3 on a YA Theme: YA Books About Fake Dating

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Tirzah Price

Senior Contributing Editor

Most of Tirzah Price's life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, published by HarperTeen, and Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.

Flatiron Books, publishers of Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud.

Court of Lions is the highly-anticipated second and final installment of the international bestselling Mirage series. Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that if you have a book where two characters pretend to date, they will wind up a real couple before the end of the book. Or at least that’s how it happens in romance novels! Fake dating is one those romance tropes I enjoy quite a bit, even though the idea of maintaining a fake romantic relationship in my real life would give me hives. But if you can’t get enough of those fake relationships turning into something genuine, we’ve got three YA books releasing this year that explore that trope in different ways. Here we go!

10 Things I Hate About Pinky

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

In this third standalone book in the Dimpleverse, Menon tells the story of overachiever Pinky who always has a cause to fight for, even if her parents think they’re a bit wacky. Meanwhile, Samir is excited for a summer away from home for an amazing internship. But when Pinky needs a parent-approved boyfriend and Samir’s internship falls through at the last minute, Pinky proposes a fake dating arrangement that could give them both what they want…but falling in love is not what they agreed on!

Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn

Most YA fake dating stories usually revolve around fooling parents, but in this book, Winnie finds her parents instigating a fake dating scheme after her adult older sisters inform the family that they won’t be getting engaged anytime soon because they didn’t get enough dating practice in high school! Winnie’s strict Thai parents decide that Winnie should get in some practice, overseen by them of course, and they set her up with Mat Songsomboon—parent approved, but Winnie’s sworn enemy!

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Chao’s third YA novel is a romcom about a girl who takes fake dating to the next level by renting a boyfriend from the business Rent for Your ‘Rents! When Chloe hires Drew to be her fake boyfriend, she just wants her traditional parents to get off her back about accepting a proposal from a slimy family friend. But the more she gets to know Drew—his real personality, not his parent-approved one—the more she begins falling for him! This book will be out November 10, 2020.

Backlist Bonus Pick

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frank Li has met the girl of his dreams, but there’s only one problem: Brit is white. No way are his Korean immigrant parents going to approve of her. So he comes up with a clever solution: He’ll pretend to date Joy Song, daughter of his parents’ friends, so that both he and Joy can date their respective unapproved love interest—but they both are surprised to find their alliance to fool their parents turning into genuine friendship! Just a heads up—despite the way this book is marketed, it is not a romance.

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