I don’t know about you but I love a good meet-cute. Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet catching eyes from across the room, or Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) walking into William Thacker’s (Hugh Grant) little bookstore on Notting Hill, these first moments always make me smile. So here’s a list of a few of my favorite YA meet-cutes that will make you excited to read these books!
9 Meet-Cutes That Will Make You Believe in Love
1. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
How I Met Your Mother tells us that nothing good happens after 2 A.M., but Pablo Rind would like to disagree. It’s after 4 A.M. when Pablo meets pop superstar Leanna Smart in the dead of winter, when she strolls into the bodega where he works to get a late-night snack. They immediately bond over their shared love of strange, yet delicious junk food combinations, and his life irrevocably changes. Their first meeting is flirtatious and adorable, and will make you hungry. So next time you’re working a boring, dead shift, at your part-time job, don’t despair! Shawn Mendes could walk through those doors and change your life forever.
2. Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
Airports can be the worst, they’re loud, the food is overpriced, and you have to go to war to charge your phone for five minutes. But despite their faults, airports are kind of romantic. You’re trapped in a building with a bunch of strangers, and there’s something exciting about making a connection with someone you’re almost sure to never see again. When Zayneb gets suspended for standing up to her Islamophobic teacher, she goes to Doha to spend two weeks with her Aunt Nandy. On her flight there, she meets Adam, and the two instantly hit it off. Sharing their different experiences with racism and loss, Zayneb and Adam begin to fall for each other. So next time you’re on a plane, don’t complain if you have the middle seat, you never know who might be sitting next to you!
3. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
So, you know how your grandparents are always trying to set you up? Well, maybe next time you should let them. Annabelle Agnelli doesn’t even want to celebrate her birthday, she just wants to run across the country, but her family insists, and Granpda Ed brings two uninvited guests. At first, Annabelle doesn’t think much about Grandpa Ed’s crush’s grandson, but then he gives her a birthday gift. A themed cassette tape for her journey. It turns out Grandpa Ed knows Annabelle more than she’d like to admit, and soon her and Luke grow closer. You’ll have to finish this book to find out just how close, but if their meet-cute is any indication, it’s sweet, simple, but somehow extraordinary.
4. Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, Illustrated by Frank Miller
In this retelling of King Arthur, The Lady of the Lake, Nimue is the true hero, but that doesn’t mean Arthur isn’t a part of the story. Forget Guinevere, Arthur and Nimue are the romance you’ll care about in Cursed. Nimue and Arthur’s story begins when she spots him singing in the streets in town. She notices that his voice isn’t perfect, but she can’t help but feel drawn to him. It’s obvious that his looks don’t hurt. As he sings, Nimue knows that he’s looking right at her, and her friend immediately calls out his interest. Their physical attraction is followed by some amazing flirtatious banter, and soon enough you’ll not only be hooked by the action and adventure of Cursed, but also by the relationship between two of the most central characters.
5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
In the Summer of 1987, Aristotle and Dante meet at the pool. Aristotle doesn’t know how to swim, so Dante offers to teach him. It’s a sweet set-up to their epic romance, and soon the two bond over their shared fears, futures, and desires. Their meet-cute is understated and beautiful, just like their love story. Summer is almost over, but it’s not too late to go to the pool and hopefully meet your Aristotle or Dante!
6. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
It’s not good to spy, we all know that, but it’s far worse to get caught. When Elisabeth is sneaking around the “reading room”, which is off limits to her, she knocks a bookshelf over and reveals herself in a spectacular fashion to the sorcerer she was hiding from. Elisabeth’s first impression to Nathaniel is embarrassing, but their meet-cute is adorable and full of flirtatious banter. You’ll be shipping these two as soon as Nathaniel refers to her as a “feral librarian”, and you’ll be holding your breath each time they get close. So next time you humiliate yourself in front of someone cute, don’t worry, this very well could be the embarrassing beginning to your own love story!
7. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Sam and Penny’s meet-cute isn’t something you’ve read before. When Penny walks by Sam as he’s having a panic attack, she helps him through the episode and gives him her phone number. Despite being total strangers, the two agree to be each other’s emergency contact. It’s not like they have better options, both of their mothers are totally unreliable and their fathers aren’t in the pictures. In most love stories, the first meeting leads to so many more, but Sam and Penny’s relationship is comprised mostly over text. Which for two introverts, is kind of a relief. You’ll have to read this one to see how it ends, but hopefully their meet cute inspires you to be a little kinder to the strangers you meet, you never know what might happen.
8. Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
It’s not every day that a sister tackles her older brother in a parking lot in Ireland, so it’s no surprise that Rowan is immediately interested in Addie. He’s drawn to her ferociousness and determination, and the two quickly bond in the week they spend driving across Ireland together. Sure, it’s a bit complicated because Rowan is Addie’s brother’s friend, but he’s cute, has an Irish accent, and understands her in a way few people do. Addie and Rowan’s meet-cute is adorable and ridiculous and hilarious and just a preview of their relationship to come.
9. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
You know this book has a good meet cute because its name is inspired by one of the greatest rom-coms of all time. When Dimple meets Rishi…it does not go well. Their parents have decided to arrange a marriage for them, and while Rishi is totally on board, Dimple is not, but that’s also because she has no clue. So, it’s not the best idea when Rishi refers to her as his “future wife” and so you can’t blame her for throwing her coffee in his face. It’s not love at first sight, and you’ll have to read to find out the rest!