Keep Me Posted!

Sign me up for the latest news from Penguin Teen, including new books, special offers, and promotions.

7 Books For People Who Think They Don’t Like Romance Novels

SHARE

There are two kinds of readers in this world: those who love romance novels and those who haven’t read one yet. Never fear: we’re not talking about the sexy-sexy books with the bare-chested dudes on the covers (though there’s nothing wrong with that!). We’re talking about “gateway romance” books—the ones you just can’t help but fall in love with, that leave you desperate for more. When people tell us they don’t read romance novels, these are the books we put in their hands–then observe with glee as they fall down the glorious rabbit hole of amazing love stories:

 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

It starts out just like any other love story: boy meets girl, girl wants to avenge the death of her best friend by murdering boy, boy marries girl…well, ok, so it’s a little different than your typical rom-com. But Khalid and Shazi’s relationship is an unforgettable (and hot) romance, bolstered by a rich Middle Eastern setting, fascinating characters, and a compelling mystery. If this book leaves you yearning for more, you’re in luck, because the story continues in The Rose in the Dagger!

 

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

Not a fan of romance novels, you say? But are you a fan of say…Hamilton? Alex and Eliza: A Love Story tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler before they were the famed historical couple we know them as today.

 

The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

Let’s be honest: forbidden romances are hot. And there’s definitely more than a little heat between Rose Hathaway and her instructor Dimiti Belikov. But the steamy romance is even more interesting because it’s surrounded by awesome action scenes, amazing friendships, hilarious banter, and totally bad-ass characters. There’s so much more to obsess over with this series than just the romance—but it’s there and it’s THE BEST.

The VA series is complete with six books, but when you’ve finished those, internationally bestselling Richelle Mead keeps the swoons coming in the Bloodlines series and her newest book, The Glittering Court!

 

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Romance is definitely not the only engaging element of this Sarah Dessen classic. Main character Annabel Green is struggling with a ton of changes in her life—none of them good. When reformed bad boy Owen enters the picture, he’s just the thing Annabel needs to confront the secrets she’s been keeping. The “opposites attract” romance that develops between the two is perfect for anyone who appreciates a non-“instalove” story.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Sexy Aladdin, people. Sexy. Aladdin. This fairy tale retelling is brimming with lush world-building, beautiful writing, and thrilling adventure. And kissing. Lots of kissing. Between Sexy Aladdin and a female genie. Do we really have to go on??

 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Fair warning: the build-up and tension of the romance between the pages of this book is so adorable and so real, you’ll be a puddle of swoon by the time you’re through with it. The romance sparkles in this one—as does its Paris setting (only the most romantic city on Earth, NBD).

When you’ve devoured Anna and the French Kiss, be sure to read companion novels Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. The books are loosely interconnected; you can read them in any order you like, but you will want to read them all, we guarantee.

 

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

It’s impossible not to get the happy feels while reading this story of first love with the boy next door. It’s the perfect summer romance book that seems light and fluffy on the surface but surprises you with its depth and realism. When you’ve turned the final page, rockstar author Huntley Fitzpatrick has two other amazing romances for you to enjoy: What I Thought Was True and The Boy Most Likely To.

 

 

 

 

Ready to take your romance read to the next level? Check out these steamy books to keep you warm this winter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#ShelfGoals

Read an excerpt of When I Am Through With You

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn is a gripping story of survival and the razor’s-edge difference between perfect cruelty and perfect love. Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip … Continued
See More

Start Reading CHEMICAL HEARTS by Krystal Sutherland!

Chemical Hearts is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and we are SO excited to see Krystal Sutherland’s gorgeous novel come to life on screen. But in case you still have some catching up to do on reading the book, here’s an excerpt to get you started! About Chemical Hearts: Henry Page has never been in love. He … Continued
See More

Middle Grade Books by Black Authors You Should Be Reading

  What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado “STAY IN YOUR LANE.” Stephen doesn’t want to hear that–he wants to have no lane.Anything his friends can do, Stephen should be able to do too, right? So when they dare each other to sneak into an abandoned building, he doesn’t think it’s his lane, but he goes. Here’s … Continued
See More

Books to Read for Latinx Heritage Month

September 15-October 15 is Latinx Heritage Month. We’re inviting you to join us in reading stories by Latinx authors–and if you don’t know where to start, here are a few of our recommendations!   We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, … Continued
See More

10 Swoony Romances to Read Before Summer Ends!

Summer has been a whirlwind, but there are a few summer romances we recommend you pick up to read in the sunshine before summer is over!   Beyond the Break by Heather Buchta For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han, Beyond the Break is a funny and gorgeous debut about a girl experiencing her first love. Well, second, … Continued
See More

YA Books by Black Authors You Should Be Reading

From award winning icons such as Mildred D. Taylor to debut voices such as Patrice Caldwell, here are some of the Black authors you should be reading.   A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic. … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: VICIOUS SPIRITS by Kat Cho

We fell completely in LOVE with Kat Cho’s Wicked Fox last year. And we may be even more in love with its stunning companion novel, Vicious Spirits! Scroll down to read an excerpt! PROLOGUE As with any tragedy, it came about because he loved. When he was on the cusp of manhood, a young man met a … Continued
See More

Sci-Fi & Fantasy reads to move up on your TBR asap

2020 has brought a LOT of amazing reads to our shelf. Here are just a few of our favorite sci-fi/fantasy reads you’ll want to make sure you didn’t miss!   Want to win them all? Click here to enter our sweepstakes! The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae You will laugh. You will cry. You will … Continued
See More

Start reading HARROW LAKE by Kat Elis

Calling all horror movie fans! Harrow Lake is a can’t-put-down, creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director who’s not afraid of anything–until she gets to Harrow Lake. Scroll down to start reading! Transcript of interview with Nolan Nox, Director of Nightjar, for Scream Screen magazine (Nightjar twentieth-anniversary special feature) CJL: C. J. Lahey, columnist with Scream Screen NN: Nolan … Continued
See More

What to read if you’re not over The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

If you’ve binge re-read the entire Hunger Games series and flew through the new prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, we’ve got some recommendations for what to pick up next! From the Katniss energy of standing up to oppressive governing forces, to death-defying, high-stakes competitions, let’s get started!   The Kinder Poison by Natalie … Continued
See More
BACK TO TOP