7 YA Romance Books Like The Summer I Turned Pretty

Young Adult Romance Books

Are you still basking in the glow of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han, with its heartwarming tale of summer love, self-discovery, and the bittersweet transition from adolescence to adulthood? If you’ve turned the last page but aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to that sun-kissed, beachy feeling, you’re in luck!

We’ve compiled a list of books to immerse you in stories of summer romance, coming-of-age adventures, and the unforgettable moments that define our teenage years. Each novel is a treasure trove of emotions and experiences, perfect for those who loved Belly’s journey and yearned for more. So, grab a comfortable spot, maybe a cool drink, and let’s dive into a world where summer never ends!

7 Books Like The Summer I Turned Pretty

After reading The Summer I Turned Pretty, I fell in love with Belly. Our heroine, Belly, liked Conrad when she was nine years old, and he stood up for her when Jeremiah and Stephen were picking on her. So she’s always had her eyes on Conrad. Conrad is a mysterious boy, and all girls gravitate towards that boy, especially boys that she thinks she will never get.

After reading the series and watching the Netflix adaptation, I was excited to read more similar slow-burn romances. Finally, I found some books and will talk about seven of them. These books capture the essence of summer, coming-of-age experiences, and the complexities of young love, similar to “The Summer I Turned Pretty.” I hope you find some of these recommendations enjoyable! Let’s go!

NameKey FocusTropes
Eleven Minutes by Paulo CoelhoA thought-provoking novel that explores the life of a young Brazilian woman who becomes a prostitute in Switzerland, delving into themes of love, sexuality, and self-discovery.Self-discovery journey, sexual awakening, love and intimacy, personal growth, societal norms challenge, emotional complexity, existential questions, inner conflicts, cultural contrast, human relationships, spiritual exploration, quest for meaning.
The Mahzur by Dr. Henana BerjesThe impact of cultural identity on personal growth.Self-discovery, family dynamics, tradition, and the struggle for belonging.
The Confession by Jessie BurtonA captivating novel intertwining the lives of two women across decades, revolving around a mysterious disappearance and the powerful bond between a mother and her daughter.Dual timeline, mother-daughter relationship, mystery, self-discovery, missing person, intergenerational secrets, complex female characters, identity exploration, emotional journey, uncovering the past, life-changing revelations, literary drama.
The Zahir by Paulo CoelhoA profound tale of obsession, self-discovery, and love, following a bestselling novelist’s journey across Europe and Asia to find his missing wife, guided by the concept of the Zahir.Spiritual journey, obsession, love and loss, self-discovery, pilgrimage, existential exploration, personal transformation, mystical elements, quest for understanding, relationship dynamics, philosophical themes, metaphysical quest.
The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-FattahA contemporary young adult novel exploring themes of immigration, identity, and love, told through the perspectives of an Afghan refugee and the son of anti-immigration activists in Australia.Cultural clash, young love, refugee experience, family expectations, societal prejudices, teenage perspective, moral dilemmas, cross-cultural relationships, identity exploration, social activism, coming of age, ethical challenges.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins ReidA captivating tale of a legendary film actress, Evelyn Hugo, as she reveals the tumultuous and glamorous details of her career, personal life, and her seven marriages to a young journalist.Old Hollywood glamour, forbidden love, bisexual representation, complex female protagonist, fame and its costs, mystery, media manipulation, retrospective storytelling, personal secrets, emotional depth, public image versus private reality, ambition.
Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki MurakamiA mesmerizing story of unrequited love and mysterious disappearance, where a young woman’s vanishing on a Greek island leads her friend and her admirer on a surreal journey of self-discovery.Unrequited love, existential ennui, surrealism, missing person, introspection, loneliness and longing, complex human relationships, metaphysical exploration, duality of self, literary symbolism, dream-like narrative, emotional ambiguity.
Books Like The Summer I Turned Pretty List

1. Eleven Minutes

This is the story of a woman, Maria, who has not given too much attention to her family since a young age. Also, she has not explored her desires, and she has not been able to do what she wants to do. So, as she grows up, she wants to leave her house, which she does.

But the life she had imagined, which she thought was super glamorous and glittery, isn’t the life she has to face. Then, in that period, when she’s going through almost her worst time ever, she meets a guy who is a painter. That painter can recognize her in ways that she hadn’t recognized herself.

Coelho always puts a spiritual or philosophical tone on anything that he writes. So, this is a philosophical point of view of how Maria tests different feelings, love, attachments, and desires with different people. Ultimately, she discovers who she is, who she wants, and how she deserves to be treated. We saw Belly in the same situation in The Summer I Turned Pretty. If you’re going to read a story of a woman who has completely lost herself and finds herself through love, this is your book.

Eleven Minutes

Author: Paulo Coelho
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Contemporary Literature & Fiction
Number Of Pages: 273
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

2. The Mahzur

We follow two people who fall in love, but they are from different clans. That is a very Romeo and Juliet theme, but they are from different communities. Those communities are each other’s enemies, but they fall in love. So it’s their journey as to what happens again. The language is easy, but this book is so hard to understand.

The twists and turns in the book in the middle and the ending are shocking and heartbreaking. In the middle, with the other characters involved in their love story. It’s beautifully written, and you will love to read it after The Summer I Turned Pretty.

The Mahzur

Author: Dr. Henana Berjes
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Middle Eastern Literature
Number Of Pages: 155
Available: Paperback | Kindle

3. The Confession

This is the story of a young woman who does not know what she wants. She does meet another very ambitious woman. That is one timeline in 1982. Then we see another timeline in twenty seventeen, where there is a grown woman, but she is the daughter who did not find herself. She (Rose Simmons) has never met her mother after her birth, so she does not remember what she looks like.

Rose does not know what she looks like, so she starts the pursuit of finding her mother. For that, she meets the other very ambitious woman, the love story of the two women. On the other hand, it is the love story of the child, the girl, the woman finding her mother, and her journey of self-discovery.

So you can find many plot similarities with The Summer I Turned Pretty. There are elements of toxic relationships in this book, like how toxic relationships can affect two people in the relationship. Pick up this book to immerse yourself in the chill love story.

The Confession

Author: Jessie Burton
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Historical Fiction
Number Of Pages: 455
Available: Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD

4. The Zahir

This book is more about love after marriage. So we all know that in the beginning, when we are not married or not, the beginning phase of any love relationship is enjoyable. It’s nice, excellent. But as time passes, even if we’re not married, there are so many things that change, so many things we take for granted. This is the story of man and wife, and the wife has suddenly disappeared. We do not know where she is, whether she is kidnapped, dead, or run away.

We have no idea at all, and the man is a writer. He’s trying to find his wife, which is becoming his obsession. So, this is a story of what happens with his obsession. What happens to his wife? Where is she? What happened to her? Again, Paulo Coelho has made it very philosophical, very spiritual.

The Zahir

Author: Paulo Coelho
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Contemporary Literature & Fiction
Number Of Pages: 336
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

5. The Lines We Cross

This book describes a charming and beautiful love story. Like The Summer I Turned Pretty it’s a story of two people who fall in love with their teenage years from different communities. There are a lot of differences between the communities. The differences between the communities can also be seen among the two people, like these two kids who have fallen in love.

They have their own beliefs based upon whatever their community believes, so they have a lot of fights. They are not able to understand. Also, they hate each other first but fall in love. So it is one of those stories where you are haters first, then fall in love, and then how you get over stuff.

The Lines We Cross

Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Prejudice & Racism Fiction
Number Of Pages: 400
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

6. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

This book is about a woman with the biggest ambitions and aspirations ever. But she again has not been in an environment where she can fulfill them. So, as she grows old, she does anything and everything required to fulfill her ambitions. This story is narrated by somebody else, a journalist trying to dive deep into the story of Evelyn Hugo. Why did she marry seven times? Did she find love after marrying seven men? What is her story?

Evelyn Hugo is generally a very secretive person. I cannot tell you more than this: the fact that she has married seven men, her entire character arc, and how she changes the ending. The story is very emotional. So, if you want to read something like this, go ahead.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Holiday Romance
Number Of Pages: 400
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

7. Sputnik Sweetheart

A guy narrates this story. It is the story of his best friend, but he is in love with his best friend. But the best friend is in love with somebody else. So, it is a triangle love story similar to The Summer I Turned Pretty. He narrates what happens to her and what happens to her love, who ends up with whom.

The writing style, again, is gorgeous. The characters stay with you. They are beautiful, which is the best thing about Murakami because his characters are so memorable. You can visualize how they will look.

Sputnik Sweetheart

Author: Haruki Murakami
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Magical Realism
Number Of Pages: 210
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5 Spicy Books Like The Summer I Turned Pretty

If you’re looking for books that offer a similar blend of romance and coming-of-age drama as “The Summer I Turned Pretty” but with a spicier edge, here are five recommendations:

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han: From the same author, this book offers a mix of sweet and spicy moments. It follows Lara Jean, whose secret love letters somehow get sent to her crushes, leading to unexpected romantic developments.

“The Kissing Booth” by Beth Reekles: This book delivers a fun and spicy story about a high school student who ends up running a kissing booth and finds herself locking lips with her secret crush.

“Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston: A step up in terms of spice, this novel explores a whirlwind romance between the First Son of the United States and the Prince of Wales, filled with humor, drama, and heart.

“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins: Set in Paris, this novel offers a blend of romance and adventure as Anna faces a new country, new friends, and a complicated love triangle.

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry: This book is about two authors with writer’s block who challenge each other to write a book in a completely different genre. What starts as a challenge turns into a spicy summer romance.

5 Books Like The Summer I Turned Pretty For Middle School

For middle school readers who loved “The Summer I Turned Pretty” and are looking for similar themes of summer, friendship, and coming-of-age experiences, here are five book recommendations:

“Along for the Ride” by Sarah Dessen: This novel is perfect for young readers who enjoy stories about self-discovery and romance. It’s about Auden, who spends a summer at a beach town learning about life, love, and finding herself.

“P.S. I Like You” by Kasie West: A light and sweet romance, this book is great for middle schoolers. It’s about Lily, a high school student, who exchanges anonymous letters with a secret admirer and tries to uncover who he is.

“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” by Ann Brashares: This novel is a wonderful tale of friendship and growing up. It follows four friends who share a pair of jeans that magically fits them all as they spend their first summer apart.

“My Life Next Door” by Huntley Fitzpatrick: This book is a captivating story about family, love, and our choices. It’s about Samantha, who falls for the boy next door, whose family vastly differs from hers.

“The Truth About Forever” by Sarah Dessen: Another fantastic read by Sarah Dessen, this novel deals with themes of love, loss, and living in the moment. It follows Macy, who discovers a new world of excitement and romance during her summer job.

Each book we’ve explored offers a unique spin on summer love and the trials and triumphs of growing up. Whether it’s the thrill of first love, the pain of heartbreak, or the joy of newfound friendships, these stories promise to capture your heart and leave you with that warm, summery feeling long after the sun has set. So, as you turn the pages of these beautiful stories, may you find a little piece of summer magic in each one. Happy reading!

Read More Romance Books:

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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