YA books about summer romances combine two of my favorite things: summer and romance. Many of the books on this list also include another of my favorite things: travel! The teens who aren’t traveling in these stories are either working summer jobs, preparing for college or healing from trauma — all while finding love. If you enjoy teen romances set in the summer, you’ll adore the books on this list!
One True Loves is Elise Bryant’s sophomore YA novel set in the same universe as her debut, Happily Ever Afters. This companion title focuses on the sassy, seemingly unbothered Lenore Bennett, Tessa’s one of Tessa’s new friends. Lenore has had bad experiences with every guy she’s dated. They’ve either cheated on her or broken up with her at the worst time. So, she decides she’s done looking for love and that the whole true love thing will never work for her. Until her family goes on a Mediterranean cruise, where she meets Alex Lee.
Where the Rhythm Takes You is Sarah Dass’s debut YA novel. Seventeen-year-old Reyna is working at her family’s hotel, The Plumeria — as she has since her mother’s death two years before. Everyone around her seems to be moving forward with their lives. Her best friend, Olivia is going to art school in England, her first love Aiden moved away to the US where he has become a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter. Even her father seems ready to move on. But Reyna is stuck, and now Aiden is back on a surprise trip to Tobago — where Reyna lives — to celebrate his birthday.
In Love Is a Revolution, Nala Robertson is a big Black girl who lives with her cousin Imani and Imani’s parents. Imani is an environmental activist with the group Inspire Harlem. When Nala attends Imani’s birthday open-mic night, she meets a charismatic young man named Tye. Tye is also an activist who is immediately drawn to Nala. Nala is eager to impress and starts a series of lies, telling Tye that she is a vegan and pretending to be active in community work at her grandmother’s home for the elderly.
The two soon start dating but the relationship is obviously built on lies. Nala quickly becomes uncomfortable, worrying that Tye only likes her for the fake persona she created.