YA Friday: Cold Weather, Warm Hearts

black gloves-and-heart shaped snowball

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but with bare trees and freezing temperatures, it can also be pretty bleak. That’s why we’ve made a list of winter-themed YA romances so you can spend the long nights curled up in a comfy chair by the fire and read about couples falling in love instead of shivering under the covers. Each book is set either during winter or in a snowy locale and are the perfect reads for when your real world is a little bit frozen (in California adjusted terms.)

So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love...

The Chaos of Standing Still book cover

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

Ryn Gilbert's life changed irrevocably a year ago when her best friend, Lottie, was behind the wheel of a T-boned car. Ryn has held onto many things ever since, including one text message that allows her to keep Lottie near— it has gotten to the point that she questions her own sanity, and even keeps her therapist from knowing that she still sees and speaks to her friend. Now Ryn is stuck in the Denver Airport on the night before the anniversary of Lottie's death due to a blizzard with Xander, a boy she meets when they accidentally swap phones. The airport setting allows Ryn to open up to Xander, who is connected to her by circumstance and weighed down by his own issues. It also allows them to interact with other unique characters, including a child prodigy and the slightly older airport workers Siri and Harvey, who throw an illicit New Year's Eve party, while helping Ryn work out problems that she has been unable to face in her own life.

What Light book cover
What Light by Jay Asher

Sierra is the daughter of Christmas tree farmers from Oregon. Every holiday season she travels to California to help her mother and father sell their harvest. Sierra’s parents fell in love at the lot while they were still in high school, and her father, afraid that she might fall for one of the seasonal hires, imposes strict dating rules to protect her. For the past few seasons, Sierra hasn't minded—the rules keep boys she isn’t interested in at bay—but that changes when she meets Caleb, a boy with a troubled past. The more Sierra learns about Caleb’s generous spirit, the harder she falls. But Caleb’s past is soon discovered, putting their relationship at risk.

Together at Midnight book cover

Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

Kendall and Max, white teens from the suburbs with a bit of history together, cross paths again in the city at a crossroads in their lives. Kendall has returned from a semester in Europe and is not sure she's ready to return to her old high school, especially since her experience at the alternative school abroad was more compatible with her ADHD and learning disability. Max is in the midst of an aimless gap year before college, a decision he made for the sake of an ex-girlfriend. After witnessing a tragic accident and feeling responsible for not intervening, the two agree to a challenge to perform seven acts of kindness in an effort to make amends and assuage their guilt. They spend the week leading up to New Year's Eve in each other's company, touching the lives of strangers and growing closer in the process.

Kiss Me in New York book cover

Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

Charlotte and Anthony are both done with love. Charlotte’s headed back home to England after a terrible breakup with her boyfriend during her semester abroad, and Anthony just got dumped at the airport by the girlfriend he came to surprise. When a blizzard strands Charlotte in New York on Christmas Eve, she bumps into Anthony, desperate to create one last story before she leaves the U.S. Heeding a self-help book, Get Over Your Ex in Ten Easy Steps!, the two set out into the city for a spontaneous, romantic Christmas adventure.

Snow in Love book cover

Snow In Love: Four Stories by Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone, Kasie West

What's better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story? Four of them! Kasie West writes about a snowy road trip that takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed. Aimee Friedman presents a Hanukkah miracle that may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love. Melissa de la Cruz's Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents. And Nic Stone sets a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport that turns totally romantic.

My True Love Gave To Me book cover

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Years, there's something here for everyone. Using her trademark sparkling dialogue, Rainbow Rowell rings in an amorous New Year’s between old pals. Matt de la Peña presents a house sitter hookup with unlikely results. Jenny Han writes tales of woe and lust between Santa’s adopted daughter and her coworker elves. Stephanie Perkins pairs a tree-lot employee with a shopper who pines for much more. David Levithan’s Jewish St. Nick loves his boyfriend enough to (reluctantly) spread some X-mas magic. Holly Black’s hot Christmas Krampus crashes a swinging holiday soiree. Kiersten White whips up a delicious romance in a struggling Yule-themed diner. And several other big-name writers—Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Laini Taylor—craft cozy, clever tales of good tidings. This is the substantive stuff of dream stockings: a rollicking, blush-inducing, memorable holiday collection of breezy, bite-size stories perfect for a snug evening next to the fire.

Further Reading

Ex-Mas book coverSnowed In book coverKissing Snowflakes book coverLove on the Lifts book coverDash & Lily's Book of Dares book coverLet It Snow book cover