Is Valentine’s Day coming up soon? Do you want to read some love books for teens then? They’re great to read this month, no matter whether you’re a teenager or not. In real life, first love is so exciting and dramatic. It’s no wonder that young love is such a popular and beloved subject for authors to write about. Whether it’s a crush, a first kiss, fake dating, or friends falling in love with each other, teenage love stories have so many different ways to tell them. These 20 teen romances range from sweet and tender to spicy and tempestuous. Whether you’re looking for an old-fashioned YA romance, a modern one, or one of the new 2022 YA novels, these are the books for you.
If you look around, you’ll see a lot of happy endings, even though the couples aren’t together at the end in a few of them. In some books, love might not be able to do everything. But it certainly takes over the page and the hearts of the readers in these 20 romantic love stories.
Classic YA Romance Books
Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daily
Some people think Seventeenth Summer was the first book for young people. This book is often overlooked. It was written when the author was 17 years old and published in 1942. It was a big influence on the genre, especially teen romance, but it was also a big hit with young people. The book starts with 17-year-old Angie being asked on her first date the summer after high school. She and Jack fall in love. It’s just that this fall, Angie will be going to college and Jack will be moving to get a job at his uncle’s business. A true look at how first love works (and a book I devoured when I read it in high school).
Forever by Judy Blume
While Seventeenth Summer is mostly about first love, Forever is mostly about teenagers having sex at a young age Love is important, but don’t forget that. In 1975, it was a big hit because it showed a teenage girl having sex, taking birth control pills, and nothing bad happened to her. In the beginning, when Katherine and Michael have sex for the first time, they both believe that their relationship will last a long time. But as time goes on, Katherine isn’t sure if she’s ready for the rest of her life. That’s fine. Relationships between people can still be important and meaningful even if they don’t last for a long time or not. If you know Ralph, you know that this book can be a little issue-y and even a little gross at times. There are still romance books for teenagers, but this one is a step in the right direction.
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
A lot of people think this book was one of the first queer YA romances that gave its characters a happy ending. Liza and Annie meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on a rainy day when they both want to go inside. Even though the two girls are very different, there is a strong connection between them right away. During a close friendship, both of the girls have to face their feelings for each other. She could be expelled from her private school if they keep their relationship secret. However, it takes time and the help of two lesbian teachers for Liza to come to terms with her sexual orientation and deal with the difficulties of being in a lesbian relationship. In 1982, this book was published, and it was both praised and criticized, banned, and even burned.
Finding My Voice by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
Since the 2000s, this YA love story has been reissued twice. At her all-white school in the early ’90s, Ellen Sung is one of only a few Korean American students. In high school, Ellen has a crush on football star Tomper, but she doesn’t think he will like her back. But he does, and the two fall more in love with each other through the book. But will her family’s disapproval and the racist bullies who live in their town keep them apart?
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
In the world of young adult romance, Sarah Dessen is the queen. At least one of her high school romances should be on a list of love books for teens. These lyrics are from a Lullaby that tells the story of a cynical teenage girl named Remy and the disorganized and romantic musician she’s dating. Remy usually has a set of dating rules that she follows, including breaking up with guys before things get too serious. This is what Remy usually does. In general, she doesn’t believe in love. With Dexter, for some reason, she can’t bring herself to break up with him.
Contemporary Romance Books for Teens
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Lara has been in love with football star Chase since high school. And now that they’re in high school, it looks like he’s interested in her, too. When they start to get closer, Lara can’t get Jasmine out of her head. During the summer, Jasmine was the girl from the beach that she became more than just friends with. She didn’t think she’d see Jasmine again, but now she’s going to Lara’s school, which isn’t what she thought. Besides that, Lara isn’t sure what she wants.
Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
Evie doesn’t think love is real. She won’t want to do this after she learns that she can see other people’s love lives. She comes to understand that love always ends in heartbreak. It doesn’t matter how good the start of a relationship is. The end is always painful. She doesn’t want to go through that. But when she finds herself in a ballroom dance competition with a boy named X, that resolve starts to crumble a little. In love, you put your heart at risk. She doesn’t want to do that. But with X, there may be no other choice.
Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
There are a lot of differences between Chloe and the people who raised her. Her parents are Taiwanese, but they came to the United States as immigrants. As a matter of fact, Chloe’s parents have been trying to get her to go out with Hambo, a rich Asian man who Chloe doesn’t like very much. When she grows up, she wants to go to college and be her own person. But to get her parents to stop yelling at her, she hires Drew from a service that makes fake, Asian parents-approved boyfriends. Even though Chloe’s parents fall in love with her fake boyfriend, the real Drew, Chloe starts to fall in love with him (a struggling artist who is definitely not parent-approved). In Jenny Han’s book, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, there are a lot of fake dates. This is a good YA love story to read this Valentine’s Day if you like that kind of thing.
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
Noah runs a blog about trans romances and happy endings. This is another great fake dating story. They say that the stories aren’t true. When Noah wrote these stories, he did it to give himself and the trans community a little hope. To save his blog, Noah wants to convince the world that the stories he tells are true. And Drew is willing to help Noah with this by pretending to be in a relationship with him, so he can help Noah out. But Noah’s feelings for Drew start to feel very real, and they’re very different from what he thought about when he was writing about love on the page.
Curvy Girls Can’t Date Quarterbacks by Kelsie Stelting
Mean girl: Rory accepts her ignorance as a challenge to show her and other fatphobic students that she and other mean girls are wrong about people who are fat, like her. In her own words, she is a “big and curvy girl.” She wants to show that fat people can have happy endings, too. Her solution is to get the school quarterback, Beckett, to agree to be her homecoming date, but she has no idea how to do this. It’s not even clear to Beckett who Rory is at this point in the story. But with the help of her friends, Rory has a plan to make it happen, and she will do it.
Fantasy & Paranormal Teen Romance Books
Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
Voya has been waiting all her life for the Calling, which is a test every witch has to pass before they can use their powers. When she doesn’t do well, her ancestors give her a chance to do better next time. It’s different this time, though. If she doesn’t pass, her whole family will lose their magical powers, too. She has to kill her first love. People don’t like her because she hasn’t been in love before. It’s time for her to find a person to fall in love with, then kill them.
Crave by Tracy Wolff
As soon as Grace’s parents die, her uncle sends her to an elite boarding school in Alaska. She soon finds out that the students at his school aren’t the same as the other students there. Among them, she is just a normal person. Her relationship with Jaxon is very strong, but he’s a vampire with a lot of secrets from a hundred years of being a vampire. Readers who are older will notice the references to Twilight in the book, but younger people will not. However, for younger teen readers, this is a paranormal romance that is new, fresh, and very interesting.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
During this Arabian Nights retelling, Khalid is the boy king who marries a new woman every night and then kills her the next day. For the sake of her best friend, Shahrzad will be one of his brides. It isn’t easy for him to order her death in the morning because she tells him stories with cliffhangers that keep him from killing her. All the time, these two people become attracted to each other and fall in love with each other. Both of them learn that the other person isn’t who they thought they were.