Sometimes a book is sold and a new YA reader is created because a librarian, a bookseller, or a blog post is insightful. In some cases, all it takes is a single enjoyable film to inspire awe. YA fans old and new are sure to descend on bookstores in droves in search of more sharp, funny, romantic contemporaries after the release of the laugh-out-loud teen movie The DUFF, loosely based on the book of the same name by then-teen author Kody Keplinger. A wide variety of options are available, with the best yet to come.
Lying Out Loud, by Kody Keplinger
If you’re already grieving the loss of The DUFF, this is the most obvious option. Sonny, the protagonist of Keplinger’s soon-to-be-released companion, is best friends with Amy’s sister Wesley’s best friend. A little problem Sonny has when it comes to telling the truth is that she rarely does. She can’t tell the truth about her personal life, in particular about why she’s staying with the Rushes in secret. As for the fact that she has been chatting with Ryder all night and pretending to be Amy, she has no choice but to tell the truth. It’s a great match for the original!
The Art of Lainey, by Paula Stokes
Opposites attract, right? Check. Sex-positivity? Check. The best pal ever? Check. Making plans to make one guy fall in love with another, like in the movie “The DUFF”? Check. In case you were smitten by Bianca and Wes’ on-screen romance, you’ll want to check out Lainey and Micah, two very different classmates who first hook up in a fauxmance and then fall in love with all of the heart, humor, chemistry, and banter that comes with a real relationship.
The Fill-In Boyfriend, by Kasie West
On the way to prom, what’s worse than being dumped in a parking lot? If you thought that was bad, wait until you see what else is out there. However, the “fill-in boyfriend” she comes across isn’t a bad replacement. She’ll have to detangle her web of lies to make the fill-in guy the real deal if he becomes the center of attention in her life. And what if you can’t wait until May to get your hands on it at all? Make sure you read or watch West’s earlier romantic comedies, such as The Distance Between Us and On the Fence, which both feature plenty of chemistry and banter.
Audrey, Wait!, by Robin Benway
One of Robin Benway’s best works, this book will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s no surprise that Audrey becomes a sought-after model and unexpected center of attention when her ex-boyfriend turns their breakup into his band’s breakthrough single. She has a great best friend, a new romance with a coworker, and a passion for music, but living normally becomes impossible when other musicians and girls dress like her and pursue her. This is one of those books you’ll pick up whenever you need a good-mood reread because it’s funny and full of great secondary characters.
The Chapel Wars, by Lindsay Leavitt
That this book features one of YA’s most hilarious love triangles is no small compliment to me as a fan of the genre and the banter it fosters between the lead character and the person she/he falls in love with. Despite the fact that Holly and Dax are blood relatives and therefore should be enemies, they can’t deny their mutual attraction to one another. Characters with strong personalities (I like to think of Holly as a Type-A Pixie Dream Girl) and realistic flaws make it even more enjoyable. I laughed out loud several times while reading this book, and it’s definitely worth picking up if you’re looking for some sassy wit in your young adult literature.
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
“In Catching Jordan, the author proves that football and girls can coexist. I couldn’t stop reading it.” — Perfect Chemistry author Simone Elkeles, a New York Times bestselling author. In one of the boys, What girl wouldn’t want to spend every day of her life in the company of hot jocks? Not only does Jordan Woods have a slew of hot guys swarming around her, but she also serves as their captain and quarterback. It’s perfectly acceptable for her to be regarded as one of the guys. So long as she is able to secure a sports scholarship to a prestigious institution. But Ty Green’s arrival at her school puts everything she’s worked for in jeopardy. He’s not only a great quarterback, but he’s also incredibly sexy. At the same time, Jordan is experiencing a sense of vulnerability. Will she be able to maintain her composure when everything she holds dear is on the line?” As much as it respects football, Catching Jordan honors the human spirit with its portrayal of high school romances that is both realistic and compelling.” in the words of the Wildefire author, Karsten Knight
The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris
After graduating from high school, Avery James plans to attend college and medical school. This summer, she will work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica. Exactly what you want it to be. The only issue is that she has only a limited amount of time to raise the remaining funds for the trip. If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and get him to break up with her before the end of the school year, she’ll get a five hundred dollar check. She’s her biggest competition for valedictorian. In the face of yet another summer spent working as a giant hot dog, Avery can’t say no. Avery had no idea what to expect from Zac. It is becoming increasingly difficult for her to maintain any sort of order in this world of late-night slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties and comedy nights. But how much is Avery prepared to give up in order to live the life of his dreams?
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
In the aftermath of Caleb Becker leaving a party drunk and slamming Maggie Armstrong in the face, nothing has ever been the same. In the RcriminalS and RfreakS categories, Caleb and Maggie are viewed as criminals and freaks, respectively. Then the real story of what happened the night of the accident begins to come to light.