A lot of the time romance books are referred to as perfect for easy summer reading: perfect for lying in the sun with nothing to do but read and dream. For me, though, the perfect time to chill out with a light-hearted, fun book that is full of hope, love and heartbreak is the autumn. The evenings draw in and the temperature drops and its time to curl up inside and pick up a book that will transport me away. That is the mood I’ve been in lately and, as a result, I’ve read through quite a few YA romances. I’d thought I’d share my thoughts on them with you.
I have included those books which I enjoyed the most and are purely romance based. It’s true some are generic and it’s true that this isn’t necessarily the type of reading that stretches brain cells and even makes you think big thoughts. They are fun and dreamy: that is the point. I don’t see the harm in reading books of this type – I do think it’s better if they are not the only type of book you read, though. I also think you have to be realistic. These romances are pure escapism, they are not necessarily real life. Or at least the whole stories are not like real life, even though certain incidents you read or certain characters or even the emotions described are real and you can identify with them.
Adorkable by Sarra Manning – Jeane is unusual. She is in senior school, lives on her own, dresses in her own special style and has loads of cyber friends. But not many real friends. Michael is the opposite of Jeane. So will they get together?
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – thrown together on a road journey across the States, Amy and Roger learn to face there demons and get to know each other. Gentle, slow romance with America as its backdrop. Interesting facts about the States and towns they visit pepper the book.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman – trapped in a coma, Mia has to decide whether to live or die and a large part of her decision is tied up in her first love, Adam. A real tearjerker. There is a follow-up book Where She Went. Gayle Forman’s new book, I Was Here will be published in the UK on 29th January 2015. It’s a fantastic book and a review will be available on the BT&M website nearer publication date.
If Only series – this is Bloomsbury series of clean, fun, love stories written by different authors. Good, light-hearted romantic fun.
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle – three short stories that interconnect about love and romance at Christmas time. Amusing and quirky.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – Samantha has spent many years looking over the fence at the large and chaotic Garrett family next door. Then the gorgeous Jace Garrett introduces himself and she falls for him. It’s not easy loving someone from the family your mother disapproves of and it’s harder still to cope when tragedy strikes. Full of interesting characters and sub-plots, this is an enjoyable read.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – Emily’s best friend Sloane is gone leaving her a list of 13 tasks to complete – each task is something that will take Emily out of her comfort zone. As Emily tackles the tasks she discovers herself, new friends and that not everyone is as confident as they seem. Gentle, slow romance.
The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han – Belly has spent all her summers at the summer house of her mother’s friend Susannah and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. She loves the summers and she loves Conrad, but he is enigmatic and distant. Jeremiah is her best friend. Finally when she turns sixteen, Emily is sure that Conrad will now see her as more than a younger sister. However, reality has a way of intruding and whilst Jeremiah’s feeling seem to have changed, Conrad is more confused than ever. There are two more books in the series – It’s Not Summer Without You and We’ll always Have Summer. A very enjoyable read, occasionally told from the boys’ point of view.
The Worst Girlfriend in the World by Sarra Manning – a romance book that also explores the friendship between two girls who live in a town where life isn’t that exciting. Quirky, fun and full of fashion titbits.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend but she has been in love five times. Each time it has been in her head and the boy has never known. Every time her crush is over she writes the boy concerned a letter and puts the letter away. Except one day the letters are sent out and Lara Jean finds herself having to deal with real feelings. A sequel is due in the summer. I liked this book because Lara Jean came across as fairly normal and I liked the way her relationships with the boys developed.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen – MacLean has moved schools so many times that she has learnt not to make lasting relationships. In fact when it’s time to go she just goes, not even saying goodbye. And then she starts again, creating a new persona in her new school. Then she meets Dave and she needs to decide if she is brave enough to be herself.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler – Min fell in love with Ed, the school sports god and amazingly he falls for her. However, as the title tells us, the relationship does not last and this book is the story of how Min takes out the box of momentous from their relationship and sends each one back to Ed with a letter saying what the item means. Even though you know things will end badly, you keep hoping they won’t. It was so good to read a book from a different perspective
I am just reading some Kate McGarry’s at the moment so I’ll add them to the website soon.
If you do enjoy lighthearted romance, you can branch out and try some excellent romance books which perhaps offer a little more than the usual and may even be classics. There are three books I fully recommend: