Saturday 10 November 2012


As it should be fairly obvious from the content of my blog I usually love books that involve some form of magic, or a supernatural creature. I love fantasy, sci-fi and the paranormal. Bring on the vampires, werewolves, witches, faeries, aliens, ghosts, time-travellers, goblins, mermaids, zombies and demons!

But just occasionally I come across a contemporary novel that rocks my world and leaves me reeling for weeks/ months afterwards.
This is a list of the some of the best contemporary YA fiction I have ever come across.

I am defining a contemporary novel as realistic fiction that is set in the modern day.

  • If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. I basically spent one Sunday morning reading If I Stay and bawling my eyes out! It is so sad and tragic, but the depth of detail in the writing of the flashbacks made it so vivid for me. I felt like I knew these characters. These books are just so, so good and extremely moving. 
My review of If I Stay
My review of Where She Went

  • The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. This is another book that features a death of a family member, and is not only completely heart-breaking but also very sweet and funny. The whole family is completely nuts and it gives it such a quirky edge to it. It's just a beautiful book. 

My review of The Sky Is Everywhere

  • Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. This is a very compelling book about high school bitchiness and bullying pushed to the limit. Gritty and shocking and so clever. It is a tense emotional read which gets right into the heart and minds of the characters. 
My review of Some Girls Are

  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. This is one of those books that from the blurb I didn't know if I would enjoy it. But after reading several glowing 5 stars reviews I couldn't ignore it anymore, and I'm SO glad I gave it a chance. This is an amazing book. My advice though- don't read the back cover- just dive in. 
My review of Forbidden

  • Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick. Gah! How much did I love this book! It is kind of morbidly fascinating- like watching a car wreck. It is disturbing and slow-building, and thought-proving. I loved how confused it left me! (I listened to the audiobook version- I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback so that I can afford to buy a copy)
My review of Drowning Instinct

  • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta. This was a very moving story about a lonely girl in a very hard situation. I loved how real the story and the characters felt. My review- to come.
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher is a book that despite me reading a few years ago, I still vividly remember what happens. It has definitely stuck with me, and for weeks after finishing this book no other book could match up to it. I still re-read this from time to time. Just- wow...
  • Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry. This has to be one of my all-time favourite books- contemporary or not. This is so moving and romantic and I just loved it. I have been recommending it to everyone I know!
My review of Pushing The Limits

  • Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. This was a very sweet and funny book about real teenagers and their emotional dramas. I did enjoy this one.
My review of Graffiti Moon

  • The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams. This was a very clever and moving book about a girl living in a religious polygamous cult. She looks after all her younger brothers and sisters and rebels slightly by sneaking off to visit the mobile library and read forbidden books. She plots to run away when the cult leader tells her she is going to be married- to a man 50 years older than her. Very moving and extremely nail-biting in places. 
My review of The Chosen One

  • Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Ok- in my opinion ALL readers of YA should read this book in December. It is the perfect christmassy read! So funny, sweet and romantic with really quirky characters.
My review of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

  • Lock and Key and Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen. This author is definitely the queen of contemporary fiction and writing sympathetic characters. Her characters grow in confidence and take an incredible journey, and her books are so moving. 

  • The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard. This was a short novel but it has left a definite impression on me. It is about Colt from the rough side of town, who had been secretly seeing Julia from one of the towns wealthiest families. When Julia dies suddenly Colt mourns in private but can't let on his feelings to others, or move on from his memories. (If anyone else read this- tell me- do teenagers really have this much sex?!?!)

These are a few of my favourites. To see the complete list of contemporary novels I've read and rated check My Goodreads Shelf
Still to read

There are quite a few contemporary books still on my bookshelves waiting to be read. Which one do I start first?
  • On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Rockoholic by C.J Skuse
  • What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  • Sea by Heidi R. Kling
  • You Are My Only by Beth Kephart
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
  • Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
  • Stay by Deb Caletti
  • Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  • Belles by Jen Calonita

What is the best contemporary YA fiction that you've ever read? 


  1. I only just started reading contemporary YA this year, I read Pushing The Limit and it hooked me on the genre, but I also loved: The Summer I turned Pretty, Anna and the French Kiss (Lola too), My Life Next Door, Easy (more New Adult, but still...) and Meant to Be. I also really like Lauren Barnholdt's books.

    1. Ooh- Easy is another one that's on my wishlist- glad to hear you enjoyed it :)

  2. Awesome list! I don't read a lot of contemporaries, so I'm bookmarking this for when I feel in the mood for one. I have read On the Jellicoe Road, and it was fantastic, so I hope you get to it soon.

    Tanya Patrice


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