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February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth
Although there aren’t any blushing beach reads on this year’s list of the best romances reviewed in Booklist during the past 12 months, these titles do explore a wide range of the ever-curious and urgent tuggings of the heart, with a mix of genres, including fantasy and even a biography, from boy-meets-girl to boy-meets-boy.
After the Moment. By Garrett Freymann-Weyr. 2009. Houghton, $16 (9780618605729). Gr. 10–12.
This sophisticated investigation of adolescent love follows two teens’ emotionally wrenching senior year of high school, touching on anorexia, possible date rape, and the raw intersection of passion and integrity.
Blue Flame. By K. M. Grant. 2008. Walker, $16 (9780802796943). Gr. 7–10.
In thirteenth-century Occitania, two young lovers face threats to their homeland and religious conflict, sparked by an inquisitor and the legendary Blue Flame, said to have been lit when Christ died.
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith. By Deborah Heiligman. 2009. Holt, $18.95 (9780805087215). Gr. 8–12.
Despite Charles Darwin’s fears that marriage will distract him from his revolutionary work, the plusses of a union with his first-cousin Emma win out in this unique biography in which religion, science, and true-life romance all converge.
The Color of Earth. By Kim Dong Hwa. Illus. by the author. 2009. Roaring Brook/First Second, paper, $16.95 (9781596434585). Gr. 10–12.
This first volume in a Korean graphic-novel trilogy follows the emotional and sexual awakening of a young girl, mirrored by her mother’s own love life, in an intimate, respectful, and richly illustrated fashion.
Graceling. By Kristin Cashore. 2008. Harcourt, $17 (9780152063962). Gr. 9–12.
After Lady Katsa, a preternaturally gifted fighter, meets her equal in Prince Po, the two embark on a rescue mission that hurtles them into danger, romance, and self-discovery in this nuanced and stirring adventure.
Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception. By Maggie Stiefvater. 2008. Flux, paper, $9.95 (9780738713700). Gr. 9–12.
Celtic faerie lore and forbidden passions combine in this contemporary fantasy in which Deidre discovers that her gorgeous, mysterious lover is really an assassin sent by a malevolent faerie queen to kill her.
Magic and Misery. By Peter Marino. 2009. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823421336). Gr. 9–12.
This drama of balancing physical attraction and friendship places TJ, who’s never had a boyfriend, into a tension-fraught triangle with her gorgeous gay “nonboyfriend” and a football star.
North of Beautiful. By Justina Chen Headley. 2009. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780316025058). Gr. 9–12.
Terra has always been ashamed of the port-wine-colored birthmark that dominates her face until she meets a Goth boy with a cleft-palate scar who helps her discover the true nature of beauty and love.
The Possibilities of Sainthood. By Donna Freitas. 2008. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.95 (9780374360870). Gr. 8–10.
Catholic schoolgirl Antonia, who thinks she might have a shot at becoming the Patron Saint of the Kiss, narrates this story of amusing religious fervor and starry-eyed crushes.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary. By Nick Burd. 2009. Dial, $16.99 (9780803733404). Gr. 9–12.
Not your typical coming-out while coming-of-age story, this deeply satisfying and thoughtful book examines the complicated life and tumultuous relationships of a gay teenage boy.
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