Technically this isn’t “quite” a YA book. It’s written for a slightly older audience, but one stand-out book for me of 2012 was “Easy” by Tammara Webber. Jacqueline (not Jackie) is in college, and has just been dumped by her long-time boyfriend. She is saved from a sexual assault by Lucas, a boy she’s never really noticed before, but who is about to become a bigger part of her life than she ever expected.
I loved the passion and angst of this book. It brought back so many memories of my own “late” teen years. There’s nothing quite like that overwhelming emotional rollercoaster of first real love. I love the relationship between Lucas and Jacqueline (the book even touches on one of my favorite plots, which I won’t reveal because it’s a spoiler), and how Jacqueline becomes a much stronger person during the course of the story. Some of that is because of Lucas, but the rest comes from her relationship with the other females in the book. There are very serious issues in the book (sexual assault, sexual politics and the shaming of women), and Webber handles them with a firm yet never over-wrought touch. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a story featuring characters a little older and more sexually experienced than in most YA. I can’t wait to see how Webber follows up!