YA Romance Comics & Graphic Novels
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I love a good swoon romance, and you can’t beat a romantic graphic novel or comic book for the swoon factor. The visuals of first love or falling in love are so much fun to read, and I’m always so impressed with the various illustrators’ interpretation of those first attempts at connection – the furtive glances, the first time they hold each other hand, and of course, the first kiss. Graphic novel illustrators truly understand that first love is about little moments of connection!
Surprisingly, there aren’t as many YA graphic novels that I would classify as purely romantic, but there are plenty that explore romance and new relationships mixed in with other genres, such as coming of age , sports stories, the paranormal and fantasy. Also, one of the great things about graphic novels and YA comics in general is that they tend to feature weird characters in greater proportions than prose fiction, and lots and lots and lots of These books are very strange! So without further ado, here are some of the most romantic and escapist-worthy graphic novels and comics for your reading pleasure – I hope they give you all the happy feelings as you read!
Favorite Alice Oseman
The inspiration behind the new Netflix TV series, it’s the first in a four-book series about Charlie and Nick, two boys who have always existed on the periphery of each other, but when they’re forced to sit next to each other at school, they bond and soon Charlie falls in love with Nick…even though he’s sure he doesn’t stand a chance.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Nova is a witch investigating supernatural oddities in the woods one night when she comes across Tam, a werewolf and her estranged childhood friend, battling a demon. Nova welcomes Tam and learns that they are cursed, and she promises to help them break it. But as they investigate what they must do to free Tam, they fall in love.
Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Deja and Josiah are best friends working at Pumpkin Patch Disneyland, and it’s Halloween of their senior year, so it will be their last night working together. Josiah wants to go to work as usual, but Deja insists that they throw the duty to the wind and give Josiah the chance to finally profess his love for his crush. Their plan goes awry, but they could both find unexpected love by the end of the night.
Please check! by Ngozi Ukazu
Eric used to be a figure skater, but now he’s the newest member of his varsity hockey team and it’s not like everything he expected. In addition to the physical demands of the sport, there is Jack, Eric’s very cute and very forbidden captain. As Eric works to survive his first two years of college, he falls in love with Jack.
Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
Ari wants nothing more than to escape to the city and start his life, but he’s anchored at home by his family’s Greek bakery. When Ari meets Hector, his replacement at the bakery, he thinks it’s the perfect fit…but as Ari shows Hector the ropes, they begin to develop feelings for each other. If he falls in love with Hector, where does that leave all of Ari’s plans to run away?
Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
Morgan is a teenager living in an island community where she feels locked in on all sides. She can’t wait to leave home and start her real life, one where she doesn’t have to pretend she doesn’t like other girls. But when she meets Keltie, a fun and intriguing girl who seems to have come from the sea, Morgan’s view of herself and her life is challenged. They start to fall in love with each other, but can they really be together when they both keep so many secrets?
Twelfth Grade by Molly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate Strohm and Jamie Green
In this fun new series, Vi is thrilled to start at Arden Hall and soon develops a crush on Orsino. She wants to invite him to prom, but things take a turn when she realizes everyone assumes she doesn’t like guys…then Orsino asks Vi to help woo her crush, Olivia. …who has a crush on Vi!
Batter Royale by Leisl Adams
Rose is a small-town waitress who inadvertently impresses a food critic and finds herself entering an intense 10-day baking contest with her best friend Fred by her side. Despite her talent and courage, the competition can get a little dirty – can Rose hack it while finding love?
Crumbs by Danie Stirling
In this slightly magical book, Ray is a seer who loves nothing more than visiting a bakery where the treats make you feel various emotions. She likes to indulge in romance, but finds the real deal with Laurie, a barista and musician. When Ray is unable to predict his future with Laurie, it leaves her questioning everything about her first romance.
Encourage yourself! : Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier, Val Wise and Oscar O. Jupiter
Annie is an antisocial lesbian heavily armed to try and be part of her mother’s and headmistress’ cheerleading squad. Bebe is the first openly trans member of the cheer squad and their captain. The two girls bond when Annie is on the team and they spend time training together. As their friendship deepens into romance, Annie learns to support Bee as she finds her voice and position as a true captain and not just a figurehead.
Looking for more great YA graphic novel recommendations? Check out our roundup of the latest releases!