Love and life get complicated in these young adult novels. Bring your own tissues.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Misfits Park and Eleanor fall in love in high school, but both of them are smart enough to know that first love never lasts forever.
Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts
Stoic Zac meets fiery Mia in the hospital, where they’re both undergoing treatment for leukemia.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
A suicide attempts lands anxiety-ridden Craig in an institution, where he meets a motley crew of residents who help him face his fears.
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Ponyboy isn’t sure where he fits into the sharply divided social castes of his 1960s Oklahoma town, but when trouble strikes, he’s forced to choose sides.
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
It doesn’t pay to be different in Standish Treadwell’s world, where a Nazi-like government keeps everyone living in fear and hope is hard to find.
My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
One bad decision changes Lucy’s life forever. Now she—and her friends and family—must deal with the fallout.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Social outcasts Sarah and Eric forge a deep friendship, but when Eric’s life takes a different turn and Sarah ends up in a mental hospital, refusing to speak, everything they think they know about each other will be challenged.
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Grieving the loss of her universally beloved older sister, Lennie finds herself in an unexpected love triangle: drawn to one boy who shares her grief and one boy who pulls her toward joy.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
When the world’s population is decimated by a global pandemic, a small troupe of Shakespearean actors travels between far-flung communities, bringing art and music with them.