Teen-Focused Tuesday: High School Romance

Happy Tuesday! If you love YA books you have come to the right post! Every Tuesday I feature a new YA theme featuring 5 books that you should check out! Explore different genres of YA including Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Non-Fiction, and more.

This week’s Teen-Focused Feature Theme is High School Romance! Who doesn’t love the struggles of high schools mixed with romance and first love.

The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

Summary: It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca impulsively pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.

Brett Wells has it all. Being captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be her mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not dating and she can keep up the ruse.

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy though, especially when you barely know the other person. But with Becca still picking up the pieces from when her world was blown apart years ago and Brett just barely holding his together now, they begin to realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. When the line between real and pretend begins to blur, they are forced to answer the question: is this fake romance the realest thing in either of their lives?

My Thoughts: This book is perfect for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. It is a quick, sweet read. It goes into deeper themes than just a fake romance and it has become one of my favorite romances released this year.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

Summary: Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a show stopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is…

My Thoughts: This LGBTQ romance is one of the best romances I have ever read period. It takes the idea of a meet cute and makes it feel very realistic. You get to read both sides of the relationship and see how it develops. You root for the couple all the way. A definite must read if love romance. Technically set during summer, but one of the characters is in summer school so still counts as a high school romance.

Twilight and Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Summary: When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

My Thoughts: So Twilight came out when I was a teen so it still has a special place in my heart, but now I can read Twilight from Edward’s point of view!! I was sold! What is a better mix than high school and vampires? If you haven’t read Twilight, give it a read and if you have try Midnight Sun for another side of a story we know you love.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen

Summary: What would you do if the sun became your enemy?

That’s exactly what happens to Viola Li after she returns from a trip abroad and develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity — an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn’t just have to wear layers of clothes and a hat the size of a spaceship. She has to stay away from all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat when its screen burns her.

Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He’s a funny, talented Thor look-alike who carries his own mysterious grief. But the intensity of their romance makes her take more and more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life — and love — as deep and lovely as her dreams.

My Thoughts: If you like Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, you will like this book. Viola keeps trying to live her life the same after her diagnosis including pursuing her dream career as a foreign correspondent journalist traveling around the world, going to school with her friends, and falling in love. However the more she tries to keep things the same, the more she realizes she can’t hold onto to everything including her first love.

Say I Love You by Kanae Hazuki

Summary: Mei Tachibana has spent her 16 years without making either boyfriend or friends. One day, she injures a popular boy in school, Yamato Kurosawa, because of a misunderstanding but for some reason it seems that he takes a liking to her and one-sidedly claims that they’re friends. Furthermore, he not only protects Mei from a stalker, he does it with a kiss…?!!

My Thoughts: I am a huge fan of anime and manga so anytime I can I will sneak at least one on to this list. Say I Love You is one of my favorite shoujo mangas! (For non-otakus shoujo is manga whose key audience is girls so it tends to focus on romantic elements more) Mei is reluctant to let people in due to her past, while Yamato is super popular, but has his own struggles. It is a great first love in high school tale. Also it is an anime available on Crunchyroll and Hulu, I high recommend you check it out if you enjoy the manga.

Let me know in the comments below which books interested you, what books should be on this list, and what themes I should do next!

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