Monday, 28 March 2011

Recommend me some Contemporary YA Fiction!

So, as mentioned in my review of Anna and the French Kiss, I don't read a lot of contemporary YA fiction. I'm a paranormal romance girl at heart, but after reading and loving ANNA, I thought I'd branch out a little with my reading.  Trouble is, although I've gotten a lot of great recommendations, I'm not sure where to start!

Jenny from Wondrous Reads has given me some great recommendations, such as The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, and The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols.  Jess from Jess Hearts Books recommends Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, which is also recommended by Stephanie Perkins as a book people who love Anna and the French Kiss should read, so I'll definitely be adding that one to my list!   I want to read Jenny Han's Summer series after reading a lot of amazing reviews, and also Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson which releases here in July.

 Even though I've picked up some great recommendations, I'm pretty sure that with all my time spentIreading about vampires and werewolves, I've missed out on a lot of amazing reads, so I want to know what your top Contemporary YA reads are?  Tell me all your top reads and I'll make a list!

For the record, the only YA contemps that I've read (besides ANNA) are The first two books in the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.  I love them all, so I really should read more like them, right?

Tell me the books you think I simply must read in comments!


  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, anything John Green/Kevin Brooks, Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers..tons of others!

  2. Have you ever heard of Melanie Rose? l love her books but l wouldn't say they are anything like the books above.
    l also love Emlyn Rees & Josie Lloyd. If you like books from both male and female point of views then they are amazing books.
    l don't know if they go under the YA section. l am terrible for saying which books go under!

  3. :D ok, are you ready? :P..hihi..
    Another great book by Sarah Dessen is 'Just Listen', it was my first Dessen book and one of my first YA-contemp. I loved it.
    'Going too Far' - Jennifer Echols (a bit more mature than 'The Boys Next Door'.
    'North of Beautiful' - Justina Chen Headley, such a beautiful book.
    'Psych Major Syndrome'- Alicia Thompson, love this one, *swoon*.
    'Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots'-Abby McDonald - she is awesome!
    'After' - Kristin Harmel
    'The DUFF' - Kody Keplinger
    'Leaving Paradise' - Simone Elkeles..

    Just to name a few:P :)
    Happy Reading

  4. Just Listen is another good one by Sarah Dessen (and Along for the Ride). Erm Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist was good, and She's So Money by Cherry Cheva is another one I liked. I don't know many contemporary YA reads either! :P.

  5. Anything by: Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols and Jenny Han, as you know :)

    Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
    Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
    Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald
    How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
    The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
    Drawing with Light by Julia Green
    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
    I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
    Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
    Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
    Hate List by Jennifer Brown

    + many more ;)

  6. Anything by John Green or Sarah Dessen. I only started reading her books this month and I've already read 4. Stolen by Lucy Christopher, anything by Laurie Halse Andersen, and all the Courtney Summers books too. Those are like, the only ones I've read, so thanks for this post! All of these recs look awesome! *looks at wallet* *laments* ;)

  7. I'm not sure whether you've read any of these, but I'm not much of a contemporary reader, either, and I LOVED them: The Sky is Everywhere (!!!!!!), The Duff, Going Too Far ... The Boys Next Door is GREAT, too, except you might want to get Endless Summer instead, which contains that one and the sequel, they're both adorable! Enjoy! :)

  8. Melina Marchetta!!
    -Jellicoe Road <3
    -Saving Francesca
    -The Piper's Son
    -Looking for Alibrandi


  9. I loved Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala and all of Lisa Schroeder's novels are really good too. Really loved Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, it was sooo good. Anything by David Levithan is great, I loooooove him and I became a huge fan after reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares and now I'm on a quest to read everything ever written by him. =D

  10. Oh, there are so many good contemporary YA novels out there but from my personal experience here are some good ones.

    After by Amy Efaw
    Battle Dress by Amy Efaw
    The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
    The DUFF by Kodi Keplinger
    Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont
    Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
    Heist Society by Ally Carter
    Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
    Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi (2011 debut)
    She’s So Dead to Us – Kieran Scott
    The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Anything by Kate Brian
    Anything by Meg Cabot
    Anything by Sara Shepard

    And even though it’s not YA;
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

    Hopefully this list helps. But I understand about reading mostly paranormal lit.

  11. I highly recommend Paper Town by John Green, it is funny and John Green is a terrific writer. It is a different kinda of love story. But if you want love stories you cannot go wrong with Dessen's books.

  12. I don't tend to read contemps either, but these are some I've enjoyed:

    The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
    Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
    Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

  13. I agree with Thirteen Reasons Why and Jellicoe Road. Both books are fabulous! I'd also have to add Willow by Julia Hoban and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I really loved those too!

  14. I haven't read that many contemporaries either to be honest but I really enjoyed Drawing With Light by Julia Green and Breathing Underwater by her too. It seemes like you'be got some great reccommendations from the other commentors :)

  15. Amazing rec's guys - I'm going to have a fabulous list!! Keep 'em coming!

    Once again I can't believe I haven't read Before I Fall. I have to be the only one!lol!

  16. For fun contemp YA with great distinctive characters I always recommend Jaclyn Moriarty's Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments - they're such fantastically feel-good reads!

  17. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and anything by Courtney Summers or Maureen Johnson!

  18. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Duff by Jody Keplinger, they're just a couple. I haven't read much but I've heard John Green novels are also good to look at.

  19. If you want a strong, haunting plot, I highly recommend Dark Song by Gail Giles. It made me feel squirmy and gross, but it was so dark, and so powerful. I also highly recommend Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar :)

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  21. I LOVE this post. AND I loved reading through the comments ~ where i have pretty much read every book mentioned (!) and some I agree with and others bored me, haha. (I won't go back and knock others recommendations though ~ we all obviously have different taste :)

    I'm opposite of you and read stacks of contemp but look for paranormal recs as I have hardly read any and tend not to be interested in them.

    I think it depends what you're looking for in a contemp.

    sarah dessen is a slow classic coming of age that follows a formula. Some of hers really bored me but others are okay. I don't know if you'd like her? I think Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer has a similar vibe to her books ~ but it's better (just my opinion though :)

    If you want humour: Jaclyn Moriarty's The Year of Secret Assignments. Which is in my top ten YA books.

    Melina Marchetta is BRILLIANT. My fave of hers is jellicoe Road ~ but it is confusing and overwhelming at first, so I often recommend to go with Saving Francesca. She's pretty much top of the range.

    I find Jennifer Echols very hit and miss. BUT LOVED Going Too Far. It's snarky and sexy and fun and addictive.

    Courtney Summers is intense and edgy. If you're in the mood.

    I ADORED Psych Major Syndrome. It's light-hearted and fun and swoon-y.

    Elizabeth Scott is an absolute fave of mine. She's for fans of contemp though ~ I always buy every one of her books. Stealing Heaven is my fave ~ and is older YA with the characters being 18 and 20.

    once you're into contemp ;) I could start with some more and go on for days ~ but these are the ones that I think would universally appeal to any reader ~ not just contemp fans.

    sorry for raving on :D

  22. Stay - Deb Caletti
    Please Ignore Vera Dietz - A.S King
    The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
    Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
    Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
    You against me - Jenny Downham

  23. Anything by Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott. ;)

    Jay Asher - Thirteen Reasons Why
    Lauren Oliver - Before I Fall
    Gayle Forman - If I Stay
    Jandy Nelson - The Sky is Everywhere
    Kody Keplinger - The DUFF
    Holly Cupala - Tell Me A Secret
    Sara Bennett Wealer - Rival
    Jenny Han <3
    Sarah Ockler - Twenty Boy Summer (I didn't love it, but many people will rec. it)


    Courtney Summers & Maureen Johnson are also pretty popular. Though I haven't read any of their books...NOT ENOUGH TIME to read. :S


    ... The people have spoken dude. I'm always struggling with finding good paranormals. I've struck gold a couple times, but most of the books I didn't care for (under 4 stars) are non-contemps. But yes, I love when people try to mix it up and expand their reading genres!

  24. ANYTHING by Sarah Dessen -- that woman is a contemp goddess. My personal faves are This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, and Just Listen though. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger was also phenomenal.

  25. You SERIOUSLY need to read The Summer series by Jenny Han. It's my absolute favorite. I'm obsessed. You must read it!

    I also adore Dessen. The Truth About Forever and Along For the Ride are my favorites.

    Can't wait to see what you decide!

  26. This isn’t my usual genre of choice either, but I’ve discovered a few gems over the last year.

    Anything by Jennifer Echols!
    The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
    Entangled by Cat Clarke
    John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles

    Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what you decide :)

  27. Anything by Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott would be on my list of contemps for sure! My favourite of Dessen's novels is Lock and Key but Just Listen is a close second. From Scott's works, Stealing Heaven is my favourite.

    Other novels:
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
    Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
    Justina Chen Headley's novels are pretty good if you're looking for characters that aren't Caucasian

  28. This is a perfect post for me as I just finished the Perfect Chemistry books and I'm looking for some reality-based YA Romance myself.
    I like
    Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (the sequel's out soon, btw)
    Elizabeth Scott is great--I really want to read The Unwritten Rule.
    The Ruby Oliver books by E. Lockhart
    Dairy Queen and Off Season by Catherine Murdock

  29. There are so many great books already mentioned here, but I highly recommend you to read You Against Me by Jenny Downham. Amazing book!

  30. Anything by Jennifer Echols- her Love Story is coming out this summer and looks really, really good.

  31. I loved Fixing Delilah-Sarah Ockler

  32. I was a big PNR reader myself, until I discovered the wonderful world of contemp fiction. Now I can't stay away!

    Please try anything Melina Marchetta!!! You won't regret it.

  33. Thank you all so much for your amazing recommendations. I'm going to have so much fun finding out about all these books!

  34. Yay, I love ALL contemporary YA - it is my genre of choice :).

    My top recommendations are:

    Almost Perfect - Brian Katcher
    Anything by Sarah Dessen, Dyan Sheldon, Louise Rennison, Courtney Summers, Luisa Plaja, Meg Cabot or Sarra Manning
    Being Billy - Phil Earle
    The Boyfriend List (and the rest of the Ruby Oliver series) - E. Lockhart
    Fat Cat - Robin Brande
    Stolen - Lucy Christopher
    Half Brother - Kenneth Oppel
    Happyface - Stephen Emond
    Notes from the Teenage Underground - Simmone Howell
    Party - Tom Leveen
    The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
    Sprout - Dale Peck
    The Summer of Skinny Dipping - Amanda Howells
    Tall Story - Candy Gourlay
    Threads - Sophia Bennett
    Trash - Andy Mulligan
    You Against Me - Jenny Downham

    As I know you liked Undiscovered Gyrl I'd recommend:

    Anything by Ellen Hopkins
    The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides
    The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
    Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen.

    They are ALL awesome - I promise.

    Enjoy all the recommendations!x

  35. Just wanted to add, I'm about 1/3 of the way through Babe in Boyland and I can't even count how many times I've already laughed out loud!

  36. You have got some great recs already.

    My favourite is Melina Marchetta. I recommend starting with Saving Francesca.

    Also I love The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Also Sarah Ockler, her books, Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Deliah :)

  37. OMG. We are identical in this instance! I like me some werewolves and vampires and don't really know how to not read those books... I will have to check out some of the books that you get recommended!

  38. Hey!! :) It's me from twitter loll. Anyway I haven't been reading a lot of contemporary YA's but these are my top 2 picks.

    This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen (you can never go wrong w this girl!)
    Two Way Street - Lauren Barnholdt

  39. I see a lot of other people have already suggested lots of my favourites - I really recommend books by John Green, Elizabeth Scott, Jennifer Echols and Melina Marchetta in particular.

    North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley and The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson are extreme favourites.

  40. I know most, if not all, of these were already mentioned, but I thought I'd list them again just in case you weren't convinced :)

    John Green
    Courtney Summers
    David Levithan
    Lisa Schroeder
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
    Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
    And, you absolutely positively must read Jenny Han's Summer series. They are so incredibly good.


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