TODAY book club

Swooning over 'The Fault in Our Stars'? Here are 7 more teen love stories for the ages

May 23, 2014 at 9:21 AM ET

'The Fault in Our Stars'
Dutton

The fourth TODAY Book Club pick is "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. Share your thoughts about Green's beloved young adult novel by joining the TODAY Book Club community, a fresh and interactive discussion series, and tweeting with #TFiOSTODAY. 

TODAY Book Club members will have the unique opportunity to participate in a Google+ Hangout live from the premiere of the film adaptation of the book. RSVP to the Google+ Hangout with Willie Geist, John Green and the cast of "The Fault in Our Stars" on Monday, June 2 at 6 p.m. ET. Be sure to follow @TODAYsBooks and stay up to date with the TODAY Book Club newsletter.

If John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" has you hankering for more five-star, three-hankie, heart-swooning teen love, look no further than our timeless list of endless love.

'Romeo & Juliet'
CreateSpace Independent Publishing

'Romeo & Juliet'
by William Shakespeare
(CreateSpace Independent Publishing)

Duh. A rose by any other name would smell as bittersweet as this tale of star-crossed teens. The Montagues and Capulets are like oil and water: They don’t mix, until Romeo meets Juliet and all bets are off. Shakespeare’s tale turns tragic, but before the miscommunication that ends badly (like pretty much every actual teen romance), there is clandestine and true young love, and a balcony and bedroom scene to die for. Verily.

'The Twilight Saga' 
by Stephanie Meyer
(Little Brown)

While the question of whether Edward is actually a teenager is up for debate, no one will doubt this is a love story for the ages. Bella is a clumsy, shy transfer student; Edward is a 100-plus-year-old vampire who finds the smell of Bella’s blood irresistible. While some might argue that the series is wildly popular due to the crazy plot (werewolves, bed-destroying vampire sex, a baby that basically eats its way out of the womb), it’s the pining and awkwardness and disbelief and I’m-going-to-die-without-you feeling of first love that kept readers' hearts racing.

'Forever'
Simon Pulse

'Forever' 
by Judy Blume
(Simon Pulse)

Who can forget Ralph? If you read "Forever," you know what I’m talking about. Judy Blume’s unforgettable book captures the intensity, delusion and consuming power of first love and first lovers. Boy meets girl. Katherine meets Michael and they fall for each other, pledging their eternal love and going all the way. This is a first for Katherine and the book beautifully explores how “forever” can be ephemeral but nonetheless leave a permanent mark on the heart.

'These Happy Golden Years' 
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(HarperCollins)

For a G-rated romance that nevertheless sets the prairie (and our hearts) on fire, crack open Wilder’s charming book detailing her romance with Almanzo Wilder. Their courtship spans the seasons, as Almanzo fetches her from a dreary teaching job each weekend in his snug two-person cutter. When the snow (and our heart) melts, they go on buggy rides, break his team of horses, and join a singing school. "These Happy Golden Years" is really a happy ending. When a newly married Laura explores her new home to find her quilt on their bed and the pantry drawers full of flour, you’ll melt like butter that’s not put away in the cellar.

'The Spectacular Now'
HarperCollins

'The Spectacular Now' 
by Tim Tharp
(Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Tim Tharp’s National Book Award Finalist is the story of high school smooth talker Sutter Keely. He’s the life of the party, and a bit of a joke. When he wakes up on Aimee’s front lawn, things change…sort of. Whereas he drinks way too much and is avoiding any thoughts of the future, Aimee wears her backpack properly and is getting into the college of her choice. She also thinks Sutter is the bee’s knees. Will their relationship be enough to make Sutter man up and dry out? The book, through fantastic dialogue and heartbreaking scenes, explores this question. (P.S.: Shailene Woodley, who stars in "The Fault in Our Stars," plays Aimee in the film adaptation of "The Spectacular Now." She is, of course, spectacular.)

'Boy Meets Boy' 
by David Levithan
(Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Part of what makes teen romances so compelling and heartbreaking is the awkwardness of exploring sexuality. Levithan’s novel centers around Paul, an openly gay teen in New Jersey. He meets Noah and he’s a goner. They date, but Paul screws things up. In an effort to win back Noah, he creates a seven-step plan. With a vivid cast of characters, this is an engaging read that explores burgeoning male sexuality. It’s no surprise it won a Lambda Literary Award.

'Eleanor & Park'
St. Martin's Press

'Eleanor & Park' 
by Rainbow Rowell
(St. Martin’s Press)

Currently in bookstores now, "Eleanor & Park" is delighting teens and adults alike with its misfit love. Park, who’s biracial, and Eleanor, who’s an overweight redhead, are having a tough time. It’s Nebraska. It’s 1986. But as they fall in love over comic books and mix tapes, they learn to deal with all sorts of heavy issues, ranging from abuse to body image.


Jennifer Worick is the author of more than 25 books (including Things I Want to Punch in the Face) and a publishing consultant; she can be found at jenniferworick.com.  

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