If you’ve asked me a year ago what kind of novels I am reading, I would probably tell you that I’m reading “Graphic Novels” which is most probably not the kind of novels you are looking for (but that’s the only kind i read, at least at that time). I can tolerate reading then as long as it includes pictures, and a whole lot of them.
Somehow, someway, though, around a year ago, I became hooked to reading novels, like novels novels. Without pictures, just words. Romance novels to be exact. Blame it on the scarcity of my own romance wherein my daily dose of manga is already not enough. I want more. It started with the more “mature”ones, but then got tired of them coz chapters mostly are just devoted into sex without much of the story.
Then I encountered a couple of young adult novels, sure, it still has a little bit of sex but I find them more enjoyable and easier to digest.They have better plot lines too! (Why am i even blabbing about this when i should just focus on my recommended YAs already?)
So enough of the backstory why i got into reading, I am no professional book critic as you can see and I’ve only read 188 books so far (yes, i’m counting) and am no expert in providing reviews but I’ll list the top 12 books that I have absolutely come to love. Maybe due to familiarity, maybe due to the way it was written, maybe because i just love it.
This list is for someone looking for young adult romance novels (mostly categorized as young adult as per Goodreads and other sites but I think it’s more teensy most of the time which is not really a problem for me) who enjoys both (sometimes) sappy and cheesy, and also heavy and slice of life novels.
Here it goes.
12. What’s Left of Me Series by Amanda Maxlyn
What’s Left of Me is the debut novel of Amanda Maxlyn and tells the story of Aundrea and Parker. It has the POV of both characters so you’ll be able to understand them better. Aundrea is an 18-yr old girl, who, suffering from relapse of cancer, believes that she should not deserve happiness after what she’s putting her family through, until she met Parker – her one-night stand turned boss the next day guy – who taught her what love is and how to embrace and fight for life. It’s a pretty much heavy novel because of the Big C life being described but it didn’t stop the author from making it a hot novel as well.
I enjoyed the novel, probably because it was all new to me (it is one of the first novels I read) and the novelty created an impact to me more than the usual but I enjoyed reading it. There is a sequel novel titled “What’s Left of Us?” which I read months after the first one, simply because I don’t want to read a heavy novel when my reality is heavy enough.
11. I Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
I actually enjoy most of Sophie Kinsella’s novels I’ve read . They are the rom-com type and just the breather I need to briefly escape the reality.
I Got Your Number is Poppy Wyatt’s story and how her life changed dramatically because she got Sam Roxton’s assistant’s phone she picked up in the bin after losing her own in after a chaotic hotel scenario which also caused her her engagement ring. While reading, I forgot how things were back in the early 2000s where the novel is set. I forgot that internet is not yet as wildly popular and everything. Reading the novel is fun and you’ll never stop laughing at the adventures of Poppy, of how she is trying desperately to find her engagement ring only to find out that it was not actually, totally now lost in the first place. If you need a quick read, I highly recommend this.
10. Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman
Adorkable is simply adorakable! It is also a debut novel released in 2016 but definitely contains cute elements that readers will enjoy. The story is not at all original per se. You know, fake boyfriend, childhood cursh, i-love-my-bestfriend-but-he-does-not-know type but it was fun to read nonetheless. If you’re looking for a quick, adorable, funny, teensy, ready then this one’s for you.
9. Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen
What i liked about the most in Cinderella Screwed Me Over is how it was told and the analogies of the exes to our favorite childhood prince charmings. Darby Quinn lost faith in happily-ever-afters after having one-too-many bad experience with her ex-boyfriends. Determined to take on the single life, she “reviews” what went wrong in her past relationships (via her record book, yes she records and analyzes her relationships) to fight the persistent attempt of Jake, her neighbor and owner of her favorite restaurant, to win her heart.
What can I say, when happily-ever-after is for you, you’ll get it one way or the other, although sometimes you might be burned more than what you think you can take to appreciate what you will have.
8. Confess by Coleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover is one of the authors I really admire (I might blog about authors I like but that’s another story). I love how she incorporates societal issues into her works but still focus on the the romance itself. I love also that in this saturated world of romance novels, Colleen Hoover still can make her work unique, either with characters or with elements of the story.
Confess is a story about confessions, of Aubrey and Owen, who at the young age they’re in (if i remember correctly, they’re 19 and 21 respectively), has already experienced LIFE and by life i mean they have already struggled in how to survive. Owen is an artists who paints and draws inspiration from other people’s confession. Aubrey, desparately looking for a job, conveniently knocked on Owen’s studio applying for the assistant job. As they got to know each other and feelings grew, everything is being threatened to break if they know the other’s secret.
This is a heavy drama but i really love it, although i love her other works more. 🙂
7. Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Jesse’s Girl is a light and cutesy novel (part of the Hundred Oaks Series) who follows Maya Henry who shadows the popular teen rockstar idol, Jesse Scott, as part of Hundred Oak High’s shadow day. Misunderstandings about each other and struggling to fight what’s just seen in the surface tugs at my heart. It is a simple story but somehow I have become attached to it.
6. Ugly Love by Coleen Hoover
Perhaps the only novel by Coleen Hoover so far where both the characters are not in high school or college that i know of. Tate Collins and pilot Miles Archer has undeniable mutual attraction and the sexual tension between them is always at boiling point whenever they’re near each other but Miles’ past makes up their ugly love. How can you get over the trauma of a past love that’s been haunting you for 6 years? The complicated past creates a wall between the two of them not knowing whether they can move forward or just keep on hanging when it’s obvious they love each other.
Such another gripping story by Coleen Hoover that tackles taboo love, family, trust, and hope.
5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss holds a special place in my heart. Probably because, it is one of the first novels I’ve encountered that I really enjoyed how it was written, how each characters were presented, and how the story line progressed.
It follows Anna (duh?) and her experience in Paris where she had been shipped to her senior year. When you’re shipped to a far away place, alone in a new continent with new school and everything, you’ll expect the worst, right? That is until someone comes along. Anna met Étienne St. Clair who is the definition of perfect. Smart, witty, a ball of sunshine, beautiful, and has the perfect relationship or so it seems.
I am a sucker for romance (if you haven’t noticed it yet) and I root so much for Anna and Etienne to finally be with each other all through out the novel which did not disappoint. I love that the setting is in Paris, it’s like a breathe of fresh air from the American setting that i gotten use to read so far. It’s a perfect book to pick up when you’re in for some light romance and full on trip to Paris.
4. Isla and the Happily Ever After
After reading Anna and the French kiss, I immediately searched for other books by Perkins and thankfully Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After were already published by that time (by that time i mean like two-three months ago). I like Lola but not as much as I like Anna and Isla.
Isla and The Happily After follows Isla and her unqrequited love for Josh who was a side character in Anna and the French Kiss. Maybe because I can relate to Isla’s hopeless romantic personality but I do remember the grin on my face and anticipation of what’s next when I read the book.
3. Slammed Trilogy by Colleen Hoover
Slammed is the first book I have read written by Colleen Hoover which is also the first book that she has written. And I don’t have any regrets I started with it. At first I was hesitant when I read the synopsis and a few spoilers here and there (I don’t dig teacher-student relationship that much aside from manga). But, oh boy, glad that I picked up the book and read.
The Slammed series (Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl) revolves around Lake and Will who, one day, suddenly became neighbors and quickly fell in love with each other not knowing that Will is a student teacher at Lake’s new school. The main protagonists are full of baggage, so heavy to bear for a teenager. (Hell, i’m already twenty-something and all the time when I was reading the series I could not imagine it happening to me). However, the baggage they are slumped into forms the backbone of the story, coupled with the beautiful slam poetries placed in some of the chapters of the series, I was hooked. This also became my re-introduction to slam poetry and ignited my desire to learn more about it since. Although heavy and sometimes, I could not help but think that Lake is such a child and so immature, this series is one I will definitely treasure even in the future.
2. Hopeless Series by Colleen Hoover
I am not kidding that Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors. Hopeless and Losing Hope is about Sky and Holder, about kidnapping, child rape, and so much more.
What I love about Colleen is that she never fails to go ahead and make interesting concepts for her novels, not only tackling or incorporating social issues (coz let’s be honest, the book is not a 101 guide on how to avoid child rape and kidnapping but rather the concept is the building block of the story) but also seamlessly getting it woven to the totality of the book. Hopeless and Losing Hope are not exceptions.
Hopeless and Losing Hope is definitely about two broken young ones who, amidst all the brokenness in them and the shit life gave, were still able to go ahead and find a semblance of peace and closure at the end.
1. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
This book is the book that almost broke my phone (I read it as ebook) because I threw my phone a couple of times while reading it. It was that good for me. You know when you are rooting for the two main characters – Fallon and Ben – then something will came up and prevent them from having their happily ever after. I swore a lot of times reading this book and I could not not pick up my phone after I threw it because as much as I hate what is happening, I want to see what the end will be for the characters I already came to love. Of course, Coleen Hoover delivered yet another unique way of writing the story wherein it revolves around one day, November 9, year after year after year, and the growth of Fallon and Ben on this day.