Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth: 2013.
Kelley, Ann (author).
FEATURE. First published September 15, 2013 (Booklist).
Eleanor + Park. Sam + DeeDee. Rafe + Ben. The best romance novels reviewed in Booklist between September 15, 2012, and September 1, 2013, all introduce memorable, even swoon-worthy, couples.
All Our Pretty Songs. By Sarah McCarry. 2013. St. Martin’s/Griffin, $19.99 (9781250040886). Gr. 9–12.
In this suspenseful trilogy-starter, Aurora is sweet and flighty, while the unnamed narrator is surly. When Jack, an adult guitarist, comes into their life, the girls’ differences come to a head.
Dark Triumph. By Robin LaFevers. 2013. Houghton, $17.99 (9780547628387). Gr. 9–12.
The riveting historical adventure that began with Grave Mercy (2012) follows the story of another of Death’s handmaidens, Sybella. She is bound to a knight who is both the bane of her existence and her hope for the future.
Eleanor & Park. By Rainbow Rowell. 2013. St. Martin’s/Griffin, $18.99 (9781250012579). Gr. 9–12.
Eleanor and Park, from opposite worlds, slowly build a relationship while riding the bus to school every day. The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship they develop is urgent and, of course, heartbreaking.
The Girl with Borrowed Wings. By Rinsai Rossetti. 2012. Dial, $17.99 (9780803735668). Gr. 7–12.
Frenenqer feels her father’s invisible finger between her shoulder blades forcing her obedient actions. When a shape-shifting cat, who often takes the form of a boy, enters the picture, he offers freedom—and romance.
The Infinite Moment of Us. By Lauren Myracle. 2013. Abrams/Amulet, $17.95 (9781419707933). Gr. 10–12.
Myracle’s sweet and steamy romance boldly captures first love in all its glory. Wren Gray, perfect daughter, falls for Charlie Parker, and, through texts, meaningful conversation, and, yes, sex, the two 18-year-olds fall hard and deep.
Love Disguised. By Lisa Klein. 2013. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781599909684). Gr. 7–12.
Eighteen-year-old Will Shakespeare meets teen pub-maid Meg Macdougall, disguised as a boy named “Mack.” Pub-maid Violetta woos Will, while Will and Meg-Mack develop feelings for one another. Multiple plots reveal the complexities of relationships.
Openly Straight. By Bill Konigsberg. 2013. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 (9780545509893); e-book, $17.99 (9780545509909). Gr. 9–12.
High-school junior Rafe is sick of being labeled “the gay kid.” So he leaves his Colorado school for a private boys’ academy in New England. This sometimes painful story of self-discovery is also a beautifully written, captivating romance between Rafe and Ben.
September Girls. By Bennett Madison. 2013. Harper, $17.99 (9780061255632). Gr. 9–12.
When Sam’s mother runs away into “something called Women’s Land,” his father takes Sam and his older brother to a beach town overrun by gorgeous blonds with exotic accents. Among these mysterious women, Sam finds DeeDee. A rare and beautiful novel.
The Symptoms of My Insanity. By Mindy Raf. 2013. Dial, $17.99 (9780803732414). Gr. 9–12.
Handsome Blake is finally paying attention to 15-year-old hypochondriac Izzy—but then he circulates a snapshot of her breast that labels her “Boobgirl.” Isn’t there a sweet, cute guy who will treat her right? (Yes!)
The Treachery of Beautiful Things. By Ruth Francis Long. 2012. Dial, $17.99 (9780803735804). Gr. 7–12.
Seven years after her older brother disappeared into the forest, Jenny enters the woods to say good-bye and stumbles into the fairy realm. As she quests to reclaim her brother, she also falls in love with Jack o’ the Forest. A meld of legends and fairy tales.