32 Swoonworthy Young Adult Books of the Last Decade

Posted by Sharon on February 10, 2020
Romance Week 2020

Young love, first love, star-crossed love. YA fiction has brought us some of our very favorite heartbreaks and Happily Ever Afters. For Valentine's Day, we're highlighting young adult titles with romantic plots or subplots that readers of any age can fall in love with.

We put together this list by looking at popular books from the last decade that fall into both the romance and young adult genres with an average rating of at least 3.5 stars from your fellow readers. It's heavy on contemporary, of course, but we made sure to scatter in some sci-fi, fantasy, and historical releases as well!

Here are 32 reads that will make you feel that heart-beating-faster, sweaty-palmed, tongue-tied, trip-over-your-shoelaces kind of love. 

Be sure to add the books you want to meet(cute) to your Want to Read shelf!

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Which are your favorite romantic YA reads? Share them with us in the comments!

Check out the complete coverage of Romance Week, including:
Meet Today's Rising Stars of Romance
A Starter Kit of Reads for Romance Newbies
Lisa Kleypas Talks Changing Trends in Romance

Comments Showing 1-50 of 62 (62 new)


message 1: by Louie (new)

Louie Yay, These Witches Don't Burn is SO good with a very cute romance! I can't wait to read the sequel, I desperately need more witchy books in my life!


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary H Uhhhhh Red White and Royal Blue is FANTASTIC and a lovely romance, but it is NOT Young Adult, and the author does not want it included in YA lists. All the characters are in their 20s, and the mc graduates college about halfway through. It is very solidly New Adult.


message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris why isn't Eleanor and park on here? that is an amazing romance novel that had me in tears


message 4: by Sheena (new)

Sheena Mary wrote: "Uhhhhh Red White and Royal Blue is FANTASTIC and a lovely romance, but it is NOT Young Adult, and the author does not want it included in YA lists. All the characters are in their 20s, and the mc g..."

This^


message 5: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Eleanor and Park needs to be on this list! Also one of my favorite books of all time (very under-rated) The Sea of Tranquility!


message 6: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Chris wrote: "why isn't Eleanor and park on here? that is an amazing romance novel that had me in tears"

my first thought


message 7: by Library (new)

Library Queen ... This list should definitely have had both Eleanor and Park AND The Lovely War.


message 8: by Olivia (new)

Olivia This list is missing the Selection!!!! One of the greatest love stories of all time!


message 9: by Kelsey (last edited Feb 10, 2020 01:53PM) (new)

Kelsey Collins Great list but I have to agree with previous commenters. Red, White and Royal Blue was amazing, but definitely an adult read. I also think A Court of Thorns and Roses (the entire series really) needs to be included in this list. It's exceedingly popular and an incredible epic romance/adventure plot line.


message 10: by Felicity (last edited Feb 10, 2020 02:05PM) (new)

Felicity The Selection Series 1-5 Book Set (The Selection, #1-5) by Kiera Cass
Needs Selection series.


message 11: by Meriwether (new)

Meriwether Jackie wrote: "Eleanor and Park needs to be on this list! Also one of my favorite books of all time (very under-rated) The Sea of Tranquility!"

Sea of Tranquility is the best romance I have ever read


message 12: by TMR (new)

TMR These are absolute wonderful picks.


message 13: by Driftwood (new)

Driftwood Books *banging knives and forks on the table chanting *
Eleanor and Park! Eleanor and Park!


message 14: by Marta (new)

Marta AUTOBOYOGRAPHY!


message 15: by Brooke (new)

Brooke ACOMAF by our lord and saviour Sarah J Maas needs to be on this list


message 16: by Brooke (new)

Brooke Sea of Tranquility and On The Jelicoe Road are also fantastic life long favourites of mine


message 17: by Gianna (new)

Gianna Chris wrote: "why isn't Eleanor and park on here? that is an amazing romance novel that had me in tears"

I agree with you. Eleanor and Park was one of my favorites. THis should really be on the list.


message 18: by Gianna (new)

Gianna The divergent series should be on this page. This series was a little more than young adult literature but i feel like if this page were to show the real romance books, The divergent series should be on the list.


message 19: by Emmanuel (new)

Emmanuel Zulu I m looking for SDA hynnm companion


message 20: by Savannah (new)

Savannah Lorenc Young Adult has always included early 20s and there is contention about whether New Adult is really a worthwhile separate age bracket. It's classified as YA in libraries, so 🤷‍♀️


message 21: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Smyl Eleanor and Park!! Amazingly perfect book.


message 22: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan is incredible!!!


message 23: by Alanah (new)

Alanah Mary wrote: "Uhhhhh Red White and Royal Blue is FANTASTIC and a lovely romance, but it is NOT Young Adult, and the author does not want it included in YA lists. All the characters are in their 20s, and the mc g..."

YES. It should definitely be recommended, but not on YA lists.


message 24: by Alli (new)

Alli Brooke wrote: "ACOMAF by our lord and saviour Sarah J Maas needs to be on this list"

What does this anacronym mean?


message 25: by Cathy (new)

Cathy R Alli wrote: "Brooke wrote: "ACOMAF by our lord and saviour Sarah J Maas needs to be on this list"

What does this anacronym mean?"


A Court of Mist and Fury. It is probably my life-long favorite romance /adventure story. It is SO GOOD! But read A Court of Thorns and Roses first because then you get the story more completely. WONDERFUL books!


message 26: by kellybuds (new)

kellybuds Jackie wrote: "Eleanor and Park needs to be on this list! Also one of my favorite books of all time (very under-rated) The Sea of Tranquility!"

YES!! I so rarely see anyone bring up Sea of Tranquility and its such a good one!!!


message 27: by ⭐️Abi⭐️ (new)

⭐️Abi⭐️ Y’all are talking about how good the ‘ACOTAR’ series is but I’m over here laughing about how bad it is 💀


message 28: by kellybuds (new)

kellybuds ⭐️Abi⭐️ wrote: "Y’all are talking about how good the ‘ACOTAR’ series is but I’m over here laughing about how bad it is 💀"

LMFAO same!! I am over here cringing like you guys are just really horny, that's all lololol


message 29: by kellybuds (new)

kellybuds I think that Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon was a pretty incredible love story. So so sweet !!!


message 30: by Eva (new)

Eva B. kellybuds wrote: "⭐️Abi⭐️ wrote: "Y’all are talking about how good the ‘ACOTAR’ series is but I’m over here laughing about how bad it is 💀"

LMFAO same!! I am over here cringing like you guys are just really horny, ..."


Pfft same!


message 31: by Emmers (new)

Emmers Serpent & Dove should definitely be on this list! So many good good romance tropes!


message 32: by Dakota (new)

Dakota Eva wrote: "kellybuds wrote: "⭐️Abi⭐️ wrote: "Y’all are talking about how good the ‘ACOTAR’ series is but I’m over here laughing about how bad it is 💀"

LMFAO same!! I am over here cringing like you guys are j..."


Hold up now. I love A Court of Thorns and Roses but not because I'm horny. In fact while they are very well written they are my least favorite scenes. I love everything else it has to offer like the interesting plot, amazing characters, the making of allies out of enemies and that that it shows that a cover is not at all the book.


message 33: by Mary (last edited Feb 11, 2020 11:16AM) (new)

Mary H Savannah wrote: "Young Adult has always included early 20s and there is contention about whether New Adult is really a worthwhile separate age bracket. It's classified as YA in libraries, so 🤷‍♀️"

It shouldn't be in YA collections. The author, publisher, bookstores, library suppliers (companies that sell books to libraries), and the New York Times don't consider it YA. https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-se... If people are so insistent that New Adult not be a separate category, then it's adult. It's NOT YA.

https://twitter.com/casey_mcquiston/s...


message 34: by Eva (new)

Eva B. RWRB is shelved as Adult at my library, and all the others I've been to.


message 35: by Eva (new)

Eva B. Strange the Dreamer should be on here, along with The Diviners, Let's Talk About Love, and There's Something About Sweetie.


message 36: by theStorykeeper (new)

theStorykeeper Eva wrote: "RWRB is shelved as Adult at my library, and all the others I've been to."

Mine too.


message 37: by Trisha (new)

Trisha Leigh This list is very notably missing Gayle Forman - If I Stay and Where She Went are sooooooo romantic. Also, Stephanie Perkins' novels, Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park, and The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay.


message 38: by TAO (new)

TAO Olivia wrote: "This list is missing the Selection!!!! One of the greatest love stories of all time!"

OH MY GOODNESS I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. I JUST RECENTLY READ THIS SERIES AGAIN AND IT REMINDED ME JUST HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT IT MADE ON MY READING EXPERIENCE. IT LAUNCHED MY LOVE OF READING. SUCH A GOOD SERIES. YES.


message 39: by Magical_Bookworm (new)

Magical_Bookworm Red White and Royal Blue is New Adult.


message 40: by Annie (new)

Annie all of you writing that acotar series needed to be added, it’s definitely more NA than YA.


message 41: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Where is Eleanor and Park??? It's my number one YA romance novel


message 42: by Amy "the book-bat" (last edited Feb 11, 2020 07:30PM) (new)

Amy "the book-bat" ⭐️Abi⭐️ wrote: "Y’all are talking about how good the ‘ACOTAR’ series is but I’m over here laughing about how bad it is 💀"

Yeah, I suffered through the first book and said no more... I HATED it.


I also agree that Eleanor and Park needs to be on the list. It was a good read and it is diverse.


message 43: by Fig (new)

Fig A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi needs to be on this list !


message 44: by Jen (last edited Feb 11, 2020 09:19PM) (new)

Jen If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Lost in Los Angeles by J.W. Lynne


message 45: by Jen (new)

Jen If you like dystopians: Divergent and Above the Sky


message 46: by Simran (new)

Simran ok this list is amazing but the selection, delirium and all the bright places deserves better


message 47: by Richa (new)

Richa Latu My favourite YA romance novels are TFIOS, All the bright places and Five feet apart.


message 48: by Cage (new)

Cage Shadow and Bone? I know it's labeled as romance, but far from it lol


message 49: by Emma (new)

Emma Jane Olivia wrote: "This list is missing the Selection!!!! One of the greatest love stories of all time!"

Yesssssssssssss!!


message 50: by selina ☾ (new)

selina ☾ ...Kingdom of Ash does have romance, but not enough to be in this list. Regardless, it shouldn't even be classed as YA. Neither should Red, White and Royal Blue :/


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