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Teen Books on Dating, Love and Being a Teen

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Quick Links: Teen Dating | Teen Dating Quiz: Are they friends or are they dating? | When should teens start dating? | Teen Breakups

A list of teen books on dating and love that handle the special circumstances of a teen's world and life. Read more about my thoughts on parents reading the books their teen's read in this article, Teens and Parents Should Read Teen Books on Tough Issues. If you've read a book that you would like added to the list, please email it to me.

1. An Abundance of Katherines

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Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
About a boy named Colin, who seems to always be dating, and getting dumped by, girls named Katherine. This fact has help him decide to go on a quest with his high school friend to figure out the mathematical formula that can predict where any relationship will end up – thereby helping himself avoid the Katherines who dump him and making him a genius. By John Green.

Denise’s thoughts: A quick easy read filled with the humor of all of the mangled up ‘logical thoughts’ of a teenage boy.
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2. Heart's Desire: A Novel

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Publisher: Ballantine Books
A story about a summer in Hallie Palmer’s life, by Laura Pedersen. A summer where she is asked to give advice to her younger sister, get a real job to pay for school as gambling is no longer an option, help a dear friend with a huge disappointment and figure out, is he really the one? Pedersen is able to take Hallie through all of this while making readers laugh almost the entire time.

Denise’s thoughts: Lots of social issues in this very humorous book. Gay couples and adoption, college dating relationships, coming of age for a young woman. Not recommended for a young teen.
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3. This Lullaby

teen dating books this lullaby
Publisher: Puffin
Remy is a tough-as-nails girl who has flings, not relationships, just flings. That is until Dexter, who is not-so-aptly named. He slowly worms his way into her heart. By Sarah Dessen.

Denise's thoughts: A teen roller coaster style romance that your teen may be able to see herself in. Funny and true to life, this book gives hope to true love even when it is felt by someone who has never had the reason to trust it.
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4. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

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Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Ever wanted to get back at your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend? Well, so does Nick when he sees her come in to where his band is playing with a date. So, he asks Norah to be his girlfriend for 5-minutes. Those 5-minutes turn into a soaring romance full of heart healing and whirlwind musical moments. By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

Denise’s thoughts: I loved Norah’s retrospection the most. My teen daughter didn’t care for how drawn out it was, too slow of a read for her. I found the language to be very sharp in this book, but it fit the band scene stage. Not recommended for a young teen.
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5. If You Come Softly

teen book if you come softly
Publisher: Puffin
Two teens, Miah and Ellie fall in love at first sight. Normal, right? Not really in their world. Because he is black and she is Jewish. The people in their world do not believe in love between races. By Jacqueline Woodson.

Denise’s thoughts: Written from both points of view the reader gets a glimpse at both sides of the love story, from the Jewish view to the black view. It shows a clarity of what teens see in racism today. I felt the ending was sad and it was unexpected, but well written.
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6. Letting go of Lisa

teen dating books letting go of lisa
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Nathan Malone, homeschooled for all but his senior year, gets a chance at real high school socialism. You know what is going to happen, right? He falls in love with the one girl that doesn’t let anyone get close. She has a secret, she is dying.

Denise’s thoughts: Once you get into this story, it becomes heartbreaking. An emotional roller coaster read that teens really like.
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7. Boy Meets Boy

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
In a world where homosexuality is mostly accepted, homosexual teens like Paul can be who they were meant to be – as confident and as crazy adolescence allows. The loss of the one true love he wanted, because he made a stupid mistake, has Paul doing anything to get it back. By David Levithan.

Denise’s thoughts: I think the difference between Paul’s family and his friend Tony’s family, who doesn’t accept his homosexuality, will really hit home for some teens.
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8. Harmless

teen dating lying books Harmless
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Emma, Anna and Mariah are best friends. When they come up with a scheme to do something they shouldn’t, then almost get caught, they lie. The lie grows, people get hurt, people get in big trouble and you get to hear what each of the three girls thinks about all of it. Then they need to face the consequences.

Denise’s thoughts: The perfect depiction of what can happen when you tell a little lie. It grows and grows until you are no longer in control of what comes out of it. Excellent read.
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9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

teen dating love books
Publisher: MTV
Charlie’s letters are purposeful and aimed at the object of his affections, we just don’t know who that is. Charlie loses his aunt and his best friend commits suicide and a dark secret about child molestation is revealed. Yet, through it all, Charlie ponders about his life and the lives of those around him with focused reason. By Stephen Chbosky.

Denise’s thoughts: There is a lot in this book. Sex, drugs, death, suicide – and Charlie is only a freshman. Be prepared for some tough talks and deep thinking when your teen reads this book.
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10. Paper Towns

teen dating books
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Quentin Jacobsen lives next door to the girl of his dreams, Margo, and he has loved her since he was little. Now that they are in high school, he is trying to think of way that they can be together forever. She is more of a mystery and gets more mysterious when she disappears, and the clues that are left are for Quentin to figure out. By John Green.

Denise’s thoughts: If your teen is into romantic mysteries, they’ll love this book. There are some references to suicide, you may want to be prepared to talk about it.
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