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10 of the Best Romantic Friends-to-Lovers Young Adult Fiction Books

10 of the Best Romantic Friends-to-Lovers Young Adult Fiction Books Header

Out of all the romance tropes in popular young adult fiction books, my absolute favorite has to be friends to lovers. What is it about this heartwarming, comforting trope that captivates book lovers of every generation?

In case you missed it, the friends-to-lovers trope in romance literature is a popular storyline where two people who have a close platonic relationship eventually develop romantic feelings for each other. Here’s a few reasons why I think we love this trope so much:

1. Relatable to Readers

One reason why the friends-to-lovers trope is so beloved is that it often allows readers to relate to the characters on a personal level. Many people have experienced a friendship that evolved into a romantic relationship, or have harbored secret feelings for a close friend. Seeing these experiences play out in literature can be both relatable and satisfying.

2. Great Story Fuel for Young Adult Fiction Books

Additionally, the friends-to-lovers trope provides an opportunity for authors to delve into complex emotions and character development. The characters in these stories often struggle with their newfound feelings and the fear of ruining their close friendship. This creates a level of emotional depth that readers can connect with and empathize with.

3. Anticipation and So Much Satisfaction

Last but not least, the slow-burn romance of the friends-to-lovers trope builds anticipation and excitement for the eventual outcome. As readers watch the characters’ relationship evolve, they become invested in the outcome and root for them to finally confess their feelings and start a romantic relationship.

Overall, the friends-to-lovers trope in romance literature is a popular choice among book lovers because it combines relatable experiences with emotional depth. These stories allow us to experience the slow-burn tension and delicious anticipation that comes with the gradual realization of romantic love between two people who have a deep connection. Its popularity is truly a testament to the enduring appeal of a well-crafted love story.

Ready to dive in to the list of the 10 best YA SFF friends to lovers books? Brace yourself to experience these 10 thrilling sci-fi and fantasy young adult fiction books featuring the friends-to-lovers trope, handpicked by your fellow bookworms over in the Young Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy Addicts community! I’ve organized them in order from least popular (but still nominated!) to most popular for your perusal.

Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom of the article for a free gift from me, Nicole Adrianne!


10 of the Best Romantic Friends-to-Lovers Young Adult Fiction Books. Written by Nicole Adrianne from YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy Addicts. A silhouetted young man leans against the back of a silhouetted young woman. She looks down at a flower in her hand.

10. Girl in the Snow by Nicole Adrianne

10 of the Best Romantic Friends-to-Lovers Young Adult Fiction Books Girl in the Snow by Nicole Adrianne

No electricity, no phones, and a broken princess to blame. Winter in the Seven Kingdoms just got colder...

After being promised in marriage to a smug, stuck-up stranger, Eira thought she couldn't get any angrier. Now, she's on the run, and the entire kingdom is convinced that she built an EMP device and destroyed their power grid.

With Eira's best friend, infuriating fiancé, and the entire Royal Guard on her tail, staying hidden in a tiny village seems like her best—and only—option. But, as Eira uncovers a series of long-hidden truths about the Queen and late King, hiding from her destiny becomes nearly impossible.

Will Eira's evidence be enough to convince the kingdom of her innocence, or will it be just enough to get her executed?

If you can't get enough of Grimm's imaginative Fairy Tales, Marissa Meyer's Cinder, and Kiera Cass' The Selection series, then you'll be enchanted by the heart and suspense of Post-Apocalyptic Princesses. Girl in the Snow, a dystopian fairytale retelling loosely inspired by Snow White and the Huntsman, is the first book in the series. It takes place chronologically after the Post-Apocalyptic Princesses prequel, Girl in the Dark.

Grab a copy of Girl in the Snow to start the dangerously clever journey today!

9. So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens

10 of the Best Romantic Friends-to-Lovers Young Adult Fiction Books: So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens

An instant New York Time bestseller!

Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this subversive, “delightfully original and whimsical” (Kirkus Reviews) young adult fantasy about what happens after the chosen one wins the kingdom and has to get married to keep it…and to stay alive.

Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.

As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.

With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.

8. Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

10 of the Best Romantic Friends-to-Lovers Young Adult Fiction Books: Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

When Harry Potter is left on a doorstep as a baby, he has no idea he is the Boy Who Lived, or that he is famous throughout the wizarding world. Years later, he is astonished to receive an acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and he is soon whisked off on a magical adventure like no other. Join Harry and his fiercely loyal friends, Hermione and Ron, in this story about the power of truth, love and hope.

Having become classics of our time, the Harry Potter eBooks never fail to bring comfort and escapism. With their message of hope, belonging and the enduring power of truth and love, the story of the Boy Who Lived continues to delight generations of new readers.

7. King Arthur and Her Knights Series by K.M. Shea

10 of the Best Romantic Friends-to-Lovers Young Adult Fiction Books: King Arthur and Her Knights Series by K.M. Shea

In a place and time not her own, one woman must risk everything to protect her life, her kingdom, and her heart.

Britt doesn’t want to be a leader, and she definitely doesn’t want to pretend she is the legendary King Arthur. But history has other plans.

A magical summons back through time lands Britt into the schemes of the surprisingly young and handsome wizard Merlin. He has some bad news: the real Arthur has disappeared, and the sword in the stone has chosen Britt to take his place.

But life in ancient Britain isn’t safe. The kingdom is fragmented, with enemies on all sides, and there’s little chance for mercy if Britt’s real identity and gender is exposed. Britt will soon find herself fighting for her life again and again on behalf of her people.

And then there’s Merlin. Focused on his goal to unite Britain, he’s oblivious of Britt’s growing feelings for him. Or so she thinks. But what future can they have in a world that only sees them as monarch and confidant?

Don’t miss this collection of the first three stories in the bestselling King Arthur and Her Knights series plus exclusive bonus content not available anywhere else.

The finished King Arthurs and Her Knights series is based on Arthurian legends and lore. It is sprinkled with humor, love, and more than a dash of magic. If you enjoy strong characters and tales about the Knights of the Round Table, check out the King Arthurs series today!