Some of my favorite female role models are fictional (though I’m not discounting the real ones!). These ladies are strong, independent, and inspirational. Oh, and they’re basically all badasses. Whether they are physically, mentally, or emotionally strong (or all three), they are characters that make me want to be the best that I can be. They’re interesting, complex, and make me proud to be a woman. I hope they’ll do the same for you! 

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A Suffragist’s Guide to the Antarctic by Yi Shun Lai


A teen’s fight for suffrage turns into one of survival when her crew’s Antarctic expedition ship gets stuck in the ice in this historical novel told in journal entries perfect for fans of Gary Paulsen and The Downstairs Girl.
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Trigger by N. Griffin


Didi tries her best to be a good girl, but it’s hard to keep track of her father’s rules. When she wins a chess tournament, he’s angry she didn’t win with a better move and makes her run laps around the house. When she runs laps the next day, she has to keep running until she’s faster than the day before. When she’s skilled enough to outshoot him with both a gun and bow and arrow, he grows furious when she won’t then shoot a baby rabbit who crosses their path. He’s grooming her, after all, to be the best…he says so.
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Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch


When seventeen-year-old Zara escaped her father’s backwoods survivalist compound five years ago, she traded crossbows and skinning hides for electricity and video games…and tried to forget the tragedy that drove her away. Until a malware attack on the United States electrical grids cuts off the entire country’s power. Drawing upon a resilience she didn’t know she had, Zara leads a growing group of friends on an epic journey across a crumbling country back to her father’s compound, where their only hope for salvation lies.
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Rima’s Rebellion by Margarita Engle


Rima loves to ride horses alongside her abuela and Las Mambisas, the fierce women veterans who fought during Cuba’s wars for independence, and dreams of a day when she is free from fear and shame, the way she feels when she’s riding. As she seeks her way, Rima forges unexpected friendships with others who long for freedom, especially a handsome young artist named Maceo.
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The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman


When Nami is murdered on her way to a party, she wakes up in the afterlife. Except in this afterlife, Ophelia, an AI that serves people on Earth, has taken over as queen and forces humans to serve in the afterlife the same way she serves them on Earth. With no other choice, Nami teams up with a group of rebels to save humans from eradication by AI.
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Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare


There are many incredibly strong female characters in Chain of Gold but personally Cordelia is my favorite. She is not only trying to find a way to save her family but she is also an incredible Shadowhunter. When an unknown plague hits the London Institute, Cordelia and her friends take matters into their own hands in order to find a cure.
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Legendborn by Tracy Deonn


After her mother died, Bree shut out the memories of her family, it was easier to live with the pain when it was locked away deep inside her head. But when she witnesses a demon attack and a mysterious teenage mage attempts—and fails—to erase what Bree saw from her mind, it unlocks a magic deep inside herself as well as memory that shows her that her mother's might not have been an accident. To find out the truth, Bree joins a secret society of the descendants of King Arthur. This modern-day twist on the Arthurian legend is filled with Southern Black Girl Magic and once you start reading you won't be able to put it down.
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Wings of Ebony by J. Elle


This book tells the story of Rue, a young teen from Houston who, after the death of her mother, finds out that she is half-god when she’s whisked away to Ghizon-a hidden island of magic wielders. When she comes back to her neighborhood in Houston one year later, she soon discovers that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life. Worse still, it seems that the evil plaguing East Row has come from Ghizon.
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We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

The Wildcats

This book is packed full of strong female characters that it's impossible to single out just one. The best part? Throughout We Are the Wildcats, this team discovers what it really means to be there for one another. Women supporting women, that's all I need to say.
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I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick


When the evidence doesn't add up in the disappearance, and ultimate murder, of Zoe Spanos, Martina decides to take matters into her own hands. With her podcast, Missing Zoe, she starts her own investigation to find out what really happened. Did Anna, the girl who bares a striking resemblance to Zoe Spanos, really murder her? Or was she set up? Either way, Martina is determined to find the truth.
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Girl, Unframed by Deb Caletti


In this gripping thriller, Sydney finds herself at the center of a crime along with her film star mother and her mom's unsettling boyfriend. Sydney already had misgivings about spending the summer with her mother but then one thrilling night everything goes suddenly very wrong. When loyalties are called into question, Sydney learns a terrible truth: beautiful objects can break.
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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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10 Things I Hate about Pinky by Sandhya Menon


Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe. However, this summer, she's tired of listening to them complain about the poor decisions she's made, so she convinces her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir to pose as her boyfriend. But as they bicker their way through the summer, sparks begin to fly.
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Slayer by Kiersten White


Into every generation a Slayer is born… Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic. Until the day Nina’s life changes forever. Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
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Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells


Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold. If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she will uncover. Once you've read this book, be sure to check out the sequel, Storm the Earth!
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Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, Illustrated by Frank Miller


Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King. But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen? Cursed by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller is a clever re-imagining of the story of the Lady of the Lake. What if the Lady of the Lake didn't give Excalibur to Arthur and instead was destined to unite England? Nimue (pronounced NIM-way) is the fierce, unapologetically strong protagonist that you'll fall in love with on page 1.
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Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

The Girls of Innovations Academy

The carefully controlled existence of a group of girls at an elite boarding school may not be quite as it appears to be. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what's actually happening - and who they really are - the students of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back. Be sure to check out the sequels, Girls with Razor Hearts and Girls with Rebel Souls!
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Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

Alouette and Chatine

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme and the poor starve in the streets and whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes… Chatine, a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime. Marcellus, an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. Alouette, an underground refuge. All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.
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Broken Lands by Jonathan Maberry


Ever since her mother’s death, Gabriella “Gutsy” Gomez has spent her days flying under the radar. But when her mother’s undead body is returned to her doorstep from the grave and Gutsy witnesses a pack of ravagers digging up Los Muertos—her mother’s name for the undead—she realizes that life finds you no matter how hard you try to hide from it. Once you've finished this book, be sure to check out the sequel, Lost Roads!
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Night World by L.J. Smith


Poppy starts off the book in a very delicate state-she's dying. But even as her body is weak, her mind is not. When she and her soulmate, James, go on a whirlwind of adventure in the secret universe of the Night World, she quickly becomes a very strong leading lady. She's quick, sharp, and confident.
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Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman


Blackhearts reimagines the origin story of one of the world’s most infamous pirate–Blackbeard. However, Edward “Teach” Drummond isn’t the star of this book, rather Anne Barrett, his newly penniless maid, is. Anne is incredibly smart and impassioned, destined for a life much more grandiose than cleaning up after a rich merchant, and she definitely knows how to hold her own against Teach. If you love pirates and women who know how to knock their love interest down a peg when they’re acting (just a teensy bit) entitled…Blackhearts is for you.
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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


The Shadowhunters world is a large one, full of multiple series by Cassandra Clare that will keep you reading for a long time. Clary Fray is the character that started it all, and her journey is a long and difficult one. Though she begins her Shadowhunter journey at a disadvantage because she's new and untrained, you get to journey with her throughout the series as she learns how to become a Shadowhunter, what it means to be brave, and how to fight for the people she loves.
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The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith


Eden experiences something more traumatic than most of us will hopefully ever go through. She is completely wrecked, and yet somehow she still finds the strength to keep going and, eventually, to ask for the help she desperately needs.
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The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid


Often when we talk about strong female characters we’re referring to emotional strength, but in this case, Nemesis is literally stronger than anyone else. She’s a Diabolic, created for one purpose only—to protect her person, Sidonia. But when Nemesis takes Sidonia’s place as a hostage to the empire, Nemesis meets new people and learns what it means to care, to sacrifice, and to fall in love. Her physical strength is joined by an emotional strength that makes her a truly powerful and memorable character. Finished this book and looking for more, check out the sequels The Empress and The Nemesis!
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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk-immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. Though she's up against some scary creatures, Isobel never allows herself to be put down. She knows her worth, and knows enough to remain alert and competent regardless of the situation she finds herself in. She somehow manages to come out on top, even when someone manages to trip her up.
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Scythe by Neal Shusterman


When Citra is tapped to an a Scythe's appretntice, she isn't particularly happy about it. After all, not many people would choose to be a professional killer. Still, it's a duty that must be performed in her perfect world with no disease and no war, and so when she accepts, she's determined to do it with as much dignity and respect as possible. She dedicates herself to training and studying, and even outsmarting her competitor, Rowan. Citra is clever, respectable, and all around incredible. She's definitely not someone to mess with. Once you've finished this, be sure to read the sequels Thunderhead and The Toll!
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Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare


Emma Carstairs is an amazing Shadowhunter. When she was just a child, she fought in the Great War and came out on top. Since then, she's dedicated herself to training and becoming the greatest Shadowhunter she can be. She has amazing combat skills, great instincts, and a solid head on her shoulders. She also has a big heart.
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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother and quickly discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters. Tessa may not arrive a s a Shadowhunter, but she quickly shows her prowess. Tessa is intelligent, brave, and strong-willed.
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Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto


Veronyka is determined to be a Phoenix Rider, so much so that she disguises herself as a boy to join their ranks. While Veronyka is hiding secrets of her own, she discovers the mysteries of her past that just might be the key to saving the Empire.
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Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera


Set in the near future, Dealing in Dreams is about sixteen-year-old Nalah who leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. Her dream is to give up her questionable lifestyle and move the the exclusive Mega Towers. Now Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder for a chance to live in the Mega Towers. She must cross the border in a search of the mysterious gang the Ashé Riders. But the closer she gets to her goal the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone—she cares about.
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Tithe by Holly Black


Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she drifts from place to place with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient and violent power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms—a struggle that could very well mean her death.
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The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

The Wild Ones

From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.
great teen romance books

If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that I am a huge romantic. Though I’ll read any genre, I really prefer that every book I read have some type of romance in it. I love seeing the grand gestures of romance, and the cute little interactions between characters. I relish seeing sparks fly in arguments before they understand their feelings, and then following along as they realize the sparks aren’t hatred, but a connection. I even enjoy seeing them go through their classic misunderstandings only to realize that they’re way better off together than they ever were apart. Romances make me happy, and restore my faith in humanity, so I’ve put together 27 books that are sure to make you swoon!

27 Swoonworthy Romances to Keep the Love Alive All Year Long

1. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters and how far they’ll go to save one of their lives—even if it means swapping identities.


2. One Great Lie by Deb Caletti

A compelling and atmospheric YA story of romance, mystery, and power about a young woman discovering her strength in lush, sultry Venice—from the Printz Honor–winning author of A Heart in a Body in the World.


3. Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.


4. Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson

Perfect for fans of Courtney Summers, this seductive and intense thriller unfolds in interwoven timelines of two summers as three friends are torn apart by buried secrets and star-crossed attraction…then pulled back together by tragedy.


5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Emma Carstairs is determined to discover the truth about who killed her parents. Luckily, she has Julian, her parabatai to help her sort out the truth. But as Emma and Julian get caught up in several dangerous plans, they start to realize that their strictly platonic friendship may very well be something more. Too bad parabatai are strictly forbidden from being in love…


6. Watch Over Me by Mila Gray

Mila Gray, the author of Come Back to Me has written yet another amazing book about a young woman— desperately trying to protect her family from their violent father—who finds safety, and a passionate romance, with an ex-Marine.


7. Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson

A forbidden attraction grows even more complicated when the guy Lane Jamison has crushed on for years suddenly becomes her step-brother in this sexy and gorgeously written debut novel about the lines between love, desire, and obsession.


8. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still. Discover the riveting first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.


9. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Unexpected everything paperback

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.

Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).

Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?


10. Fall into Me by Mila Gray

An unexpected and searing romance unfolds between a young recording artist and her ex-Marine bodyguard trying to outrun his difficult past in this wrenching novel from the author of Come Back to Me and Run Away with Me.


11. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, scandal and romance collide when an ambitious teen returns to her hometown only to have her plans interrupted after falling for the town’s “bad boy”—a.k.a. her childhood best friend.


12. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. At least, not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and probing eyes, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment. But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust—she can’t decide whether she should fall into Patch’s arms or run and hide from him.


13. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex Approximately

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush. Yet, things get a whole lot more hectic when she meets Porter, the boy she can’t stand but can’t seem to shake either. Yet, Porter is so much more than the annoying security guard that works with her at the museum, he’s Alex…Approximately.


14. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han


Lara Jean’s love life gets complicated in this New York Times bestselling series.

When Lara Jean writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.


15. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

love and gelato

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father—and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.


16. Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

When Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken,hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and her brother, Ian’s, criticism. And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.


17.Under the Lights by Abbi Glines

Under the lights

In the follow-up to Abbi Glines’s #1 New York Times bestseller Until Friday Night—which bestselling author Kami Garcia called “tender, honest, and achingly real”—three teens from a small southern town are caught in a dramatic love triangle. As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.


18. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman


In this stunningly creative debut, Nicole Castroman reimagines the origins of history’s most infamous pirate—Blackbeard—and tells the story of the girl who captured his heart and then broke it, setting him on a path to destruction.


19. Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world amidst its invasion by murderous creatures, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…


20. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon


A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives. The rom-com that everyone’s talking about! Eleanor & Park meets Bollywood in this hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage. Dimple is nothing like Rishi, so there is no way she’d want to be with him, let alone marry him! However, love works in mysterious ways, we all know that.


21. Run Away with Me by Mila Gray


Run Away with Me is an adorable romance between two best friends who are torn apart by a tragedy, only to reconnect seven years later. It’s an adorable romance you don’t want to miss!  Not to mention, Jake is a popular ice-hockey player which is totally swoon-worthy. 


22. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel. If you love this book and are looking for more Malec adventures, check out the sequel, The Lost Book of the White!


23. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Can you love someone you can never touch?

In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives. Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Yet, as the two start to fall in love, distance is harder than it has ever been for either one of them.


24. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.


25. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect. The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.


26. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.


27. For All Time by Shanna Miles

Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world build itself up from nothing only to tear itself down again in civil war. They’ve even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: their love and their fight to be together. One love story after another. Their only concern is they never get to see how their story ends. Until now.


Looking for more? Check out these adorable romances that will make you believe in love!

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th-October 15th)!!

Whether you’re a first generation or sixth generation American; fully or partially Hispanic; or if you aren’t Hispanic at all and just want to appreciate the complexities of having a Hispanic heritage, this list is for you! Here are 8 books to read that celebrate the importance of representation of Hispanic and Latinx characters for National Hispanic Heritage Month!

8 Books to Read for National Hispanic Heritage Month

1. Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez

Just like his characters, Matt Mendez grew up in El Paso, Texas. This is his debut novel and boy is it a good one! To quote Jason Reynolds on the matter “Mendez, a gifted storyteller with a distinct voice, is sure to bring a quake to the literary landscape.”

Juan has plans. He’s going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself.  His best friend JD has plans, too. He’s going to be a filmmaker one day, like Quinten Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro (NOT Steven Spielberg). He’s got a camera and he’s got passion—what else could he need? Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a road trip to visit Mando, a man on death row who just might be Juan’s dad. Juan will finally meet his dad, JD has a perfect subject for his documentary, and Fabi, Juan’s mother, is desperate to stop them. But, as we already know, there are some things you just can’t plan for…

2. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

If you loved Lilliam Rivera’s debut, The Education of Margot Sanchez, then you really don’t want to miss this! Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That role brings with it violent throwdowns and access to the hottest bodega clubs, but Nalah quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers. To make it there, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in search of a mysterious gang with the help up a reluctant guide. Nalah must choose whether or not she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover that home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she’s created for good?


3. 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.


4. The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez

Growing up, Gaby Rodriguez was often told she would end up a teen mom. After all, her mother and her older sisters had gotten pregnant as teenagers; from an outsider’s perspective, it was practically a family tradition. In The Pregnancy Project, Gaby details how she was able to fake her own pregnancy—hiding the truth from even her siblings and boyfriend’s parents—and reveals all that she learned from the experience. But more than that, Gaby’s story is about fighting stereotypes, and how one girl found the strength to come out from the shadow of low expectations to forge a bright future for herself.


5. Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes

Analee Echevarria is a Cuban-American teen who, since the death of her mom, struggles to say what’s her mind. 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. Although, despite how much Analee loves her online world, she wishes she could confess her feelings for her video game partner-in-crime Xolkar, a boy named Harris whom she’s actually never met. Things quickly become complicated when Analee enters a fake relationship with her lab partner, and a love triangle ensues. But Analee in Real Life is about so much more than Analee’s love life, and the dynamics of her Cuban-American family, her best friend, and her emotional journey are equally as compelling.


6. 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.


7. Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle

Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Then a revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita fears for her far-away family. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita’s worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?


8. Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

Engle lived a life between two places: the lush island of Cuba, and the isolated, hard reality of Los Angeles. As she gears up for high school, the wave of change notable in the 1960s takes hold of everything in her life. It’s a love letter to education, grassroots movements, and identity in a tumultuous world.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Sometimes when real life gets tough, it’s fun to escape into a different world through a book. It’s nice to concentrate on other people’s problems once in a while. Here are some worlds to escape to that will leave you feeling like our real world isn’t quite so bad after all.

9 Dystopias & “Utopias” You Must Read

1. Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

The carefully controlled existence of a group of girls at an elite boarding school may not be quite as it appears to be. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening – and who they really are – the students of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back. The Handmaids Tale meets WestWorld in this new book from The Program author Suzanne Young.

2. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash though firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want.

3. Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster

Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster

Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal. A star burned into her hand is the penalty for being the daughter of the woman who betrayed their entire nation.

4. Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin

Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin

Luisa’s life is thrust into chaos as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, killing thousands and sending her father into quarantine. When Lu receives a cryptic message from someone who might hold the key to stopping the epidemic, she knows she must do something to save her family—and the world.

5. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Don’t miss book 2, Thunderhead, in this edge-of-your-seat series!

6. Want by Cindy Pon

Want by Cindy Pon

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths.

7. Ruse by Cindy Pon

Jason Zhou, his friends, and Daiyu are back in the sequel to Cindy Pon’s sci-fi thriller Want.

After the events of the last book, Jin, the ruthless billionaire and Daiyu’s father, is out for blood and has Jany, a childhood friend of Linyi, murdered and steals the tech that Jany refused to sell him. Lingyi is now the only one who has access to the encrypted info, putting her own life is now in jeopardy.

8. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city and her home, can lead to madness. Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially once she meets Judas.

9. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait—to turn pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time.  Once you’ve finished Uglies, check out the rest of the books in the series.

Want some more out of this world reads? Try these 5 books!

Find out which Shadowhunters book you should start with by taking the quiz or following the flow-chart below!


The Rattled Bones by SM Parker

There is genuinely nothing I love better than a good romance. The attraction, tension, denial, and inevitable misunderstandings are all moments in a book that I live for. Plus, nothing makes me feel all warm and gooey inside like the feeling of happiness I get when they FINALLY end up together. The only thing that makes this formula better, in my opinion, is adding in a Paranormal twist! Everything is better when you throw in a supernatural element right?

1. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


Nora is just a regular girl trying to survive high school, or so she thinks. Meanwhile, Patch is anything but normal. Against her better judgement and despite the very dangerous aura he projects, Nora is drawn to Patch.

2. The Dark Artifices Series by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Emma and Julian are parabatai, a pair of Nephilim warriors who fight together as lifelong partners, bound together by oath, regardless of their gender. Parabatai are forbidden from having any kind of romantic attachments, but knowing something isn’t allowed doesn’t help when the heart is involved.

3. Elixir by Hilary Duff


When images of a mysterious young man begins showing up in Clea’s photos, she’s alarmed. When she encounters this mysterious young man in person, she’s intrigued.

4. Night World by L. J. Smith


Poppy has been in love with James, her best friend, forever. But now that she’s dying, it seems like that will just be something else she takes with her to the grave. Then James appears in her hospital room and offers her the gift of eternal life.

5. Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta


Faris and North have a slow burning relationship that blossoms when you least expect it. They both have goals and are determined to stick to them, even if it means they can’t be together.

6. Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast


When the Nahx invade, no one is safe. Not even Raven, who has an inexplicable connection with one of them. He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth.

7. Wake by Lisa McMann


Born with the ability to get sucked into people’s dreams, Janie finds that she knows more about other people than they would normally like to disclose. Nothing tells you more about a person than their nightmares–family secrets, past regrets, traumatizing moments, they all come out when you can’t stop them.

8. Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young


When Audrey and her family check in to the Hotel Ruby, she’s in love…with the hotel that is. It’s intoxicating, fun, and full of endless distractions.

9. The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker


Rilla is haunted by visions of a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. When Sam, an archaeology student, is tasked with excavating that island, their paths cross and sparks fly.

10. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger


Audra is an air elemental who is tasked with guarding Vane. But as far as Vane is concerned, he’s just an ordinary teenage boy. When an accident reveals their location to dangerous enemies, Audra must help Vane uncover the truth of his past.

11. The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Mara cannot remember anything about the night her friends died. All she knows is what she’s been told: they went to an abandoned asylum, the building collapsed, and only Mara survived. As Noah and Mara grow closer, you’ll learn that there’s definitely something special about them both, and maybe they need each other to make it through.

If you’re anything like me, you’re someone who loves really diving into new worlds and characters. In my opinion, the most appealing thing about starting a new series is knowing that there’s so much to come and so much to learn. I love knowing that I’m going to have time to get to know and befriend all these characters I’m reading about on a level that only several books can provide. In honor of my love of series, here is a list of first books in a series that you will ABSOLUTELY LOVE!

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This Mortal Coil

In a world where humanity is on the verge of extinction thanks to the deadly Hydra virus, seventeen year old Cat, the daughter of the world’s greatest genetic hacker, must try to decode her late father’s cure before an evil corporation has a chance to get its hands on it. Her only ally is a handsome soldier named Cole, but despite their obvious attraction to each other, she isn’t sure if she can trust him.


The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

the becoming of noah shaw

Noah Shaw and Mara Dyer, two tens with paranormal abilities, thought they had finally gotten their happily-ever-after, but truths are about to come to life that will upend their entire world. When the dust has settled, will they emerge together or apart?


The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell


Esta, a talented thief with an affinity for magic, must travel back in time to find a mysterious book that can save the future of all the magicians.

 The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid


Nemesis was designed to protect her human, Sidonia, at all costs. She is the world’s most perfect killing machine. Now, in order to save Sidonia’s life, she must pretend to be her. But that means the universe’s greatest threat is now masquerading around the empire’s capital as a helpless Senator’s daughter. Truths will be revealed, evil people will be outed, and love will be found.


Strange Fire by Tommy Wallach


The world as we know it has ended and the survivors have separated into two main groups–those who shun technology because of all it has destroyed, and those who believe that properly utilizing technology is the key to rebuilding the world. When these two groups cross each other, we’ll learn if humanity can ever avoid war.


Zero Repeat Forever By G.S. Prendergast


The Nahx have invaded and everyone Raven knows is gone. Now, her only hope for survival lies within an unexplainable connection she has with a rogue Nahx who cannot speak and has no name–only a number, Eight.

 Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sanger

Last Star Burning

Seventeen-year-old Sev is paying for her mother’s traitorous actions. Branded with the mark of a criminal, forced to perform hard labor, and cursed with seeing her mother’s body displayed above Traitor’s Arch every day (paralyzed in half sleep by the same plague that destroyed the rest of the world), Sev is reminded every day of the severity of her mother’s actions. But now her town, a once safe placehidden away from the wars raging in the outside world, is under attack. When the government blames Sev, she must escape with the help of an unlikely ally named Howl. But even as he manages to save her life by smuggling her out of the city, because she isn’t sure if the place he’s bringing her is better or worse than the place she’s escaping. Can Howl be trusted?

The holidays are almost here, and that means it’s time to get your friends THE BEST gifts! But sometimes picking out the right gift is hard, especially when your bookish friend has all the bookish things already and books can get a bit expensive. Sure, one good book makes a nice and respectable gift, but a bunch of books would be even better!

Now we’re giving you the opportunity to win the PERFECT gift for your hopeless romantic friend (or for yourself…no judgement!). One lucky winner will get copies of: When Dimple Met Rishi, Love & Gelato, The Unexpected Everything, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Alex Approximately, Lady Midnight, and Autobiography!

What are you waiting for? Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the perfect books for fans of YA romance!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon


Dimple has way too much going on in her life to worry about a relationship. She’s determined to be the best coder she can be, and that means working hard, getting into an exclusive camp, and meeting her female-coding-idol. Too bad her parents have other ideas. They support her hard work and want her to be successful, they just don’t understand what being single has to do with it. Enter Rishi, a hopeless romantic who wants nothing more than to meet his perfect match and move on with the rest of his life. Dimple and Rishi’s parents are convinced the two would be perfect together, so they hatch a plan to get the two to meet. Things don’t quite go smoothly…but they might just work out for the best anyway.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

love and gelato

After her mother passes away, Lina is sent to Tuscany to visit a father she’s never met before and she’s not exactly happy about it. Sure Italy is cool, but what kind of father hasn’t been around for sixteen years? At first Lina tries to hold a grudge, but Howard actually doesn’t seem like such a bad guy. When Lina’s given her mother’s diary from when she lived in Italy, she begins to uncover some of her mother’s secrets and realizes there’s more to the story of Lina’s mother’s life than she could have ever imagined. Luckily, Lina has the handsome and charming Ren to help her uncover the secrets, explore Tuscany, and fall in love.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Unexpected everything paperback

Andie’s life turns upside down when a political scandal puts her father’s career in jeopardy and throws her summer plans out the window. For the first time, Andie doesn’t have a plan, and she is not a fan. Still, with the help of her best friends, some dogs, and the super cute Clark, this might just be the best summer yet.  But that’s only if Andie is truly able to let go of her control, tear down her walls, and let life happen.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han


Lara Jean has a method of coping with her feelings of unrequited love—she writes letters. But when her letters accidentally get mailed out, Lara Jean’s world turns upside down. Especially when it comes out that one of her great loves may not be so unrequited after all…

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex Approximately

Bailey “Mink” Rydell has a huge crush on “Alex,” an online friend she’s been talking to for months. It’s all in good fun since they live across the country from one another…until Bailey moves in with her father, who happens to live right near “Alex.” Too bad she’s too chicken to tell “Alex” about her sudden relocation. Instead, she goes on lying to “Alex” and gets a part time job where she meets the most infuriating human on the planet—Porter. Bailey and Porter butt heads like crazy, but do they actually hate each other, or is it something else? And where does that leave her relationship with “Alex”?

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

lady midnight

Emma and Julian are parabatai. They’re best friends and fighting partners who have sworn an oath to protect each other forever…platonically. They absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, have romantic feelings for one another. Too bad their hearts are not on board with that…

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren


After signing up for a writing class, it takes only one second for Tanner to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him. But love isn’t always easy or simple.

I LOVE the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin, so it probably comes as no surprise that I’m ecstatic about the existence of The Becoming of Noah Shaw. I’m so excited for it, in fact, that I’ve fallen down the bookstagram rabbit hole (this is a regular occurrence for my favorite books). I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Mara Dyer bookstagrams for you below! You’re welcome.

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photo by: bookishstateofmind


Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 12.56.38 PM

photo by: prisambookshelf


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photo by: myclutteredbookshelf


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photo by: roomsfullofbooks


BONUS: This one is of The Becoming of Noah Shaw and isn’t it GORGEOUS?!

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photo by: darkfaerietales_


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