5 (More) 2021 YA Contemporary Books I’m Excited For!

I don’t know when I started falling back in love with YA Contemporary novels – but I’m glad I did. Otherwise, I’d be missing out on some really great sounding ones. I’ve done two of these posts so far, and they’re legit just an excuse for me to scream about these books and how much I want to read them. 

Better Together – I was a fan of Christine’s first book, so when I heard she was writing a new one, I knew I wanted to give it a shot.

A Pho Love Story – this sounds adorable, and I cannot wait to read it. My hardcover is sitting on my shelf judging me – I need to read it soon.

You Can Go Your Own Way – this sounds like it might break me but will also be heartwarming. Bring it on.

Instructions for Dancing – I love contemporaries that appear to have this little touch of magic.

This sounds utterly adorable and like it might make me feel like *forever alone* but I’m ready.

Last Chance Books – Enemies to lovers? Bookstores? I mean, was this book written special

for me? Because it feels like it.

You can check out my other two posts – 5 2021 YA Contemporary Books I’m Excited For and 5 2021 YA Fantasy Books I’m Excited For!


Title: Better Together

Author: Christine Riccio

Pub. Date: June 1, 2021

Pages: 448

Pub: Wednesday Books

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety.

Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.

They’ve both signed up for the same session at an off the grid Re-Discover Yourself Retreat in Colorado. When they run into each other, their worlds turn upside down.

Jamie and Siri are sisters, torn apart at a young age by their parent’s volatile divorce. They’ve grown up living completely separate lives: Jamie with their Dad and Siri with their Mom. Now, reunited after over a decade apart, they hatch a plot to switch places. It’s time they get to know and confront each of their estranged parents.

With an accidental assist from some fortuitous magic, Jamie arrives in New Jersey, looking to all the world like Siri, and Siri steps off her flight sporting a Jamie glamour.

The sisters unexpectedly find themselves stuck living in each other’s shoes. Soon Siri’s crushing on Jamie’s best friend Dawn. Jamie’s falling for the handsome New Yorker she keeps running into, Zarar. Alongside a parade of hijinks and budding romance, both girls work to navigate their broken family life and the stresses of impending adulthood.

Title: A Pho Love Story

Author: Loan Le

Pub. Date: February 9, 2021

Pages: 416

Pub: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

Title: You Can Go Your Own Way

Author: Eric Smith

Pub. Date: November 2, 2021

Pages: 272

Pub: Inkyard Press

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


No one ever said love would be easy…but did they mention it would be freezing?

Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.

Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. She lost all her friends. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.

But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?

Title: Instructions for Dancing

Author: Nicola Yoon

Pub. Date: June 3, 2021

Pages: 304

Pub: Penguin

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

Title: Last Chance Books

Author: Kelsey Rodkey

Pub. Date: May 18, 2021

Pages: 368

Pub: HarperTeen

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning?

Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt.

Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down.

Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute.

But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars.


This book isn’t a 2021 release, but a 2022. But it sounds so amazing, and I really cannot wait to read it when it does come out. It sounds adorable and like it’s going to be so good.

Title: Once Upon A K-Prom

Author: Kat Cho

Pub. Date: 2022

Pages: TBD

Pub: Disney

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


A young adult rom-com about a Korean-American girl who made a pact to go to prom with her childhood best friend. But when he moved away and became one of the biggest K-pop stars in the world, she thought that promise would never be fulfilled…until he shows up on her doorstep, cameras and all, to ask her to prom.

8 thoughts on “5 (More) 2021 YA Contemporary Books I’m Excited For!

  1. Ahh I can’t believe I’ve never heard of You Can Go Your Own Way and Once Upon a K-Prom — they’re going on my TBR right this second!!! And the rest of these sound amazing as well 😍 Great post! ❤️


    1. WOOO! Thank you!
      They were new to me until I happened upon them on Twitter (thank god we can see what people like lol)
      I’m seriously living for the YA contemporaries coming out this year. I hope you enjoy them!!

      Liked by 1 person

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