The healthy relationships edition – the contemporary corner

Hello friends! How are you? I hope you all had a lovely week! Today I’m once again bringing back my recommendations feature, where I ramble a little bit about some of my favorite young adult contemporary books…Let’s get started!

Today’s a theme that I hold close to my heart. If you’ve been here for a while, you should know by now that I am a big marshmallow, just like Veronica Mars. I love reading books that make my inside melt from cuteness, I love adorable relationships that make me feel happy, overall.

Yet in young adult books, at times, you encounter so many unhealthy relationships. Abuse, both mental and physical. Unfairness in the relationship. Overall in the way they deal with each other, and so on. Today, I really wanted to show off a couple of books with healthy, comprehensive, two-sided relationships.

Note: This blog post will deal with romantic relationships – others will come for sure with family, friendships and so on! Click on the book covers to be redirected to Goodreads.

Healthy relationships in YA contemporary

This book is one of my latest 5-stars-read. I got lucky enough to read an early copy, since it is releasing this July, and obviously I have to tease you a little bit here and tell you that, guys, this book has one of the best relationships I ever read about. Both the protagonists are so cute, so with each other, caring, respectful, and so on. I won’t talk too much about it because I really, really want you to add it to your TBRs.

Keywords: Love, loss, family, romance, identity.

Obviously, I can’t NOT mention Morgan Matson on this blog post – both because I am a huge fan of hers, and because I think she’s really good at writing romantic relationships. In that one, I loved how Andie and Clark’s relationships slowly grew from strangers to friends to more than that. From that awkward first date and the first moments when you don’t really know if that person is made for you, to slowly realizing common interests and feeling more and more – I just loved it. Clark brings out the best in Andie’s without actually changing who she is.

Keywords: friendships, father/daughter relationship, romance, summer-cuteness, PUPPIES.

Read my full review here.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is a book I recently read and loved. Obviously one of my favorite parts of it was how the relationships slowly developed, from strangers to more, with the feelings slowly growing: it was very realistic. I loved how, as their relationships status changed, how caring they were about each other and what they wanted out this relationship, how they did not forced but listened to each other in terms of their feelings, mental and physical relationship.

Keywords: romance, art, schizophrenia, family relationships.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a book I’ve read last summer and really enjoyed – both for its themes, its diversity and its relationship. If Christian, the love interest, is depicted as a player at the beginning of the book, we soon realize that’s quite not the case. He’s such a strong, kind and caring boy and his relationship with Elyse is adorable, caring and cute. First love and physical relationships and all, adorable.

Keywords: mermaids retelling, romance, social stigmas, identity.

Read my full review here.

📝  For more YA contemporary recommendations, check out my previous posts in the series:

Did you read any of these books?

Do you have any recommendations of books with healthy relationships? Share them in comments! 💬

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

84 thoughts on “The healthy relationships edition – the contemporary corner

  1. Thank you for this. The list seems to have just the right kind of books for me, I’ll get right on with it!
    I just got done with Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley, something everyone should read if they haven’t yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post! It’s sad that healthy relationships in YA can be few and far between! I totally agree with Christian and Elyse though – that relationship was awesome! They were so kind and comfortable around each other and it felt so authentic. I seriously need to read The Unexpected Everything! Morgan Matson is my fave and knowing that it features such a sweet romance has me incredibly excited! Awesome post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s really sad – I’m hoping to find more books with relationships like that soon. I love reading about them, and I feel like they’re not emphasized enough lately.
      Ohh if you love Morgan Matson’s books, you should love that one as well, I can’t wait for you to read it 🙂
      Thank you so, so much, Jordyn! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is so cute, I totally agree! The Unexpected Everythint as well, Clark and Andie were so cute. 😍 I’m such a sucker for cute romances and healthy relationships, will have to check out your other recommendations for sure! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE this post, Marie! I’m always on the hunt for books with healthy relationships, because it’s such a shame that we get SO few of them in YA. I totally agree about The Unexpected Everything, and I’ve added the other three to my TBR. I think Under Rose-Tainted Skies had a very healthy relationship – not without its conflicts, but still healthy. I’ve been raving about that book non-stop ever since I read it, haha. 🙂

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH thank you so much, Aimal! I’m so glad you liked it and I agree with you, there are so few healthy relationships in books, it’s so annoying :/
      Oh thank you for the recommendation! I haven’t read Under Rose-Tainted Skies but I’ve seen that book around – seems like the inside is as good as the cover is, then 😛 I’ll add it to my TBR! Thank you! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AGH I NEED TO READ ALL OF THESE CONTEMPORARIES! Especially The Color Project, and all of Morgan Matson’s books. I hadn’t heard of the last two, but they sound SOOOO GOOOD. I love this series for all the recs, but at the same time, I HATE IT BECAUSE MY TBR GROWS. *cries* XD Great post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, May. I’m here to make your TBR grow and grow and GROOOW ahah 😛 I’m so happy you wanted to add this book to your TBR and hope you’ll love them as much as I did! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. YES YES YES. I SO agree with you here – it’s crazy how this is such a popular trope – I have fallen for it before, I’ll admit it, but it’s just so tiring to see this everywhere and have the happy ending and it all. Everything is not okay and if people can change, there are honestly some bad characters and relationships that shouldn’t happen :/
      Anyway I am rambling ahah, thank you so much for your comment! 😀

      Like

  6. I love this topic!!! You’re absolutely right that so many romances in contemporary are not healthy – and not even addressed as being unhealthy! This is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart (I even went on a rant about it a while back for a Trope Tuesday post) so I’m thankful for all these recommendations. I also seriously need to check out Morgan Matson, because I keep hearing about her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much! Definitely agree with you. There are so many wrong relationships depicted in some books, it’s a bit sad that they are not pointed out more.
      I hope you’ll read Morgan Matson’s books soon – she is such a great author, I think that she always writes realistic characters and relationships -both romance, and friendship 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I need to read all of these !! For me, I really start to dislike books if the relationship isn’t healthy? It just makes me so uncomfortable and the fact that these abusive relationships are portrayed as good and healthy? Gross. But I currently read some books with good relationships so I’m happy !! Also this is such a nice post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand – it’s crazy to see just how many books are out there with wrong, abusive relationships – but it’s even crazier that they are not pointed out :/
      Ohh really? Do you have any book recommendation for me? 😀
      Thank you so much, Amelie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ummm, I recently read The Female of the Species which I feel has a very realistic relationship (even though the beginning doesn’t quite make sense for one character….) I also just read Rules for 50/50 Chances and even though the main character bothered me the relationship was very sweet and not creepy/abusive (and it was realistic. At least to me. But I’m not the best judge soooo) Also this is such a great discussion post !! It immediately went to my favorites list 🙂

        (Also not everyone loves this book series but the All For the Game series features a couple healthy side romances and the main couple place a lot of meaning on consent 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohhh thank you for all of the recommendations, I need to check out these books. I don’t know the All For The Game series at all – I neeed to do my research ahah 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great Recommendations! I already have The Unexpected Everything, and The Anatomical shape of my heart in my tbr list! I’m glad to hear that you loved them! I’m not a huge contemporary reader but I recommend The Start Of Me and You by Emery Lord. Have you read it yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Raven! ❤ I haven't read that one yet but I've been meaning to read some of Emery Lord's books – definitely putting that one on top of the list now! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a great post Marie, 😀 I definitely agree I love seeing healthy relationships in YA contemporary books, actually in any books that have some kind of romantic relationship developing, mainly because I’m not a fan of angst and can’t stand it when two characters could easily solve their problems by talking them through but they just don’t do that?!
    The only one of these I’ve read is The Unexpected Everything but Morgan Matson is definitely well deserving of a place on this list, all the relationships I’ve read in her books have been incredibly written and developed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH thank you so, so much, Beth! ❤
      Right?! It's just so annoying at times when characters just WON'T TALK to each other. I mean, in real life, obviously angst happen, but in order to be in a good relationship, you have to be able to talk to each other?
      Thank you so, so much, Beth! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! 😀 ❤
        Yeah angst does happen in real life of course but somehow I find it more annoying in books, if that makes sense. I love seeing relationships in YA where the characters actually have healthy communication going on between them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It makes sense ahah, we have to deal with it in real life, sometimes we just want books to be, easier somehow? Ahah 🙂 Healthy relationships and communication are the best, gives us hope for our own relationships as well ahah 🙂

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  10. I’m currently reading The Color Project! I’m enjoying their relationship so far. It’s so cute and like this, post says, HEALTHY. I haven’t read the other two books but I’ll definitely look into them now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh yay! I hope you’re loving it – it is one of my favorites of the year so far. The relationship is really cute, not without its complications, but overall super sweet and healthy. Thank you so much, Molly! ❤

      Like

    1. Ohhh, thank you so much for sharing this! I haven’t had the chance to read The Hate U Give yet, but it is on my TBR. I was impatient to read it because of all the hype, the important issues it deals with, and now because of this healthy relationship just as well! Thank you so much! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve read the Unexpected Everything and the other three are on my TBR. I have to agree with your representation of their relationship. I love how Matson portrays a healthy relationship that progresses slowly, and where both characters trust each other and respect each other. Great post!

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  12. There are so many unhealthy relationships in YA it really annoys me. It kind of sometimes romanticises abusiveness and that’s really dumb. I agree that Andie and Clark had a pretty healthy relationship. I haven’t read The Color Project but my sister has an eARC so I probably will at some point. I also think Harry and Ginny have a good relationship, as do Peter and Lara Jean, and Cath and Levi from Fangirl. Great (and very important) post! I’d love to see one about why so many YA parents suck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? It’s crazy how many books there are out there and I want to be more aware of that – also I’d love for more of these books to be pointed out. Anyway there, I wanted to focus on happy healthy relationships ahah 🙂
      Oh yes! I agree with you, and yes for Peter and Lara Jean, I love them so much ❤
      THANK YOU for that lovely suggestion, shar, I need to write that down for a later post 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree with you, YA target market is for young adult, for people who still finding themselves and love. Sadly, most romance we read in books really give the wrong idea about love and do not give a healthy relationship example! I’m so glad you make this recommendations Marie, I’ll be sure to check all of them out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Tasya! I’m so happy you enjoyed this post and I agree – we need more healthy relationships in books to give out right examples ❤

      Like

  14. I love this post because unhealthy relationships is one of the main reasons why I avoid most contemporaries. I don’t think most of these are what I’d normally read, except I do have The Anatomical Shape of a Heart and most of Morgan Matson’s books on my TBR! I love that they exist though!! It’s good to know that there are some healthy and realistic relationships being portrayed out there for teens 😊 I think some of my favourites that I’ve read have been Becky Albertalli’s books, Queens of Geek, Noteworthy and A Quiet Kind of Thunder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much, Lauren! ❤ ❤ I understand – I hope you'll read The Anatomical Shape and Morgan Matson's books soon. I found out that they really portray relationships well, the build-up, the feelings, the realistic way of dealing with issues, with respect and understanding and overall in a very healthy way.
      Yay for Queens of Geek – I'm about to read it, I can't wait!! 😀

      Like

  15. Excellent choice of topic! Even though I mostly enjoy reading about those unhealthy relationships. I just find them a bit more fascinating but it’s only my opinion, and I know that there are some great books with sweet relationships. ​

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Stella! 🙂 I understand your point – it is fascinating, at times, to read about relationships and see how they begin, how two people are linked, how they just deal with things, how they can or can’t get out of these vicious circles, at times. It’s interesting to see how that happens because it happens in real life as well 🙂

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  16. Great post! We definitely need more healthy relationships in YA books. Teenagers need to have realistic examples of what good, healthy relationships look like.

    I’m really excited to read the Color Project. I’ve heard so many good things about it.

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  17. I adored Astronomical Shape of a Heart as well Marie, or here the original title is Night Owls. Still remains one of the loveliest books I’ve read. There’s been so many books over the years where I’ve swooned over couples in wonderful relationships, Unexpected Everything was one of those too. More recently, I loved When Dimple Met Rishi which is super cute and an absolute delight to read. I find myself navigating towards the light, fluffy reads lately too so looking forward to checking the rest out ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh – I did not know it had a different title in Australia! Why did they change it, I wonder…?
      I’m so happy to hear you loved When Dimple Met Rishi – I just ordered it and can’t wait to get it in my mail. I feel like everyone loved it and I know I will too, these kind of cute books are the ones I love the most!
      Thank you so, so much, Kelly, for your sweet comment! I hope you’ll enjoy these books if you read them ❤

      Like

  18. I have not read any of the books you’ve mentioned but I’ll make sure to check them out! The portrayal of healthy relationships is so important! So many contemporary novels show very toxic relationships and young girls out there might feel like that those things should be normal which is very dangerous!
    Thanks so much for these recommendations 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Jackie! I’m so glad you liked my recommendations and I hope you’ll read them and love them 😀
      I agree – we need to show off these fun and healthy books, the ones actually giving a good image of relationships 🙂

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  19. Great Post Marie!
    I haven’t read any of these books yet but I definitely want to check them out, I always love a contemporary romance during summer to go into. I really want to try and reread Anna and the French Kiss at some point as well because I remember loving that book but its been years! Although I don’t know if you would class it as ‘healthy’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much Hannah! ❤
      Summer is the perfect season to get into contemporary books for sure! And yay, Anna and The French Kiss was such a great book. Are you planning on reading that one only, or all of the series? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really can’t remember what happened in the series at all so i think a reread is in order! I love being able to re-experience books again after years have passed. Especially when you have a memory of a fish like me 🙂 or dory. memory like dory

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  20. Healthy relationships are so rare! I really liked Levi and Bee’s relationship too. And I want to read The Anatomical Shape of a Heart. I love the relationship between Veronica and Daniel in the Montmaray books (though I guess that is historical), and Chanda and Nelson in Chanda’s Wars stars off kind of wierd, but becomes progressively more wonderful.

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  21. I’m so glad to hear that SOME YA books have healthy relationships!! (Actually, many do, excuse my bitterness over those few aggravating ones xD.) I’ve been curious about The Color Project, and this makes me more excited to read it when it comes out! I debated reading Mermaids a while ago, and I’ll probably put it back on my radar now because that love interest sounds amazing. Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much Lenna! Both The Color Project and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids are AMAZING reads – favorites of mine. I hope you’ll read and love them 😀

      Like

  22. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Unexpected Everything (though I think it may have been one of those things where I just read it when I was in a weird emotional place), but I did really like the development of Andie and Clark’s relationship, especially in comparison to her interactions with the other men in her life.

    One of my favourite YA couples remains Owen and Annabel in Just Listen. Ugh. I love them so much. Why do none of these boys exist IRL?

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    1. I’m glad you still liked Andie and Clark’s relationship. I get it – sometimes I feel like I should have loved a book more, but because of things hapening in life at the same time, I’m just, elsewhere and not connecting too much with the book.
      OH YES, thank you for saying this. I need to read this book soon. ❤
      I do not know, it makes me so sad 😦

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  23. I’ve read both The Unexpected Everything and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and I’d agree with you here! I have to say, though, with both series it’s not the romance that becomes my favourite relationship but rather the father-and-daughter (in TUE) and the friendships/family (in Summer). I have to check out The Anatomical Shape of a Heart — I’ve seen it around before and never really thought to read it, but healthy relationships are always up my alley. ❤

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    1. Yes, I have to agree that the other relationships were pretty great in these books. I love strong emphasis on friendships and families just as well ❤ ❤
      Thank you so much, Reg! ❤ ❤

      Like

  24. I absolutely love this post Marie! I’ve only read The Unexpected Everything, but I need to read the others too. Definitely agree on Andie and Clark – it was so realistic, well-developed and just plain healthy! And adorable of course 😛

    I absolutely loved the relationships in Queens of Geek and The Upside of Unrequited – I feel like healthy relationships are becoming more and more of a trend and I’m so here for it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh thank you so SO much, Michelle! ❤ ❤
      YES YES, I'm with you on Queens of Geek – that book was so good, and I loved all of the relationships developed in this. They felt genuine, realistic and I loved themmm. I haven't read The Upside yet but loved Simon vs. so I'm looking forward to read more from the author! 😀
      Thank you! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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