Unlikely romances have always held a special place in our hearts and within literature. The idea that two people can come together in an unexpected and unpredictable
way and fall in love, despite their differences, shows us that love has no boundaries.
Unexpected romances can be touching as the reader watches the characters struggle with what keeps them away versus
what draws them towards the one that they love. Whether it be societal pressures to be with a certain type of partner, their families expectations, a past with the one they love that left them feeling bitter and distant to then be reunited with them once again in a way they can’t escape, bad first impressions, or the vulnerability of letting ones guard down and heart exposed. The reader of unlikely romances is left waiting for the moment the main character lets go of all the things that hold them back from their one true love, celebrating their fate, and embracing their love with an open heart. Despite the varying circumstances of unlikely romances, it always sends the same beautiful message: that despite the odds love always prevails.
Below are some YA books that reference unlikely romance pairings that will leave the reader feeling the warmth that naturally comes with the territory of two star-crossed lovers finding their one true love:
The Sun Is Also A Star Nicola Yoon – Natasha is a girl who believes in science and not fate. She’s become bitter about the idea of fate after her father illegally immigrated their family from Jamaica to New York City to become a famous actor on the idea of fate, only to fail miserably, and leave the family struggling to survive in a one-bedroom apartment. Daniel has always been his Korean immigrant parent’s good son who makes good grades; the son who is expected to become a doctor. Yet, Daniel can’t help but be a hopeless romantic, with the dreams of becoming a poet. Natasha and Daniel meet one day on the street of New York City and are determined to convince one another that they’re wrong about fate versus science. They spend the entire day together getting to know one another, annoyed by each other's beliefs, yet falling in love at the same time. But was fate meant to bring them together or keep them apart when Natasha’s family is to be deported that night back to Jamaica after her dad’s DUI? Will love conquer all odds when everything seems to be working against them?
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria – Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is an up-and-coming actress who finds herself splashed all over trashy tabloids after a messy breakup with her famous singer ex-boyfriend. She comes up with a “Leading Lady Plan” to make sure she has a good reputation by taking on a lead role in what could be a very successful telenovela by keeping romance and her career separate. The male lead in the telenovela is the famous actor hunk, Ashton Suarez, who took on the role last minute in hopes to keep his career going and to be able to support his family in Puerto Rico where he lives. The on-screen romance is hard to light when Ashton made a terrible first impression with Jasmine. But as time goes on, Jasmine and Ashton find the romance is coming to life, not only on the screen but in real life as well – leaving both of them unsure whether to give in to temptation or keep it professional.