Realistic YA Revolution Recommendations (including top 5 books and authors)

Over 150 books recommended. You guys rock! And…I have a very long list of to-read books now. Thank you all for participating and spreading the word!

As promised, I have broken the recommendations down into the Top 5 (or 6) most recommended books. But I have also added a Top 5 Most Recommended Authors category because a few authors were mentioned a LOT and another category for books that were mentioned 3+ times.

Due the sheer amount of books, I didn’t have time to double check if each one was realistic (although I took off a few that I knew were paranormal) I also only included books that were actually specified in the comments (rather than ‘any book by Laurie Halse Anderson’, for example) However, I did keep track of author name mentions and included them when compiling the numbers for ‘Most Recommended Authors’.

Top Five Six Most Recommended Realistic YA Books (in alphabetical order by title):

Each had a minimum of six mentions/recommendations–three were tied!

Ballads Of Suburbia By Stephanie Kuehnert
Harmonic Feedback By Tara Kelly (Wow, guys. Totally unexpected–thank you!)
Sweethearts By Sara Zarr
The Secret Year By Jennifer Hubbard
The Sky Is Everywhere By Jandy Nelson
Twenty Boy Summer By Sarah Ockler

Top Five Most Recommended Realistic YA Authors (in alphabetical order by first name):

These multi-published authors received a minimum of 9 mentions each–wow!

Courtney Summers (I just have to add that she got 18 mentions–EIGHTEEN!!!)
Melina Marchetta
Sara Zarr
Sarah Dessen
Sarah Ockler

Popular Realistic YA Books(in alphabetical order by title):

These books each got 3-5 recommendations!

After By Amy Efaw
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour By Morgan Matson
Anna And The French Kiss By Stephanie Perkins
Brooklyn, Burning By Steve Brezenoff
Chasing Brooklyn & The Day Before By Lisa Schroeder
Cracked Up To Be By, Fall For Anything, & Some Girls Are By Courtney Summers
Dirty Little Secrets By C.J. Omololu.
Five Flavors Of Dumb By Antony John
Fixing Delilah By Sarah Ockler
Forbidden By Tabitha Suzuma
Invincible Summer By Hannah Moskowitz
Guitar Girl By Sarra Manning
Hold Still By Nina La Cour
Lock & Key By Sarah Dessen
Marcelo In The Real World By Francisco X Stork
North Of Beautiful By Justina Chen
Once Was Lost By Sara Zarr
Saving Francesca & The Piper’s Son By Melina Marchetta
Sea By Heidi R Kling
Speak By Laurie Halse-Anderson
Stay By Deb Caletti
Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher

120+ Realistic YA Books You Need To Check Out:

I apologize for the lack of alphabetizing here. Word was giving me issues and only alphabetizing SOME of them *sigh* Readers have recommended books from all over the world–many of these books have been recommended more than once!

48 Shades Of Brown And Monica Bloom By Nick Earl
A Door Near Here By Heather Quarles
A Little Wanting Song & Graffiti Moon By Cath Crowley
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend By Emily Horner
After Ever After By Jordan Sonnenblick
After The Kiss By Terra Elan Mcvoy
After The Moment By Garret Freymann-Weyr
Albatross By Josie Bloss
All We Know Of Heaven By Jacquelyn Mitchard
Breathless By Jessica Warman
Crash Test Love By Ted Michael
No And Me By Delphine De Vigan
Nothing By Janne Teller
Before I Die By Jenny Downham
The Chosen One By Carol Lynch Williams
Almost Home By Jessica Blank
How To Say Goodbye In Robot By Natalie Standiford
And Then Everything Unraveled By Jennifer Sturman
Ball Don’t Lie And Mexican Whiteboy By Matt De La Peña
Elsewhere By Gabrielle Zevin
Enthusiasm By Polly Shulman
Stalker Girl By Rosemary Graham
Exposed By Kimberly Marcus
Beautiful By Amy Reed
Beautiful Malice By Rebecca James
Between Shades Of Gray By Ruta Sepetys
Boy Meets Boy By David Levithan
Broken Soup By Jenny Valentine
Burned By Ellen Hopkins
Paper Towns By John Green
Crash Into Me By Albert Borris
The Mockingbirds By Daisy Whitney
But I Love Him By Amanda Grace
By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead, Luna, & Rage By Julie Anne Peters
Camo Girl By Kekla Magoon
Carter Finally Gets It By Brent Crawford
Audrey Wait! By Robin Benway.
Withering Tights By Louise Rennison
Confessions Of A Triple Shot Betty By Jody Gehrman
Crazy Beautiful By Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Daughter Of Xanadu By Dori Jones Yang
Deb Caletti By Six Rules Of Maybe
Diary Of A Crush By Sarra Manning
Doing It By Melvin Burgess
Down To The Bone By Mayra Lazara Doyle
Love Is The Higher Law By David Levithan
Dreamland By Sarah Dessen
Far From You By Lisa Schroeder
Fat Cat By Robin Brande
Flash Burnout By Lk Madigan
Freefall By Mindy Scott
Funny How Things Change By Melissa Wyatt
Fury By Shirley Marr
Geek Girl By Cindy Bennett
Sundays At Tiffany’s, James Patterson
The Things A Brother Knows & Anything Dana Reinhardt
Geography Club By Brent Hartinger
Glimpse By Carol Lynch Williams
Going Too Far By Jennifer Echols
Gravity Brings Me Down, Natale Ghent
Just In Case, Meg Rosoff
Grounding Quinn By Stephanie Campbell
Her And Me And You By Lauren Strasnick
High Dive By Tammar Stein
Honey, Baby, Sweetheart By Deb Caletti
How To Save A Life By Sara Zarr
I Know It’s Over & One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else By Erin Mccahan
Into The Wild Nerd Yonder By Julie Halpin
Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto By Eric Luper
Mindblind By Jennifer Roy
The Miracle Stealer By Neil Connolly
Life, After By Sarah Darer Littman
I’ll Be There By Holly Goldberg Sloan
If I Stay & Where She Went By Gayle Forman
The Absolute Value Of -1 By Steve Brezenoff
Jellicoe Road By Melina Marchetta
Jumping Off Swings, Lessons From A Dead Girl, & Pearl By Jo Knowles
Jumpstart The World By Catherine Ryan Hyde
Kissing The Bee By Kathe Koja
Leaving Paradise By Simone Elkeles
Leftovers And Such A Pretty Girl By Laura Wiess
Leverage By Joshua C. Cohen
Like Mandarin By Kristin Hubbard
Living Dead Girl By Elizabeth Scott
Lonely Hearts Club By Eulberg
Losing Faith By Denise Jaden
Love Inc. By Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout
Love Sick By Jake Coburn (2005)
Lovesick By Jake Coburn
Lucas By Kevin Brooks
My Heartbeat By Garrett Freymann Weyr
Stargirl By Jerry Spinelli
Say The Word By Jeannine Garsee
Miles From Ordinary By Carol Lynch Williams
Missing Judy By Anne Cassidy
Mostly Good Girls By Leila Sales
My Big Fat Manifesto By Susan Vaught
My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters By Sydney Salter
My Invented Life By Lauren Bjorkman
No More Us For You By David Hernandez
Not That Kind Of Girl By Siobhan Vivian
Nothing But The Truth (And A Few White Lies) By Justina Chen Headley
Nothing Like You By Lauren Strasnick
Blood On My Hands By Todd Strasser
Heist Society By Ally Carter
Oymg By Amy Fellner Dominy
Moonglass By Jessi Kirby
Illegal By Bettina Restrepo
The Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round Things By Carolyn Mackler
Sugar And Ice By Kate Messner
Ordinary Beauty By Laura Wiess
Sixteenth Summer By Michelle Dalton
Popular By Alissa Grosso
The Pull Of Gravity By Gae Polisner
Sean Griswold’s Head By Lindsey Leavitt
Sorta Like A Rock Star By Matthew Quick
Raw Blue By Kirsty Eagar
Recovery Road By Blake Nelson
Salvaged And Rise By Stefne Miller
Saving June By Hannah Harrington
Sierra Jensen Series By Robin Jones Gunn
Beige & Boy Proof By Cecil Castilucci
The Wish House By Celia Rees
Sing Me To Sleep By Angela Morrison.
Sliding On The Edge By C. Lee Mckenzie
Something Like Hope By Shawn Goodman
Split By Swati Avasthi
Stolen By Lucy Christopher
Story Of A Girl By Sara Zarr
Teenie By Christopher Grant
Tyrell By Coe Booth
The Anatomy Of Wings By Karen Foxlee
The Duff By Kody Keplinger
The Girl With Mermaid Hair By Delia Ephron
The First Part Last By Angela Johnson
Choker By Elizabeth Woods
Tell Me A Secret By Holly Cupala
Ten Miles Past Normal By Frances O’roark Dowell
Scrawl By Mark Schulman
The Basic Eigh By Daniel Handler
The Big Crunch By Pete Hautman
The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks
My Life Undecided By Jessica Brody
The Freak Observer By Blythe Woolston
The Key To The Golden Firebird By Maureen Johnson
The Princess Of Las Pulgas By C. Lee Mckenzie
The Running Dream By Wendelin Van Draanen
The Sky Always Hears Me And The Hills Don’t Mind By Kirstin Cronn-Mills,
The Snowball Effect By Holly Nicole Hoxter
The Summer Of Skinny Dipping By Andrea Howells
Take Me There By Carolee Dean
The Tension Of Opposites By Kristina Mcbride
Winter Longing By Tricia Mills
Freak Magnet By Andrew Auseon
A Match Made In High School By Kristin Walker
Psych Major Syndrome By Alicia Thompson
The Deadly Sister By Eliot Schrefer
All Unquiet Things By Anna Jarzab
The Trouble With Half A Moon By Danette Vigilante
Small Town Sinners By Melissa Walker
Shine By Lauren Myracle
This Girl Is Different By Jj Johnson
What Can’t Wait By Ashley Hope Perez
Hush By Eishes Chayil
A Good Long Way By Rene Saldana, Jr.
This Thing Called The Future By J.L. Powers (South Africa)
The Queen Of Water By Laura Resau And Maria Virginia Farinango (Ecuador)
Words In The Dust By Trent Reedy (Afghanistan)
Abe In Arms By Pegi Dietz Shea (Liberia)
Total Constant Order By Crissa-Jean Chappell
Trapped By Michael Northrop
Truth & Dare, Edited By Liz Miles
Two-Way Street By Lauren Barnholdt.
Waiting To Score By J.E. Macleod
Wasteland By Francesca Lia Block
What Happened To Goodbye By Dessen
What Happens Here By Tara Altebrando
Waves By Sharon Dogar
Where The Truth Lies By Jessica Warma
Where Things Come Back By John Corey Whaley
Willow By Julia Hoban
With Or Without You By Brian Farrey
You Against Me By Jenny Downham
You Don’t Know Me By David Klass

And don’t worry, I plan on announcing the WINNERS of the contest tonight! Stay tuned :)

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10 Responses to Realistic YA Revolution Recommendations (including top 5 books and authors)

  1. Julia G. says:

    Thank you for all of these recommendations! I am so excited so add these books to my reading list, too! :-)

    I can’t wait until you announce the winners tonight! (Fingers crossed!) Good luck, everyone!


  2. Erica says:

    I will need to check out all of these – I’ve read quite a few, but I’m excited to have a list of realistic YA to go to :)

  3. WHOA!! Awesome, awesome list!! Thank you so much for doing this! My TBR pile is going to be even more out of control now! :)

  4. Thanks, Tara, for gathering and sharing these recommendations. So happy you both write and promote Realistic YA. You rock!

  5. Audrey says:

    AWESOME list! Thanks so much for sorting this out, all these books looks great :) Realistic YA FTW!

  6. katiecoops says:

    I love this list! I was directed here by a retweet of Jennifer Hubbard by Jo Knowles. :) I love realistic contemporary fiction and I was surprised to see I’ve only read three of the top six recommendations! They immediately went on my to-read list. Also, I bookmarked this page in case I ever run out of books. Thank you for putting this together!

  7. This is the best post ever! I am so excited to start working my way through the books I haven’t read. I have this post bookmarked.

    Thanks for doing this, Tara!!

  8. Andrea says:

    So many good books to add to my “must read” list!

  9. Love your focus on Realistic YA. And I am honored to be included on your list of books to check out–not once, but twice. That was very nice. Hey! I think I just made a rhyme.

  10. Jen Klein says:

    I am newnewnew to you and your blog — new to writing contemporary YA fiction (was a screenwriter). So happy to see this post. Also so happy to see someone mention Siobhan Vivian. NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL is really amazing — the way she is able to turn and reveal a character is awesomely subtle.

    Anyway… I’ll be here more often now.