I die a little inside when I see teen paranormal romances dominating the young adult bookshelves. I’m not hating on paranormal romances (okay, actually I am) but, I believe other YA genres deserve some recognition.
I put together 8 awesome teen/YA books that aren’t paranormal romances or dystopian novels.
Tiger Eyes by Judy Bloom
An oldie but a goodie, this Judy Blume novel tells the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl starting over in Arizona after the tragic death of her father. She meets a mysterious Native American boy . . . and he’s not a werewolf (er, shapeshifter).
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
A standout among Sarah Dessen novels, Dreamland deals with serious issues in an unforgettable and unique way. It follows the complex relationships between 16-year-old Caitlin and the people in her life. This is a story that has stuck with me and many readers.
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
|Technically an adult book, Prep is a novel that will interest any YA reader. The novel follows Lee Fiora during her four years at Ault, an American boarding school. It is another coming of age novels that offers an honest interpretation of what it is like to be a teenager.|
TTYL by Lauren Myracle
A novel written all in IMs weaves into a complete and complex story, that you actually forget the unique nature of the book. Myracle creates 4 unique and fully developed characters all based on their IMs.
Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper
|An epistolary-esque novel, it tells the story of a school coming together and falling apart after the tragic death of a popular basketball player. It features an ensemble cast of characters learning how to deal with the realization they might not be invincible. A nice change to the often invincible character in paranormal romances.
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Chris Crutcher is an amazing writer whose novels often deal with the interweaving of social politics and sports. Whale Talk is the story of a band of misfits coming together to form a swim team. Through the year they find friendship, acceptance and comradery in a town that might not be ready to accept them. I am horrible at all sports, yet I love these books. This is my favorite book of his.
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green
I know the cover looks a little corny, but this is actually a good novel. Set during WWII, this novel shows the war through the eyes of a young girl. The heroine’s naivety and the power of friendship rings throughout the novel. And honestly, just exchange German for angel, vampire, shadowhunter, or werewolf and it reads like your favorite paranormal romance. This one also has a sequel!
These are my favorite books grounded in reality, what are yours ?
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.