11 YA Books to Inspire Your Summer Road Trip

Who doesn’t love a good road trip?

Road trips are fun to read about because they usually lead to characters learning a lot about themselves along the way. If you’re thinking about taking a road trip, let these books inspire you. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a quick trip or a cross-country extravaganza. These books will make you want to pack a bag and hit the road ASAP.

This blog post is all about the YA books to inspire your summer road trip.

1. Exactly Where You Need to Be by Amelia Diane Coombs

We recently read Exactly Where You Need to Be and really enjoyed the road trip aspect of the book. Best friends Florie and Kacey set out on a road trip from Washington to San Francisco to see their favorite podcast duo. The trip had some amazing scenes, especially the ones that included Kacey’s older brother Sam.

This road trip book is romantic sweet, adventurous and a bit emotional. This journey is exactly what Florie needed to figure out what she wants and how to get the mental health help that she needs. This is the perfect book to read during a summer road trip.

2. Ex-Mas by Kate Brian

While Ex-Mas is set during the winter, it still should inspire your summer road trip, especially if you’re driving around the west coast. Lila is ready to throw a huge party since her parents are away. But when her little brother thinks that global warming is going to hurt Santa, he takes off to save him.

But he didn’t go alone, he went with his best friend. His best friend just happens to be the younger brother of Lila’s ex-boyfriend, Beau. Lila and Beau set out to drive across the west coast to bring their brothers home by Christmas Eve. It’s a sweet story and there’s character growth from both Lila and Beau.

3. Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West

Places We’ve Never Been is a friends to hate to love story. Norah and Skyler haven’t seen each other in years and now their families are going on a road trip together in two RVs. They’ll visit everything from national parks to big cities, like Seattle.

But being so close together for a long time means it’s time for Norah and Skyler to work out their issues and see if there’s chemistry now that they’re older. This book is sweet, just like most of West’s romances. We really enjoyed the settings too because it made the story feel like an adventure.

4. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Colin Singleton’s type are girls named Katherine. Colin has been dumped by exactly 19 girls named Katherine, from when he was a little kid to the present. Colin and his best friend set out on a road trip from Illinois to Tennessee figure out why there’s always a girl named Katherine in his life. In An Abundance of Katherines, Colin learns a lot about himself, and love, along the way.

5. Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

Love Songs & Other Lies follows Vee, who is spending the summer on a battle of the bands reality show that’s driving around the country. She gets experience in the music industry and time with her best friend. Enter Cam: Vee’s first love and the guy she hasn’t seen in years.

Vee’s best friend didn’t tell her that Cam joined the band again, so now she’s stuck with him on a tour bus for the summer. Vee has to figure out what she wants, in terms of her music and her relationship with Cam, during this unexpected summer trip.

6. Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Have you ever imagined taking a road trip around Ireland? Addie is ready for a fun time after so much drama back home. Unfortunately, he older brother Ian won’t let her forget it. After plans change, Addie and Ian find themselves in a tiny car driving around Ireland with a cute guy named Rowan.

Addie wans to make up with her brother, have some fun and get to her aunt’s wedding on time, all while finding love along the way. This book is great for those who want inspiration for a summer adventure.

7. Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Wanderlost is the ultimate European road trip. Imagine taking a bus tour across Europe and getting to see so many amazing places. Well, that’s how Aubree gets to spend her summer. Except, she’s pretending to be her older sister and she’s with a group of senior citizens.

To make things more crazy, the tour company’s mother is on the tour and to keep an eye on her, Sam, the grandson joins the group. Now Aubree is falling for Sam, who thinks she’s her perfect older sister. Talk about an interesting summer adventure!

8. Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns is about Q, who has one amazing night with his crush. But after that night she disappears, leading Q to try to find her. This leads Q and his friends on a road trip across the east coast to find Margot and has Q wondering if his connection with Margot is real. Paper Towns is a coming of age story about finding yourself and it prioritizes friendships over romance.

9. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer is about Lilah and Reagan, who are spending the summer on tour. This is Lilah’s first big tour and Reagan needs to get away for the summer. The two both need a summer all about friendship and to put guys in the past. It’s a book that focuses on female friendships, even though their is some romance.

10. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Moon and Star are twins, but they don’t have much in common. Star is becoming a famous influencer, while Moon stands on the sidelines. But now Moon is forced to sell merchandise for an influencer tour that her sister has been invited to join. Now she’s spending her summer on a tour bus going around the country for her perfect sister.

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe is an emotional story about accepting yourself. It’s a cool road trip book, but it’s also about so much more. Moon deserved so much better from her family. However, she does find a way to make her own summer incredible.

11. Girl Off the Grid by Jillian Dodd and Kenzie Hart

Girl Off the Grid is Dodd’s love letter to eco-tourism. Camille and Andrew are spending time in Costa Rica for a fashion magazine. Camille is writing the article and Andrew is the photographer. But the two couldn’t be more opposite. Andrew thinks Camille is stuck up and doesn’t want to spend any time together. However, as they go around the country together, they learn a lot about themselves and each other.

This trip is really incredible because readers get to learn about the local culture and biodiversity. Taking a bus trip throughout the country sounds like an incredible experience and it’s definitely a book to inspire a summer adventure.

14 thoughts on “11 YA Books to Inspire Your Summer Road Trip”

  1. I’ve only read with Love & Luck and Wanderlost from this list, but all these titles sound amazing, I’ll definitely have to check them out!


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