Marathon County Public Library

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Realistic Fiction for Teens / Teen Reads

Books for teens categorized for your consideration by library staff!

"Guy in Real Life" by Steve Brezenoff

'Guy in Real Life' by Steve Brezenoff

★★★★ So you read "Eleanor and Park" and you're looking for something similar. Look no farther, as I have your next read right here! Steven Brezenoff's "Guy in Real Life," is an excellent companion to "Eleanor and Park." Lesh is into heavy metal and black dusters. After a Labor Day metal show, he drunkenly smashed into worries, he's walking and she's riding a bike. Even though he knows nothing about her, Lesh is captured by her. Af ...

Reviewed by Julie K. Read more reviews of "Guy in Real Life" at »

"This One Summer" by Mariko Tamaki

'This One Summer' by Mariko Tamaki

★★★★★ Every summer Rose and her parents visit Awago Beach. There are the timeless jokes (Rose's father jokes about Rose being born at the turkey farm) and the old summer only friends, in Rose's case, Windy. This summer is different. Rose's mom and dad aren't getting along and Rose thinks she knows why: Rose's mom wants to have another baby, but her dad doesn't."This One Summer" layers the concerns Rose has about her parent's rela ...

Reviewed by Julie K. Read more reviews of "This One Summer" at »

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell

★★★★★ Cath and Wren are identical twins entering their freshman year of college. Wren jumps into the party scene while Cath dives into her favorite hobby: writing fanfiction about the literary phenomenon Simon Snow. Wren and Cath used to write it together, but Wren is slowly drifting apart from her twin, wanting to make her own identity apart from Cath. Feeling separated from her sister, Cath befriends her surly roommate Reagan and Reagan's char ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Fangirl" at »

"Lovely, Dark and Deep" by Amy McNamara

'Lovely, Dark and Deep' by Amy McNamara

★★★★★ When her boyfriend dies in a tragic accident, Wren retreats to her father’s remote home and art studio. A ghost of her former self, she feels broken. Wren just wants to be left alone. When she's not sleeping, she goes running in the woods. Will she ever return to normal life? Throughout this poetic winter read Wren’s inner dialogue captures feelings of grief, loss, and mourning in a way that feels real. Readers may also want to ra ...

Reviewed by Katie Z. Read more reviews of "Lovely, Dark and Deep" at »

"A Certain October" by Angela Johnson

'A Certain October' by Angela Johnson

★★★★ A tragic accident lands Scotty's brother in a coma and kills a classmate. She is used to sitting back and letting life happen to her. While mourning and recovering, she realizes her own power to make a difference reconciling relationships and beginning new ones. A coming-of-age story recommended for fans of Lauren Myracle and John Green. ...

Reviewed by Katie Z. Read more reviews of "A Certain October" at »

"Before You Go" by James Preller

'Before You Go' by James Preller

The summer before his senior year, Jude (yes, he’s named after the Beatles song) gets his first job, falls in love for the first time, and starts to break away from his parents. Jude’s house is kept dark, and no one talks much—it’s been that way since his little sister drowned in a swimming pool seven years ago when Jude was supposed to be watching her.Now, Jude is finally, finally starting to live. Really live. And then, ...

Read more reviews of "Before You Go" at »

"Lucky Fools" by Coert Voorhees

'Lucky Fools' by Coert Voorhees

David Ellison dreams of acting at Juilliard, but he's expected to attend nearby Stanford University, just like all of his classmates at hard-driving Oak Fields Prep. As if wasting his private school education weren't enough, David is also on track to destroy his relationship with his girlfriend, Ellen, when he finds himself falling for his new co-star, Vanessa. With David's Juilliard audition approaching, and his relationship teetering on ...

Read more reviews of "Lucky Fools" at »

"Perfect Escape" by Jennifer Brown

'Perfect Escape' by Jennifer Brown

Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation. Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough di ...

Read more reviews of "Perfect Escape" at »

"The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life" by Tara Altebrando

'The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life' by Tara Altebrando

An all-day scavenger hunt in the name of eternal small-town gloryWith only a week until graduation, there's one last thing Mary and her friends must do together: participate in the Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. And Mary is determined to win.Mary lost her spot at Georgetown to self-professed "it" bully Jake Barbone, and she's not about to lose again. But everyone is racing for the finish line wit ...

Read more reviews of "The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life" at »

"Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell

'Eleanor & Park' by Rainbow Rowell

★★★★★ Eleanor and Park are both high school outsiders in 1986 Omaha. Eleanor is the new girl in town with an unstable and threatening family life. Park is half-Korean in a white-dominated town who struggles to fit in not only at school but with his own family. When the two outlanders sit on the school bus together, they find an acceptance in each other and create a bond that cannot be broken. Even though the book is classified as young adult ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Eleanor & Park" at »

"Liar & Spy" by Rebecca Stead

'Liar & Spy' by Rebecca Stead

★★★★ Rebecca Stead, author of the 2010 Newbery Medal winner, When You Reach Me, brings us another great middle-grade novel. Liar & Spy tells the story of seventh grader Georges, his mysterious new friend and the "Science Unit of Destiny." Touching on themes of change, bullies, friends and family, the book plays at perception ...

Reviewed by Katie Z. Read more reviews of "Liar & Spy" at »

"The Sharp Time" by Mary O'Connell

'The Sharp Time' by Mary  O'Connell

★★★★★ Meet Sandanista Jones, a lonely girl with a broken heart. On Monday morning, Sandanista walks out of her high-school and finds herself a job at The Pale Circus, a quirky vintage clothing store. Isolated since her mother's death, she struggles to find a place to belong. She makes friends with a fellow employee equally flawed and hurting, and struggles with her own pain and the pain of others around her. As she tries to cope, Sandanista p ...

Reviewed by Katie Z. Read more reviews of "The Sharp Time" at »

"How to Save a Life" by Sara Zarr

'How to Save a Life' by Sara Zarr

Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to hav ...

Read more reviews of "How to Save a Life" at »

"The Spectacular Now" by Tim Tharp

'The Spectacular Now' by Tim Tharp

★★★★ "The Spectacular Now" is a coming of age story that demonstrates teen relationships and invincibility perfectly. The main character, Sutter, is the life of the party and always looks for ways to uplift others in unique ways. Aimee is a social nobody who runs into Sutter on accident. They become friends as Sutter yearns to help Aimee out. In the end they both change and shape each other for the better.I found this read to be sli ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "The Spectacular Now" at »

14 | Based on the Goodreads API.