Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dating Customs

September is around the corner, so here is a booklist for new beginnings focusing on the subject of dating and sometimes breaking up.  All of the titles listed below are in the contemporary/realistic fiction genre.  No paranormal romance, no vampires, no zombies, or ghosts, just the magic of relating. 
Visiting another country?  Here are some teen dating customs from around the world.

Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen, 2009.  When Auden goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating.  Awards: YALSA Best Books for Y.A., 2010;  Young Reader's Choice Award (Pacific Northwest): Senior.

Almost Perfect, by Brian Katcher, 2009.  With his mother working long hours and in pain from a romantic break-up, 18-year-old Logan feels alone and unloved until a zany new student arrives at his small-town Missouri high school, keeping a big secret.  Awards: Rainbow Lists-Y.A. Fiction, 2010; Stonewall Book Awards; YALSA Best Books for Y.A., 2010.

Beatle Meets Destiny, by Gabrielle Williams, 2010.  When superstitious 18-year-old John "Beatle" Lennon, who is dating the best friend of his twin sister, meets Destiny McCartney, their instant rapport and shared quirkiness make it seem that their fate is written in the stars. Awards: Children's Book Council of Australia: Notable Australian Children's Books-Older Readers; YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2011.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Stories About Falling Out of Love, by Niki Burnham, Terri Clark, Ellen Hopkins, & Lynda Sandoval, 2008.  Four tales by four different authors look at different sides of the end of a first love, presenting each author's trademark style within her story.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn, 2010.  Told in the alternating voices of Dash and Lily, two 16-year-olds carry on a wintry scavenger hunt at Christmas-time in New York, neither knowing quite what--or who--they will find. Awards:  YALSA Best Books for Y.A., 2011; YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Y.A., Adventure Seekers (2012).

Empress of the World, by Sara Ryan, 2001.  While attending a summer institute, 15-year-old Nic meets another girl named Battle, falls in love with her, and finds the relationship to be difficult and confusing.  Awards:  Oregon Book Awards: Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Readers (1990-2002); YALSA Best Books for Y.A.. 2002.

Flash Burnout, by L.K. Madigan, 2009.  After he takes a photograph of a woman who is living on the streets and discovers it to be the meth-addicted mother of his closest friend Marissa, Blake finds himself spending more time with Marissa than with his girlfriend. Awards: William C. Morris YA Debut Award; YALSA Best Books for Young Adults: 2010.

Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen, 2001. In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.  Awards: California Young Reader Medal: Middle School; School Library Journal Best Books,2001; South Carolina Book Awards; Virginia Readers' Choice Award: (Grades 6-9).

Girl Meets Boy: Because There are Two Sides to Every Story, edited by Kelly Milner Halls, 2012.  Twelve authors of young adult fiction collaborate on this collection of paired stories told alternately from the point of view of the boy and the girl.

How They Met, and Other Stories, by David Levithan, 2008.  A collection of eighteen stories describing the surprises, sacrifices, doubts, pain, and joy of falling in love. Award: Rainbow Lists-Young Adult Fiction, 2009.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot, by Natalie Standiford, 2009.  After moving to Baltimore and enrolling in a private school, high school senior Beatrice befriends a quiet loner with a troubled family history. Awards: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award-Best Young Adult, 2009; YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2010.

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman, 2009.  While in a coma following an accident that killed her parents and younger brother, 17-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weighs whether to live with her grief or join her family in death. Awards: Blue Hen Book Award (Delaware): Teen Book; Great Lakes Great Books Award (Michigan),Grades 9-12; YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2010; YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Y.A. Readers: 2010

Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, 2008. In three intertwining short stories, several high school couples experience the trials and tribulations along with the joys of romance during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town. 

Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins, 2011.  Budding costume designer Lola lives an extraordinary life in San Francisco with her two dads and beloved dog, dating a punk rocker, but when the Bell twins return to the house next door Lola recalls both the friendship-ending fight with Calliope, a figure skater, and the childhood crush she had on Cricket.  See also by Perkins: Anna and the French Kiss

My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick, 2012.  When Samantha, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a wealthy, perfectionist, Republican state senator, falls in love with the boy next door, whose family is large, boisterous, and just making ends meet, she discovers a different way to live, but when her mother is involved in a hit-and-run accident Sam must make some difficult choices.

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park, by Steve Kluger, 2008.  Three teenagers in Boston narrate their experiences of a year of new friendships, first loves, and coming into their own. Award: Rainbow Lists-Y.A.Fiction: 2009.

Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler, 2011.  16-year-old Min writes a letter to Ed in which she breaks up with him, documenting their relationship and how items in the accompanying box, from bottle caps to a cookbook, foretell the end.   Awards:  Booklist Editors' Choice-Books for Youth-Older Readers, 2011; School Library Journal Best Books, 2011; YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green, 2010.  When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and discover that they share the same name, their lives become intertwined as one begins dating the other's best friend, who produces a play revealing his relationship with them both.  Awards: Rainbow Lists-Y.A. Fiction, 2011; YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2011.

Can You Relate? : Real-World Advice For Teens on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along, by Annie Fox, 2000. 

The Date Book: A Teen Girl's Complete Guide to Going Out With Someone New, by Erika Stalder, 2007.

On Relationships: A Book For Teenagers, by Kimberly Kirberger, 1999.

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