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Let's talk about sex...

Love Hurts

They're going to read about it anyway, so you may as well get ahead of things with this brilliant list.

With the former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, and other teen authors such as Melvin Burgess, Philip Pullman and Sarra Manning talking about why it's important for teenage books to provide realistic depictions of sexual relationships, we bring together our list of some of the best books for young adults which talk frankly, but responsibly, about the realities of  love and sex.

  • Losing It

    Author: Various Editor: Keith Gray

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Losing It

    Author: Various Editor: Keith Gray

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 10+

    This is a collection of eight short stories about growing-up, virginity and sex for teenagers.

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  • Doing It

    Author: Melvin Burgess

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Doing It

    Author: Melvin Burgess

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

    A much heralded, compelling sex story for teenage boys from this provocative writer

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  • Adorkable

    Author: Sarra Manning

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Adorkable

    Author: Sarra Manning

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 13+

    A quirky, appealing and original young adult romance told from two contrasting perspectives, this is a sharp-eyed and funny insigh…

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  • Why We Broke Up

    Author: Daniel Handler Illustrator: Maira Kalman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Why We Broke Up

    Author: Daniel Handler Illustrator: Maira Kalman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 13+

    This beautifully presented and unusual young adult novel tells the story of Ed and Min's relationship, from their first meeting to…

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  • Love Hurts

    Author: Various Editor: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Love Hurts

    Author: Various Editor: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    This anthology depicts a very wide range of romantic relationships, and a diverse set of characters, showing love in all its forms…

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  • Sugar Rush

    Author: Julie Burchill

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Sugar Rush

    Author: Julie Burchill

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

    Shortlisted for the 2005 Booktrust Teenage Prize, this is a controversial and daring look at the gritty reality of teenage experie…

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  • Pretty Thing

    Author: Jennifer Nadel

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Pretty Thing

    Author: Jennifer Nadel

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 9+

    Nadel's first YA novel is set in 1976 (a playlist of music is appended!), but apart from the references to LPs, tapes and kaftans …

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  • Swim the Fly

    Author: Don Calame

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Swim the Fly

    Author: Don Calame

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Matt, Coop and Sean have been friends forever.  Each summer, they set themselves a goal, and this year tops the lot - they mu…

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  • Forever

    Author: Judy Blume

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Forever

    Author: Judy Blume

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Seventeen-year-old Katherine meets Michael at a party. The two of them like each other immediately, and soon fall in love - but ar…

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  • This Book is Gay

    Author: Juno Dawson Illustrator: Spike Gerrell

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • This Book is Gay

    Author: Juno Dawson Illustrator: Spike Gerrell

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    A fantastic book for classrooms and school libraries, This Book is Gay is a must-read for teachers and parents, as well as teens t…

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  • Lobsters

    Author: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Lobsters

    Author: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

    The first novel from friends and collaborators Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison, Lobsters is a frank and very funny young adult romance.

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  • Submarine

    Author: Joe Dunthorne

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Submarine

    Author: Joe Dunthorne

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 13+

    Meet Oliver Tate, 15. Convinced that his father is depressed ('Depression comes in bouts. Like boxing. Dad is in the blue corner')…

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  • Boys Don't Cry

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Boys Don't Cry

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 11+

    Dante is waiting for the postman. It's 'A' level results day and he has high hopes, but a knock on the door brings an old girlfrie…

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