Last week on YALSA's teen blog, The Hub, there was a poll titled "Romance for Non-Romance Readers." The idea was for readers to pick which young adult romance they would recommend to someone who doesn't read romance. While they had some great options (Anna and the French Kiss, The Geography of You and Me), I thought I'd expand on that idea and share some of my own recommendations.
This is a collection of short stories about love. And David Levithan writes about all kinds of love--whether it's just starting out, years down the road, between a boy and a girl, between two boys or two girls, meant to be or just a crush. Chances are, there's something in here for you.
Max runs a company that helps girls get over their ex-boyfriends. If you don't read romance because you're maybe a little cynical about love, read this book. As Max helps girls get past the "crying into their ice cream" stage and get to the "walk right past him in a red dress without a backwards glance" stage, you'll cheer. And if some people in the book find that love might be possible after all, well, you'll be with them all the way.
Cath and her twin sister, Wren, go to college, where they drift apart for the first time in their lives. Cath spends most of her time writing Simon Snow (the boy wizard, you know) fan fiction. I'm recommending this one because it's about so much more than romance. But there are romantic parts of it--and they are adorable.
Lily leaves a notebook full of challenges on a bookstore shelf, and Dash finds it. They pass the notebook back and forth, getting to know each other in this way before they meet face to face. The premise is a nice change from the usual boy meets girl story, so if you think you've read it all, try again.
Happy (Week of) Valentine's Day!