As someone who is Latinx, I always am happy to see complex and interesting portrayals of Latinx characters in my favorite novels. It makes me feel seen and included in so many different types of genres and narratives, and representation matters. Below are some of my favorite books that either: feature a Latinx main character or cast, have been written by an author who identifies as Latinx, or both!



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Under This Forgetful Sky by Lauren Yero
This “heartbreaking and heartfelt” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) star-crossed love story follows two teens in a starkly unequal future world who are struggling to find their places.
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Infested by Angel Luis Colón
The Taking of Jake Livingston meets Cemetery Boys in this YA ghost story about a Puerto Rican teen’s battle with a malevolent spirit targeting his apartment building and the all-too-real horrors of gentrification.
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The Universal Laws of Marco by Carmen Rodrigues
In the summer before eighth grade, Marco Suarez kissed his best friend Sally Blake. This was his first spark. And then, at the end of that year, she disappeared, leaving without even saying why. And now in their senior year, Sally unexpectedly returns and Marco is shaken. Still, he holds tightly to his carefully choreographed life. A life that is full of reasons why first sparks don’t matter, the main reason? He has a girlfriend. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I met my first love again years later and if you feel the same way, then this book is perfect!
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Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
I loved Lilliam Rivera's first book The Education of Margot Sanchez and I was so excited for her new book to come out! Set in the distant future, sixteen year old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City but she quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle and dreams of living in the Mega Towers. To make it there, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in search of the mysterious gang the Ashè Riders. The closer she gets to her goal the more she loses sight of everything - and everyone - she cares about.
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Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes
Analee, also known as Kiri in her favorite online game, has trouble expressing herself outside of the game she pours hours into. Trying to bring her online persona to her real-life self while navigating high school drama is a lot, but following both her identities is such a great journey and one I can relate to heavily. Also, it has one of my favorite romance tropes: Fake Dating! This book was made for me, clearly. “Ever since her mom died three years ago, Analee Echevarria has had trouble saying out loud the weird thoughts that sit in her head. With a best friend who hates her and a dad who’s marrying a yogi she can’t stand, Analee spends most of her time avoiding reality and role-playing as Kiri, the night elf hunter at the center of her favorite online game. Also check out Janelle Milanes’ other book, The Victoria in My Head!
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. Continue Ari & Dante's love story in the sequel, Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World.
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Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez
Matt Mendez's debut novel is beautifully written and explores how difficult it is to make it in life when you—your life, brown lives—don’t matter. Juan and JD both have plans. Juan is going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and JD is going to be a filmmaker. Fabi doesn’t have a plan anymore, not since getting pregnant at sixteen. When Juan and JD embark on road trip to visit Juan’s dad on death row (someone Fabi always said was dead), we find out there are some things you just can’t plan for… Once you've read Barely Missing Everything, pick up the companion, The Broke Hearts!
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Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.
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A British Girl’s Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak by Laura Taylor Namey
In this highly anticipated companion to the New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club YA Pick A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, Flora Maxwell heads to Miami to find a path for her future…and finds her heart along the way.
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Borderless by Jennifer De Leon
Caught in the crosshairs of gang violence, a teen girl and her mother set off on a perilous journey from Guatemala City to the US border in this “engrossing” (Kirkus Reviews) young adult novel from the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From.
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Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon
When Liliana Cruz transfers to a nearly all-white wealthy suburban high school she does what it takes to fit in. In order to do so, she builds walls around herself. However, when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable. But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: Use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight.
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Rima’s Rebellion by Margarita Engle
An inspiring coming-of-age story told in prose and “spare, lyrical” verse (The Horn Book Magazine) from award-winning author Margarita Engle about a girl falling in love for the first time while finding the courage to protest for women’s right to vote in 1920s Cuba.
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Wings in the Wild by Margarita Engle
This gorgeously romantic contemporary novel-in-verse from award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the “inspiring and hopeful” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) love story of two teens fighting for climate action and human rights.
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Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
Acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells a “deeply felt and engrossing” (Horn Book Magazine) story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a dark period in Cuba’s history.

Nicole and I are huge fans of romance tropes. Most of the time we’re both endlessly talking to each other or other people about our favorite ones (or even tweet-screaming about them). So, we both decided to write about our most cherished tropes we love in YA here!

6 Romance Tropes We Can’t Get Enough Of

1. Enemies to Lovers

It is the best thing ever when the two leads of a novel start to realize that their feelings of loathing are actually feelings of love. On top of fighting in some other sort of way, they’re fighting their true feelings, which is the best kind of fighting.  Triple points for when these two enemies are in a shouting match and one of them blurts out the truth of their love. That gets me every.single.time.

If you’re a fan of this trope, you have to read Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi. Dimple isn’t Rishi’s biggest fan, as evidenced by the fact that she threw a whole cup of ice coffee on him (she’s an icon, honestly). Rishi is a hopeless romantic and wants to like Dimple, but they clash more often than not. They soon figure out by spending time with one another that they have a lot in common and fall for each other. While it is not exactly a textbook example of this trope, I think personally it is a great spin on it.

Want more books with the enemies to lovers trope? Check out this list! 

2. Childhood Friends

Sweet love is great. It’s fluffy and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But you know what else is sweet? When two friends who’ve known each other since they were kids realize when they’re older that they are hopelessly, madly in love with one another. Maybe not at the same time, but they both eventually get to the same page.

If you’re like me and love this classic trope, head straight for Under the Lights by Abbi Glines. Brady, star High School quarterback and Willa used to be best friends, and Willa even had a crush on Brady as a kid! But Willa made some choices in her life that causes them to drift apart and change as people. Enter Gunner, who also used be friends with both of them, but has changed enough that he doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Well, Willa is the exception to this rule, because he understands the new person she is. If you love this trope, with a dash of a love triangle, then pick this book up.

Do you love this trope as much as we do? Check out these books! 

3. Slow Burn

Being patient is hard, but seeing the couple you’ve been rooting for FINALLY get together after so much waiting and angst makes it all worth it. Those quick glances at each other, those meaningful conversations that leave you yelling at your book “JUST KISS ALREADY PLEASE” (maybe that’s just me), and finally after the whole winding journey confirm their relationship leaves me emotionally fulfilled and dead at the same time.  Whether it spans multiple books, or just in stand-alone, slow burns will emotionally wreck you in the best way.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

If you’re craving a good slow burn, check out Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. Penny and Sam meet in a café (all the best slow burns start in a café or coffee shop; I will fight anyone and everyone over this) and start off on an awkward interaction that is majorly unbearable. But, soon after, they start to text each other, revealing their deepest anxieties and being vulnerable without the added stress of face to face interaction. They become inseparable, and soon start to realize that maybe there’s something more.

4. Trapped in the Same Space

In my humble opinion, it doesn’t get much better than this: two people – who may or may not hate each other, or at least harbor unresolved feelings toward each other – suddenly find themselves stuck in the same space together. Whether this is in a broken elevator, or a small tent on a snowy mountain (bonus points if they have to huddle for warmth), the only thing we know for sure is that these two unwitting lovebirds are going to have to talk to one another. And talking leads to inevitably realizing that they LIKE one another.  It’s all so angsty and cathartic and basically guarantees that my ‘shipper heart will double in size.

If you feel the same way, look no further than Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes, where Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to unpack all of their baggage (so to speak) when they find themselves stranded in the woods together.

5. Forbidden Love

The idea that we all want what we can’t have is nothing new, but man does it pan out beautifully when it comes to romance. Here, our couple is attracted to each other, but can’t admit it because of forces that forbid them from being together. Cue the longing looks across crowded rooms and the tense conversations about “why this can never work.” But it doesn’t change the fact that…they’re in love.  For the reader, this trope also comes with a lot of anxious nail-biting and frustrated yelling at the book. But it’s all worth it in the end (usually).

For all of your forbidden romance needs, pick up a copy of An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, where falling in love between mortals and fair folk are forbidden, but that’s exactly what Isobel and Rook do.

6. Fake Relationship

There comes a time in the life of many a protagonist when they need to pretend to have a significant other.  There are all sorts of reasons to grab a buddy and ask them to pretend to date you. Just know that along the way, there might be awkwardness or even jealousy, and then real feelings might start to creep in. This platonic fake bae might actually be your One True Love. It’s a beautiful journey, from start to finish, and I’m here to read it again and again.

See this play out in Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, when Lara Jean’s crushes are inadvertently revealed to the world, and she must pretend to date a former friend in order to save face. Bonus! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is soon to be a movie! Here’s everything we know about it so far.

Looking for more romances? Check out our list of swoon-worthy romances! 

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