The different types of love in YA fiction

We love reading about love, so here are some of our favourite YA love stories. 

4 minutes to read

Family love, first love, lasting love - we love them all, so find out more about some of our favourite love stories below, connected to the seven types of love found in classical readings, especially Plato and Aristotle because one sort of love is never enough!

Philia: Love of the mind 

Philia represents the sort of love you have for your very closest friend. It’s the kind of love that creates those friendships that you just can’t imagine your life without.

Just like the friendships that Sara Barnard writes about in her books! Check out Beautiful Broken ThingsA Quiet Kind of Thunder and Goodbye, Perfect and find your best friend in a book and fill your life with Philia. 


Ludus: Playful love

Ludus is a teasing kind of love, like that feeling of butterflies in your stomach when someone you’ve just started dating sends a smile your way. It’s exciting and new – and if you’re looking to read a book about this sort of love then pick up Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron! A story of family, grief and love, this is a wonderful example of Ludus.


Pragma: Longstanding love

Who doesn’t love reading about a love that seems inevitable? That’s been growing and growing for years? If you have an addiction to this sort of love then that means you’re a sucker for Pragma – a love that grows and grows as more time passes.

If this is the love you’re in the mood to read about then you’re in luck! Check out Windfall by Jen. E Smith and Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell to get your fix. 


Agape: Love of the soul

Agape is a wider type of love - the sort of love you have for all the people surrounding you, and in fact all your fellow humans! Sometimes, you love people from afar expecting nothing in return and this is the love overflowing from the pages of Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin. In a world which has had to rebuild, loving the people who surround you is the only way you'll all be able to succeed.


Philautia: Love of the self

The ancient Greeks divided Philautia into two kinds, but the one we’re loving (excuse the pun!) is the idea that you need to truly love yourself to live the very best life possible. Caring for yourselves so you can discover who you are and the paths you should follow is so important – and explored with such strength in I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan and A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge with Muzna and Makepeace.  


Storge: Family Love

Storge love is based on the connections found within families – those ties between parents and children, or brothers and sisters. It’s a love that’s unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe – and a love that is completely overflowing in Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.