The best books with YA romance bad boys

The Books I Picked & Why

Perfect Chemistry

By Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry

Why this book?

Perfect Chemistry is one of the books I read as a model for writing the character relationship between my young adult novel characters, Shantel and Christopher. Alex is the perfectly crafted bad boy character who falls in love with Brittany and in the process is changed with how he sees his life. 


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Pushing the Limits: An Award-Winning Novel

By Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits: An Award-Winning Novel

Why this book?

Pushing the Limits is a can’t put down, read until the middle of the night book. Noah Hutchins is the ultimate bad boy with a tough attitude and soft interior. He knows just how to understand Echo Emerson and what she needs to fall in love again. I loved how a scar was used to show both Echo’s external appearance as well as the internal scar both characters carry. This concept of using a scar as a metaphor was an inspiration for a scene in my memoir, Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention.


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The Boy Most Likely to

By Huntley Fitzpatrick

The Boy Most Likely to

Why this book?

Bad boy, Tim, has struggled with drinking and now is a member of AA and is trying to start his life over. He and my character, Christopher, could attend AA meetings together and I am always happy to find a young adult character who is a reformed bad boy and trying to stay sober with AA and this story does not disappoint. 


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The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

By Sarah Ockler

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Why this book?

Bad boy, Christian Kane is one of those characters every young adult novelist hopes will find their heroine and challenge her to be who she is, no matter what. The story is set on the Oregon Coast, home to one of my middle-grade novels, and always a welcome setting that is not always seen in young adult stories. 


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Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

By Amerie

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

Why this book?

It’s always a joy to find a good short story collection, better yet when the stories are all giving the villains from fairy tales a chance to tell their side of the story. From Jack in the Beanstalk to The Little Mermaid, this collection is a great one to dive into and find out what makes our famous villains tick. 


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