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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth
Whether set in a vivid fantasy world, a contemporary small town, or a country at war, the novels collected here, all reviewed in Booklist in the past 12 months, explore the universal mysteries and dramas of teen romance with uncommon insight.
A Brief History of Montmaray. By Michelle Cooper. 2009. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375858642). Gr. 7–10.
Set on the tiny, imaginary island kingdom of Montmaray, Cooper’s gothic romance weaves together first love, family secrets, waning aristocratic life, and the impact of WWII in the suspenseful adventures of 16-year-old Sophie.
Crossing Stones. By Helen Frost. 2009. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.99 (9780374316532). Gr. 7–12.
In this layered, moving verse novel, four young people in rural Michigan face an uncertain future as WWI breaks out. Frost’s expertly shaped poems include mirrored rhymes and rhythms that add structural links between characters as they fall in love.
Fire. By Kristin Cashore. 2009. Dial, $17.99 (9780803734616). Gr. 8–12.
Powerful storytelling and a memorable love story combine in this gripping prequel to Graceling (2008), which introduces Fire, a breathtakingly beautiful monster-woman who inspires nearly irresistible sexual attraction.
Flash Burnout. By L. K. Madigan. 2009. Houghton, $16 (9780547194899). Gr. 9–12.
In this compelling debut, 15-year-old Blake is caught between his gorgeous girlfriend and his female best friend, who shares his love of photography.
Illyria. By Elizabeth Hand. 2010. Viking, $15.99 (9780670012121). Gr. 10–12.
Winner of the World Fantasy Award, this slender, daring novella, set in 1970s Yonkers, tells a story of obsessive first love between “kissing cousins” Maddy and Rogan, who are determined to restore their family’s long-abandoned theatrical heritage.
The Lighter Side of Life and Death. By C. K. Kelly Martin. 2010. Random, $16.99 (9780375845888). Gr. 9–12.
Unusual in its frankly authentic portrayal of teen sex and romance, this taut novel begins when best friends Mason and Kat lose their virginity to each other and then react quite differently.
Lips Touch: Three Times
. By Laini Taylor. Illus. by Jim Di Bartolo. 2009. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 (9780545055857). Gr. 8–12.
Kisses are the unifying theme in each of these three lyrical fantasy novellas in which present-day teen sensibilities blend with artful allusions to mythology and magic.
Rosie and Skate. By Beth Ann Bauman. 2009. Random/Wendy Lamb, $15.99 (9780385737357). Gr. 9–12.
Wholly distinct, memorable voices and subtle, piercing insights into both teen love and family heartbreak elevate this assured debut narrated in alternating chapters by two very different sisters.
The View from the Top. By Hilary Frank. 2010. Dutton, $16.99 (9780525422419). Gr. 8–12.
Frank’s pitch-perfect novel of richly interconnected stories follows a group of small-town high-school students who fumble through romances both unrequited and found in their last summer before college.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson. By John Green and David Levithan. 2010. Dutton, $17.99 (9780525421580). Gr. 9–12.
Through an ensemble cast that revolves around teen Tiny Cooper, “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large,” Green and Levithan offer a wry, clever, aching story of teen love, lust, and friendship.
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