It's probably no secret to my regular followers that if I had to pick only one genre of YA to read for the rest of my life, it would without question be contemporary. Yes, I really do like fantasy and books like Angelfire, Paranormalcy and Firelight have renewed that, but my heart lies with contemporary. It's what I write, and it's the books I gravitate towards.
Given that, and to celebrate this week's launch of The Contemps, I bring you my top ten favorite Contemporary fiction books.
10. Kiss It by Erin Downing: This one is flirty and fun, on the surface, but delves deeper into plenty of things and shows quite a bit of spunk and insight.
9. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers: This is a bullying novel, centered around one of the top bullies that suddenly is on the receiving end. With strong characters and bold writing, it’s a gutting hit.
8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles: If this was a romance only list, this one would take slot 1 easily. It is intense and passionate but it deals with more than sex and romance. The issues at hand are also just as gritty but fantastically well done.
7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: This one is unique in premise and perspective, but just as emotional and intense. Not only is there the mystery of whether or not she really will stay or go… there is the story of why she would choose her path.
6. Take Me There by Carolee Dean: One of the few on this list with a male POV, this one adds in some elements I haven’t read much of. From a father in prison to his own struggle to try to do things right, Dylan’s story is an emotional one.
5. Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala: This is a teenage pregnancy one, and something that shouldn’t be ignored. It effects more than the pregnant girls and Holly has done a beautiful job portraying that.
4. Hate List by Jennifer Brown: This is another bullying one, shown from the side of the kid being bullied. As the girlfriend of the bullied kid who snapped and brought a gun to school, it adds a new perspective. Add in the family trouble on top of everything else, and this is an astounding book that should be read by everyone.
3. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams: This one is almost grotesque as its basic premise is something that goes against instinct for the majority of people. It is hard to wrap your head around the lifestyle, and the events are horrible and heartbreaking.
2. Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe: There are children that go hungry. Teenagers on the street. An untold number of kids in the foster system. Heidi uses these concepts and more in Compromised and has weaved something wrenching but beautiful.
1. Leftovers by Laura Weiss: There are so many elements to this book and even the final outcome… it will make you think. It’s gutting. It’s intense. Laura’s writing is astounding, and the messages are phenomenal.
You probably noticed... pretty much all of those deal with some of the harder hitting issues. These are my favorite kind of books. I like the fluffy romances in doses, and I enjoy the ones that hit a little lighter on the issues, but the ones that really make me feel something, twist my emotions, and force me to question things are my personal favorites.
Which contemporaries are your favorite?