Lists · Recommendations

Recommendations : Contemporary (YA)

The season of contemporaries has officially begun (btw, does anyone know why most people like to read contemporaries in summer?) I thought that maybe I could do a post on contemporary recommendations to spread the word about some books which people can read during the summer.

For this post, I have decided to focus on YA contemporary only. I may do a new adult and adult recommendations post later on, but as of now, we’re focusing on YA literature.

The contemporaries I have mentioned below are all contemporaries I have loved (rated 4 or 5 stars) and which stood out to me. So, these are not all the contemporaries I’ve read, but all the ones I really enjoyed and would like to recommend.

//I haven’t given any kind of big description for any book, because there are just too many books in the list below. I have just written about each book in one or two sentences. 

Light, fluffy YA contemporary (dealing with friendships, romance, self-discovery etc.)

The Fill-in Boyfriend – Kasie West


A cute, simple, kinda stupid love story of a girl who convinces a stranger to pose as her boyfriend for a few hours immediately after she breaks up with her real boyfriend. Read my reveiw here.

The Distance Between Us – Kasie West


The classic love story of a rich guy who meets a poor girl and finds himself falling for her. The romance was super cute and it was a very quick, simple, adorable read. Read my review here.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agena – Becky Albertalli


The only LGBTQ+ book I’ve read, and I absolutely adored it. It’s such a fun, cute read and perfect for the summer time!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (duology) – Jenny Han

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It’s pretty much my least liked book(s) in this whole post, yet it was cute and fluffy and a simple read. I really liked the first book but the second book was a disappointment. Yet, it’s pretty fun and fits the ‘summer mood’!

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell


This is by far one of my favorite books, it’s just so relatable and cute and such a good read. It’s about Cath, a geeky college girl who writes fanfiction and her experience at college and finding friendship and love. It’s absolutely adorable.

The DUFF – Kody Keplinger


A hilarious story about the ‘college star’ falling in love with the ‘DUFF’.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson


Two people, and the road trip of a lifetime. One of my favorite contemporary reads ever.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith


I do not exactly remember what the book is about, but I do remember liking it and being pleased by it. As far as I can recall, it’s the story of two people who meet in the airport – and – fall in love in that one day (flight) they spend together. Cute, fluffy romance.

Anna and the French Kiss (trilogy) – Stephanie Perkins

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No YA contemporary recommendation list is complete without this trilogy. Cute, adorable characters mixed with some really amazing romance – that’s what this trilogy is all about. I did not really like Isla…, but Anna… and Lola…. were absolutely amazing books.

Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson


Absolutely amazing story of a girl’s journey of self-discovery, friendship and love. Yet again, one of my very favorite contemporaries. Read my review here.

A little heavier, more emotional YA contemporary (dealing with family issues, loss etc)


Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson


I read this book long back, and I do not remember all the details and all. From what I do remember, it’s basically a story focusing on family ties and relationships, and it extremely sad, but beautiful.

Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell


Again, another favorite book. This is absolutely heart-breaking, a beautiful diverse story about first love and family. Read my review here.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart


This is more like a thriller, suspenseful contemporary, very exciting and shocking.

Just One Day (duology) – Gayle Forman

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I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, but the second book completely changed my opinion about this duology. It was spectacular; a beautiful tale about self-discovery, love, friendship and family.

If I Stay (duology) – Gayle Forman

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This was a really different type of contemporary, packed with emotions and filled with life lessons, portraying a beautiful love story.

Someone Else’s Life – Katie Dale


One word to sum this up : family drama. But, shocking, interesting, and bearable family drama. Twists and turns fill this book, and overall it was a very good read.

Darker, heavier YA contemporary (dealing with mental illness, abuse, suicide, depression etc.)

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick


This book is probably one of the best portrayals of mental illness. Its depth and its rawness is eye-opening and it’s written very, very well. Read my review here.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green


If you’ve not heard of this book : where were you all this time. This book is one of the two John Green books I really love, the reason being it’s beautifully written and just sad. Memorable characters and memorable quotes make up this amazing book.

Looking For Alaska – John Green


The second John Green book I’m a huge fan of. Amazing, sad, depressing book, with flawed, real characters and classic John Green writing.

It’s Kind of A Funny Story – Ned Vizzini


This was such a quirky, sometimes hilarious, eye-opening book about mental illness and depression, well described and written very fluently and simply.

All the Rage – Courtney Summers


This is probably one book which has scarred me more than any other dark YA contmporary book I’ve read. A story about a hgih-school girl who is raped by the most famous guy in school, and her struggles with that incident, which was followed by constant bullying, teasing and abuse. The book is horrifying and sad and downright depressing. Read my review here.

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold


This was a horrifying, scary, creepy book, yet powerful and very, very emotional. The story of a young 14 (or maybe 13?) year old girl who gets raped and murdered by her neighbor and then watches over her family struggling to find out the truth about the incident.

Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma


This was such a powerful, strong read. A brother and sister who fall in love – and how all the world goes against them. Read my review here.

Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson


This book is a raw, real portrayal of after-effects of rape and abuse.

Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher


This book is about a young girl who commits suicide and leaves behind thriteen casettes stating the reasons for her act.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky


If you read contemporary, then it’s impossible that you’ve not heard of this book. A magical, enthralling tale of three friends and self-discovery. (Also deals with abuse.)

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver


This is essentially not a YA book, since it’s written from the POV of an adult, but it’s about a teenager so I thought that I’d include this book in the list. An exceptional book about a school shooting with some shocking elements and so many emotional touches.

Books I’m planning on reading this summer :

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz


More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera


Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng


Until Friday Night – Abbi Glines


The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand


Two Way Street – Lauren Barnholdt


Have you read any of the books I mentioned in this post? Share your thoughts on them below!



4 thoughts on “Recommendations : Contemporary (YA)

  1. I have read and loved SO MANY of these books. Kasie West, Jenny Han, and Stephanie Perkins are three of my favorite authors. Also Aristotle and Dante is such a good book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list! I haven’t picked up Kasie West’s contemporaries yet (I read Split Second years ago when it came out) so I’m hoping to pick them up soon! Same with Fangirl. It’s been sitting on my shelf forever. I really need to get around to it haha

    Liked by 1 person

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