YA ROMANCE BOOK RECS ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’– ft. thisstoryaintover | #EpicBookRecs

YA ROMANCE BOOK RECS ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’– ft. thisstoryaintover | #EpicBookRecs

February 22, 2020 6 By Kailee Schamberger


Hey everyone, it’s Jananie and welcome
back to another episode of #EpicBookRecs. So this is a monthly series that I
do here on the Epic Reads channel, where I recommend you a bunch of
YA books based on a certain theme. So this month is February so I thought I
would go with one of the biggest themes of the month, and
that is Valentine’s Day or romance. So today I’m gonna be recommending
you a bunch of YA romances, contemporary romances. Ones that feature a relationship
between two really strong characters from really
diverse backgrounds. All of the books on this list are some
of my absolute favorite YA romances. So I’m very excited to
share them with you today. So the first book I wanted to
recommend is A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. So I’ve actually recommended this before, in I think my very first
Epic Book Recs video. But I’m mentioning it again, because
I really do think that the romance in this book, the relationship between
the two main characters Shirin and Ocean is just so sweet, and
beautiful, and inspiring. And just so amazing because they
are crossing cultural boundaries, and having to face a lot of hate for their relationship throughout
the course of the book. Basically this book follows
her main character Shirin, who is a 16 year old Muslim girl,
a year after 9/11. And she’s starting at a new school, and she ends up meeting this white boy
named Ocean in her chemistry class. And Ocean has an instant
attraction to her and wants to know more about her, but Shirin
has faced a lot of racism and hate, and Islamophobia in the past year, so she’s
scared to get to know him and open up. So the story is really about
Shirin opening up to Ocean, but even when they do have the chance to to
be together, they’re faced with a lot of external pushback from parents,
from community, from Ocean’s coach. There’s just so many people against this relationship
because of what it represents. But through it all, I think Shirin and
Ocean have such a human element to them. They’re such a sweet couple,
and I absolutely love them. So I definitely recommend this one if
you’re looking for a really sweet romance. The next book that I wanna recommend is
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. I absolutely love this book, and I just love the relationship between
the two main characters Mateo and Rufus. So this is a story that takes place over
the course of, I think a single day, and it takes place in a alternate
version of our world or a near future version of our world. Where there’s this thing
called the Death-Cast, which is this organization that calls you
on the day that you’re gonna die, and let’s you know that you’re
gonna die in 24 hours. And so in reaction to that, there’s also
this thing called the Last Friend app, where you can find a friend
to spend your last day with. So Rufus and Mateo are very different
people, but they both live in NYC. And so they end up on the Last Friend
app and meeting each other for their last day on earth together. And they end up going on kind of
a night adventure through the city and getting to know each other, but also dealing with the emotional weight
of knowing that you’re gonna die. This is a really sweet,
whirlwind kind of romance. I love romances that take
place over a single day. And one of the things that I really loved
about this couple in specific is that Mateo and Rufus are such different boys. And throughout the course of this book, you can see them bring out the best in
each other, which I absolutely loved. All right, the next book that I wanna
recommend is also pretty similar to They Both Die at The End, and that is
the Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. So this is a another book that
takes place over a single day, and this is such a heartbreaking,
wonderfully, beautifully told story. It follows two main characters Natasha and
Daniel, and they are like total opposites. So Natasha is a girl who believes
in science and facts, but when her family is 12 hours away from
getting deported back to Jamaica, she has to think on her feet and
find some way to keep them in America. And then Daniel is sort of
the opposite of Natasha. He is a dreamer and a poet. But he tends to hide that stuff away
because he wants to be a good student and a good son to his family,
to his Korean parents. But when he meets Natasha one day,
everything kind of goes out the window, and he’s determined to make her see that
he can make her fall in love with him in a single day. It’s a really, really cute story,
and the two of them are kind of supporting each other through all of the
hardships that are going on around them, but they are also racing around
the clock to stop the deportation. But another really interesting thing about
this book is that it is not only told from the main characters’ perspectives,
but it is also told from these side characters
or minor characters that are around them, whose days are affected by Natasha and
Daniel. And not only that, there’s also some
passages on fate and destiny, and just some really cute, interesting thought
provoking passages in this book, and I just really loved it for that reason. It’s not only the story about this
romance between these two people, but also the human effects that people
can have on each other, and the impact that you can make on
someone’s life in a single day. All right, and the next one that I want
to talk about is There’s Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon. This is my most recent read, and
I absolutely loved it so, so much. It is such a cute and wholesome book, and it follows our two main
characters Sweetie and Ashish. So Sweetie is a South Asian girl who is
also fat, and she has reclaimed the word fat for herself, and
she is proud to be the way that she is. But she is always kind of chafing against
the expectations her mother has for her to lose weight, and also the judgment that she receives
from a lot of people for her weight. But she is also a track star. She is a runner. She is the best runner at her school,
and maybe even in the region. And so she’s very proud of that as well. And then we have Ashish
who is a South Asian boy. He’s also the younger brother of
Rishi from When Dimple met Rishi, if you’ve read that book. But he was recently dumped by his
girlfriend Celia, and so he’s been kind of reeling from that breakup, and
hasn’t been able to get over her. And so he feels like his mojo,
his playerness has been toned down, and so he’s not doing as well in basketball,
which he’s usually really good at. He’s a star player. And so he feels like he needs
to get back on the horse and start dating again to
really feel himself again. But with his track record of dating a lot
of girls who aren’t really a fit for him, he decides to enlist his parents to
set him up with an Indian-American girl to date and
see if that will change anything. And his parents are happy to agree as long
as he and Sweetie, who they set him up with, agree to a contract where they
go on dates sanctioned by his parents. And so one of those dates
ends up being the temple. That’s their first date. And it’s just a way of getting Ashish
to reconnect with his culture. And also make sure he’s not
up to any funny business. And then Sweetie on the other hand is
taking this opportunity to date Ashish to kind of prove to her mother that she,
as a fat girl, can still be with a skinny guy,
a good looking guy. She is beautiful and
amazing the way she is. And she launches this thing
called The Sassy Sweetie Poject, where she does things the way
that she wants to do, and doesn’t hold herself back from doing
anything just because she’s fat. I really, really loved this book. It was just so cute and adorable. And Ashish and Sweetie are such genuinely
great, good-natured characters, and it was just so
wonderful seeing them fall for each other. Another thing I will say is that
the parents in this book are a huge, huge part of the book, and it was just
really fun and exciting with them in it. All right, and then the next book that I
have here is Love from A to Z by S.K Ali. This is a book that is a quite
international, I would say. Both these two young Muslim teens,
so Zayneb and Adam. And they end up meeting on a plane on
the way to Doha, Qatar, where Adam attends international school and where Zayneb is
gonna be staying with her aunt, after getting suspended from school for going
after a Islamophobic teacher of hers. And the two of them kind of have
this really cute meet cute, and end up interacting a lot
while they’re in Doha, Qatar. And Zayneb kind of interacts
with his friends as well, the whole international
community of ex-pat children. But Adam kind of has this
secret that he’s harboring, he has been diagnosed with multiple
sclerosis, and that’s something he’s been trying to hide from his family who’s
already suffered the loss of his mother. And Zayneb is trying to be a different
version of herself in Doha while she’s there to see if being quieter and not
speaking up as much about her opinions, and being nicer will make a difference. But these two characters have an
undeniable chemistry, and they are just so cute together. And it was just really interesting seeing
their personalities mesh together. They are quite different, but also very
similar in the aspect of their faith. This is again a set of characters who
are so genuinely good-natured, and I was just rooting for
them the whole time. And I just loved how this had so
many cultures and identities within this book, and
it was just so international as well. So highly,
highly recommend this one as well. All right, and the last one that I
want to recommend to you today is Somewhere Only We Know by Maureen Goo. So this is a book that I was really
excited about when I heard about it, and it follows two main characters Lucky and
Jack. So Lucky is this huge K-Pop star in Korea,
and she is in Hong Kong doing a few performances before she’s about
to fly out to America to perform on The Later Tonight show,
where she’s gonna make her American debut. But Lucky has been kind of worn out
by the pressures of her career, and also feeling like she has lost
her love for her profession. And then Jack is this boy who
doesn’t really know what he wants to do with his life. He knows he wants to put off college,
and so he ends up in a internship at his
father’s bank, which he absolutely hates. But he also has a side hustle job
where he is a tabloid reporter, which puts to use his photography skills. And even though photography is his real
passion, he doesn’t know how to pursue it, or really get himself to
go in that direction. But when Lucky is having kind of a bad
day after a performance in Hong Kong, she ends up escaping
from her hotel room and going down to get a burger, where she
ends up running into Jack, who had just left her hotel trying to get a scoop for
the tabloid, and ends up running into her. And so the two of them end up on this
whirlwind kind of one day romance where Jack is trying to use Lucky for
a big story, a tabloid story. But Lucky doesn’t know that he
knows that she’s Lucky, and so she is trying to have a normal
date with a cute boy, and just live one day outside of
being this huge K-Pop star. It is honestly such a cute romance and
it was also super cool because this is set in Hong Kong, and so the two of
them are going around Hong Kong and seeing the sights, and doing fun things. So that was really,
really cool and interesting. And these two characters
are really quite funny. They’re constantly cracking jokes or
making fun of each other. But they’re also constantly pushing
each other to be better, and kind of confront their inner demons,
which is really wonderful. So I really, really enjoyed this. I think it’s a really great one if you
are thinking about your dreams and aspirations and
what you want to do with your life. But those are all the books that
I wanted to share with you today. Hope you found a fun new
romance that you wanna pick up. All of these books put a smile on my
face whenever I think about them and just the cute characters in them. So I really hope you guys will enjoy. But as always, I hope you guys
will leave me a comment with a recommendation that you have for
the theme of this month. So let me know what some of your favorite
YA contemporary romances are, down below. But that’s about all I have to say, so I will see you in the next
episode of #EpicBookRecs, bye.