The Children’s Book Review | February 10, 2014
In the name of love (and Valentine’s Day), this list boasts 6 amazing teen romance books. From true love to lust to unbreakable hearts & relationships, we’ve got you covered with the latest contemporary novels that will get your heart beating; including David Levithan’s frank and beautiful Two boys Kissing.
Named to the 2013 National Book Award Longlist
A 2014 Stonewall Honor Book
In his follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Every Day, David Levithan, co-author of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing (former) couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.
The Los Angeles Times called Two Boys Kissing “Open, frank and ultimately optimistic,” and Entertainment Weekly gave the novel an A-. With Levithan’s trademark sharp-witted, warm-hearted tales of teenage love, Two Boys Kissingwill appeal to fans of Levithan’s breakthrough debut, Boy Meets Boy, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | Aug. 27, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0307931900
In the magical sequel to The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten, Lucy must break the sisterhood’s curse before she loses her chance at true love.
Since she joined the Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers, Lucy’s life has been perfect. Girls want to be her. Boys want to date her. She has access to magic. And her broken heart has completely healed. Her only regret is that her best friend, Tristan, is still hurting from her rejection. As she searches for a way to heal Tristan’s heart, she discovers the truth behind her initiation into the sisterhood—and that her sisters have unimaginable secrets they’ve been keeping from her. Trapped in a group she no longer trusts, Lucy realizes it just might be better to risk a broken heart than to never fall in love again.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: HarperTeen | Dec. 31, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0061926204
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.
Varsity Tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.
As Kirkus said in a starred review, “Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green’s novels.”
Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming of age novel—a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | Aug. 27, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0062217134
A new series set in the golden age of glam . . .
Amanda is heartbroken. She’s tried, but she can’t get over her breakup with hotshot writer Harry Gordon. If only she could talk to him, she could convince him that their love story is bigger than any screenplay. But Amanda isn’t the only one in Hollywood keeping a secret—Harry’s got one too.
Margo has to pinch herself: there’s talk of her getting an Oscar nom for her first film role, and she’s living with the Dane Forrest, the gorgeous movie star millions—including herself—swoon over. But if the public finds out about their domestic arrangement, her career will be over. The studio has a plan to fix it all . . . but is Margo prepared to pay the price?
Gabby’s drinking is out of control, but who cares? She’s bored and depressed. She needs someone who will treat her like the woman she is beneath the silly stage costumes and pigtails. And she’s sure unpredictable musician Eddie Sharp is The One. But playing with bad boys like Eddie isn’t for little girls. . . .
“In this scintillating sequel to Starstruck, the stakes are higher, the fights are cattier, and the drama soars sky-high . . . more twists and turns than Mulholland Drive. Secrets abound, and enough is held back to ensure that the next volume will have plenty left to reveal. This sizzling sequel definitely delivers the goods: think Valley of the Dolls meets Gossip Girl.”—Kirkus Reviews
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Delacorte Press | Feb. 11, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0385741101
A teenage drummer finds out what life is really like on tour with a rock band in this funny, funky, bittersweet debut YA novel. For anyone who loved Almost Famous or This Is Spinal Tap.
After being dropped from one band, 17-year-old drummer Zach gets a chance to go on tour with a much better band. It feels like sweet redemption, but this is one rocky road trip. . . .
Zach’s in control on the drums, driving the band, keeping things moving at the right pace. But when the show is over, his timing is all off. The jealousies and rivalries within his new group keep him off-balance. The awesome original song he recorded backfires. And the girl he left back home is suddenly talking about this other guy . . .
Mark Parsons has written a fast-paced, feel-good novel about a boy finding his place in the world, in a band, and in the music. Zach is a character teens will stand up and cheer for as he lands the perfect gig, and the perfect girl.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | Feb. 11, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0385753425
For fans of Sarah Dessen and John Green, How to Love is a breathtaking debut about a couple who falls in love . . . twice.
Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed that Reena even exists . . . until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.
After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter. Reena’s gotten used to life without Sawyer, but just as suddenly as he disappeared, he turns up again. Reena wants nothing to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said his being back wasn’t stirring something in her.
After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Oct. 1, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0062216359
For all true romantics, you can uncover even more teen romance books by visiting our “Romance” tag. And for some bonus material, we think you’ll really enjoy this interview with the YA author sensation of Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan.