Looking for some Young Adult romance books with fantasy or sci-fi elements? There's a tonne! How about ones with curvy heroines? Uh... let's see...
There has thankfully been an uptick in Young Adult romance books featuring curvy ladies, and this list showcases a pick of the bunch in the fantasy and sci-fi genre. Readers are asking for it, and authors are delivering. There's a mix of YA and New Adult in this list, so go on, indulge!
Young Adult romance books
Naiya's Wish - Astrid Johnsson
Naiya's Wish is a retelling of the Grimm Brothers' lesser-known fairytale, The Nixie of the Mill-pond. A Naiad makes an impossible wish, sending a ripple of effect through the land and binding to her magic the people from the nearby mill, and the village beyond. Unexpected twists of fate tie Naiya to Hilda, the miller's unhappy wife and, Amina, the baker's youngest daughter.
Amina is flung into a daring adventure when Naiya's wish ensnares the love of Amina's life. Can she find a way to save Phillip from the watery depths? And what will she have to sacrifice to do so?
And, it's also a treasure hunt! The e-book of Naiya's Wish also includes exclusive access to "Bethany". This short story is not intended for publication and is only accessible through this e-book. The link to "Bethany" is embedded in a concealed place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!
Throne of Slumber - Jamie Dalton
A plus-sized Sleeping Beauty retelling, this Vella is complete, and it is publishing as an ebook in December in a boxed set.
When rumors abound that the dark fae court has been placed under a sleeping curse Charlotte suspects her father, the light fae king is behind it.
Jeb's past has been hidden from him his entire life. The heir to the dark fae throne, he sets out to find a way to break the curse and save a family he never knew.
Little does he know the help he found in the tavern is the light fae princess herself disguised as a man.
This first in the Black-Backed Mirror series is not to be missed!
The Circle of Magic - Tamora Pierce
Now this is a blast from the past! I read this series when I was younger, and it holds a special place in my heart. So does Tris, the glasses-wearing larger-than-average girl who learns to control the weather.
The Magic in the Weaving is the first book in the series about the quartet of mages learning to control their powers, and Tris features prominently in The Power of the Storm. Another quartet, The Circle Opens, is about the four grown into teenagers, and Tris assists another troubled youngster in Shatterglass. A highly entertaining series, and one that was personally very formative.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson
The Girl of Fire and Thorns is described as a sweeping journey full of adventure, sorcery, heartbreak, and power. Elisa is a plus-sized princess, and destined for great things.
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. But she has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
The High Mountain Court - A. K. Mulford
Full of romance, intrigue, magic, and passion, the first book of The Five Crowns of OkrithThe High Mountain Court begins the journey of the fugitive red witch Remy as she fights to reclaim her kingdom and discover what’s inside her heart.
For thirteen years, nineteen-year-old Remy has known she is possibly the last red witch alive, and she is determined to stay that way. But the Northern Court King, who has slaughtered her family and placed a bounty on red witch heads, is intent on destroying her kind once and for all.
When four fae warriors enter her tavern refuge, Remy tries to flee, but her magic isn’t strong enough to stop the determined—and handsome—Prince Hale of the Eastern Kingdom. He claims he wants to stop a war with the Northern Court before his kingdom succumbs to the same fate as Remy’s. In order to do that, he needs a red witch…and Remy may be the only person alive who can help him.
From Blood and Ash - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Poppy describes herself as "not skinny" and she is strong from all the training she does. JLA posted two years ago about body image and how people view Poppy and other curvy characters.
Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.
Dark Night Golden Dawn - Allison Carr Waechter
In a city where the elite are powerful as gods, the season is about to begin. The Immortal Orders will gather, pair and create a spectacle for all of Nuva Troi to witness.
Harlow Krane is a sorcière who wants nothing more than to recover from her most recent breakup in peace. When the season begins, her Order needs her help to save their ancestral district from being taken over by the Illuminated, the most powerful immortals in Nuva Troi. They offer to back off—if Harlow agrees to pair with their most eligible bachelor, Finn McKay.
Finn McKay is one of the Illuminated. Rich, powerful, and he isn’t afraid of anyone—except for his parents. When they push him towards Harlow Krane, he knows their purposes are sinister at best. As the season begins, it’s clear something is dangerously wrong but besides Finn, only Harlow seems to notice.
With magic behaving strangely, the balance of power between the Immortal Orders and humans grows deadlier by the day. Harlow and Finn must work together to keep ancient grudges from resurfacing and take back their lives in the process.
Dark Night, Golden Dawn is Book One in The Immortal Orders Trilogy, a blazing hot fantasy romance, set in a contemporary world of magic, deception, and betrayal.
Book of Night - Holly Black
This is a plus-size character who is explicitly described as such, beyond a single mention of being “curvy.” Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make.
She's spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall.
Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie's shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies.
Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world―all trying to steal a secret that will give them vast and terrible power.
Wicked Lovely Magic - Rosalie Spencer
Solve the murder. Save the city. Easy, right? A homicide threatens to tear apart the delicate balance of power in New Toya, Jo's home city and favorite place in the world. That's already a lot, but a recent death in the family is also threatening to tear apart Jo's own delicate mental health.
Given that she's a powerful immortal witch, this has a lot of people worried. Including, if she's honest, Jo herself.
Ones to watch out for...
These will be coming up in 2023. Get excited!
This article was written by Becky James
Becky James is the author of The King's Swordsman series and the Dark Tides series; based in the UK, she has a deep love of the British countryside, canals, and all things fantasy; she devours anything that has magic, swords, good friends and good times.
You can read her other posts here: https://www.yasff.com/post/best-time-twisting-ya-fantasy-and-sci-fi