YA Romances Perfect for Valentine’s Day

10 Young Adult books perfect for Valentine's Day that grown ups will love too - Rae GUn Ramblings

In celebration of Valentine’s Day week I’m sharing some of my favorite YA romances. And you know me I rarely read a book without powers or fighting but these are all books I really liked that made me swoon over their romantic bits. I’m linking up at The Broke and the Bookish.

  • All the Graceling Books – Seriously Kristin Cashore has a way with romance, and fighting, and powers. The love stories in these books are some of my favorites.
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Oh Noah Shaw, need I say more? Is their relationship healthy, umm probably not but with all the psychoness that is happening to Mara thank goodness she’s got Noah to help her through. The sequel while definitely creepier has just as much lovely romance.
  • The Night Circus – There is a line that reads “I have been surrounded by love letters you two have built each other for years, encased in tents.” and that’s really how the book felt to me.
  • Vampire Academy – Oh Dimitri oh Adrian. Richelle Mead can make one fine romance with a bunch of butt-kicking thrown in.
  • Anna and the French Kiss – Falling in love in Paris with a boy with a hot accent? Okay sure. And this is a good old contemporary no powers no sci-fi one.
  • Crown of Embers – It’s not the main focus of the book but something about the little flickers of romance are so great to me. I just adore Elisa and there is just something so mature but very romantic about the relationship here.  Plus kissing in sewers, am I right? (This is the second book in a series of which I adored the first Girl of Fire and Thorns just as much)
  • Covenant Books – The chemistry between these characters is just so strong and you can’t help but feel it too. Steamy I tell you, with fighting, I like fighting.
  • Grave Mercy – Fighting nuns, a slow developing romance in a castle, so much fun.
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares – Love the awkwardness of these two and watching their little romance grow, such a sweet story. Another contemporary.
  • Die for Me – A French boy, in France whose just an all around admirable guy and super attractive with a fun paranormal twist.
  • Infernal Devices – Cassie Clare can write some mighty attractive male folk but I am definitely partial to the romance between Mr. Will Herondale and Ms. Tessa Gray. Triple swoon.

What are some of your favorite romances? Who did I forget?

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to link up your favorite posts at my What We Wore, Read, and Made Link Party (TTT posts are welcome)! And if you’re a fan of the Beautiful Creatures books you can see what I thought of the Beautiful Creatures movie and make sure to check back in later this week for a fun giveaway.

Great Young Adult Contemporary Reads

Young adult contemporary romance novels. Great for holiday and Summer reading lists.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish is “Favorite Authors In X Genre”. Since I just barely started reading more contemporary books (i.e. normal old no power, no magic, no undercover spy work just regular people in world settings) I thought I’d share some of those that I’ve enjoyed. I don’t quite have 10 but these are a good start. And if you wanna be friends on Goodreads, I’m here.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David – Not only is this great for a contemporary (it’s no secret that I have a weakness for powers and magic) but this is now one of my all time favorite books. My friend Linda who’s got similar tastes also just finished it and loved it. It is such a cute story and I am love with the realistic quirky characters. It’s kind of letter style written back and forth between two characters. Seriously I LOVE this book.
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) by Perkins, Stephanie  – This was my first contemporary book and it is super cute. Boarding school in France and a super crush worthy boy need I say more? And Lola and the Boy Next Door is also a fun one.
Along for the Ride bySarah Dessen – Whenever you hear people talk about contemporary YA you’re sure to hear Sarah Dessen mentioned. I’ve read a couple of her books and while they take me a little bit to get into they are fun. I really liked Along for the Ride, it stuck with me and I think it has some interesting ideas about first impressions. I’ve also read Dessen’s Lock and Key which I liked but not quite as much as Along for the Ride but it’s fun and light if you want a good vacay book.
13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1) by Johnson, Maureen  – This was cute. It’s a story of a girl who is sent on tasks around the world by her dead aunt via a stack of 13 blue envelops. Not my favorite but a fun light read for sure.
The Sky Is Everywhere by Nelson, Jandy – This book deals with some super heavy issues and while heart wrenching at times it didn’t feel unbearable or too much. The familial relationships are fantastic. Definitely a good one for those of you close to sister.
And here are a few gate-way contemporary books. For those of you who like something fantastical these are books with otherworldly aspects but a strong contemporary feel. 
Unraveling (Unraveling, #1) by Norris, Elizabeth – Very fun. While the twist happens with a somewhat awkward bit of info dump the idea is really interesting.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1) by Hodkin, Michelle – This was one of my favorite books that I read last year and the sequel comes out next week. Eeeek so so excited. It’s like a crazy roller coaster with one of the most attractive boy interests ever.

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Couples Worth Admiring

These book couples aren't the typical instalove in YA and still make for awesome swoon worthy books

To celebrate Jamie from The Broke and the Bookish‘s wedding this weeks top ten is all about romance. It’s supposed to be top 10 that would last in the real world but I read so much YA that I’m going to spin it a bit and tell you what I love about 10 (er 7) book couples I admire since really I’m not sure you can tell who you are meant to be with at 17. See my full reviews and if you want becomes friends at my Goodreads.

And happy happy wedding wishes to Jamie! She tweeted earlier today about making bookish centerpieces. A girl after my own heart!

Fire and Brigan from Fire by Kristen Cashore – I think they would last in the real world. I think they bring out the best in each other and they just seem honest and realistic.

Tris and Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth – I’m not sure if they’d last but I love the way their romance develops from respect and shared values. It just seems healthy. I also appreciate the life-like tension and the way the deal with being frustrated with each other but remain focused on what is really important in Insurgent.

Petra and Bean from the Shadow books by Orson Scott Card – They work together so well and understand the other person almost better than they understand themselves. While they may be frustrated with each other at times they take the others personality seriously. I think that’s important in real life. Your personality is going to be different than your partners in some ways and being able to see where they are coming from and why they think a certain way (even if you disagree) is valuable.

Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling – What could be better that being married to your best friend? More than that a friend that complements you, who’s strengths differ than yours and supplement yours wonderfully.

Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristen Cashore – I love how passionate they are with each other. And I love how they can fight, apologize, and return to each other.

Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I think their relationship is interesting. I’ve never thought Katniss deserved Peeta. I just didn’t think she loved him enough. But I think that she is committed and loves in probably the only way someone as broken and traumatized as she is could. And I love his love for her and I want him to have what he wants. We go through hard things in real life too, love is messy and takes a variety of paths. And I do think in the end what they have is real and deep and true.

Tessa and Will from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – I love Jem I do, I just think that Will is a better fit for Tessa. He maybe a bit moody and reckless but as much as love and feelings aren’t enough, they are important. The chemistry is just so apparent and I think they’d be so good together. I’m about dying waiting for the next book to see what transpires ugg March 19th seems so far away.


I’m trying hard to come up with more but I can’t. Don’t get me wrong if this was a post about crush worthy characters I’d have no problem. But all the couples I can think of to me just seem too young so I wonder if they’d cut it in the real world or the way they come together suffers, like so many YA books, from instalove.

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Fabulous book list! I totally agree. Saving this anytime people ask for book recommendations. Great books for Harry Potter fans of all ages.

Great list of books perfect for Hunger Games lovers and why each would appeal to the Hunger Games fans - Rae Gun Ramblings

Huge list of books to read after Divergent. Lots of good ones and ones I haven't read yet!

Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters In Books

all time favorite characters in books

I’m joining in on The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday this week. It was just a such a fun theme I couldn’t resist. I must say that this question is a tad unfair because one of the things that really makes a book for me is whether I like the characters or not. So while I only picked one character per book I found myself thinking ooh but I really love him/her also the whole time. See what everyone else picked here.

In no particular order:

  1. Fire from Kristin Cashore’s Fire – I love her so much, seriously everything about her.
  2. Neville from The Harry Potter Books – What a wonderful friend. He’s brave in a real world way and always tries to do what is right.
  3. Ender from Orson Scott Card’s Ender and Shadow books – There’s a quote where one of the character says “So Ender, he tries to wake up the good part of you.” that’s quite an ability.
  4. Elisa from Rae Carson’s The Girl of Fire and Thorns – She’s strong and real and awesome. And I love how she grapples with her faith and her identity.
  5. Zuzanna from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone – I just thought she was a super fun character even though she was a side character and the book wasn’t my fav.
  6. Noah Shaw from Michelle Hodkin’s The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – So yeah, besides being totally attractive, I love his sass and how he takes care of Mara.
  7. Cinna from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy – He was my favorite character. What a kind, lovely person. And he designed amazing clothing, how could I not love that?
  8. Frederick Theissen from Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus – He is the ultimate fan. I was kind of jealous of how he got to live his fandom in such a complete way.
  9. Rosa Huberman from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief – She’s rough but she sure knows how to love.
  10. Jem Carstairs from Cassandra Clare’s Inferno Devices Series – He’s such a wonderful friend. Everyone needs a friend like him. He makes me want to be a better friend.

You can find links to each of these in my “read” list in case you want to read the blurbs or see my reviews. And if you want to be book friends on Goodread’s I would love that.