Realistic Fiction

What is Realistic Fiction? by Jennifer Brannen (NoveList Plus)

Realistic fiction is real life set to fiction. It’s about anything that can happen in real life — good, bad, and in-between. It’s real emotions and behaviors in real settings and encompasses the experiences of characters from all different backgrounds. It can also include extremes, both positive and negative, from high living with a focus on wealth, designer clothes, and private schools to the darker extremes of drug use, family breakdowns, and sexual assault. The only limit is reality, which, depending on one’s point of view, is either a jump-off point into the fantastical or just where it starts to get interesting all on its own.


Let's Get Lost by Adi AlsaidLet’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

During her cross-country adventures following the tragic death of her family, Leila touches the lives of four strangers — Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia. While forever changing the lives of these four, Leila also discovers an important truth about herself.



Mosquitoland by David ArnoldMosquitoland by David Arnold

When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from Mississippi that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.




In Real Life by Cory DoctorowIn Real Life by Cory Doctorow

Immersing herself in an online role-playing game where she enjoys fantasy heroics, Anda confronts a difficult choice when she befriends a disadvantaged Chinese kid who works illegally to collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money.



And We Stay by Jenny HubbardAnd We Stay by Jennifer Hubbard

Sent to a boarding school after her ex-boyfriend shoots himself, 17-year-old Emily expresses herself through poetry as she relives their relationship, copes with her guilt, and begins to heal.




Dumplin by Julie MurphyDumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete inthe beauty pageant her mother runs.



Written in the Stars by Aisha SaeedWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Naila’s vacation to visit relatives in Pakistan turns into a nightmare when she discovers her parents want to force her to marry a man she’s never met.




Challenger Deep by Neal ShustermanChallenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Caden Bosch lives in two worlds. One is his real life where he is paranoid for no reason, thinks people are trying to kill him, and demonstrates obsessive compulsive behaviors. In his other world, he’s part of the crew for a pirate captain on a voyage to the Challenger Deep , the ocean’s deepest trench. There he’s paranoid too. Slowly, Caden’s fantasy and paranoia begin to take over, until his parents have only one choice left.



100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

Finn Easton, sixteen and epileptic, struggles to feel like more than just a character in his father’s cult-classic novels with the help of his best friend, Cade Hernandez, and first love, Julia, until Julia moves away.




All the Rage by Courtney SummersAll the Rage by Courtney Summers

After being assaulted by the sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, Romy Grey was branded a liar and bullied by former friends, finding refuge only in the diner where she works outside of town, but when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing and news of him assulting another girl gets out, Romy must decide whether to speak out again or risk having more girls hurt.



 Hold Tight, Don't Let Go by Laura Rose WagnerHold Tight, Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner

In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Nadine goes to live with her father in Miami while her cousin Magdalie, raised as her sister, remains behind in a refugee camp, dreaming of joining Nadine but wondering if she must accept that her life and future are in Port-au-Prince.


last updated: February 2016

About Princess Leia

I am the Teen Services Librarian at the Grayslake Area Public Library.
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