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Five Young Adult Novels Perfect for Valentine’s Day

Updated on January 30, 2011

Five Young Adult Novels Perfect for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's brings out the romantic in all of us (okay, most of us) and is the perfect time to read a love story. Love stories come in lots of shapes and sizes, though. Here are five recommendations that are five very different takes on love. Hopefully there is one for every kind of romantic.


Along for the Ride

By Sarah Dessen

The latest of Dessen’s sweet, but not saccharine love stories, Along for the Ride is a perfect Valentine’s Day read. As always, Dessen provides us with an intelligent protagonist who is anything but meek, mild or thoughtless when it comes to love.

Auden has always been the perfect daughter. She has excellent grades, high ambitions and is mature far beyond her years. The only problem with being so focused on her future is that she’s never had the chance to be young and carefree. When she gets the chance to stay with her father and step-mother for the summer, she reluctantly accepts the invitation. She can’t imagine what a touristy beach town would have to offer her—except maybe some time to get ahead on her reading for next year.

It will take just the right person to convince Auden that there is more to life than studying and getting into the right college. Is Eli the one? Or is Auden too stubborn to see what he has to offer?

Published June 2009 (available in paperback April 5th, 2011)

Visit Sarah Dessen’s blog to learn about what she’s been up to lately and her new novel, What Happened to Goodbye, to be released in May, 2011.


Sweet Treats, Secret Crushes

 By Lisa Greenwald

A snow day is usually a reason for this trio of seventh grade girls to celebrate, except when it falls on Valentine’s Day. When these three best friends who live in the same Brooklyn apartment building are stuck at home on their favorite holiday, they don’t expect much to happen. Baking a simple batch of fortune cookies leads to more than any of the three girls expect. They decide to share the cookies with other tenants in their building and discover with each delivery a bit more about their lives and the lives of the people around them.

More a story about friendship than love, this novel delves into the lives of seventh grade girls and how they, and the rest of us, are connected to the people around us.

Published January 2010

Visit Lisa’s website to learn more about her, her other novels, and how to contact her.


Before I Fall

 By Lauren Oliver

In an admittedly twisted version of Groundhog’s Day, Lauren Oliver forces us to relive Valentine’s Day over and over through the eyes of through Samantha Kingston, a beautiful teen who has it all.

On the morning of the Friday before Valentine’s Day, Samantha can’t wait to get to school to find out how many roses she has been sent by admirers. Getting roses is a big deal at Thomas Jefferson High School. Only the most popular, powerful students in schools walk away with more than a handful of roses. Not much else matters to Sam other than her popular, hot boyfriend, her exclusive clique of best friends and king of the mountain at Jefferson High.

But that all ends when Samantha begins reliving that day all over again. And again. She is forced to revisit every single decision she makes throughout the day and the impact that they have on everyone around her. Just like Groundhog’s Day, Samantha has a lot to learn about her life and the choices she makes. Only is may not be the sweet ending that readers have in mind.

Before I Fall was Lauren Oliver’s debut novel. Learn more about her upcoming novels and other exciting events in her life on her website.



 By Maggie Stiefvater

You wouldn’t think that there would be much of a romance between a wolf and a teenage girl, but the love between Grace and Sam is as intense and real as any you can imagine. Though, this relationship doesn’t come without its own set of problems. They begin when a local boys is attacked and nearly killed by the pack of wolves living in the woods outside of Mercy Fall’s. It doesn’t take long for the locals to realize that the wolf problem needs a quick, and final, solution. When they take shotguns to the woods with the intent of killing any wolf they see, Grace knows she has only a short time to find and protect her wolf. And this is just the beginning of the struggles that Grace and Sam must face in order to preserve their love.

Perhaps Shiver is not the typical Valentine’s Day pick, but Grace and Sam’s love story is as suspenseful as it is sweet.

Published in August 2009.

Shiver is the first in the Wolves of Mercy Falls Series. Be sure to look for the second book, Linger, now available and the upcoming Forever, available in July, 2011.


How They Met and other stories

By David Leviathan

Nothing is more wrenching nor more delightful than a beautifully told love story. In David Leviathan’s collection of stories, How They Met and other stories, he explores nearly every side of the torturous and breathtaking emotion. Though each tale is told through the eyes of a teenager, we also hear about love from other perspectives. No relationship is left unexplored from gay, straight, young and those loves who have been around a while.

Leviathan’s collection would be appropriate for the older teen set, as it includes references to sexual encounters, but each story is told in an honest and vulnerable voice that would appeal not only to teens, but to those adults, like me, who love a good love story.

Published January 2008

Learn more about David Leviathan, his impressive collection of novels and his latest novel, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, written with Rachel Cohn.


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    • Brittany Morrison profile image

      Brittany Morrison 6 years ago from Russellville, AR

      Truly amazing hub.. I am one of those teens/college students whom loves to read YA novels. Especially one that contains romance. Thank you for the ideas of what to read.

    • profile image

      Julia 6 years ago

      Don't forget "Cupid's Academy", a funny-twisted look at how it all goes down behind the scenes))

    • artlader profile image

      artlader 7 years ago from Aiken, South Carolina, USA

      Wow, another great, timely hub for my high school.

      Thank you so much for sharing!



    • KateMcGregor profile image

      Katie Griffith 7 years ago from Cheyenne, Wyoming

      I love Maggie Stiefvater, too. I'm excited to see the film adaptation of Shiver.

    • Sarah Writes profile image

      Sarah Writes 7 years ago from California

      I'm a big Maggie Stiefvater fan. Shiver and Linger were wonderful! I just finished Lament, and am on Ballad. Also loved Before I Fall, perfect for anyone who loves bitter sweet endings. I will for sure have to check out How They Met & Other Stories, Thanks for the list!