Today I wanted to talk about contemporaries. Generally speaking, I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary. I am much more of a fantasy kind of girl. But, I do read some contemporary books, I am just fussy about which I choose. So today I thought that I would share with you my favourite contemporary standalones and what I is about them that I love. so, without further ado, let’s do this!
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
if you are only going to read one book this year, it needs to be this one. This incredible YA contemporary follows 16-year-old Starr as she witnesses her best friend get murdered by a cop, and the aftermath of this event. The whole book is themed around the black lives matter movement and is such an important read. But not only is a topic that we all need to focus on and tackle more, the book itself is incredible. You are instantly so connected to the characters and you want justice for them. Honestly, everybody needs to read this book.
The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
This is hands down the best contemporary that I have read in ages. This story follows 17-year-old Molly over the course of one unforgettable summer. She is the girl who has had 26 crushes, but never done anything about it. this story follows her as she develops crush 27, makes new friends and generally starts to discover who she is. This is a beautiful story full of brilliant characters, and realistic storylines. I have never related to a story as much as I did this one. It is sweet and funny and so good. It is the perfect summer read.
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
I am currently about half way through this book but I couldn’t not include it on this list. It has one of the most accurate portrayals of anxiety that I have ever seen, to the extent that it is almost triggering. It perfectly captures of thought processes surrounding anxiety and the feelings. I have had to stop reading on several occasions because of how unbelievably accurate it is. Everyone should read this book, even if just to understand what anxiety is like for people a little bit better.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
This is a stunningly moving contemporary story that follows 17-year-old Norah, a girl with agoraphobia, OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. Throughout this book you watch her struggles and triumphs, her highs and her lows. This is just one of those stories that really stays with you. it is without a doubt the best portrayal of these conditions that I have ever read. such an incredibly amazing read. you need to read this book!
History Ifs All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
This is a heart-breaking story about losing a loved one and finding yourself. This story follows Griffin, a 17-year-old with sever obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety, as he tries to come to terms with the death of his first love. This is such a moving story that will leave you completely heartbroken. It handles mental illness brilliantly and also contains LGTBQA+ representation. This is such a fantastic little book. if you are looking for an incredible mental health book, then you need to pick this one up.
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
I read this book for the first time 3 or 4 years ago, it was one of my earliest review that I posted on here. And while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either. I found it boring and predictable and honestly just a bit dull. Well last summer I ended up re-reading it on a whim and really enjoying it. there was a lot more depth to the story then I realised the first time around. It really drew me in a lot more the second time and I was able to appreciate the themes and storylines a lot more. in fact, I enjoyed it so much that upon finishing it, I immediately ordered all but one of Keplinger’s other books (one was out of stock at the time)
By Your Side by Kasie West
This book contains one of the most honest and relatable representations of anxiety that I have ever read. the story follows Autumn, a teenager with severe anxiety. I can personally relate to this story as Autumn has told no one except her parents about her anxiety. Not a single one of her friends. She is determined to deal with it alone and not be seen as weak. Throughout this book you see her struggling to cope with her anxiety and eventually opening up about it. this is such a fantastic book that I enjoyed far more then I was ever expecting to. Even now, nearly 2 years on, I still think about this book on a regular basis. It just handled the topic perfectly.
When We Collided by Emery Lord
This book is a stunning young adult contemporary. It follows two main characters, Jonah and Vivi as they spend their summer falling in love with each other. Vivi whirls into town, this vibrant, bundle of energy and turns Jonahs life upside down. All is not as simple as it may seem though. Jonah is still grieving his father, dealing with his mother’s break down and trying to play parent to his three young siblings and Vivi has plenty of demons herself. This book is a lovely summer read. It is a beautiful story about love and loss, darkness and light. It is truly wonderful.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is one of my favourite contemporaries that I have read this year. It follows 18-year-old Cath, an avid fanfiction writer, as she navigates her way through her first year of college. this book is full of brilliant characters, amazing relationships and complex storylines. You cannot help but fall in love with the characters and the storyline. It is sweet and funny, but also sad and so relatable. This story was so much more complex then I was expecting and I ended up really enjoying it.
Paper Towns by John Green
Paper Towns is the perfect spring contemporary. Set in May, follow Q and his friends as they try to unravel the mystery that is Margo and find out where she has gone. This is a brilliant story about love, isolations, friendship and adventure. You can’t help but fall in love with it. It is sweet and funny but also dark and it tackles some serious topics. It is one of those books that you want to read in one sitting. It is perfect to curl up with during spring and just lose yourself in.
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Set on a private island, you follow Cadence as she slowly uncovers the events that scared her family. This young adult contemporary will break your heart. It grips you from page one, pulling you in. You will not be able to put it down. It is a truly stunning book with so many twists and turns it will leave you dizzy. This is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. If you are only going to read one book this summer, make it this one (although word of warning, do not read any reviews before reading it. Just trust me on that one).
The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
This is the book that the Netflix film of the same name is based off, which should instantly give you an idea about it. Follow 16-year-old Elle as she accidentally starts to fall in love with her best friend, Lee’s, older brother Noah. Cue drama. This is such a sweet story. it is light and fluffy and will leave you smiling. It is the perfect book to curl up in the sun with and just have all the mushy feels. (also its companion Novella, The Beach House, is freaking adorable and is set over the summer. If you like the book, you need to read this as well)
Fly On The Wall by E Lockhart
This is a very funny book. When people hear E Lockhart, you think We Were Liars, but this book is just as good. It is weird and wacky but so very funny. I got through it in just a few hours, I couldn’t put it down. In this book you follow teenager Gretchen as she struggles to fit in at school. You watch as she wishes to be a fly on the wall to try and understand why people act the way they do, but what she doesn’t expect is for her wish to come true. This book is a really fun little story that will have you laughing out loud. It is well worth a read.
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
You need to read this book. Follow 16-year-old Vivian through most of the junior year at East Rockport High. At this very corrupted school, the football team are hailed as gods, allowed to do as they please with no repercussions, not even by teachers. Viv has had enough of ‘make me a sandwich’ comments, strictly enforced dress codes that only target girls, being grouped in hallways and all the other stuff that is going on at her school. So, taking inspiration from her ex rebel mother, she starts a zine called Moxie and triggers a revolution. This is a brilliant book. It explores feminism and girl’s rights and the idea that one girl can cause a change. I read this in just one sitting. It is brilliant. Everyone needs to read it.
Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall
This story follows best friends Gideon and Kyle as their relationship changes. Kyle is bisexual, and semi out where as Gideon is only just realising that he is gay. This is a really sweet, fluffly little story. I read it in one sitting. It isn’t the greatest representation in the world, and does a bit to be desired, but it is a really nice little story. It has people exploring their sexuality, how others react when someone comes out and first love. it is worth a read, you will find yourself smiling at the cuteness of it.
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
This YA contemporary is absolutely stunning. Although it is primarily set during the summer, this book is definitely a good winter read. This beautiful story follows twins Noah and Jude as they struggle with the reality of being a teenager and all the struggles that come with it. This book tackles some really difficult topics such as homosexuality, grief, bullying and so much more. This book is beautifully written and is such a beautiful story. You cant help but fall in love with it. Even if you don’t like contemporary books, you will like this one. It drags you in from the first page and you wont want to put it down.
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
This is a truly unexpected story. You follow two teenagers, Mark and Katie, as they both are struggling their relationships. The pair meet and become instant friends and help each other navigate through the treacherous waters that are first love. The entire book is set over Pride week in San Francisco. This is a truly beautiful story full to the brim with love, in all shapes and forms. You cannot fail to be warmed by this story. What makes with story even better is that it is woven with some very deep and important messages, such as acceptance, tolerance and finding yourself. It is the perfect book for Valentines day.
Daisy Jones And he Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Have you ever wondered what it is truly like to be in a rock band? Then this is the book for you. Daisy Jones And The Six follows the career and lives of the fictional band by the same name through the highs and lows of fame and life. told in an interview format this book feels almost like none fiction. I listened to the audiobook for it and it honestly felt like I was listening to a podcast. I loved it. it is such a unique story and I can understand why it is getting so much hype. It is brilliant.
And there we have it. those are my favourite contemporary standalones. What is your favourite? Any that you think I should check out? I hope that you have enjoyed todays post and I will see you all again very soon.