Relationships, Dating, and Tough Stuff

These books feature many different relationships from the good to the bad. They are realistic portrayals of things that are happening to teens in Bloomington and all over the country. Pick one up to learn, to grow, or to find comfort that you are not alone.


Compiled by:
Tyana H.
Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Daria Snadowsky
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Snadows)

In her last semester at a private school in Fort Myers, Florida, seventeen-year-old Dom finds her life transformed by her first boyfriend, Wes, a track star at the public school her best friend attends.


Asking For It

Louise O'Neill
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Oneill)

Emma O'Donovan is at a party one night. The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes....


Bad Romance

Heather Demetrios
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Demetri)

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director―anything but scared and alone. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape. 


The big questions book of sex and consent

Donna Freitas
(Adult Nonfiction - 306.70835 Fre)

What this book is NOT: The fear-based How-To on sex and consent, oversimplified and focused on technicalities, that represents so much of our sexual education today.

What this book IS: A journey into the Big Questions that will turn you into a thinking person about sex and consent, with the ability to wrestle towards the answers that work for YOU and continue to wrestle towards them for the rest of your life. What is the meaning and purpose of sex? How does it intersect with who I am? Why are people so afraid of it? What does a healthy and joyful approach to sex look like for me? Why is consent so much more than a yes or no question? Who this book is FOR: Everybody!! No matter your sexuality, gender, religion, or race. What could be more essential?


Doing It

Melvin Burgess
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Burgess)

Three teenage friends, Dino, Jonathon, and Ben, confront the confusions, fears, and joys of adolescent male sexuality.


A Girl Like That

Tanaz Bhathena
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bhathen)

In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sixteen-year-old half-Hindu/half-Parsi Zarin Wadia is the class troublemaker and top subject for the school rumor blogs, regularly leaving class to smoke cigarettes in cars with boys, but she also desperately wants to grow up and move out of her aunt and uncle's house, perhaps realizing too late that Porus, another non-Muslim Indian who risks deportation but remains devoted to Zarin, could help her escape.


Girl Made of Stars

Ashley Blake
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Blake)

Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn't know what to think. Can her brother really be guilty of such a violent act? Torn between her family and her sense of right and wrong, Mara feels lost, and it doesn’t help that things are strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie.


The Nowhere Girls

Amy Reed
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Reed)

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.


The pride guide : a guide to sexual and social health for LGBTQ youth

Jo Langford
(Adult Nonfiction - 306.7608 Lan)

Sex education materials meant to explain important basics to kids are too-often not written with an empathic understanding of what those basics are. This is particularly obvious regarding books that include LGBTQ identities. Even when they do hit the mark, many have a limited scope and don't take into account the practical realities of developing sexuality. The Pride Guide is written explicitly for the almost ten percent of teenagers who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or any of the unique identities that are not heterosexual/ cisgendered. It explores sex, dating, relationships, puberty, and both physical and online safety in one resource. 


Rookie on love : 45 voices on romance, friendship, and self-care

Tavi Gevinson
- editor
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Rookie)

A single-subject anthology about the heart's most powerful emotion, edited by Tavi Gevinson. Featuring exclusive, never-before-seen essays, poems, comics, and interviews from contributors like Jenny Zhang, Emma Straub, Hilton Als, Janet Mock, John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Gabourey Sidibe, Mitski, Alessia Cara, Etgar Keret, Margo Jefferson, Sarah Manguso, Durga Chew-Bose, and many more!


Sadie

Courtney Summers
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Summers)

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.


Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Anderso)

A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.


Starfish

Akemi Dawn Bowman
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bowman)

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.


The Things You Kiss Goodbye

Leslie Connor
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Connor)

High school junior Bettina Vasilisis is trapped in a relationship with her basketball star boyfriend when she meets Cowboy, a car mechanic of whom her traditional father would not approve.


The Way I Used to Be

Amber Smith
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Smith)

After fourteen-year-old Eden is raped by her brother's best friend, she knows she'll never be the way she used to be.


The Weight of a Thousand Feathers

Brian Conaghan
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Conagha)

As the person who cares for his terminally-ill mother, Bobby Seed has a lot on his plate. Add to that a responsibility to watch over his little brother, keeping up at school, and navigating a relationship with a girl who wants to be a girlfriend. But then Bobby's mother makes a request, one that seems impossible. If he agrees, he won't just be soothing her pain. He'll be helping her end it -- and end everything.


What Happens Next

Colleen Clayton
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Clayton)

The stress of hiding a horrific incident that she can neither remember nor completely forget leads sixteen-year-old Cassidy "Sid" Murphy to become alienated from her friends, obsess about weight loss, and draw close to Corey "The Living Stoner" Livingston.


What I Leave Behind

Alison McGhee
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mcghee)

Since his father's suicide, Will, sixteen, has mainly walked, worked at Dollar Only, and tried to replicate his father's cornbread recipe, but the rape of his childhood friend shakes things up.


Graphic Novels

Let's talk about it : the teen's guide to sex, relationships, and being a human

Erika Moen, Matthew Nolan
(Graphic Novels - GN 306.7 Moe)

A graphic novel about sex, sexuality, gender, body, consent, and many other topics for teens


Wait, What? A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

Heather Corinna
(Graphic Novel - GN 612.661 Cor)

From Heather Corinna, founder and director of Scarleteen.com, and Isabella Rotman, cartoonist and sex educator, comes a graphic novel guide that covers essential topics for preteens and young teens about their changing bodies and feelings.


What Does Consent Really Mean?

Pete Wallis, Thalia Wallis
(Graphic Novels - GN 306.7083 Wal)

Following the sexual assault of a classmate, a group of teenage girls find themselves discussing the term consent, what it actually means for them in their current relationships, and how they act and make decisions with peer influence.