Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins
A problem with many YA romance novels is that they just skim the surface of a relationship. Rather than having characters that actually converse and fall in love, the book just says "and then they fell in love" and you are supposed to believe it. Anna and the French Kiss does not stick to this ridiculous expectations. The story takes place at an American Boarding School in... *drumroll*... Paris! Anna is not very thrilled when she is first "shipped off" to Paris for her senior year, but that changes when she befriends Etienne St. Claire. This is a great cutesie romance that also has a main character with a charismatic personality, beautiful friendships, an incredible setting, delightful humor, a great writing style, and a book that one can never grow bored of.
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
The premise of this book is about a girl who is recovering from the death of her first boyfriend. Sounds like a big sobfest, right? Well, that is actually not how this book turns out at all. Of course there are sad moments, but it is so much more than that. It is about finding life after the death of a close one and accepting that it's okay to love new people too. It is funny, cute, and romantic. If you aren't already sold on this amazing novel, then maybe you will be once I mention all the other note-worthy: an emphasis of friendship and family, lovely writing style, realistic, lots of girl-power, NERDINESS (mentions of Firefly!), uplifting story, and it is relate-able to many different people.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Yet another super-cute book. This novel focuses on fourteen-year old Audrey who suffers from anxiety and is making very slow progress with her therapist. However, things start going better after she meets her brother's friend Linus. He helps her work through her fears in a way nobobody else could. Books like this are usually a hit-or-miss because either there is insta-love that magically cures the main character or the disorder is unaccurately portrayed. This book has neither. Although there is a big romance aspect in the novel, the main focus is on Audrey and her getting better. It is a hilarious read with cute twists and turns and by the end you won't help but be proud of all the progress Audrey has made.
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
Maddy has lived her entire life locked in her house because she is allergic to everything. She is used to living in a world where she can't go outside and her books have to be packaged a certain way before reaching her. But things get shaken up when a cute boy moves in next door and Maddy finds herself taking risks that she never did before. This book is absolutely adorable, unique, and an all-around great read. Between the funny dialogue and sweet romantic development between the characters, you won't be able to put this book down.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Samantha and Jase may be neighbors, but they come from completely different worlds. Jase's family is loud, messy, and affectionate, and Samantha's family is the exact opposite. Samantha is constantly warned to stay away from the Garrets, but she can't help but admire them from afar. Despite their differences, they can't help falling for each other. This cute story not only has an emphasis on romantic relationships, but friendships and family relationships as well. It is well-written, fun, inspiring, and the perfect summertime read!
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean is used to keeping quiet about her crushes, with the exception of writing a note to them, sealing it, then hiding them in a box underneath her bed. But one day she discovers that her letters were somehow sent out and all of her previous crushes have now read the letters she addressed to them. When past crushes begin confronting her, Lara has to provide an explanation to these boys, and thus a very romantic comedy ensues. This is yet another novel that has a super cute romance but also a big emphasis on family bonds. This book brings out laughter, joy, and the bliss of crushes and first-love.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is a fangirl. She spends a lot of time writing fanfiction and obsessing over Simon Snow. Being a fan is her life. That is until her twin sister, Wren, breaks the news to Cath that she doesn't want to be roommates in college. Thus, Cath is thrown into the real world and is left to fend for herself. Told in alternating chapters between Cath's life and her fanfiction, this book is a purely enjoyable read. The terrific writing, intricate story, and humor in this book combined make an incredible story that is not only relate-able but will also stay with you.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Sydney has always been in the background of her family life, thanks to her older brother Peyton. When Sydney meets the Chathams though, she finally feels like she fits in. Especially when it comes to Mac Chatham. Sarah Dessen is known for her meaningful stories, and Saint Anything definitely holds true to this. Behind all the cute moments and light-hearted fun, there is the heartwarming story that proves the saying "family doesn't have to be blood".