Are you looking for adventure? I always am! One way to satisfy that sense of adventure is by embarking on a road trip and exploring somewhere different, just by hopping in your car with some good tunes to accompany you and a jam-packed weekender bag.
While it would be wonderful to head on out on a quick road trip, sometimes we don’t have enough vacation days or time. With that said, we all love a quick bookish escape that will transport us somewhere different. And when you add in the fact that the book includes characters going on their own road trip, it makes the read an even more perfect escape. Also, a lot of the best road trip romances tend to be young adult, from my experience reading many of them. Those are the times when we are first experiencing the most freedom and hope for the future, and it’s also a time of rediscovery. A good road trip story filled with heart will always lead the way.
How about a road trip that turns into romance, finding oneself and learning along the way? Now, that’s even more fun to read! With that thought in mind, I’ve compiled eight wonderful and romantic YA road trip stories to add to your TBR now. Happy reading and enjoy the adventure!
Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West
Norah is looking forward to a joint RV road trip with her family and her friend Skyler’s family. Norah has not seen him in forever, and they used to be extremely close. Yet, when Skyler is ready to head on the trip with their families, he and Norah get into a disagreement, and he does not seem as happy to see her as she is to see him. They go on the road trip anyway, and while they are currently distant from each other, the trip slowly brings them together as the miles pass by them. Could it be that they have been harboring some different types of feelings for each other after all?
West is known for her super swoony romantic stories and this one seems like no exception. This should be the perfect summer read!
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
This is a classic road trip love story. It follows the story of Amy Curry, whose father recently tragically died in a car accident. She and her mom are devastated, and her mom gets a new job in Connecticut to start her life all over again. But, the catch is, she needs Amy to drive their car from California to their new home, and she is terrified to do so after her dad’s sudden death. So, their family friend Rogers decides to take the car and drive it with her. As she gets deeper into her cross-country adventure with a boy she barely knows, she finds herself not only falling for Rogers, but also discovering new things about herself in the process.
Promising a romantic adventure as well as a story of how to deal with grief and new beginnings, this is a perfect book to add to your collection of road trip stories.
I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest
This adorable and adventurous novel has the perfect road trip setting.
It follows Chloe Pierce, who is a fantastic ballerina with dreams of landing a spot at her favorite dance school. But first, she needs to get there by driving, and she’s a pretty bad driver. She needs a way to get to Washington, D.C. for her audition, though, so she decides to steal her mom’s car, sneak away to D.C., and have her cute yet annoying next-door neighbor drive the car for her. Hey, sometimes you need a quick solution!
What follows is a wonderful story of two teens that not only find themselves in a sudden adventure, but learning about themselves and each other at the same time.
Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim
This road trip novel follows three Pakistani American friends looking to escape a variety of personal issues as they embark on a road trip to New Orleans.
In the novel, Mariam is looking forward to spending time with her friends Ghazala and Umar before they head off to college in the Fall. One day, a racy picture of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, so now they must devise a plan to get her far away from her extremely angry mom and dad. Also, Mariam is dealing with heartbreak after recently ghosting her boyfriend, so it’s time to leave everything behind and leave with her besties ASAP.
Filled with lessons in romance, friendship, and cultural differences that the characters face, this is a lovely coming-of-age road trip that you will enjoy reading.
Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan
A summer road trip is fun, always. But a summer road trip in an ice cream truck? What? Sign me up, please!
The story follows Fallon and Chloe, two girls that are completely different when it comes to personalities. One takes no risks and is serious while the other one is very adventurous and cheery. While they used to be besties, now they are not speaking to each other after they hooked up in the past before Chloe left for college. After the hookup, they ended up having so many misunderstandings that their relationship was ruined. Enter the present time, and now their moms own a gourmet ice cream truck together and need the girls to attend a food truck event across the country for them. What follows is a series of adventures for the girls where they might just reconnect.
The author of Hot Dog Girl is known for the sweetest stories, so make sure to pick this one up right away.
Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
This story told in verse includes beautiful storytelling and a dash of romance.
The book tells the story of Moth, who recently lost her family in an accident and lives with her aunt. She also has a desire to learn more about herself and her family’s history. Once she meets Sani, who is also searching for his background, they embark on a road trip together to find their roots and discover new places at the same time. While Moth is dealing with grief, Sani deals with depression, and coming together on this trip might just help them both.
This is one extremely powerful story, full of surprises and lessons about first love, finding oneself, and what adventure leads to.
Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
This romantic tale set on the road speaks about what happens when you consider giving someone a second chance.
The story follows Peyton and Jace, who meet while on vacation and instantly click. Yet, after summer, they grow apart, as the phone calls stop and lies and secrets are revealed. After the breakup, suddenly Peyton and Jace are thrown back together on a road trip where one is not being honest about where they are headed and the other is simply trying not to think about what they are leaving behind. What follows is a story where the characters come together as they discover that there are many surprises up ahead that await them on the road.
Promising lessons of love, the meaning of second chances, and finding oneself, this looks like a great one to dig into in summertime.
Exactly Where You Need To Be by Amelia Diane Coombs
This road trip story covers relationships, self-identity and mental health issues, making it a refreshing story.
The book follows the story of Florie. In the novel, she embarks on a trip with her best friend when she randomly wins tickets to see her favorite true crime podcast at a live show in California. Kacey’s older brother, Samson Hodge, will be taking over the wheel, a boy who has always been her biggest crush. What follows is a cute story full of friendship lessons, romance, and pure adventure.
The character also struggles with OCD, and we see in the story that she emerges from the trip more confident in her own capabilities and the person she wants to be, after all the lessons along the way. This is truly a wonderful book to grab right now.
For even more bookish road trip reads, check out:
- Drive My Car: 20 Must-Read Road Trip Books
- 9 of the Best Feel Good Road Trip Books
- A Bookish Coastal U.S. Road Trip: Pacific Coast Highway
What are some of your favorite romantic road trip books? Let me know on Twitter @AuroraMiami. Happy bookish adventures ahead!