Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Love Contemporary YA!

There are two genres that make up the largest bulk of what I read and I'll be covering both this month. Since Contemporary starts with a C, it gets to go first.

Why I Love Contemporary YA: 

What makes Contemporary novels so compelling to me is that sometimes, things that could happen in real life are even more fascinating to me than things that happen strictly in the realms of fantasy or paranormal. Further, as a writer who mostly focuses on speculative fiction, I feel that my own work is enriched by an enhanced awareness and sensitivity to the things people face every day. Hidden demons that might not get as much time as vampires and werewolves but which are much more frighteningly real.

Then, of course, there is the opportunity to, though a book, essentially borrow a character's life. To experience what it would have been like to have a date for prom. To see how someone else's pre-college preparations may have differed from my own. Through contemporary, I can insert myself into any social group, situation, etc. without the need for a time machine or even having to leave the comfort of my chair. Pretty powerful stuff, I'd say.

So today I'm going to post a few trios of books. I'll list my top three contemporary recommendations. I'll share three books by beloved authors that I can't wait to read. And I'll list three books by new-to-me authors that I'm totally dying to check out.

My Must Reads:

I've read tons of contemporary YA that I totally love, and if I tried to list all of it I'd be here all day. Since neither of us have time for that, I've narrowed it down to these three.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles -- While I love the entire Perfect Chemistry series, Carlos and Kiara's book was my favorite. Probably because Carlos is a bit of a rebel, and Kiara reminded me a bit of me.

Waiting For The Storm by Marie Landry -- A beautiful story of surviving the worst and learning to truly live again. Love, family, friendship... This book has many of the things that make contemporary such a compelling genre.

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens -- This book is equal parts harrowing and hopeful. I absolutely loved the characters (and damn did I ache for them!). Despite all that happens in this book, it is one where I did not want the story to end.

My Most Wanted:

This is kinda unfair, since these are all from authors I've read and loved. I was going to do a category for authors I want to try, but I'm behind on this and I want to go to bed!

After The Storm by Marie Landry -- The next book in the Angel Island series. This one is from Ella's point of view. Considering how she was in Waiting For The Storm, I can't wait to see how she will be here and whether she will be able to win readers over.

Played by Liz Fichera -- Sequel to Hooked, which was one of my favorite contemporary novels last year. I've been waiting a LONG time for this one and I absolutely cannot wait to read it!

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson -- Jandy's first book, The Sky Is Everywhere, isn't just one of my favorite contemporary novels. It's one of my favorite novels *ever*. So when I discovered that she has a new book coming out this year, there was no way it wasn't getting on this list.
So, what are your favorite contemporary YA novels? Which ones are you excited for this year? I'd love to know. :) 


  1. I already follow you on twitter but I just found your A to Z posts :) I also love contemporary YA and it's what I choose to write. I really like Simone Elkeles' series which offer kind of a different slant than what I see in a lot of the genre. I just discovered Sarah Ockler's books. Her book titles sound like they might be shallow (Twenty Boy Summer, The Book of Broken Hearts) but both have deep threads of family and personal development. She sneaks that in well :)

    1. I actually really want to read The Book of Broken Hearts and will probably do so sometime in the next few weeks. Thanks for dropping by!


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