All day I dream about sports…romances. Shy, but proud book nerd is secret pen-pals with the outgoing quarterback of the football team? (Yes, hello Cinderella Story. Don’t judge me). Captains of rival soccer teams are somehow stuck working together? Hockey star makes fun of figure skater only to find them carving figure-eights around everyone? SIGN ME UP. Even if sports aren’t part of the driving plot, but more of a catalyst or even just an important side character—still! Put me in, coach. Game, set, match. Whatever sport you’re into, or if you’re more of a “do the thing! Score the points!” kind of spectator, we have a list that’s jock-full of awesome reads.
Created by C.S. Pacat
The boys of Kings Row head to France with exes, rivalries, and secrets in this fun and hilarious novel by a New York Times bestselling author—inspired by the award-nominated comic series by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad.The boys of Kings Row are off to a training camp in Europe! Surrounded impressive scenery and even more impressive European fencing teams, underdog Nicholas can't help but feel out of place. With the help of a local legend, though, he and the rest of the team finds it within themselves to face superior fencers, ex-boyfriends, expulsion, and even Nicholas's golden-boy, secret half-brother, the infamous Jesse Coste. Will Aiden and Harvard end up together, though? En garde!
The second installment of this enticing original YA novel series by Sarah Rees Brennan, rich with casual diversity and queer self-discovery, explores never-before-seen drama inspired by C.S. Pacat's critically acclaimed Fence comic series.
Text and Illustration copyright: © 2021 BOOM! Studios
Fence(TM) and © 2021 C.S. Pacat
by Mariko Turk
For fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi, this lyrical and emotionally driven novel follows Alina, a young aspiring dancer who suffers a devastating injury and must face a world without ballet—as well as the darker side of her former dream.
Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but then a terrifying fall shatters her leg—and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it.
After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and binging ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the school musical. However, rehearsals offer more than she expected—namely Jude, her annoyingly attractive castmate she just might be falling for.
But to move forward, Alina must make peace with her past and face the racism she experienced in the dance industry. She wonders what it means to yearn for ballet—something so beautiful, yet so broken. And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else?
Touching, romantic, and peppered with humor, this debut novel explores the tenuousness of perfectionism, the possibilities of change, and the importance of raising your voice.
by Kara Bietz
An emotional YA romance about small town secrets, high school football, and broken hearts.Julian Jackson has a short to-do list for his senior year at Crenshaw County High School in Meridien, Texas: football, football, and more football. He knows he's only got one chance to earn a college scholarship and make it out of his small town, and keeping his head down, his grades up, and his cleats on the field is that one chance. And then Elijah Vance walks back into his life, throwing all of his carefully-laid plans into a tailspin.
Elijah and Julian used to be best friends, maybe even on their way to something more than just friends. But three years ago, Elijah broke into the school to steal money from the coach's office, and Julian was the one who turned him in. After that, Elijah and his family disappeared without a trace. And now he's back, sitting at Julian's grandmother's kitchen table. But time and distance haven't erased all of their feelings, and Elijah knows that he finally has a chance to prove to Julian that he's not the same person he was three years ago. But with secrets still growing between them and an uncertain future barreling towards them, it may be harder to lean on each other than they thought.
Friday Night Lightsmeets Morgan Matson's The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.
When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she'll have to convince its coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched... Every. Single. Day.
Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he'll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the spring. But it will take more than just a flawless spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland's halls, and behind that charismatic smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.
Fifteen-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole -- matchmakers -- with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the "gift."
But Simi is an artist, and she doesn't want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah's social status. Armed with her family's ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service -- via an app.
But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys' soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.
The fourth novel from Julie Murphy, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin'--now a Netflix feature film starring Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston, with a soundtrack by Dolly Parton!
For fans of Rainbow Rowell and Morgan Matson, Julie Murphy has created another fearless heroine, Ramona Blue, in a gorgeously evocative novel about family, friendship, and how sometimes love can be more fluid than you first think.
Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.
Since then, it's been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she's fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she's destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi.
But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.
The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona's friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he's talked her into joining him for laps at the pool.
But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke.
Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.
Kris Hui Lee
There's no playing it safe in love or baseball in this sparkling debut, perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Kasie West.
Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball.
An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their highschool's star pitcher and Marnie's best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the field. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team's best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they're supposed to be on her side.
With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?