Nine Romantic Reads for Teens (with Food and Drink Pairings)
What’s better than a feel-good romance to bring you out of a reading slump? Each of these titles is a delight to read, and we’ve paired them with a food or drink so you can snack while you read. Best of all, everything has a happy ending.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender – Felix Love struggles with artwork, gender identity, and romance in New York City. His goal is to develop a strong portfolio in order to get a scholarship to study Art at Brown University. Along the way, he gets overly involved in a scheme to catfish his former bully through Instagram, and is distracted from his ambitions. Recommended for fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Enjoy with New York-style pizza.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Two teens meet at a summer tech program in this adorable novel told in alternating points of view. Dimple loves coding, but Rishi is passionate for comic books. Their parents have hopes for an arranged marriage, but Dimple isn’t so sure. Enjoy with iced coffee.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones* – Sophie is cursed by a witch, leading her to seek refuge with the feared wizard Howl. The wizard, who might not be quite so fearsome, is battling a curse of his own. This book was the inspiration for the animated film, though there are differences. Enjoy with fried eggs (and be sure to feed the shells to your magical fire).
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour – Emi promises her brother she’ll use his apartment to do something great during her last summer in Los Angeles before starting college. Her work as a set designer leads her to uncovering the secret family of a famous actor. Though she’s dealing with heartbreak from an on-and-off-again relationship, this mystery leads her to her happily ever after. Enjoy with movie-theater style popcorn.
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim – Maia disguises herself as a boy to serve as the imperial tailor. She uses magic to create three dresses made from mythical items. The story is inspired by Chinese mythology and is the first book of a trilogy. Enjoy with a cup of jasmine tea.
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – This novel is a hilarious historical fantasy told from multiple perspectives. In 16th century London, Jane agrees to a marriage in order to secure the crown in case of her cousin’s death. Her new husband is fine during the evening, but by day turns into a horse. There are two more books by the same team of authors about other Janes. Enjoy with bangers and mash if you’re human, hay if you’re a horse.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks* – Deja and Josie have worked together at the pumpkin patch in their Nebraska town for years. On their last night, Deja leads the duo in a mission for Josie to finally talk to her crush. Enjoy with a cup of hot apple cider.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu* – Nova is a young witch who works in a magic bookstore owned by her grandmothers. Her childhood friend, a werewolf, returns home after they left town because of family issues. The two work together to investigate the mystery of what is haunting the woods. Enjoy with a mooncake!
Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau – Ari has just finished high school, and he is ready to leave his hometown and family bakery behind for good. During his last summer there, he meets a cute boy that is passionate about baking, and they grow closer as the months go by. Enjoy with bread from a local bakery.
* = recommended for tweens as well
There are many more books we couldn’t fit on the list! If you’d personalized book recommendations, our teen librarians will create a list just for you. Visit our My Next Reads page to submit a request today.