YA Books to Read When You Need a Pick Me Up

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These books are basically the tiramisu of books (get it? I’m so clever [#modest]). But, honestly, as much as some of us might like reading books were characters regularly get disemboweled, sometimes we need to read cute books, too. Books that won’t rip our heart out and stomp on them.

And, yes, most of these are straight-up romances, so if those aren’t your thing, I’m sorry, but I’ve tried to through in few non-romances.


These characters are the absolute cutest, and you can’t help but love them with all your heart because they’re so stinkin’ adorable.

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  • Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Simon Spier is a Potterhead, oreo-loving, somewhat awkward theater nerd that you just can’t help but adore.
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: Lara Jean Song is sweet, cute, a little bit naive and so totally adorable you can’t help but want to be best friends with her.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Cath is a socially anxious book-loving fan fiction writer with a ship she will go down with. One of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read about.


  • Ms Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson: There’s a reason by Kamala Khan is quickly becoming on the most beloved Marvel characters. She’s a dork, a fangirl, and totally is not handling this whole secret identity thing well so she’s constantly sleep deprived.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay by J. K. Rowling: There’s a reason why thousands of fans (myself included) have fallen in love with Newt Scamander. Socially anxious, awkward, and totally unashamed about using magic in front of muggles, he’s probably one of the best characters J. K. Rowling has thought up.


We all need to read a fluffy romance from time to time, admit it. DON’T BE ASHAMED AND EMBRACE IT, CHEESY TITLES AND COVERS INCLUDED.


  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Don’t let the cheesy titles of this series set you off! This entire series is adorable, not only the first book, and you can’t help but fall in love with them, and totally ship the romances. I think the second book in the series, Lola and the Boy Next Door, is my favorite, but this one is cute, too.
  • The Unexpected Everything: This is set in the same town as Since You’ve Been Gone, and I enjoyed it just as much. It follows Andie, who meets the nerdy writer Clark, and you get a romance you can’t help ship.
  • P.S. I Like You: Apparently Kasie West writes some super cute romances. I say “apparently” because I’ve only read one of her other books, and I didn’t like it, but I did enjoy this one.


  • Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czunkas: Well it’s not really a romance-romance, I don’t know where else to shelve it. And it’s super cute, with a wonderful narrator, and it’s told over the span of about twelve or so hours, and I love those kinds of stories.
  • My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins: This is an anthology of short stories; all romances revolving around Christmas time. And, if you’re like me and can’t read Christmas books not around Christmas, there’s another one, Summer Days and Summer nights, that’s the same idea but set in summer.
  • When Dimple Met Rishi: This is kind of cheating, because the book doesn’t come out until May, but it’s so cute I can’t help but add it. It’s about a girl and a boy who’s parents have decided they should meet to see if their future arranged marriage will work. Girl is less than thrilled. Boy is overenthusastic. Both characters are wonderful.


These books are straight-up hilarious, and if you’re shy, you probably shouldn’t read them in public places.


  • Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and Faith Erin Hicks: While it sometimes feels like Noelle Stevenson’s other graphic novel, Nimona, gets all the love, Lumberjanes is equally fantastic. Plus, it has an entirely! female! cast!
  • The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks: Yes, okay, this book is somewhat dark, but the main characters has such an wonderful, sarcastic, dry sense of humor you’ll find yourself laughing while cringing throughout the entire book.
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson: Okay, this isn’t YA, nor is it fiction, but Jenny Lawson is freaking hilarious, and she made me laugh until I cried several times throughout this book. Pro tip: listen to the audiobook. It’s narrated by her and her voices just make it that much better.

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  • Paper Towns by John Green: While the entire book has it’s moments, I have to say that the entire road trip had me laughing until I almost cried.
  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride: This book has a sarcastic, eternally annoyed boy who also has the power to bring people (and pandas) back from the dead as a narrator. What’s not to like?


We all need to read fantasies without people getting straight-up murdered from time to time, let’s be honest. Or a contemporary YA that’s lighthearted but doesn’t have the focus on romance.


  • Heist Society by Ally Carter: Kat Bishop just wants to live a life where she doesn’t have to steal priceless works of art. But, naturally, she gets tasked with stealing five paintings…from the most secure museum in the world.
  • Life in Outer Space: This book is so wonderfully nerdy I can’t stand it.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: This book may not be Maggie Stiefvater’s most famous (I think Shiver has that honor), but it’s easily the most beloved, and for good reason. Full of her trademark snarky writing style with amazing characters, you can’t help but fall in love.


  • The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: I don’t know if I should call this book urban fantasy or magical realism or what but either way it’s a pretty awesome book.
  • Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen: She’s more famous for her Sammy Keyes series, but Flipped still has a place in my heart. It’s a split narration taking place over ten or so years: Juli and Bruce. Juli’s had an unrequited crush on Bruce since the moment she met him, and Bruce has been terrified of her for the same amount of time. But as Bruce begins to see Juli as something more, Juli starts to wonder if Bruce isn’t as great as he’s always seemed.
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows: The story of Lady Jane Grey has been one piece of history I’ve remembered, mostly because of how unfair it was. But book takes a humorous, magical twist on the story; and one where Lady Jane doesn’t get executed because she dared to be a woman, educated, and queen.

So, blogglings, maybe to balance this list out I should make on of the bloodiest YA books. What do you think about that? Have you read any of the books on this list? If so, did you like them? What are some of your favorite uplifting YA books? Did you appriciate my awful tiramisu joke?

(For those who don’t know, tiramisu literally means “pick me up” or “cheer me up” in Italian. Probably because of the impressive quantities of coffee in it).

Happy Sunday,




3 thoughts on “YA Books to Read When You Need a Pick Me Up

  1. WOW! I love the variety you have in your posts, their’s always something for everybody! I haven’t read the Raven Boys but are considering of fixing that mistake after I finish reading Etiquette and Espionage by: Gail Carriger. For those wondering, it’s SUPER interesting.


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