Books by Theme: Young Adult Romance for Cynics

So, I'm what I'd like to call a cynical hopeless romantic.  I can't stand your basic bodice ripper and Twilight made me pound my head against a wall, but give me your typical love-hate Pride and Prejudice subplot and I'm a googly-eyed middle schooler in bobby socks.  I imagine that's what googly-eyed middle schoolers wear.  Anyhoo, if you're like me and you have a taste for not-your-typical romance, here are some books to make your inner hopeless romantic and your inner cynic make a truce.  

Romance for Cynics

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
 Min just broke up with dreamy basketball hottie Ed--and she's telling him exactly why.  This quirky break-up novel is a letter from Min to Ed, telling the story of their breakup from start to finish through the most significant objects in their relationship.  Min is a quirky classic film buff with a sharp tongue and a romantic's wide naive eyes.  It's every high school relationship you've ever had distilled into one cheeky, heartwrenching memoir.
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The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
If you've only seen the movie, it's time you read the book.  Forget the Disneyfied fairy grandmother and the druggie-looking love interest.  The book is so much more.  Enter Mia:  vegetarian, math failure, political activist with triangular hair.  Her grandmother, a severe fashion fascist with tatooed eyeliner.  Her mother, a free-spirited artist dating her daughter's math teacher.  Her best friend, a super genius with an equally bright (and stunningly attractive) brother.  It's as much a tale of finding yourself as it is of steamy makeout sessions.  And book Michael is a dreamy nerd.

Your typical romcom with an atypical twist.  Girl gets broken up with.  Girl recruits male best friend to teach her how to have sexy one-night stands.  Girl uses friend for sex.  Guy realizes that he's created his own worst nightmare.  Cue hilarious shenanigans, shapeless hemp frocks, 50s movie references, and a whole lot of bow chicka wow wow.  I swear, that's what they call it.  It's a hysterical sex-positive look at modern dating without the syrupy drama of your average romcom.
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Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones
You thought Diana wouldn't come up on this list?  Ha ha ha ha ha.  This book isn't romance per se, but it's got a great love story.  Rupert Venables is a magid.  That's means he keeps tabs on the multiverse and tries to keep things in relative order.  When his mentor dies, he needs to find a new magid.  So why not interview a bunch of options and bring them all to a science fiction convention.  That's where he meets Maree, a beautifully irritating recently-unemployed know-it-all.  Rupert's trying to stay far out of her way while he interviews the other candidates, but magic and strange affairs are afoot at the Hotel Babylon, and it seems that he and Maree are made to keep meeting.  It's a cheeky modern fantasy with a sweet love story and a lot of cool fairy tale elements.

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
You thought your prom was bad?  Amy gets arrested at hers, for being in possession of marijuana.  Suddenly, her fun prom night with a mystery hottie is weeks of community service, disappointed parents, and manipulative ex-friends.  But there's this guy who seems to make everything better.  Right?  A tale of growth and self-discovery through the tough times, and finding the love that's good for you, not the love you think you need.
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Click the book titles to find out more! 

What are some unconventional romances (or romance-filled books) that you love? 

1 comment:

  1. My all time favorite (unconventional) romance is Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lector.

    (Hey, don't insult my boy...he'll eat you!)