1. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
After the abrupt death of her older sister, Bailey, Lennie has to navigate a world without her. In the meantime, she’s caught in a love triangle with one boy who helps her remember and one who helps her forget. This is my personal favorite book. It explores grief while still trying to live your life and still has those fun YA tropes. There are amazing poems scattered throughout the book as well, showing a new way to show a character’s emotions in a novel. I highly recommend this book.
2. The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
This is a fun fantasy novel that follows many characters all at once. While the plot can’t exactly be summarized, the romances in it are all over the place and has such a variety of different characters that it’s hard to pick a favorite. The lore is well thought out and interesting as well.
3. Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
When she is forced to move to Italy to stay with her father after her mother’s death, Lina is plunged into family drama and mystery. In the meantime, she meets Ren and they track down what happened to her mother during her time as a student in Florence. This book immediately makes you want to jump on a plane to Italy and wander the streets of Florence. It’s overall an amazing book that I recommend for a fun read.
4. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
As the first book in a trilogy, this book gives a great set up for what’s to come. The protagonist is well developed while still having her imperfections. The lore itself is interesting as a mix of magic, religion, and a Wonderland-type world. While there is still a romance, there’s amazing relationships and details that are fun to uncover as you read.
5. Long May She Reign by Rhannon Thomas
After a majority of the court is poisoned, Freya, twenty-third in line to the throne, is suddenly queen. This book is all about navigating a kingdom after the previous king leeched its riches and the mystery of how she came to be queen as well as rebellion and romance (duh). This book, while still being a fantasy novel, has some very relevant issues and is a great read.