Chronicling the aftermath of an abusive and obsessive relationship, Stay has the power of a solid plot and the beauty of incredible writing. Set in a beach town populated by quirky characters and rocky seas. It's a breathtaking, beautiful read with a strong sense of setting and relationships.
2. Other Words for Love
Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
With a fuzzy, polaroid-picture feeling to it, this book is the best of literary fiction. A protagonist who often feels alone, dealing with internal and family struggles, dealing with growing up and changing throughout the course of the novel. It's beautifully written and Ari is a character I found myself quickly relating to. Not to mention that cover just screams literary beauty!
3. This is What I Want to Tell You
This is one of those books that seems to have been forgotten. I don't know of many who read it which is a shame, as it's absolutely brilliant. Told in the rotating POV of a set of twins dealing with changing relationships and newfound realizations, there's a ton of strength in this story. Though it's not terribly plot-driven, there are some very raw and impressive events handled extremely well and I do hope that a few more people find and read this one.
4. Along for the Ride
I would say that all of Dessen's novels have a literary leaning to them, but Along for the Ride might be (at least one of) the most literary. Set in a beach town, Auden (named for the poet -- le sigh) finds herself insomniac, sometimes taking care of her much-younger sister, sometimes making female friends for the first time, and sometimes wandering the streets at night with a boy with similar bad sleeping patterns.
5. Invincible Summer
As impossible as it is for me to decide how I feel about this book, there's no denying that it's both literary and beautiful. Set during four summers at a beach (are we seeing a pattern here?), the story is character-driven and infused with philosophy and setting and so so so much incredible writing.