Romance. Heartbreak. First kisses. Emotions. Prom. Tears. Missed connections. Break-ups. Best friends. Sex. Love at first sight. Love triangles. Caring. Happily ever after. This is what love stories are made of.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
When Alek's grades slip his Armenian-American parents send him to summer school. What could be a disaster turns out to be a blessing in disguise when Alek meets Ethan, an older guy who is part skate-punk and part sweetheart. The two form a friendship that evolve into a sweet and funny love story. But how will Alek's traditional parents react to this new friendship?
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Beatrix makes anatomical drawings and Jack is notorious for his graffiti. When the mismatched artists meet in the middle of the night, sparks fly! But the secrets in his past and those in her family threaten their connection. With off-beat settings including a morgue, San Francisco roof tops and public buses, this is not your average love story. But if you're into quirky connections between outsiders you should meet Beatrix and Jack.
Jason & Kyra by Dana Davidson
Jason is a drop-dead gorgeous basketball star and Kyra is his super-smart partner for an AP English assignment. Despite the efforts of Jason's beautiful but shallow ex-girlfriend, opposites attract in this story that is as much about Kyra's competition for a prestigious science award and Jason's unstable family life as it is about their budding romance.
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Cheerleader Brittany is paired up with bad boy Alex in chemistry lab and as the title suggests, sparks fly. But neither one is quite what people assume: Alex wants out of gang life and Brittany is the only one in her family functional enough to take care of her disabled older sister. The romance between the two of them smolders through their friends' disapproval, but a romance this hot is bound to ignite.
The Princess Bride by WIlliam Golding
Love, intrigue, danger are all here in a classic swashbuckling pirate fairy tale. If you have seen the movie you know it is all part of a bigger story that might be about politics or satire or something else but as a reader you don't have to worry about that - this is just the good parts! All the characters we love from the movie are here including Fezzik the gentle giant and Inigo Montoya bent on avenging the death of his father. But the heart of the story is the devoted love of farm boy Westley for Princess Buttercup. Swoon!
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Break-up letters are rare enough, but classic movie buff Min takes it to the extreme when she breaks up with her basketball playing boyfriend Ed. This entire book is her break-up letter and each chapter tells the story of a particular memento from their two-month long romance, illustrations of which are included. There is no happily ever after for Min and Ed, but that doesn't make their love story any less intense or passionate.
The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
Having started her sixth school in four years, June is not interested in starting a relationship that she won't be around long enough to finish. But then she runs into Wes earning her a black eye and him a head bump and what starts as attraction slowly turns into love. This isn't an explosive romantic drama, but an ordinary love story mixed with humor about two teens trying to figure out how to stay attached in a world that keeps putting up obstacles.
Romeo & Juliet: A Play adapted by Gareth Hinds
Perhaps the most famous teen romance ever, Hinds has adapted Romeo and Juliet into this beautiful graphic novel. It is told in the original language so you get all the poetry of Shakespeare's writing but the text is abridged and the illustrations and footnotes make the story much more accessible. The other notable change is that in this version Juliet's family are from India and Romeo's are from Africa making for a more contemporary setting of the rivalry between the families. But all the aching longing and bloody devotion are still here and the drama is set in a beautiful visual story told by Hinds.
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Luce's boyfriend is dead and she is a suspect. And that's why she is sent to a reform school in Savannah, Georgia where she meets two intriguing boys. But this is not an ordinary romance. Luce has been haunted by shadows and in Savannah she begins to understand about them and the paranormal romance she has begins with Daniel. This is the first in a series of four books about Luce and Daniel, the other lives they have lived and fallen angels they encounter.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Unlike in other romances with gay characters, this one starts with Rafe in Colorado among supportive family and community. But he's tired of being known as "the gay kid" so he makes a dramatic move to an East Coast boarding school where he plans to live without the label and let everyone assume he is straight. But identity is tricky enough even if you don't fall in love with your new best friend. The love story between Rafe and Ben is sweet and emotional and thought-provoking.
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
There is a reason we call some love stories fairy tale romance and this book (the first in a series) is a perfect example. Sunday Woodcutter is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and this gives her magical powers. A retelling of the Frog Prince story complete with family feuds, an enchanted prince named Rumbold, and bits and pieces of other fairy tale this is a charming love story for every girl who dreams of falling in love with a prince and finding her happily ever after.
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
Lucille has enough on her plate paying the bills and looking after her sister while their parents are absent. Her dad has been institutionalized and her mother simply up and left. But when she is with Digby, her best friend's twin brother, none of that seems to matter. However messy and inconvenient, love is taking over Lucille's sensible self. If you like a romance that builds with longing and sentiment, this one is for you.
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Parker may be blind but that doesn't stop her from seeing people for who they are. Like her ex-boyfriend Scott Kilpatrick who suddenly reappears in her life years after breaking her heart. The only answer: snub him! Which makes sense anyway since Parker's got her hands full trying out for the track team, giving advice to her friends and dealing with the death of her father just a few months ago. But maybe just this once Parker has seen things wrong. Which leads her to reconsider whether to give Scott another chance. A good mix of friends, family trouble, sass and overcoming challenges this book has something for everyone.
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
Cold, dark, violent and beautiful - that's the best description for the Eastern European setting of this book as well as the love story between good-girl Anna and mysterious, brooding Abel who falls asleep in class and spins fantastic fairy tales for his six-year-old sister Micha. Anna is drawn to Abel and into the fairytale he tells. But as the tragic events of the story unfold in real life Anna begins to fear that Abel is more dangerous than she realizes. This haunting mystery is proof that not all love stories have a happy ending.
I'll GIve You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
This one book has two stories of two twins, their artistic ambitions, first loves and the relationship they have with each other. Noah's first person account of the competition between he and his sister as they apply to art school takes place before their mother is killed in a car accident and involves the boy across the street who could be more than just a friend. Jude's story happens in the years following the accident when she is struggling to make a sculpture that doesn't crumble. The emotional way the two delve into their art and the competitive but ultimately loving relationships they share make for satisfying reading.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park are opposite kinds of outsiders. Eleanor is new to the neighborhood and often bullied for being large and obvious with her unruly, red hair and unfashionable clothes. Park is half-Asian with an immigrant mother and a love of comics. But he fits in well enough at school and has a stable and loving, if unconventional family. What Eleanor has is a menacing step-father and no money for new clothes or books. The two begin to share comics and cassettes of alternative music and that sharing evolves into the kind of desperate love that makes Park want to save Eleanor. But saving someone is not easy and it often means letting them go entirely. Set in 1986 this has a good nostalgic feel that lets the relationship unfold in an authentically slow and quiet way that isn't possible in a world with cell phones and social media.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Ari is a loner, angry and distant from others until he meets Dante. As the two become friends, Dante's openness helps Ari begin to open up, too. The big secret of Ari's family is his older brother who is in prison and Ari's relationship with his family is colored by this secret. But there are other secrets as well and as it becomes clear that Dante feels more for Ari than simple friendship other secret feelings emerge. This book is as much about love among family as among friends and a reminder that love is only as strong as it is free.
Strobe Edge by Io Sakisaka
High School romance gets the full treatment in this manga series about 15-year-old Ninako Kinoshita falling in love for the first time with the most popular boy in school, Ren Ichinose. A quiet boy, Ren already has a girlfriend and that would make this a love triangle. But actually, Ninako's middle school friend Daiki expresses his interest in her making this more like a love quadrangle. You will get to know these characters quite well over the ten volumes in this series.
Accidental Love by Gary Soto
This sweet, sometimes funny romance is about Marisa Rodriguez, an overweight, underachiever who is inspired to improve herself when she meets geeky Rene who she falls for in spite of his bad fashion and awkward laugh. She moves to a new school, loses weight, improves in school and goes out for the school play. But that doesn't mean their love story will be easy. Marisa's friends and Rene's mother are against them and their story is set against a backdrop of a tough neighborhood with plenty of poverty, drugs and slang in background. But the love story between Marisa and Rene takes center stage and maybe love can conquer all for these two.
This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
Rose and Windy have been summer friends for years. When they meet for two weeks at the lake this year, though Rose is struggling with coming-of-age things. She wants to be friends with the younger, more childish Windy but she's sometimes bored. And she is captivated by the older teens including a local boy Dunc. Windy, on the other hand, is totally comfortable in her own skin and moves between pleasure and secret sadness throughout the story. Setting the tone are the constant arguments between Rose's parents and the blue color palet of this beautifully drawn graphic novel. Sweet and lovely this story is suitable for teens of any age that want to figure out how to have a relationship while they're still trying to figure out how to grow up.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
What if you were allergic to the world? That's how life is for Madeline. Which makes her romance with the new boy who moves in next door downright challenging. Which is what readers find out through diaries, texts, drawings and more. And you thought your love life was complicated!
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