Pairing my favorite tropes with YA books, part II: all the romances

Hi friends! I’m happy to be back today with my second blog post about my favorite tropes! Last week, I talked about settings, stories and characters I love and shared some recommendations.

This week, I’m really thrilled to be my marshmallow-self and talk about, drumrolls… ROMANCE.

I’m a contemporary reader 95% of the time and, if I appreciate it A LOT when there are books with no romances, I also am a softie and I’m here to get all the fluffy marshmallowy romances…. especially when they have these tropes below.

Let’s take a look!

You can read my previous recommendations post with tropes right here.

πŸ’— Friends to lovers

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I just adore it when the romance builds up from friendships. They know each other so well, whether it has been since they were kids or for a couple of years, they develop feelings somehow, someday for some reason, I just love it.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • FINAL DRAFT: This book is a little gem and it’s so, so underrated. It’s about a writer, it’s about finding inspiration and finding yourself and it has such a lovely f/f romance, too, ahhhh.πŸ“– read my full review
  • STARRY EYES: I think this might be my favorite Jenn Bennett contemporary and it has a wonderful nature setting, childhood friends with unresolved things and feelings between them and it’s so, so good.
  • QUEENS OF GEEK: Jen Wilde writes excellent books and Queens of Geek is no exception. A convention, lots of fangirling and adorable romance.
  • STARFISH: One of my favorite books of all times, dealing with a toxic, narcissistic mother, a wonderful main character just trying to find her way through it all, on point anxiety rep and a childhood friends romance that make me HAPPY. πŸ“– read my full review

⚑️ Enemies to lovers

Why I love it πŸ”Ž There’s something about the obvious tension between characters when a story first starts and, as they get to spend time together, different kinds of feelings grow… I just love the growth of a relationship that way, too.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”ŽΒ 

  • WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE: I can’t talk about this one without SCREAMING I adore it so much okay. The world-building, the characters, the tension, the growing f/f relationship and ahhhhh my heart read this book.Β  πŸ“– read my full review
  • THE WRATH AND THE DAWN: This is one of my favorite reads as well. It’s gorgeously written, has a wonderfully fierce main character and a slow-burning hate to love romance that had my heart.
  • SHATTER ME: Well this is quite a very popular read, but I love it, at least I loved the first books…I need to continue with it. The writing is stunning and the growing relationship between the two characters, unprobable at first, then making so much sense, was wonderful.

πŸ“±Texting – long distance romances

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I kind of really like when technologies take ahold of a romance. There are so many friendships and relationships nowadays happening despite the distance and I just love reading about it, too.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • EMERGENCY CONTACT: One of my favorite reads of all times with wonderfully messy and real characters, an unlikely friendship blooming through texts and into something more. I love this book.πŸ“– read my full review
  • TWEET CUTE: A witty, funny and adorable story with two characters knowing each other in real life, fighting each other on twitter and confiding in each other on their school’s chat app. Such a great read. πŸ“– read my full review
  • TELL ME THREE THINGS: A mysterious student offers to help our main character navigate her new school and through text messages and three things told, relationships and feelings grow and this was adorable and lovely.


πŸ’˜ Fake dating romances

Why I love it πŸ”Ž There’s something about this trope that I really love, yet I really, really need to read more books like that. I love the fake relationship slowly, but surely turning into something real.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE: A very obvious choice, I know, but a GREAT one. I just love this book so much, the relationship, the characters, the siblings and family vibes.
  • THE HUNGER GAMES: Another obvious choice, but in a different genre. I’m team Peeta okay.

πŸ’– Slow-burning romance

Why I love it πŸ”Ž There’s something about me screaming JUST KISS ALREADY that… I don’t know, makes me happy I guess. Frustrated, too, but happy as well. I just love it when the relationship develops slowly and over time and it just feels SO REWARDING when it finally happens.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • AN EMBER IN THE ASHES: I just love this series so far and I love how there are obviously feelings developing and growing and I want Laia and Elias together and it’s slow and torture and I’m scared and I love every minute of it. Wow, I’m weird.
  • FOOLISH HEARTS: Emma Mills’ books all have slow-burning romances. In Foolish Hearts, which focuses on FRIENDSHIP, there’s also a great friendship slowly turning into romance kind of storyline and I loved it.πŸ“– read my full review

🏑 Person-next-door romance

Why I love it πŸ”Ž I guess I watched too many Dawson’s Creek episodes, because I’m fond of the person-next-door kind of romance okay. I guess there’s something about the relationship building up from seeing each other every day and living closely and growing close that makes my marshmallow heart melt.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • ALL OUR BROKEN PIECES: A really great book dealing with mental health, with new neighbors meeting each other, each with their own issues, slowly growing fond of each other. Such a good debut. πŸ“– read my full review
  • THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO: Tim and Alice’s romance is not an easy one, but it’s a really great one. They’re all messed up and make mistakes, you want to scream at them to be together already, but you know they’re meant to be.
  • OUR YEAR OF MAYBE: Okay so that’s a tough one. I cried and I love this book with ALL my heart. It has it all, everything I love in my stories, and the neighbors/best friends since they were kids relationship with messy feelings getting in the way. πŸ“– read my full review

πŸ’ž Meet-Cute Romance

Why I love it πŸ”Ž Ahhh the Meet Cute. You know, walking through a room, catching someone’s eye, falling hopelessly in love with them (after some time, obviously, I’m not too insta-lovey). It’s adorable, especially when you think, if you weren’t there at this very second, you’ll have missed them.

πŸ“– Books I recommend πŸ”Ž

  • WHAT IF IT’S US: If you’re looking for a soft contemporary romance, What If It’s Us is wonderful and is definitely a meet cute with these two boys crossing paths, then desperately wanting to meet each other again. πŸ“– read my full review
  • THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING: I love Morgan Matson’s books and this one is no exception. From walking dogs to meeting her future romance, to a tight group of friends and complex father-daughter relationships, this book has it all.

Do you enjoy any of these romance tropes? Do you have any recommendations for me with these particular tropes?

What are some of your favorite romantic tropes? Let me know in comments!





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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

67 thoughts on “Pairing my favorite tropes with YA books, part II: all the romances

  1. I loved hearing about your favorite romance tropes and what books you recommend for them! πŸ’— I’ll be talking about fave romance tropes and some of my favorite bookish couples on Valentine’s Day because I feel like I don’t gush enough about them πŸ˜„ I’ve only slowly grown to like Friends to Lovers, but Queens of Geek is so amazing! Tay and Jamie are such an adorable couple, they make my heart melt πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  2. omg i was totally waiting for this post to come out! While I read books from all different kinds of genres, I always revert back to romance. They’re just such light quick reads a lot of the time. There are lots of these books that, not only have i not heard of, but I also haven’t read! While it’s going to be while til I end up getting to read them, I’m so excited to read them all eventually! Great post, definitely one of my favorites for sure πŸ™‚ xxx

    Melina |

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhhh! I have been dying to read Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett ever since I read Chasing Lucky by this author. It was so cute and adorable and I need more of that in my life.

    I’ve also read Tweet Cute and have to agree with you on how funny and charming it was.
    I love this series of yours I can’t wait for the next one.
    I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.
    Muah πŸ’‹ Helena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH I can’t wait for you to read Starry Eyes, Helena, I really hope you’ll love it, it’s one of my favorites. I adore everything the author writes ❀
      Thank you so, so much, so happy you enjoyed it!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SUCH great tropes! πŸ˜€ I’m such a sucker for slow burn romance where you just want to scream at the characters to FINALLY admit their feelings for each other. Bonus when it’s combined with some of these other tropes, like friends to lovers or fake dating! And I didn’t realize how much I love texting/long distance romances until you pointed it out…but it’s a great trope that can create the best cute moments and pining!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you Margaret, so happy you like my choices πŸ˜€
      I agree, slow burning romance combined with any of the other romances I mentioned there just makes me so soft and happy! ❀ ❀


  5. I need to see your posts with my Goodreads open because I always want to add something to my TBR 😍. I love this post, sweetie ❀️✨ I think one of my fave tropes is the slow-burn romance and I LOVE that you mention An Ember in The Ashes, it’s SO INCREDIBLE and the characters are perfects, I love my babies πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another great post! πŸ™‚
    I love slow burn romances, there is just something about it that draws me in!
    I never thought about texting as a trope but, that’s a good one! I bought Tweet Cute a few weeks ago, and I still have to read it. I can’t wait to, it sounds very cute! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you so much Meghan, so happy you enjoyed it πŸ™‚
      I’d love to read more texting-relationships kind of stories, I feel like they have so much potential πŸ˜€ I hope you’ll love Tweet Cute, it was such a good read πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Friends to More is my absolute favorite. Starry Eyes was such a winner for me. I also loved A Taxonomy of Love. I adore getting to spend long periods of time with characters. Tweet Cute is one of my favorites this year, but I also think of Technically You Started It, when it comes to texting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH YES! I adore this trope with all my heart, it’s my ultimate favorite, I think. ❀ I'm so glad you mentioned Technically, You Started It, this book is on my TBR and it sounds so lovely! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person


    Ahem I was Team Gale until I got some sense knocked into me XDD I used to hate the fake dating trope until I realized THG fit into it. Katniss and Peeta weren’t the “we’re dating to get revenge on my ex” (*glares at TATBILB) and didn’t seem very petty about it. Friends-to-lovers is my current fave… It’s just so PURE and adorable and I meltttt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ team peeta forever, I just love him he’s too soft for this world. ❀
      AND YES! And I'm so happy you're loving friends to lovers, it's such a good trope!! ❀
      Thank you so, so much for your comment Charis! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your intro about fluffy and soft contemporary romance reads got me nodding so, so hard! I’m 100% a ya contemporary romance lover πŸ˜‰ Friends to lovers is one of my all time favorite tropes, and I also love the rest of these! Great post ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. YES to all things romance and YES to all these tropes! Honestly, I don’t think I could pick a favorite. It’s the way it’s executed in the book that makes or breaks the trope for me.
    Sooo many of these books are still on my TBR and seeing them here reminds me again that I really have to read them haha
    Thanks for sharing! I loved reading this ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES I agree with you, it’s really the way the trope is executed in the story that makes it all worth it or not, in the end! πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀


  11. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for curating yet another fantastic list for me!!! I would really like to dip my foot into new genres this year, and YA is one of those. I will 100% be referring back to this post all throughout the year πŸ˜‰ Girl I’m team Peeta too, holy heck, WHATTA GUY AMIRITE?!?!? I’d add Kaz & Inej (& even Matthias *ahem* & Nina, my favs) to the slow-burning romance trope. Although I guess Kaz & Inej can also be slotted into the friends to lovers one as well :’)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yay I loved this post so much. It is so fun to gush about romances!!!
    Friends to lovers will always be amazing, it is so sweet and all full of such tender moments!!
    Enemies to lovers is a great trope too, I love the slow, reluctant way they get to know each other and just fall in love. It is full of so much glorious angst and I will always be a sucker for it, haha!!
    Text dating is amazing, whenever I see a page with texts on I always feel so excited. Emergency Contact was a great book for that!!
    Fake dating is certainly a unique situation but it is so entertaining!! (I’m team Peeta too of course)
    Meet Cute romances aren’t ones I see too much but it is fun to have ‘that moment’ you know?!?
    Great post Marie, I loved reading it!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you Sophie, so happy you liked this post!! ❀ ❀
      I agree that friends to romance is just so wonderful and I adore it so, so much ❀
      I need to read more fake dating kind of books because they're always so much fun! ❀
      Thank you so much!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great list! I loved Starry Eyes, Wrath and the Ruin, Shatter Me, and An Ember In the Ashes. If you like Friends to lovers trope, I would highly recommend Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman, and For Fake Dating I recommend Fill In Boyfriend By Kasie West. Enemies to lovers – Serpent and Dove By Shelby Mahurin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SAME here. I really like both tropes, but my heart will always go to the friends to lovers more. There’s something so soft and wonderful about it. ❀ ❀
      thank you so much for your comment, Nicole! ❀


  14. Omg, these are some of my fave tropes too! Maybe that’s why I love Pride & Prejudice so much – it’s an enemies-to-lovers AND slow-burn romance!! 😍 Idk if you’ve read The Fill In Boyfriend, but it has one of my fave fake dating stories of all time!

    πŸ’› Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you believe I haven’t read Pride & Prejudice?? I think I’d really enjoy it though, you make me want to get to it ahah πŸ™‚
      AND YES! I’ve heard of The Fill In Boyfriend, it’s on my TBR and I hope to get to it someday. I’m so happy you love it!! πŸ˜€


  15. These tropes are so cute!! I love the texting long distance trope, and one book that I think does it really well is Technically, You Started It! The whole book is written in the texting style and it’s a very enjoyable read. I also love the enemies to lovers trope! I have to find more books with that trope 😍 Great post Marie!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So many of the character traits and settings that youb mentioned in part one were fantastic (I especially love dramatic characters and settings) and I love pretty much all of these romance tropes!! My favourite is probably enemies to lovers as I just adore the tension and the gradual shift in dynamics between the characters. Long distance relationships is another wonderful one in books though – I love that it can lead to emails, texts, letters and phone calls as it makes for a different reading experience. And I’m so happy to know you enjoyed All Our Broken Pieces; it’s on my TBR but I literally haven’t seen it mentioned before which is odd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH yay! I’m so happy you liked this list and yay! I agree that emails, texts and letters and everything are so much fun to read in a book, I always love these kind of different formattings! πŸ™‚
      I hope you’ll love All Our Broken Pieces. It is an underrated, but lovely read! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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