New YA Books Featuring Fake Dating!


I love a fake dating trope!  It often means couples who can't stand each other or don't think they like each other. Of course, they are WRONG.

This is an update on a fake dating post on Jen Ryland Reviews, where you can see the full list of 15 books!

New YA Books With Fake Dating 

The British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak by Laura Taylor Namey (2023)

The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim (2023)

England has always been home for Flora, but when her mother dies after a long illness, Flora feels untethered. Her family expects her to apply to university and take a role in their tea-shop business, but Flora isn’t so sure. 

More than ever, she’s the chaotic “hurricane” in her household, and she doesn’t always know how to manage her stormy emotions. So she decides to escape to Miami without telling anyone—especially her longtime friend Gordon Wallace.

But Flora’s tropical change of scenery doesn’t cast away her self-doubt. When it comes to university, she has no idea which passions she should follow. That’s also true in romance. 

Flora’s summer abroad lands her in the flashbulb world of teen influencer Baz Marín, a Miami Cuban who shares her love for photography. Baz needs a fake girlfriend to shield himself from the gossipy Miami matchmaking mothers, and Flora needs a favor. Will she fall for Baz for real or realize that Gordon could be more than just a friend?

Zahra Khan is practically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in New Jersey. 

While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match," like she's in a Jane Austen novel.

Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, handsome, and Mr. Darcy-level aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. 

When Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it. She's  fake dating”Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.

But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra discovers that sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.

They Hate Each Other by Amanda Woody (2023)

There are plenty of words Jonah Collins could use to describe Dylan Ramírez. “Arrogant,” “spoiled,” and “golden boy” to name a few. 

Likewise, Dylan thinks he has Jonah accurately labeled as an attention-seeking narcissist who never shuts his filthy mouth. 
Their friends are convinced Jonah’s and Dylan’s disdain for one another is just thinly veiled lust—a rumor that surges like wildfire when the two wake up in one bed after homecoming.

Mutually horrified, Dylan and Jonah agree to use the faux pas to their advantage by fake dating. If they can fake it long enough to end their “relationship” in a massive staged fight, they can prove their incompatibility to their friends once and for all. 

But the more time they spend together, the more their plan begins to fall apart—and the closer they come to seeing each other clearly for the first time.

The Girl Next Door by Cecelia Vinesse (2023)

Film club nerd Cleo Ferrara’s senior year was like a screenplay script waiting to be filmed. She knew the scenes, the players, and the eventual happy ending. Attend film school with her boyfriend, Daniel Sheridan. Become a film-making power couple. Take Hollywood by storm.

But in a plot twist Cleo never saw coming, Daniel dumped her for Kiki Pearson, the head cheerleader. That would be the point in the movie where the sad music plays while the protagonist looks longingly out her window, but when Cleo looks out hers, she sees Marianne Lacerda, her former best friend…and a new storyboard unfolds.

Marianne is also nursing heartache. When Daniel was dumping Cleo for cheerleader Kiki, Kiki was dumping Marianne for Daniel. 

So instead of watching their exes all over each other around school, Cleo and Marianne start fake dating each other to ignite a little chaos in this bizarre love square. 

But any movie buff knows that when you introduce fake dating in Act one, it’s going to get real by Act three. 

With friendship, the future, and love on the line, can Cleo script a happy ending for herself—or will she get her heart broken again?

Seven Percent of Ro Deveraux by Ellen O’Clover (2023)

Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.

Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The app will even match users with their soulmates. Though it was only supposed to be a class project, MASH quickly takes off and gains the attention of tech investors.

Ro’s dream is to work in Silicon Valley, and she’ll do anything to prove to her new backing company (and the world) that the app works. 

So it’s a huge shock when the app says her soulmate is Miller, her childhood best friend with whom she had a friendship-destroying fight three years ago.

Now thrust into a fake dating scenario, Ro and Miller must address the years of pain between them if either of them will have any chance of achieving their dreams. 

As the app takes on a life of its own, Ro sees that it is affecting people in ways she never expected—and if she can’t regain control, it might take her and everything she believes in down with it.

Forward March by Skye Quinlan (2022)

Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band―and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. 

That was tough enough, but everything was going okay until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:

1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.

2. Harper doesn't even know if she likes anyone like that―let alone if she likes other girls.

3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she's not sure she even wants him to win.

But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.

With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee (2022)

Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. 

There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.

When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. 

Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. 

But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.

For books from 2021 and earlier, see the full post on Jen Ryland Reviews!


  1. I like fake dating, especially when they end up really liking each other and end up together in the end.


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