Riot Recommendation

12 Of Your Favorite Unconventional YA Love Stories

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

This Riot Recommendation listing your favorite unconventional YA love stories is sponsored by Flatiron Books.

Birthday by Meredith Russo cover imageFrom the award-winning author of If I Was Your Girl, Meredith Russo, comes a heart-wrenching and universal story of identity, first love, and fate. Six years of birthdays reveal Eric and Morgan’s destiny as they come together, drift apart, fall in love, and discover who they’re meant to be—and if they’re meant to be together.



We’re a sucker for a love story. All love stories, especially the ones we usually don’t get to hear about. The unconventional YA love stories are the ones we were really craving to curl up with now that we can read outside in the sunshine amongst the flowers—perfect love story reading atmosphere. And we wanted a stack to read through so we asked you to tell us your favorite unconventional YA love stories. Here’s that swoon-worthy list that’ll pump all the blood into even the blackest of hearts.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Cinder by Marissa Meyer