Whether you’re spending today celebrating life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or simply eating yourself into a potato salad coma and not thinking too hard about it, today is a DAY OFF for many, which means MORE TIME TO READ. In honor of independence day (not this one), here are 5 YA breakup books we love.
The Art of Lainey, by Paula Stokes
At the book’s start, Lainey’s looking forward to a summer spent canoodling with her hot boyfriend by the side of his rich family’s pool. Mere pages later, he’s dropped her like a bad single, and she’s left to eat ice cream, cry…and plot to get him back. But nobody who’d dump you the way he did (loudly, publicly, and out of the blue) could be that worth fighting for, and Lainey ends up spending more time getting to know “bad boy” Micah and her own awesome self than she does pining for the d-bag.
The Break-Up Artist, by Philip Siegel
After watching her sister’s emotional destruction by a fiancé who ditched her on their wedding day, Becca sees love for what it is: a destructive force that compromises people’s happiness and identity before it tears them apart. She re-creates herself as an anonymous vigilante “breakup artist” who separates couples for cash—but it still doesn’t stop her from embarking on an ill-advised love story of her own. Friendships are tested, priorities realigned, and breakups had in spades.
Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler
I love this book, in which cinephile Min uses a box of relationship keepsakes to explain their breakup to jock ex-boyfriend Ed. They were an odd couple to start with, and the story traces their path from nothing to everything and back again. Min is smart, interesting, and the absolute perfect amount of pretentious. Ed didn’t know what he had.
Great, by Sara Benincasa
Whatever else it is, The Great Gatsby is the ultimate post-breakup fantasy…I mean, if you ignore the whole tragic ending thing. In this gender-flipped retelling, mysterious fashion blogger Jacinta takes the Gatsby role, and sylphlike socialite Delilah is her Daisy. We all know how well Daisy and Gatsby’s (second) breakup went in the book—car crash, betrayal, death—now see how it plays out against the backdrop of the modern-day Hamptons.
The Revenge Playbook, by Rachael Allen
Four girls get together to wreak havoc and rain down sweet revenge on the high-school football team that defines their small town and gets away with murder. One of the girls, Melanie Jane, is getting vengeance for the breakup her athlete boyfriend was forced to enact, but this delicious, smart story becomes way bigger than that.