In the center of the country in Topeka, Kansas, the concept of a “beach read” may not make much sense, but fun and flirty teen romance novels are great for finding some relaxing entertainment during your summer break, whether you are poolside or staying in the air-conditioning.
Browse the romance paperbacks in David J’s Place at the library to find your next escape into a great book – these are characters you will want to get to know and the big crushes, first kisses, teen dramas, hilarious adventures, frustrating families and witty conversations you want to read. I enjoyed all five of these stories but The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols and A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker were my favorites — both used friendships and families to add a little extra in addition to a satisfying romance story.
How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
Lucy is excited to be spending the summer at her grandparent’s cabin by the lake with her best friend Mikayla. She’s happy to be working in her grandparent’s apple store all summer. She’s horrified that her grandparents have also hired Jackson, the boy she’s been avoiding since he rejected her several summers ago.
For Mikayla, working at a swanky country club is a challenge but running into a cute boy makes it much better. Except that she falls for him before she realizes that her mysterious stranger won’t be coming home to meet her roommate any time soon – because it’s Jackson!
This is a classic story of falling for someone your best friend hates, set over summer vacation and perfect for some light summer reading.
The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols
Gemma lost fifty pounds before her majorette tryouts, and although she has always been a talented baton twirler, now she is drawing attention when she is on the practice field. Her best (and only) friend Addison is gorgeous and flirty, which makes up for her mediocre skills as majorette.
When a star football player from an opposing team starts flirting with Gemma at training camp, Addison rushes in to set up a double date. But Gemma can’t believe that Max, the boy she was sure she was connecting with, asks out Addison instead and Gemma is stuck tagging along with Max’s friend. How can Gemma get the one that she wants, without betraying Addison?
This book is a lovely teen romance but it also portrays a toxic friendship between two girls who have been thrown together by their mothers. Any reader who has a friendship that just doesn’t work well for both friends will recognize some of what Gemma and Addison are going through, and hopefully learn from their experience.
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Racing Savannah is perfect for fans of Pretty in Pink, if you hoped the whole relationship between the poor girl and the rich guy took place at the stable instead of just that one scene.
Savannah knows she is supposed to work in the stable helping her father, but she catches the eye of handsome Jack Godwin, the son of the owner of the fancy horse racing farm where her dad has moved their family right before Savannah’s senior year. And Savannah can use Jack’s help, because she wants to be a horse jockey. Even though it’s dangerous, she knows she is tough enough to race. Savannah will take risks for what she wants – but what does she want more horse racing, or Jack?
This is the fourth book in the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally – you don’t have to read them in order but you should definitely read them all!
A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
When the recently divorced principal announces a Marriage Education program, and every senior must spend a year partnered with a random classmate, Fiona Sheehan is horrified at the thought of “Trying the Knot!” Things go sour quickly – she is paired with the biggest jerk in school, her crush is paired with the jerk’s hot girlfriend, and her best friend Marcie is fake-wedded to the goofy quiet guy, Johnny Mercer.
Pranks, protests, and major misunderstandings ensue, with Fiona and her “husband constantly arguing in “marriage counseling” and everyone learning about themselves, about what to look for in a future partner, and what marriage might really be all about.
Hilarious romp that rang true for learning about what would seem to make a relationship work versus what actually happens in a successful marriage –plus lots of secret crushes and high school drama!
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Pippa skips out of the summer of Italian art school that her mother tried to imprison her at and goes traveling around Rome and the Italian countryside instead, determined to meet a hot Italian guy and have a summer romance.
Unfortunately – she keeps running to cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes and he is distracting her from her plans. With her end of summer deadline coming up and her mom close to catching her in her web of lies, Pippa has to figure out her new plan – and fast!