A genre that I don’t talk about enough on any of my platforms is YA contemporary. I’m definitely a fantasy girl, but sometimes I need something more light and easy to read. Here are my 5 favorite YA contemporary novels (in no particular order up until number 1):
5. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
I loved this book! I went into it with mixed reviews from people I trust and so I wasn’t 100% sure if I would enjoy it. Theodore Finch gripped my heart on page one and never let it go. Yes, he was annoying at times, but I thought his characterization was done perfectly. Both characters made me cry on multiple occasions. I highly recommend to people who like John Green books, but don’t want to read about manic pixie girls.
4. Geek Charming by Robin Palmer
Dylan Shoenfield is the princess of L.A.’s posh Castle Heights High. She has the coolest boyfriend, the most popular friends, and a brand-new -it bag that everyone covets. But when she accidentally tosses her bag into a fountain, this princess comes face-to-face with her own personal frog: self-professed film geek Josh Rosen. In return for rescuing Dylan’s bag, Josh convinces Dylan to let him film her for his documentary on high school popularity. Reluctantly, Dylan lets F-list Josh into her A-list world, and is shocked to realize that sometimes nerds can be pretty cool. But when Dylan’s so-called prince charming of a boyfriend dumps her flat, her life and her social status comes to a crashing halt. Can Dylan, with Josh’s help, pull the pieces together to create her own happily-ever-after?
I think this might be considered more middle-grade than YA, but this book has been one of my favorites for a long time. I loved Dylan and I loved Josh and I loved their chemistry and how they become the most unlikely friends. Robin Palmer is very underrated and I often forget how much I enjoyed all her books. She has a cute writing style that’s fast and easy to read and creates characters that everyone can relate to. Love, love, love it!
3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um…
Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?
I was recommended this book by a friend whose opinion I trust more than anyone else’s and she said I would love it. She couldn’t have been more right. I love Emily as a main character so much. She’s funny and lovable. I was rooting for her from the get go and the side characters all have unique personalities instead of just being cardboard/copy cats of the main characters. I love Matson’s writing style and even though this book is 449 pages, it doesn’t feel like it.
2. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Julie Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Julie, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Julie is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Julie is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.
This is honestly one of my favorite reads of all time. It’s so fluffy and light, but at the same time the author talks about some serious issues and how to cope with them. Julie Baker is such a good character who went through so much character development throughout the entire novel. It’s the same with Bryce. If you’re ever in the mood for something light and easy, a breath of fresh air, I highly recommend reading the book or watching the movie (it is almost exactly like the book). You won’t regret it!
1. To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
I can not tell you enough how much I love this book. The plot, the characters, everything. LOVE IT SO MUCH! Lara Jean is one of my favorite fictional female characters of all time. She is basically everything I want to be and I enjoyed reading about her life. This book has a diverse cast of characters that are all different in their own ways and overflowing with personality. Please, please, please read this book! You won’t regret it!