If you're the sort of person who has been jonesing for all the festive feels since the very moment your spooky Halloween decorations came down, you're probably unabashedly thrilled that the official start of the holiday season is finally upon us. And believe me, I'm totally with you there. While December can often be one of the more hectic months of the year, I have always felt that it is undeniably magical. And if you're anything like me, and you want to keep those merry and bright thoughts going all season long, nothing is better than building up a stack of wintery reads to keep you warm while you sip cocoa under the twinkle lights.
Below are 13 holiday YA books that fall firmly into the genre of spirited seasonal reads. Especially if you're in the mood for a heartwarming romance — whether in the form of an unexpected meet-cute, a whimsical romantic adventure, or a traditional crush about to become something more — you're going to love all of the novels and short story collections assembled here. Grab a few over the long weekend, and keep some on hand for a holiday season reading list that will have you wishing it was the holidays all year long.
'The Afterlife of Holly Chase' by Cynthia Hand
Five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who tried to convince her to mend her selfish ways. She didn't. Then she died. Now she's stuck working as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past. But this year, everything is about to change.
'Kiss Me in New York' by Catherine Rider
Charlotte is traveling home after being dumped. Anthony's girlfriend just broke up with him in the middle of the holiday crowd. When Charlotte's flight is canceled, the two will spend the night trying to heal their broken hearts.
'My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories' by Various Authors
This anthology of 12 festive love stories is perfect whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's, and has a little something for everyone.
'Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe' by Melissa de la Cruz
When super-successful Darcy Fitzwilliam goes home to Pemberley, Ohio for Christmas, she meets her parents' neighbor, Luke Bennet. When the two form a surprising connection, Darcy wonders whether her pride and his prejudice will stand in their way.
'Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless' by Liz Czukas
When Chloe is accused — along with her fellow teenage employees — of stealing $10,000 on Christmas Eve, she finds herself locked in work jail with five of her co-workers. Now they have to band together to clear their names.
'My New Crush Gave to Me' by Shani Petroff
Charlie Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. And she has a plan: To rig Secret Santa so that she can win his heart with five perfect gifts. But to do that she needs help. Enter J.D. Ortiz, Teo's cousin, who soon complicates Charlie's feelings.
'Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances' by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle
Three interconnected holiday love stories take place after a Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven. A stranded train, a snowy trek to Waffle House, and a very early morning Starbucks shift all lead to festive tales of true love.
'Love and Other Train Wrecks' by Leah Konen
When Noah and Ammy's Amtrak train suddenly breaks down in a snowstorm, they have no other option but to travel together. What starts off as a minor detour turns into the whirlwind journey of a lifetime. But can one night can really change the course of their lives forever?
'The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily' by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Dash and Lily have had a tough year since they first fell in love at their favorite bookstore. With only 12 days left until Christmas, Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends must take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic.
'Ex-mas' by Kate Brian
Seventenn-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother Cooper runs away, she has no choice but to turn to her ex-boyfriend Beau for help.
'Together at Midnight' by Jennifer Castle
After Kendall and Max witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, the two find it impossible to deny their growing bond.
'The Chaos of Standing Still' by Jessica Brody
When Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve, fate literally runs into her. And his name is Xander. When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure.
'Carols and Chaos' by Cindy Anstey
It's 1817 and the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park. When a counterfeiting scheme reaches Shackleford, lady's maid Kate and valet Matt are swept up in the intrigue — and by their feelings for each other.