wrapped up in books

reading, writing, librarying

I plan to keep this up to date and add more resources and commentary. If you have a title to add, please let me know in the comments! (still a work in progress as of 8/13/14)

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen  // Goodreads | Amazon

2000. A young woman’s boyfriend becomes physically and verbally abusive.

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch // Goodreads | Amazon

2005. The story of a popular high school athlete who ends up raping a girl he claims to love. Short and will appeal to reluctant readers. Unreliable first person narrator.

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess //  Goodreads | Amazon

2007. A girl whose father is a rapist is released from prison early.

Something Happened by Greg Logsted // Goodreads | Amazon

2008. Teacher-student relationship, male POV.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott // Goodreads | Amazon

2008. A girl is abducted at the age of 9 and sexually and physically abused for 5 years. (Note: Although I haven’t read it, from my understanding this one is pretty graphic, and though it is considered YA, we shelve it in adult fiction at my library, which is a decision made before I started selecting for YA).

Evernight by Claudia Gray // Goodreads | Amazon

2008. Ostensibly about vampires and boarding school, this book also contains portrayals of abusive behavior within teen relationships. See this commentary.

One Lonely Degree by C. K. Kelly Martin // Goodreads | Amazon

2009. (This has come up on sexual assault/rape/dv lists before, but I haven’t read it, and reviews/synopsis didn’t indicate why it would appear. Will research).

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney  //Goodreads | Amazon

2010. A girl deals with the effects of date rape with the help of supportive friends.

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers // Goodreads | Amazon

2010. A popular girl is slut shamed and bully after rumors about her and a friend’s boyfriend circulate.

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown // Goodreads | Amazon

2011. Young woman’s boyfriend becomes increasingly controlling, jealous, and abusive.

Stay by Deb Caletti // Goodreads | Amazon

2011. Young woman’s boyfriend becomes increasingly controlling, jealous, and abusive.

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton Goodreads | Amazon

2012. A girl is assaulted at a party and a new friend and romance with a slacker boy helps her come to terms with it, with an eating disorder subplot.

Empty by K. M. Walton // Goodreads | Amazon

2013. An overweight teen is raped and no one believes her. I haven’t read this one, but other librarians have found its treatment of the issue problematic.

Lily and Taylor by Elize Moser // Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

2013. Both young women in this novel have witnessed violence against women and experience violence themselves.

  • Easy by Tamara Webber
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobksy {review}
  • Identical by Ellen Hopkins
  • Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
  • Fault Line by Christa Desir
  • Until it Hurts to Stop by Jennifer Hubbard
  • Canary by Rachele Alpine
  • The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
  • Live Through This by Mindi Scott
  • Rape Girl by Alina Klein
  • But I Love Him by Amanda Grace
  • Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf {review}
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
  • Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian {review}
  • Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt {review}
  • Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
  • Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
  • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta {review}
  • Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
  • Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters
  • Desert Angel by Charlie Price
  • Some Boys by Patty Blount // Goodreads

14 thoughts on “Booklist: Sexual Assault, Rape, and Dating Violence in Young Adult Fiction

  1. Juli says:

    Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney is a great book about sexual assault and how relationships with parents can affect your life. Well, not as dorky as I just said, it was a great book.

  2. laura says:

    Bad Boy by Dream Jordan features a relationship with dating violence. Recommended for reluctant readers.

  3. Tara Kehoe says:

    Great sum-up on Sex & Violence! I also loved Evan and Baker’s relationship. Thanks for pointing me in this direction, I’m sorry I missed it at first.

  4. Tara Kehoe says:

    Sex & Violence by Carrie Mescrobian. Male POV- fabulous exploration of the aftermath of violence (as well as sex).

    1. It’s on the list! But since I’m not very well organized here, it’s hard to find. I reviewed Sex & Violence, and Carrie had a guest post on my blog as well. I also interviewed her at YALSA’s the Hub when she was on the Morris Award list!

  5. Denise Singleton says:

    Thank you for this list. I am trying to find a book on the same theme that I read sometime in the 90s. It is about a young girl who meets a boy while doing a summer job working with little children. She ends up being so codependent that she “drops” her best friend to spend any possible time with the boyfriend. He becomes increasingly controlling. It is fairly “clean” and is suitable for grades 6-9 or so. I don’t have much else to go on, as of course, I can’t remember the title or the author. Do you have any books that old on your list?

    1. Thanks! It’s a work in progress. I’m not familiar with that title, but I’ll see what I can come up with.

  6. emily says:

    The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis is another one.

  7. Molly, this is a great list…but I was wondering which ones of these (if any) are actually well done and worth reading? Thanks!

    1. I haven’t read all of these. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is very well regarded. I have read and can recommend Breaking Beautiful, Finnikin of the Rock (and the sequel, Froi of the Exiles), Perks of Being with a Wallflower, and Easy. This is a work in progress and I’ll continue to update it.

  8. C.K. says:

    Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson is a YA book about a sixteen-year-old boy raped by two men.

  9. The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher is another very important book coming out next month.

    1. Molly says:

      Thanks, Rachele. I have that one to read, but wasn’t sure if it fit in this list or not.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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