Category Archives: discussion post

YA Contemporary – I’ve been converted.

I’m going to come straight out and say it: Until I started blogging, I wasn’t a fan of contemporary books. I love fantasy. I love visiting other worlds, and meeting people that aren’t always actually human. Those kinds of books are always great for escaping every day life when you’re having a rough day. But lately I seem to be reading more and more contemporary stories. I decided to high light some of my favorites in this post, as a shout out to a genre that I’m coming to love as much as I love fantasy.

BEFORE BLOGGING

Before blogging I didn’t read contemporary very often. I didn’t enjoy this genre when I was the age of most of the characters in these books mostly because at the time, my life was no where near any of the stories in these books. I seemed to read on extreme opposite ends though with this genre. Half seemed to be books that were light and fluffy, that dealt a little tiny bit with issues everyone faces every day. Like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad, or the Gossip Girl series, and similar series to that.
On the other end were books like Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Teach Me by R.A. Nelson, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. These dealt with heavier issues. Death, suicide, relations between adults and young not-quite adults. My main reason for reading books like If I Stay and Before I Fall was because I wanted to see how these characters would act when faced with the possibility of their death earlier than expected. I thought in some small way they might help me overcome my own fear and accept what is reality. I still have trouble with that most of the time, but those books were well written and definitely invite you to think about what is going on with those characters, and how they relate to your life.

AFTER BLOGGING

In the last year and a half of blogging, out of 140ish books I’ve read about 23 young adult contemporary. I like this genre more now because of the romantic element that can be found in many of the books, and because my own high school life is thankfully blurry in my memory. The ones pictured are my favorites of all the contemporaries I’ve read, pre-blogging up through now.
All of those authors have well written books, characters that pop off the page and feel like real friends and family. Some still cover serious issues, like Don’t Breathe a Word, and others are just light romantic fluff. And many manage to even write humor well. It’s not often a book can actually make me laugh out loud at work on my lunch break. But Anna and the French Kiss succeeded. Catching Jordan would have too had I not stayed up all night to read that one.
All in all, I’m glad that I’ve been reading more young adult contemporaries. They’re a nice break from what I usually read, and are very enjoyable. And to think I almost missed out on a book like Catching Jordan just because I don’t actually like football. If you guys haven’t read any of these, I seriously recommend doing so at the first opportunity.
What about you guys? Do you have any favorites you think I should read that I maybe haven’t yet? Or are you fellow converts taking your time delving into this genre? I’d love to know your thoughts!