Booklist: Sexual Assault, Rape, and Dating Violence in Young Adult Fiction

I plan to keep this up to date and 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 10/31/13)

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

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.

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

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

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.

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).

2008. Teacher-student relationship, male POV.

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

  • Stay by Deb Caletti

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

2008. A girl is abducted at the age of 9 and sexually and physically abused for 5 years.

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

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

  • Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
  • What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
  • 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

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

    • 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.

  1. 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?

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

  3. 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.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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