It's no secret to anyone who follows my blog regularly that while I do love fantasy and paranormal, my heart lies with contemporary fiction. I realize I'm somewhat of a minority with this, and I'm okay with that. And while I totally respect everyone's varying tastes, I have to admit, it twists my heart a little every time I hear someone flat out say "I don't read contemp." Especially because usually when I ask why, their reason is "I just don't" Okay, I do respect that. But sometimes, I wonder if people have really given it a fair chance, or if they've just read one or two, didn't like it, and judged the entire genre based on it. But beyond that, a lot of times, these same people who just don't read contemp are also the ones starting to get more frustrated with the redundancy in YA paranormal/fantasy. So with that in mind, I bring you guys my top reasons why contemp rocks.
5. Variety. Contemporary fiction, as a whole, has a huge variety of subjects. From chick lit to straight romance, to the issues books and the ones that are just fun, there honestly is something for everyone with this genre. To pick up your good mood, or because you're in the mood to really feel something, contemp has not just one or two titles for it, but most likely, quite a few.
4. When things get rough, the characters can't just use some paranormal advantage to make things okay. When they overcome hard odds... when they make it through a seemingly impossible situation... it's because of them, and not anything else. It's almost empowering to read a more or less normal person figuring out the things thrown at them.
3. No books have ever effected me or had a potent effect on me like contemp fiction. Getting lost in a book is great, but at least for me, getting lost in something with real elements is even better. Even when I'm feeling down, I can pick up a rough and tumble book and walk away feeling better because it's such a beautiful reminder that for me, it's not so bad. It could be worse.
2. Boys! No, really. Even in realistic fiction, there are still hot and sexy, swoonworthy boys. Some of my favorite boys ever, actually, are from contemp fiction.
1. It's real, but it can still take you away. Just because I pick up a book that's realistic fiction doesn't mean I've ever experienced the situation. It doesn't mean I've walked that path.
And just in case you need some recs to get you started, here's some of my favorites:
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker: A seriously well done mystery set in a private school, with hints of sorrow but plenty of humor along the way.
Freefall by Mindi Scott: If you want to get into male POV books, start here. It's got huge crossover for female readers, is most definitely a romance, and has just an astounding element of realism to it.
Hate List by Jennifer Brown: This one gives a new perspective to school shootings, because it focuses on the girlfriend of the boy who brought the gun. It's one of the single most emotional and infuriating books I've ever read, but certainly one of the most potent as well.
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian: This one is a romance with a different twist, but plenty of steam to go with it. This one puts head to head both sides of the "girl" issue, whether she should be basically uptight and swear off boys, or flaunt her sexuality, and does it well.
So there you have it. What are some of your favorite contemp books? And why?