Several young women have asked for "good teen romances", leading me to think about the ones that grabbed me when I was that age as well as an exploration of what is out there now.
The first author that came to mind was Judy Blume. I particularly like the book Forever, which focuses on a young woman and her first real love, including issues of sexuality. Blume has been considered "controversial" by some for being so honest about the realities of teen sexuality, so consider your values when considering this book.
Blume's book are a strong contrast to the relatively chaste teen novels of the 50s, when the book often ended with a kiss, at most! This lead some teens to sneak glances at such books as Peyton Place or whatever novel their parents tried to keep hidden, only spurring on their curiousity.
Personally, I felt she wrote openly and honestly about the topic of teen sexuality and first love, something that is a reality today (especially the sexual pressures). Whether you are comfortable with such graphic novels, I give credit to Blume for being an author who makes a strong effort to stay in touch with her readers, to listen to them and try to keep up with their concerns. Adolescence - and adolescents- change with the times. So does this author!
Other books by Blume include: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing...Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret....Deenie...Iggie's House.
CLICK ON AMAZON SEARCH BOX AT RIGHT TO PUT IN ANY OF THESE TITLES - OR THOSE BELOW - AND READ DESCRIPTIONS OF THEM, OTHER READER REVIEWS AND MORE INFO)
Until Tomorrow by Christine Jones Todd is one in a series of books about a young woman, Christy and a male, Todd, during their college years. This series has a strong fan base and it garnered 53 five star reviews from readers at Amazon. My personal take: Strong writing but I found Christy to be a bit whiny, from my older, mid-life perspective. In this book, the background is Europe, providing novelty as Christy and Todd have adventures overseas. Clearly, plenty of readers adore this series, so you might search out a copy and see what you think. It held my interest from beginning to end and my feelings about Christy were only mild, not enough to spoil the book.
Smart Boys and Fast Girls by Stephie Davis is also a fine book and comes highly recommended to me by a number of teens. The book focuses on a common problem: the girl that all the guys like "as a friend or buddy". Where does that leave the young woman who craves romance, not just friendship, who wants to be seen as desirable and attractive and appreciated for more than someone to "hang out with" ? Her life may be busy, she may have plenty of friends but sometimes that isn't enough. This book is one that many females should identify with and find realistic. Who Needs Boys? is another notable book from the same author.
If you want something a little different try Dating for Demons by Serena Robar a romance with a supernatural twist but still firmly grounded in romance territory. How different is this one? It has been described as a "vampire sorority tale" if that gives you a clue.
Lullaby by Sarah Dessen is the perfect choice for those who wonder if romance is real or an illusion, who may be slightly cynical or questioning. This is the book for that reader and I strongly related to it, perhaps because I remember loose, almost hippie-ish times so well. Remy, the young female at the heart of this novel has "no illlusions" about love (or so she thinks). She doesn't believe people are meant to be together "forever".
It is easy to understand why she might feel this way, since her father has split and her mother (ironincally, a romance novelist) is working on her fifth marriage. Although she may consider herself a realist, Remy is definitely into some serious dating and it'll take a near miracle for her to change her views, hopefully before college arrives.