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:
Becky F.
Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Daria Snadowsky
(Young Adult - 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 - Y Oneill)

It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma. 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. She doesn't know why she's in pain. 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 - 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 California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director―anything but scared and alone. Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. 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. Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness―and emerging into the light again.

Bitter End

Jennifer Brown
(Young Adult - Y Brown)

When seventeen-year-old Alex starts dating Cole, a new boy at her high school, her two closest friends increasingly mistrust him as the relationship grows more serious.

Doing It

Melvin Burgess
(Young Adult - Y Burgess)

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


Judy Blume
(Young Adult - Y Blume)

Katherine and Michael, along with various friends and acquaintances in suburban New Jersey, discover the possibilities and limitations of love and personal commitment.

Giving Up the V

Serena Robar
(Young Adult - Y Robar)

When Spencer gets birth control pills from her mother for her sixteenth birthday, she finds herself considering the different members of her group of friends and trying to decide whether or not she even wants to date any of them.

Lost It

Kristen Tracy
(Young Adult - Y Tracy)

As if dealing with her best friend's plot to destroy a poodle and considering losing her virginity to her boyfriend wasn't enough, now Tess Whistle has to find her bearings in a new community when her family moves to a survivalist camp in Utah.

The Nature of Jade

Deb Caletti
(Young Adult - Y Caletti)

Seattle high school senior Jade's life is defined by her anxiety disorder and dysfunctional family, until she spies a mysterious boy with a baby who seems to share her fascination with the elephants at a nearby zoo.

Sloppy Firsts

Megan McCafferty
(Young Adult - Y Mccaffe)

Devastated when her best friend moves away, sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling feels isolated at school and at home, as she struggles to deal with her father's obsession with her track meets, her boy-crazy peers, and her own nonexistent love life.


Laurie Halse Anderson
(Young Adult - Y Anderso)

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

The Things You Kiss Goodbye

Leslie Connor
(Young Adult - 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.

What Happens Next

Colleen Clayton
(Young Adult - 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.

You Against Me

Jenny Downham
(Young Adult - Y Downham)

When eighteen-year-old Mikey's younger sister claims to have been raped and he seeks to avenge the crime, he meets Ellie, the sister of the accused, and befriends her, complicating the situation considerably for all of them.