Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Recs for Those on the Fence about YA Contemporary

Top Ten Tuesday has been on a hiatus ever since Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish has been on maternity leave. But I’m glad to be back with the themes, and I’m really excited to share this one with you. The overall topic is “10 Book Recommendations for _________” and you can insert whatever you want. I decided to go with YA contemporaries since I used to not read them at all. But over the past year or so, I’ve definitely read some great ones, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you! 🙂

eleanor and parkAfter hearing an abundance of good things about Rainbow Rowell novels, I picked up Fangirl, excited! Unfortunately, I didn’t like it as much as everyone else did. I almost felt like the black sheep. Yet I gave Rowell another change and picked up Eleanor & Park which I absolutely loved! I read it two years ago, and I keep going back to it and thinking about it. (Perhaps it’s time for a reread?) My initial excitement extended from the fact that Park is half-Korean (like me!) but the rep in that book in terms of Park being half-Korean isn’t even there. But we won’t go into that…

For me, it was Park and Eleanor’s connection, their love of music, and Eleanor’s heartbreaking story that really made my love this book. It’s the way the two character needed each other in unique ways. Not in the physical sense, but more in the emotional and mental sense. 1 point for YA contemporaries!

I rated all of these book 4 stars. Bookishly Ever After tells an adorable story about a book nerd who has a crush on someone in her band class. Exit, Pursued by a Bear is about a teenage girl who is raped and the aftermath. First & Then is pitched was Friday Night Lights meets Pride and PrejudiceI’m so there!

I loved the raw honesty in The Names They Gave Us. It spoke to me in ways I didn’t know I needed, and I immediately related to it in so many ways. When Dimple Met Rishi made me giggle and smile. It’s completely relatable to those who find themselves torn between two cultures, and I found myself in both Dimple and Rishi!

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is an absolute gem of a book, and I think it’s so underhyped. The main character has OCD and agoraphobia. There’s positive therapist/client and mother/daughter relationships, which I always find so refreshing in YA. Girl in Pieces is brutally honest, raw, and open to the dark dangers about addition. I found myself in both MCs in Holding Up the Universe. The audiobook is incredible, too.

Okay, so technically this is 11 books, not ten, but I couldn’t NOT include these two. Some of the first books I actually saw myself in terms of representation. The Sun Is Also a Star features two non-white main characters, Natasha and Daniel. The latter is Korean. Desi Lee from I Believe in a Thing Called Love is also Korean (and look, she’s even on the cover!) and I found tidbits of my own life in this book, too.

YA contemporary is definitely a genre I’ve grown to love over the course of just the past couple of years, and I’m definitely excited to see it grow and see all the amazing rep of other cultures.

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6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Recs for Those on the Fence about YA Contemporary

  1. Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads says:

    You have so many great titles listed here!! The Names They Gave Us, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, and The Sun is Also a Star are all books that I loved. I really want to read When Dimple Met Rishi and I Believe in a Thing Called Love. My library has both of them, so I just need to make time for them!!

    Liked by 1 person

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