10 YA Realistic Fiction Books to Read in 2020

10 YA Realistic Fiction Books to Read in 2020These YA realistic fiction books are all contemporary novels. They all include romance, but romantic relationships are not the only focus in all the books.

With more free time lately, I’ve been able to read a lot more books. There are so many good books I’ve found, but these are a few of my current favorites.

Also, even though these are young adult books that center around teenagers, people that are older can still enjoy them!


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Ways to Read

I normally can check out books from my local library and buy cheap books from garage sales and thrift stores. Because that is difficult right now, here are a few other ways you can read and listen to books right now:


#1—Library Apps

Besides checking out physical books, many libraries offer digital borrows.

To learn more about library reading apps and other book apps, check out our post: 12 Book Apps You Should Get for Your Phone



Scribd is an affordable reading subscription that allows you to read hundreds of eBooks and audio books among other reading materials.

You can get a 2-month FREE trial using my link if you’re interested. If you want to learn more about Scribd, you can read our review here.


#3—Buy Books

The most affordable place I’ve found online to buy books is Book Outlet.

They sell new books for super cheap prices. You can get $10 off your first order of $25 or more using my link.

If you’ve already purchased books from Book Outlet in the past, consider buying from them again. They are constantly having sales and adding new books.

You can also find new and used books online from Amazon, eBay, AbeBooks, and Thrift Books.

Get 15% off your first order at Thrift Books when you use my link.


YA Realistic Fiction Books to Read

This list includes both light-hearted novels and stories that deal with big issues. I’ve provided trigger warnings for books that deal with more serious topics.

All the books on this list are intended for high schoolers and older. I would not necessarily recommend these books for middle schoolers (especially those that deal with tougher issues).


#1 — Tweet Cute

By Emma Lord

Much like the title states, this book is so cute! The banter between Jack and Pepper is a lot of fun to read. There were a lot of parts of this book that made me laugh.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted read with lots of cute moments, then I definitely recommend checking this book out! It’s also very current with its use of social media.


Blurb from this book:
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#2 — Eliza and Her Monsters

By Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters

Trigger warnings: talks about suicide

Although this story deals with a lot of tough topics, there are still so many fun parts to this book. It’s really interesting because the main character writes and draws her own web comic. I also feel that the author did a good job of portraying anxiety.

If you’re looking to read a story with more depth to it, this book is awesome!


Blurb from this book:
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community.

Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#3 — Tell Me Three Things

By Julie Buxbaum

While not as emotional as Eliza and Her Monsters, this story still deals with some tough issues. Jessie (the main character) deals with bullying and grief. There is a definite balance between sad parts and cute parts in this book. I really enjoyed the relationship between Jessie and Ethan.


Blurb from this book:
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week as a junior at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#4 — The Bookworm Crush

By Lisa Brown Roberts

This light-hearted read is fun and interesting because it has great characters. As an avid reader myself, I like that Amy (the main character) has a love of reading. This books also has a fun setting at the beach.

This book is technically the second novel in a companion series. While I enjoyed the first book (The Replacement Crush), I like this story even better. You don’t have the read the first book though to enjoy this story.


Blurb from this book:
Shy bookworm Amy McIntyre is about to compete for the chance to interview her favorite author, who hasn’t spoken to the press in years. The only way to win is to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, but that level of confidence has never come easy.

The solution? A competition coach. The problem? The best person for the job is the guy she’s secretly crushing on…local surfer celebrity Toff Nichols.

He’s a player. He’s a heartthrob. He makes her forget basic things, like how to breathe. How can she feel any confidence around him?

To her surprise, Toff agrees to help. And he’s an excellent teacher. Amy feels braver―maybe even brave enough to admit her feelings for him. When their late night practices become less about coaching and more about making out, Amy’s newfound confidence wavers.

But does Toff really like her or is this just another lesson?


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#5 — My Life Next Door

By Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door

One of the things that sticks out to me about this story is the family dynamics. Samantha (the main character) has an okay family, but her neighbors are a lot of fun and show the importance of family. Also, the little neighbor kids create some funny dialogue in this book.

There are some “fluffy” moments in this book, but it also deals with some family issues and other problems. I like how social classes were compared in this story to help the main character understand others better.


Blurb from this book:
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#6 — Five Feet Apart

By Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, & Tobias Laconis

Five Feet Apart

While this book deals with sickness, it isn’t a completely sad book. I like that it dealt with sickness in a realistic way without it being super depressing. Also, Stella and Will are great main characters. This story talks about their lives with Cystic Fibrosis, but it also discusses their interests as well. The relationships that are focused on in this book are really cool.


Blurb from this book:
Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control – even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?


You can purchase this book from:  Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#7 — 10 Blind Dates

By Ashley Elston

If you want an entertaining book to read, this is it! Sophie’s family is a lot of fun, and this book made me laugh a lot. I enjoyed the family dynamics of this story, and some of the dates were unexpected and funny.


Blurb from this book:
Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#8 — Stay Sweet

By Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet

This story is a lot of fun to read. Amelia and Grady are cute together. Also, I liked that there was a little mystery added to the story that kept me interested in the plot the whole time.


Blurb from this book:
Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind…


You can purchase this book from:  Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#9 — The Problem With Forever

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem with Forever

Trigger warnings: abuse

This is a very emotional read because of the issues that the main characters have had to deal with in the past. Mallory and Rider have such a wonderful bond formed from a traumatic past. I loved seeing the way they were able to overcome the obstacles they faced even though it was difficult for them.


Blurb from this book:
Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime. Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard.


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


#10 — Out of Left Field

By Kris Hui Lee

I tend to really enjoy books that include baseball, but besides that aspect, this is such a fun story. If you’re looking for a book filled with good “fluff,” then I recommend checking out this story. The amount of cute moments is what makes this a good read.


Blurb from this book:
Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball.

An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their high school’s star pitcher and Marnie’s best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the field. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team’s best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they’re supposed to be on her side.

With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?


You can purchase this book from: Amazon | eBay | AbeBooks


What are your favorite YA books?

Comment down below your book recommendations!

If you’re looking for some more young adult books, check out these posts:

10 Young Adult Contemporary Romance Books You Should Read

YA Books About Mental Health


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