Realistic Teen Fiction

Young adult readers often think it’s important to know that they aren’t alone in the human experience. When checking out the titles in our realistic teen fiction category, you’ll find books that speak to issues that many teens deal with on a daily basis. From living in foster homes and experiencing abuse to eating disorders and the trials of growing up, these examples of ya realistic fiction – and others – can all be found here. You’ll also find reviews of books that focus on both the good and the bad of mother-daughter or father-son relationships and other relationships. Check out our current offerings and come back often to see what other problem novels and books about family relationships we read next!


Gena / Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson & Interview

Whether you’re part of one or multiple fandoms, whether you write, read, or steer clear of fanfic, you have to give this one a try. Seriously. Moreover, like my fave book by Hannah Moskowitz, Gone, Gone, Gone, there is a big emotional aspect to Gena / Finn. If you want a punch in the feels, then you don’t want to miss this unique, contemporary YA novel. Read more →


Not After Everything by Michelle Levy

Not After Everything is a realistic depiction of the type of grief that a teen boy would experience if his mother committed suicide as well as the way it affects other people in the community. Michelle Levy doesn’t tie everything up in a perfect bow because that’s not the way life after suicide works, but it can get more hopeful, so she gives readers and Tyler the possibility to hope in a dark time, the joy of laughter during a period of sadness, and the opportunity for a rich and full life despite the “what ifs” and “whys” that might never go away completely. Read more →


Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross

From strong parental figures and a believable exploration of major league sports to a steamy romance, Whatever Life Throws At You won’t make you turn pages as quickly as Brody’s fast ball or Annie’s mile or two mile runs, but it’ll be pretty close. Add in the tension-filled plot twists included in the novel, and you’ll have a really good story featuring a diverse and intersectional love interest. Read more →


We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

Ashley is unintentionally hilarious. It’s rare that malapropism is done so well and so consistently in a YA novel; We Are All Made Of Molecules and Ashley in particular contributed to my joie de beaver, or joie de vie as most of us know the expression. (Susin Nielsen, if you’re reading this, joie de Bieber may have worked just as well even if it would, undoubtedly, become a little dated in the future. *) In a novel that deals with a number of difficult subjects in a sensitive way, like bullying, homophobia, grief, sexual assault, and the threat of compromising photos in addition to the themes of blended families, teenage drinking, and finding creative ways to help others, Ashley’s voice offers a huge, and much needed, serving of comedy at key points. Read more →