Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You’re in the Mood For A Realistic Romance

ten-realistic-romances

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we create a list of ten (or however many books) based on a theme. This week’s topic is Books to Read If You’re In the Mood for X, and I’ve chosen to feature books with realistic romances. What I mean by a realistic romance is one that isn’t all-consuming and nonsensical. It starts and develops in a manner that is logical and realistic, and it takes a backseat to issues that are more important.

1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I absolutely love the romance between Samantha and Jase in this book. And that’s mostly because Jase is such a nice guy. He definitely has a lot of issues to deal with but he’s never broody and assholish. He really cares for/about and supports Samantha fully, and I loved the two of them together so much!

2. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

What I enjoyed about the romance in this book was that it wasn’t at the forefront. It didn’t overshadow all of the other issues in the book and it wasn’t the only relationship that was explored. So often in YA, it feels like the romance is the only relationship that matters or exists, but in this book, we see friendships and familial relationships too. I thought the romance developed very naturally and realistic decisions were made throughout the book.

3. The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

While there was a bit of insta-love in this book, I enjoyed how the romance progressed. There wasn’t any dancing around each other and things just happened super naturally. I enjoyed how much Alice and Manny cared about each other and how they were there for each other during even the tough times. What I enjoyed most was that the book still left room for other relationships, particularly the beautiful relationship between Alice and her brother, Joey.

4. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger’s relationship probably isn’t the most realistic that I’ve read, but I really liked that they started off as strangers who became friends and then something more. There was less romance than I thought there was going to be and I found that to be really refreshing. The book also ended in a really realistic way, for me.

5. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

I absolutely loved Cluck and Lace’s romance in this book. It’s a hate to love kind of romance but I highly enjoyed it because it didn’t feel dramatic and forced. The decisions that were made in this book were sensible and I loved how they supported each other when nobody else was on their side.

6. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue and Gansey *deep sigh*. Another hate to love romance. I went into this series expecting lots and lots of Blansey from the very beginning since the first book mentions Blue killing her true love, who is Gansey (not a spoiler cos it’s revealed in like the first chapter). But it ended up very differently and I really enjoyed how it’s been playing out. It’s definitely very slow burn but it’s development is so natural that I can’t help but love it.

7. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

The romance in this book is a little bit instant because Emmy and Oliver were kind of an item before Oliver moved away, but I can’t deny that the romance in this book is stellar! It’s a very supportive relationship and they both take it very seriously.

8. Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

The attraction and romance in this book is probably one of the most realistic that I’ve ever read. This book really captures the feeling of unrequited love and what it’s like to have a large age difference (large for a high school girl). I loved how everything was handled in this book and how the romance wasn’t forced. I liked the decisions that were made and thought the book ended in the perfect way!

9. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

The relationship between Sydney and Mac in this book was beautiful. It didn’t overshadow the themes of family, which I really appreciated. I liked how they leaned on each other during the tough times. I probably could have used a little bit more romance, but I appreciated how well Sarah Dessen explored the really important issues in the book.

10. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

All the right decisions were made in this book. I really enjoyed the relationship between Kate and Ben in this book, but when Kate begins to wonder where Ben was when a terrible crime was being committed, things start to fall apart. I loved the decisions that Kate made in this book and how she chose to protect herself.


What are some of your favourite romances and do you think they’re realistic? The majority of my list are contemporary romances. What are some of your favourite realistic fantasy romances?

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53 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You’re in the Mood For A Realistic Romance

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Second Chance Summer is one of my favourite contemporaries because the romance was so amazing! There’s nothing I like more than a second chance romance – it makes me really root for them. But the romance in that book was also so supportive and just beautiful!

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    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Oooh I’ve read On the Fence and really liked it. I think I liked The Distance Between Us the most out of all her books. Can’t wait for her new release! I haven’t read The Start of Me and You yet but I recently read Emery Lord’s new book, When We Collided and loved the writing style and characters. I’ll have to finally buy The Start of Me and You (it’s been sitting in my Book Depository wish list for a whole year!)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

    I have The Weight of Feathers and I was dying to read it when I got it… so of course I haven’t read it yet and have no explanation as to why lol. But I’m happy to hear their relationship is not only realistic but supportive. I like angsty relationships in books, but I also love healthy, supportive ones, and there definitely aren’t enough of those! The Raven Cycle is also on my TBR because I’ve heard so much great stuff about the friendships, but I never really see people talk about the romance. I’m even more interested now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Haha The Weight of Feathers is magical realism so it didn’t always feel super realistic, but I absolutely loved the romance. They were so perfect together *breathy sigh*. The romance isn’t actually a bit part of The Raven Cycle… even though the blurb of the first book makes it sound like it’s all about the romance. The friendships are probably the standout aspect but the little bit of romance that there is in the series will squeeze at your heart.

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    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Haha it’s a wonderful title! I had no idea what it meant until I read the book and realised that the main characters work at a supermarket, which made me appreciate the title even more. It had a different title when it was first released: Good Oil… I can’t even express how terrible of a title that was. I absolutely loved What We Saw for the issue that it explored, but also how great the romance was.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    I looove your choice of topic for this week. I’m a huge contemporary reader, as you already know, ahah, and I love realistic contemporary romance.I already read a lot of the books here, but The Weight of Feathers sounds great, I need to get on The Raven Cycle hype train, and I HAVE to read some Sarah Dessen. Great list! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Yes you definitely do need to jump on board The Raven Cycle hype train! It’s such a great series and I have a feeling the final book is going to be the best yet! And yes! Sarah Dessen is queen! I’ve loved all of her books that I’ve read and I definitely can recommend her most recent release, Saint Anything!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aditi says:

    I LOVE THIS LIST! I’ve only read The Raven Boys and Saint Anything, but I have been DYING to read the rest (they aren’t available in India, so…)

    You have an AMAZING blog! New Follower!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Thank you so much! I absolutely loved The Raven Cycle and Saint Anything when I read them. They’ve got such great characters and writing! I hope some of the other books on this list become available in India soon because they’re amazing too!

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  4. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books says:

    I love your list!!! I so love Sam & Jase!! I thought the romance in Love and Other Perishable Items was going to totally turn me off, but somehow I really felt it and loved it. That is testament to a great writer!! To make me root for something that IRL I would find repulsive. I also LOVE The Raven Boys, but none of the couples I root for seem to ever happen πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Not gonna lie, I’m pretty satisfied with the romances that are forming in The Raven Cycle right now πŸ˜€ I love them so much! And I totally agree with you about Love and Other Perishable Items. I wasn’t sure how the romance was going to go but I was completely satisfied with how everything played out. I just loved how realistic it was!

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    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I totally agree! I’ve loved every Sarah Dessen book I’ve read, and I totally need to reread them because I’ve forgotten what happens in a lot of them. I’ve heard that Saint Anything will be her last book for a while, but I’m hoping that’s not true and she releases something new soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lois says:

    I simply must get my hands on The Weight of Feathers. I do love a good hate to love romance. I’ve never read a Sarah Dessen book before but Saint Everything looks quite interesting.
    We all know where I stand with Blue and Gansey. My shippers heart simply demands they have a happy ending. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Omg if Blue and Gansey don’t get their happy ending where they can hold hands in public (though I love the secret hand holding in the car a lot too)… I will self-destruct from all the feels. I absolutely loved The Weight of Feathers because it was such a great hate to love story. Well… a “I’m supposed to hate you” to love story. It was just a really wonderful romance!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. samfalston says:

    I have My Life Next Door on my tbr pile and I’m looking forward to it πŸ™‚
    I don’t really read a lot of romance but one of my favourite couples are Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy – although that’s not very realistic. Eleanor and Park are pretty realistic I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    It’s interesting but not really surprising that the majority of these are contemporary. πŸ˜‰ And the only books I read from this list is… Saint Anything. πŸ˜„ But I can’t agree more about how there was a perfect balance of relationship and family love in it. And I love the creepy arc with Ames. He was such a disturbing character.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    I’ve only read Stars at oktober Bend and Saint Anything here (because I clearly need to read more contemporary lol) but I totally agree on both accounts that they were both developed well and naturally. I can’t wait to read My Life Next Door and Second Chance Summer though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Yes! You should definitely pick up My Life Next Door and Second Chance Summer soon! They’re really high up my list of contemporary favourites! And both books contain really adorable siblings. You won’t be disappointed! If you’re looking for a lighter read after the mindblowing amazingness of Chaos Walking, you should pick these two up!

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  9. Ksenia says:

    Great post, Jenna! As a contemporary lover I’m always on the lookout for great books in this genre. I’ve meant to read Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson since I’ve read your review, but I didn’t have a chance to start it yet. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway didn’t work for me, I’m afraid. At first I hadn’t realized that Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo is the same book as Good Oil; it’s on my tbr-list like forever. And I plan to finally start The Raven Cycle. I’m very late, but I hope I would love it as much as my bookish friends.

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