They say that there are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice. Indeed, in this life every one of us is going to encounter that “all kinds of love” before we finally meet the one. But what if, for years now, you have never been in any kind of relationships? Worse, no boy has ever asked you out? Thus, you’ve never felt that swoony feeling of butterflies-in-the-stomach-cliché all your middle and high school friends have been talking about your entire life. Don’t lose hope. You can do something about it.
No, I’m not telling you to sign yourself up in some dating site or go boy hunting at (heaven forbid) Omegle.
I’m telling you to read these coming of age Young Adult Romance books to make you feel that butterflies-in-the-stomach you’ve never had before.
At number 5 is Jennifer Niven’s Holding Up the Universe.
The novel is all about two teenagers named Jack Masselin and Libby Strout, and how they have developed from strangers, frenemies, friends, to lovers. Jack Masselin (or simply Jack Mass) is a smart, popular, and very appealing high schooler. Everybody in school knows, likes, and respects him. But nobody is aware that he’s got a secret hidden underneath his sleeve (or his brain?).
Jack has some serious brain condition called prosopagnosia –a brain ailment that makes one face blind. Meaning, he can’t recognize faces. Not even his family members.
Ever since he was 6, he kept on remembering people around him through their most outstanding features –what their hair looks like, moles from their faces, or how their voices sound like. Of course, it isn’t easy to do so. Hence, his condition brought him to all sorts of troubles –like picking up the wrong kid at kindergarten or kissing the wrong girl. But he easily and smoothly gets away from all these with his quick thinking and charm. Jack thought that he can keep his condition a secret forever. Well, that’s what he thought until Libby Strout –the once fattest girl in America, entered his life.
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draneen goes at number 4.
Flipped is about childhood friends-slash-neighbors-slash-enemies. Well, Juli Baker thinks she and Bryce Loski are friends –even lovers, but the latter thinks the total opposite.
The novel was set in the 1950s (if my memory serves me right). And the protagonists are middle schoolers. Juli has always been in love with Bryce ever since they were seven. And she thinks that Bryce feels the same way too. Yet, it turned out that Bryce would date almost any girl in the world but her.
But Juli is a persistent girl who would not let the love of her life easily off the hook. So, she devices all kinds of plans to make him fall for her. Most (or all) of it failed, unfortunately. But that’s totally not the end of their love story because as they say, when you stop trying to make the boy fall in love with you, that’s the time when they eventually will.
If you are looking for a puppy, innocent love story to swoon on, Flipped is probably the most fitting novel for you. Just to say, it has a movie adaptation which did not really went far away from the book. But, you might as well just read the novel yourself.
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins claims the 3rd spot with its giddy, cuddly, and even steamy moments. Well, what can we expect from the romantic Perkins?
If you are someone who still hopes and believes that your all time crush whom you’ve been fangirling on since freshmen year in high school is going to notice you, then this book is most definitely the one for you.
Isla has always been the low-key, studious, and popular-only-because-she’s-a-nerd-and-running for-Valedictorian type of girl. As if there’s something so bad about running for Valedictorian. Anyway, she has always been in love with the person she knows she couldn’t reach. Firstly, because he had a girlfriend. Secondly, because he’s hot. Thirdly, because he had a girlfriend (didn’t I say this already?).
But it seemed that all the luck in the world have been showered upon her when Josh (her all time crush and obviously the guy protagonist) and his girlfriend broke up. Aside from the romance, the novel also talks about how one should be brave and get out of his/her comfort zone.
Just to warn, Isla and Josh are quite not the let’s-do-things-slowly-and-surely-okay? so you might get shock with how things will turn out for them and for their relationship.
At number 2 we have Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Call me a masochist but this book is among of my most favorite romantic YA novels. Mainly because the way Rowell wrote the whole novel depicts how first love truly feels like. Anticipating and bitter.
Eleanor and Park talks of two teenagers who live in really opposite worlds –one from a safe and secured family environment, and the other from an abusive surrounding; and how, despite their dissimilarities, have they fall in love.
It’s not really the same with the other teen romance books because it’s not at all light-hearted. In fact, it portrays many social issues eminent in our modern world which includes domestic abuse.
It’s the kind of book that will make you say “aww” in many different ways, and will make you clench your heart in every chapter.
At last, and number 1 we have To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.
If you are looking for a read that will make you laugh, feel giddy, and will take you away from all your life’s troubles this is exactly the one for you.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before centers on the introverted, afraid-of-change, playing safe, too girly, goody-two-shoes, half-Asian/half-American Lara Jean. She’s living a peaceful, secured life with her father and two sisters like she always had ever since she was young. Her life only revolves around home, school, and scrapbooking. Because she is always afraid to tell people (especially the boys she liked) how she feels, what she does is to write letters (including love letters) to express her most private, deepest thoughts.
Everything about her life is safe and going smoothly until her younger sister, Kitty, sent all her love letters, addressed to all the boys she loved once, away. Worse, one of the letters was sent to her best friend, who also happened to be her older sister’s boyfriend. And even worse, one was sent to the school’s most famous jock by the name of Peter Kavinsky.
If you really are looking for a light read to make you swoon and laugh, you should definitely check this one. Also, it’s going to have a movie adaptation!
See? You don’t need to look for a prospect partner just to feel the “all kinds of love” everybody is dreaming about. With these reads, you can spend your time feeling young, giddy, and happy while patiently waiting for your one true love.
So, see you next time for another set of book recommendations. Ciao!