Stuff for the Teen Age
A Sucker for Romance: 2014 YA Books Guaranteed to Make You Swoon!
I love a happy ending. I’m a sucker for a swoony romance and a cute boy with a crooked grin (preferably with a British accent). I may look like a hard shelled, cynical New Yorker but at my core I’m really just a pile of candy colored goo. Some of my favorite books with romance plots and subplots made the Best Books for Teens 2014 list, including I’ll Give You the Sun, The Here and Now, Oblivion and The Winners Curse. However sadly, not everything could make the list and my gooey romantic heart was forced to leave off some favorites.
Here are some fun, swoony 2014 YA romances of many varieties (contemporary, fantasy, history, supernatural, suspense and holiday) to warm you up this winter.
(listed in alphabetical order)
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Britt goes hiking in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming to prove to her ex-boyfriend Calvin that she's not some wimpy girl. She gets her chance to prove herself when she is caught in a blizzard, gets taken hostage by fugitives and must learn to trust her instincts and training. Equal amounts suspense, grit and swoon. This needs to be turned into a movie for Lifetime ASAP!
Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
In 1814 London, while at a society ball, Emma accidentally breaks a binding spell that unleashes the magical powers of her and her cousins and opens up portals to the Underworld. She finds help in the form of Cormac, a handsome and annoying young lord who thinks he knows everything. A fun mix of regency romance and supernatural fantasy. The second book in the series, Whisper the Dead, just came out.
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
In a devil's bargain, Nyx has been betrothed to the handsome demon Ignifex that rules over her country and now it's time for the marriage to take place. However, she won't just become his wife she's been trained to be his assassin as well. A compelling and intricate redo of the "Beauty and the Beast" story.
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
Paige is plucked from obscurity and chosen to star in a big blockbuster film where she finds herself cast opposite two of Hollywood's sexiest young actors. Suddenly the romance and drama in her offscreen life is starting to resemble the drama happening onscreen. Ooh so much drama! Put this one in your romantic fantasy bucket list.
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Lucy meets Owen in the elevator of her Manhattan apartment building during a citywide blackout. What follows is one perfect night and a year of trying to make a long distance relationship work. Smith is a master of the "meet cute"—her books never disappoint!
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Isla has had a massive crush on Josh ever since she started as a freshman at the School of America in Paris. A midnight encouter at a cafe in Manhattan, the summer before their senior year, finally gives her the chance she's been waiting for. While this book stands alone, it is the third book in Perkins's fantastic, loosely linked trilogy that started with Anna and the French Kiss, which is a must read for all YA romance readers.
Just One Night by Gayle Forman
In Just One Day, American college student Allyson and Dutch actor Willem have one perfect day in Paris. In Just One Year, Willem travels the world trying to rediscover the man he was with Allyson. In Just One Night, Allyson and Willem finally get to find out if they are meant to be. While only a novella, I've never swooned so hard in my life! Make sure to read the other installments before reading this one. E-book only.
Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson
Princess Lia flees an unwanted arranged marriage and settles into life in a rural fishing village. There she meets two handsome and mysterious strangers, one who is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. The first book in a new and exciting fantasy series. This is an epic love story in the making.
The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
Tessa is reeling from the death of her mother and having her father dump her with a grandmother she barely knows is not helping. Then she meets Henry at the local library and has an instant connection with him. I can't recommend this book enough. It's beautiful, funny, poignant and meaningful. It teaches us that love is never just one thing. Have many tissues handy for this one!
Like No Other by Una LaMarche
Set in Crown Heights, Devorah, a Hasidic Jewish girl and Jaxon, a smart, black teen meet in a hospital elevator that gets stuck during a big storm. They find in each other something that's missing in their own lives. For Jax, it's a girl who see's how special he is and for Devorah, Jax is freedom from her strict religious unbringing. This is a great, cross cultural take on "Romeo and Juliet" but it's the look into each of their family lives that makes this book so special.
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
In 1909 London, aspiring artist Vicky Darling causes a scandal by posing nude in front of an art class. As her parents force her into a life of high society and propriety, Vicky rebels by applying for art school, getting involved with the women's rights movement and falling for Will, a young police constable. This is a fast moving romance with a strong female protagonist and great historical details. I'm kinda obsessed with Edwardian England and the British suffragette movement so this was the perfect book for me.
The Mirk and the Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson
In the Civil War South, Violet struggles to keep her family together and the family's farm running with the help of her slaves, who were raised along side her. As troubles mount, she starts a secret romance with an injured Yankee soldier who is being held prisoner by voodoo practitioners. The more time they spend together the more their feelings for each other grow and change and how she views the war and the institution of slavery begins to change as well. A beautiful and atmospheric retelling of the "Tam Lin" folktale.
Mortal Heart By Robin LaFevers
In Medieval France, rebellious Annith has fled the convent of St. Mortain, where she's been trained to be a handmaiden of Death. She comes under the protection of the mysterious Balthazar and his Hellequin, damned souls charged with bringing in the recently dead . This is the third book in the fantastic His Fair Assassins trilogy. While it can be read alone it's much better read after the first two books (both amazing!): Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph.
My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak
Rich Manhattanite Jackie Howard's life is turned upside down when her whole family is tragically killed in a car accident. She is taken in by an old friend of her mother's who lives on a cattle ranch in Colorado with her husband, eleven (gorgeous) sons and one tomboy daughter. A quick, fun contemporary romance written by the author when she was just 15 years old. E-book only.
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories ed. by Stephanie Perkins
Rainbow Rowell has two friends reconnecting on New Years Eve. Kelly Link gives us a handsome mysterious Christmas visitor. David Levithan has a Jewish boy dressing up as Santa Claus to please his boyfriend. Matt de la Pena finds romance in a snowed-in Brooklyn brownstone. And that's just for starters! Other authors include, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor and more. Grab a cup of cocoa and cozy up with this perfect holiday romance anthology.
Now and Forever by Susane Colasanti
Sterling is crazy in love with her boyfriend Ethan and he's just become the world's biggest rock star. Suddenly she's thrust into the limelight and the world of celebrity. She's about to discover that the glam life and being the girlfriend of a rock star is not all it's cracked up to be. Being half in love with a pop star myself, I can only imagine how complicated it could be in real life but Colasanti captures it perfectly.
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
In 1930s Germany, Gretchen is the beloved niece of Adolf Hitler and her dangerous brother is one of his notorious Brownshirts. She begins to question everything she was raised to believe when a handsome Jewish reporter begins to question whether the death of her war hero father was actually heroic or in fact, murder. A fascinating look at one of the more controversial figures in history with the added draw of a forbidden romance.
Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
Military brat Sam is dared by one of her brothers into becoming one of the first girls to attend the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She knows she can handle all the grueling and exhausting physical obstacles thrown at her but she doesn't expect the hostility, the brutal hazing or her fiery, forbidden attraction to her drill sergeant. I've long been a fan of military academy novels and this is a worthy addition to the genre. Sam is strong willed and smart and Drill Sergeant Stamm is definitely swoonworthy.
To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean falls for boys (from afar), writes them love letters that she puts in addressed envelopes but never sends instead she keeps them in a hatbox in her closet. Imagine her surprise (and horror) when those letters actually get mailed out. A hilarious romantic comedy filled with wit, charm and the best younger sister ever.
Trouble by Non Pratt
Set in England, Hannah needs someone to say he is the father of her baby and Aaron, in need of a little redemption, signs on to be the pretend baby daddy. Their friendship will help them find their way through all the secrets and lies. A smart and affecting debut novel. Bonus: this has British boys!
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Set in a world where criminals can be detected through their genes, beautiful, musical prodigy Davy is surprised to discover that she has "killer DNA". Now with her life irrevocably changed, she's attending school with potential killers and forced to make new friends including with the handsome, brooding felon sitting at the desk next to her. A fun, swoony sci-fi novel that will have you wishing for your own bad boy.
Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
As evil sorcerers continue their assault on the inhabitants of a quaint English village, Kami has her own battles as she's torn between two brothers: Ash who she's bound to magically and Jared, who she loves beyond reason. Yes, this is the third book in the fun Lynburn Legacy trilogy —Unspoken and Untold—but there is a scene here that is oh so very memorable and for that reason alone it deserves inclusion.