'Tis the season for rom-coms. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and everyone is rocking the flirtiest items in their wardrobe. I don't know about you, but summer always takes me back to my teenage years — and that automatically makes me want to pick up a book about first love. Luckily, there are plenty of young adult rom-coms about the terrible, wonderful, exhilarating, terrifying process of falling in love for the first time. But which one should you read? I asked an expert: When Dimple Met Rishi author Sandhya Menon.
Menon knows a thing or two about swoon-worthy love stories. In her new novel, From Twinkle, With Love, an aspiring filmmaker, Twinkle, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she's asked to direct a movie for an upcoming summer festival. As though this opportunity couldn't be any sweeter, the festival's organizer, Sahil Roy, happens to be the twin brother of Twinkle's forever crush, Neil. So when Twinkle starts receiving love letters from a mystery boy who goes only by "N," she's pretty sure that her entire life has finally fallen into place. There's only one itty bitty, teeny problem... she's fallen in love with Sahil.
When you're finished with From Twinkle, With Love, you'll probably want to dive into a new rom-com immediately. Luckily, Sandhya Menon shared her five favorite YA romances with Bustle, for all your summer reading needs:
'Let’s Talk About Love' by Claire Kann
Menon says: "Alice, our main character, has a 'cutie code' that she uses to rate potential love interests, and Takumi breaks it with his sheer hotness, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know. Takumi is the perfect love interest, and I fell in love with him right along with Alice. Alice is also asexual and biromantic, and it’s so amazing to see some much-needed asexual representation in YA."
'To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before' by Jenny Han
"Lara Jean’s sweet innocence made me want to protect her forever," Menon says. "I loved that her connection with her late Korean mom is through food, something that so many second-generation kids use as a gateway into their minority cultures. The oncoming train wreck after all of Lara Jean’s letters to her 'secret' crushes get mailed out kept me turning the pages late into the night!"
'Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda' by Becky Albertalli
"Simon is the best friend I wish I had in school. He’s extremely likeable, kind, and empathetic, and his voice just pulls you into his world," she says. "We desperately need more coming out stories where everything works out for the teen in the end, and this delivered. The entire tantalizing mystery of the identity of 'Blue,' his secret admirer, ensured I finished this one in less than two days."
'The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)' by Amy Spalding
"Abby is fat and wants you to know that’s not a bad word, and a pink-haired fashionista who loves burgers. If you’re like me, you’re probably already sold," Menon says. "The fact that she’s a lesbian was not a Thing in this book, which I adored. Watching her and Jordi, her love interest, realize that the feelings they had for each other were mutual was extremely fun. Plus, Abby gets to help eat and rate burgers for a burger app! Yum! Warning, though: This will make you crave a burger so grab one before you sit down to read it."