Six Picks – Realistic Fiction for Young Adults

Summer’s over, and life is back to reality!  If you like your fiction with a dose of realism, here’s a list of realistic fiction books for young adults (that adults can enjoy, too!).

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a  about Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient. She has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life. (A movie adaptation is currently in production.)

Butter by Erin Jade Lange is about an obese boy everyone calls “Butter”. He is about to make history by eating himself to death, live on the Internet, and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online he gets  morbid cheerleaders rallying around his plan. As their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. What happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn’t go through with his plans?

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth takes place in the early 1990s. After Cameron Post’s parents die she moves in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She rebels against the norms and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center.

Skinny by Donna Cooner is about fifteen-year-old Ever Davies. She is obese and has a cruel inner voice that never lets her forget about her weight or how others see her. She undergoes gastric-bypass surgery, a and makes the decision to start participating in high school life, which includes pursuing her dream of becoming a singer.

The Complete History of Why I Hate Her by Jennifer Richard Jacobson is about sixteen year old Nola who wanting a break from being known only for her sister’s cancer. Shae leaves Boston for a waitressing job at a summer resort in Maine, but soon feels as if her new best friend is taking over her life.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this wonderful debut novel is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

If realistic fiction is your favorite genre, or all of these are currently checked out, take a look at just about any book from John Green, Sarah Dessen, or Lurlene McDaniel. You could also look for Wonder by R.J. Palacio,  A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie by Matt Blackstone, Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones,  or Tangled by Carolyn Mackler. This is far from a complete list, but it just might be the start you need.

Do you have a favorite realistic fiction book or author?

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