If there’s anything we can all agree on is that deep down, we’re all suckers for a good ‘ol love story. But like many other things in life, love comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes — and a book doesn’t have to include a romantic relationship in order to accurately explore or depict the vastness that is love.
Some books explore love through relationships with the self, relationships with friends, relationships with family, and the love we find in our community. Sometimes these are the best types of love stories to read about. So, if you’re looking for your next read and are craving for something to give you butterflies while you’re reading, then we think you’ll love these Latinx YA novels about well, love.
From books that have recently been published to highly anticipated 2021 releases from some amazing Latinx authors, these 10 Latinx YA novels about all different types of love, will have you glued to the page from beginning to end.
Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
Los Angeles-bred author and a Cuban-American, Margarita Engle tells a painful, poignant story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a difficult period in Cuba’s history.
Your Heart, My Sky will leave you craving for more after you’ve turned the last page. Engle’s book is out on March 23. Get your calendars ready, order the book at Barnes & Noble’s.
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
Charlie Vega is a lot of things: smart, funny, artistic, ambitious, and fat. But it’s that last one that people have an issue with. Maldonado writes of a character that many Latinx women can relate to — a young girl trying to love herself and her body, but who has family and the rest of the world asking her to shrink herself quite literally and figuratively.
More than that, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is also a story about Charlie falling head over heels with a cute classmate. If you’re looking for your next favorite coming-of-age story filled with a lot of love, then this book. is for you.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a lovely novel written in verse about a young woman finding her voice through spoken word. It’s also about the many ways in which our protagonist, Xiomara Batista, falls in love with her body, herself, and a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
If you’re left wanting more after you’re done with Acevedo’s debut YA novel, check out her followups, With The Fire on High and Clap When You Land.
Once Upon a Quinceanera by Monica Gomez-Hira
If you’re a fan of Jenny Han and Jane the Virgin, this #ownvoices rom-com debut by Monica Gomez-Hira, out March 2, will keep you up all night turning page after page. Per the book’s synopsis, Once Upon a Quincenera will spin readers into an unforgettable summer of late-night dancing, broken hearts, second chances, and telenovela twists.
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Juliet Takes a Breath is by far one of the best coming-of-age Latinx YA novels you’ll ever read. Gabby Rivera introduces us to a spunky Puerto-Rican girl from the Bronx with big dreams who comes out to her parents before heading off to Portland, Oregon for an internship of a lifetime (or so she thought).
More than that, Juliet Takes a Breath is about finding the power in your voice, trusting your instincts, and as promised, it’s about love. It’s about the platonic, romantic, familial kind, and the kind of love you find in community.
Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
Anna-Marie McLemore pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal in Dark and Deepest Red, according to the book’s synopsis. The book takes place in 1518 after a strange sickness sweeps through Strasburg causing women to dance in the street. Some dancing until they fall down dead. Quickly, rumors of witchcraft spread, and suspicion turns toward Lavina and her family. In order to save those that she loves, Lavina has to do the unimaginable.
Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. She’s then drawn toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone… the rest you’ll have to read for yourself.
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
If you’re a fan of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, or Sally Thorne, then you’ll devour The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa. The bestselling romance novelist delivers a sassy and steamy enemies-to-lovers novel. It all starts with a wedding planner being left the altar… color us intrigued, too. It’s a perfect book club read with your girlfriends.
Simone Breaks All the Rules by Debbie Rigaud
Debbie Rigaud’s fresh, funny, and heartfelt new book, Simone Breaks All the Rules, is perfect for fans of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It’s senior year of high school, and Simone Thibodeaux is ready to shake things up in her life. Up until now, it’s been “no boys allowed” thanks to her strict Haitian immigrant parents who sent her to an all-girls high school.
But once prom rolls around, she’s allowed to attend under one condition… her parents get to pick the boy who accompanies her. However, she’s got her eyes on someone else. Rigaud’s book is out on June 1, 2021 — but it’s definitely worth the wait.
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp
Last but not least, we have another highly-anticipated read by another amazing Latinx author. Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp is what you might get if I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and Emergency Contact had a book baby. The book follows Penelope Prado, who has always dreamed of opening her own pasteleria next to her father’s restaurant but her parents have different plans in mind for her. Penelope then finds herself crushing on the cute new hire at her dad’s restaurant who sees through her hard exterior and asks her the questions she’s been too scared to ask herself.
Together, the two help find each other and discover where they belong. If you’re ready for a story about love, familial expectations, the power of food, and finding your place in the world — this book is for you. The book is out on April 6, 2021, and available for pre-order on Bookshop.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
We Set the Dark on Fire tells a feminist story about family and fighting the powers that be while featuring a Latinx lesbian love story. The story centers on Medio, a society where women are trained to be one of two wives for the powerful men of society: “Primeras” – skilled and smart but timid or “Segundas” the mother/housewife. Dani and Carmen start as rivals as Mateo’s chosen wives, but their initial hate for one another turns into love and is further explored in the sequel to the duology, We Unleash the Merciless Storm which we also highly recommend.