Book List

8 YA Books About Breakups

December 6, 2021
Brian Murray

It’s officially cuffing-season, the time of year when singles anxiously look around for a partnership for the chilly winter month.  Many cherish spending the holidays with partners new and old, cherishing the warmth, love, and companionship…

Well, this list is not for them.

If you have gone through a break-up recently, are going through a break-up, or are just in the break-up mood, then Riveted by Simon Teen has you covered. For those more interested in the breaking apart than the getting together, this list is for you.

8 YA Books About Breakups

1. My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong

This is a title that really says it all. Iris’s summer begins with universal college rejections and, of course, her boyfriend cheating on her. Set aimlessly adrift, Iris has no idea what she is going to do with herself or her future. But what better way to get over a break-up than having your parents send you on a trip to visit family in Beijing?! Iris is skeptical but cannot deny the opportunity for a new start away from it all. But what feels like a simple trip ends up being a tour of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading to a summer of new and unexpected discoveries.

2. When We Were Them by Laura Taylor Namey

Laura Taylor Namey’s captivating novel is a story of the aftermath and what we see when we look back. For years, Willa, Luz, and Britton were the absolute best of friends, determined to stick by each other’s sides through thick and thin. Now, it’s graduation, and they couldn’t be farther apart. Willa feels responsible for the falling out. When she unearths their memory box, the good times all come back, leaving her to wonder just how all of this could have happened.  But the further she travels down memory lane, the closer she gets to what split them apart. Friend break-ups can be even harder than romantic ones, and this book is the perfect bittersweet comfort.

3. Indestructible Object by Mary McCoy

Here we have one of our more dramatic break-ups. Lee co-hosts her podcast Artists in Love with her boyfriend Vincent. On an episode hosted right after graduation, he decides to break up with her…on air. Coincidentally, Lee’s parents announce they are also seeking a separation. In all of this chaos, Lee decides to form a new podcast with her old friend mask to answer the ultimate question: does love exist at all?  A wonderful novel full of emotion, introspection, and self-discovery. A truly essential read for this list.

4. Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

If your idea of getting over a break-up is the perfect girls night out, Morgan Matson has you covered. Kat and Stevie are best friends who plan on having the absolute best night ever as they sneak away to New York City. But the city has other plans and misfortunes ahead: destroyed phones, parties, unhelpful cab drivers, and yes…even some old flames. And maybe even some unexpected Pomeranians. It’s a wild night and an utterly bingeable read.

5. A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Lila is another girl who thinks she has it all planned out: a job at the bakery, moving in with her BFF, and a happy road ahead with her boyfriend. But after she loses all three, her worried parents send her off to Winchester, England to help her strained mental health. Lila is not enthused: no sun, a small town, no fun to be had. It’s a total disaster…until she meets Orion Maxwell, a teashop clerk going through his own issues. When he resolves to help Lila out of her funk, what starts as a nightmare vacation turns into an English countryside adventure, and maybe something more.

6. The Jasmine Project by Meredith Ireland

You know what they say about best laid plans. Jasmine is about to move in with her long-term boyfriend as she gears up for college…until she catches him cheating. For Jasmine’s family, this is the opportunity to show her she deserves so much better. While Jasmine refuses to meet anyone new, her family has a plan: to secretly use her grad party to set her up with Orlando’s teen bachelors…without her even knowing it is happening.  It’s the perfect break-up rom-com to brighten your day.

7. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

Here is one of the more unique choices on our list. Yolk features the break-up of sisters. June, the older sister, is smart, measured, and seems to have her life and job figured out. Jayne feels like an emotional wreck, whose luck with men and money are less-than-desirable. Despite being close as sisters can be and moving across the world together, these two want nothing to do with one another. But June’s cancer diagnosis puts all of that to the test. Mary H. K. Choi is the queen of deep, thought-provoking contemporary novels, and her latest is no exception.

8. The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott

Welcome to one of the more heartwarming books on this list. We begin with Emily and her boyfriend Matt breaking up. Emily’s late mother always loved him. But when Emily’s dad sells the house and begins to give away her mother’s possessions, it feels like she is losing everything. But Emily finds a special list just in time to rescue her summer: her mom’s old summer bucket list. Now Emily embarks on a new summer adventure of discover, reconnection, and facing her fears.

 

Want more recs? Read these books if you’re obsessed with Red (Taylor’s Version)

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