Caroline, Tessa’s favorite cheerleader, came up with a way for Tessa to have her own happily-ever-after in the name of art. Her classmate Nico, a brooding artist who looks like he came right out of one of Tessa’s stories, is her prince charming. In fact, the more Tessa tries to make her own love story, the more she starts to wonder if the things she’s giving up for “happily ever after” are really what she wants. As a story about friendship and finding yourself, Happily Ever Afters is great for people who like To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved.

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

When Jamie and Maya first met, they didn’t plan to spend the summer together. They also didn’t plan to spend the summer canvassing for their local state senate candidate, either. In this book, Jamie faces his fear of talking to strangers, and Maya is dealing with her parents’ impending separation and a Ramadan that isn’t going well. This unlikely duo connects in ways neither thought possible. If their different cultures and upbringings make their relationship end before it even starts, they don’t know if they can find common ground in their activism.

Yes No Maybe So is a book about the power of love and activism. It’s also a celebration of the things we learn and the people we meet who we didn’t expect to meet.

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

It’s a good thing that Cal wants to be a journalist. His pilot father has been chosen by NASA to go to Mars on a very public mission. During the last few days, Cal and his parents have moved from Brooklyn to Houston, where Cal lives with his parents. As a result, they have become the center of a media frenzy about the soon-to-launch. As Cal’s family starts to struggle with the pressure to be the perfect American family, he makes friends with Leon, whose mother is an astronaut on the same mission as Cal’s. The two fall head over heels for each other in the midst of the chaos. In the end, Cal has to find a way to get to the bottom of the space mission without hurting people he cares about most.

The Gravity of Us was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award. It’s a heartwarming debut that’s great for fans of Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) and Adam Silvera (The Fault in Our Stars) (They Both Die in the End).

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Pablo Rind, who dropped out of college, doesn’t have a lot going for him on paper. A twenty-four-hour bodega in Brooklyn has a graveyard shift, and it’s hard work. He’s up to his eyes in credit card debt, and he hasn’t even thought about his student loans yet. Pop star Leanna Smart has enough followers on social media to fill whole countries. Her brand can’t be stopped. Leanna’s adult life is a blur of private plans, dreamy hotel rooms, and fans chanting her name everywhere she goes. She went from being a child star to being an international icon. In the winter, Pablo and Leanna meet at 5 a.m. in the store. It’s almost impossible to think of them as “A Thing.” However, Lee and Pab turn to each other as they figure out who they are and what they want to be. As you know, that’s when things start to get really complicated.

Smart and funny, Permanent Record is a love story that looks at how social media can change relationships for the better or for the worse.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a popular show on Netflix. It tells the story of Lara Jean, an Asian-American high schooler whose life changes when the letters she wrote and hid to her past crushes get sent. It happens very quickly that the boys in Lara Jean’s letters start to show up. Lara Jean, in an attempt to hide her feelings for her sister’s ex-boyfriend, fakes a relationship with handsome jock Peter. Lara Jean might find out that her future looks better than ever when she starts to think about the things that have happened to her in the past.

People who read Jenny Han’s books might start writing letters of their own after they read this one.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This award-winning book tells the story of 16-year-old Starr Carter, a girl who lives in a poor neighborhood and goes to a posh suburban prep school. When Starr sees her childhood best friend, Khalil, killed by a police officer, the balance between the two is shattered. Khalil was not armed.

Soon, Khalil’s death will become a national story. Protesters are taking to the streets in the name of Khalil. Everyone wants to know what happened that night. As cops and the drug lord try to get to know Starr and her family, everyone wants to know: What happened? It’s Starr who can answer that. But what Starr says or doesn’t say could change her whole town. It could also put her life in danger.

When Angie Thomas writes, this book has a lot of power. She is able to hold conversations about police brutality and racial violence through the stories of her characters. A must read again and again.

This Is My Brain In Love by I.W. Gregorio

With three wishes, Jocelyn Wu, a high school junior, wants to live through the school year without dying of boredom, make a short film with her best friend Priya Venkatram, and stay away from the only other Chinese girl in her class for two months. In the event that her father’s restaurant goes under, Jocelyn hires Will Domenici, who is a great writer and social media expert. He will help bring A-Plus Chinese Garden into the 21st century, or at least on to Facebook, as well. Jocelyn and Will start out with a rocky relationship, but it soon turns into something completely different. There are some things that could keep them apart, like family prejudices and the uncertainty of the future, as Will and Jocelyn try to save the restaurant and their romance.

Will and Jocelyn tell their own stories in this YA romance, which talks about mental health, race, and self-acceptance as the two people try to deal with the difficulties and triumphs of their cross-cultural relationship.

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