Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 Book Lists, Pt. 4: Contemporary Adoration

I realized, when making these lists, that I've read so many contemporary YA books that it only made sense to give the category its own list post. So here you go: contemporary out the wazoo, for your every mood and whim.

Feel-Good Reads
Sometimes we just want to read a realistic story that is fun, absorbing, and may or may not lift your spirits!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Perhaps the only contemporary you may need to read this entire season. Read it if you loooove YA realistic romances. Read it even if contemporary is not your preferred genre. Everyone, indeed, should read it. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, Best Debuts of 2010, Night-In Reads, Winter Reads, Nice Guys, Boarding School Settings, Books with Athletes, Diverse Reads, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
A feel-good road trip adventure romance! (also on: Eternal Romances, Summer Reads)

This Book Isn’t Fat, It’s Fabulous by Nina Beck
Don't dismiss the force of Riley. This plus-sized young lady has pitch-perfect, envy-inducing self-confidence and will rock your world like few other protags will. (also on: Memorable Protagonists, Humor)

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Whether or not you approve of Bianca's behavior, you will wish you were this put-together in high school. Bianca won't take shit from anyone, and I have to admire her for that. Not to mention that she snags the hot bad boy. ;) (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Summer Reads, Guilty PleasuresBad Boys)

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
Besides for having the most amazing cover, this is simply a sinful delight in the tone of Mean Girls and The Count of Monte Cristo. Girl is humiliated, girl goes away to concoct a years-long revenge plan, girl returns to carry out justice...only things never go according to plan. Wicked fun! (also on: Retellings, Guilty Pleasures, Escapism for Smart Teens)

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
For anyone who likes snarky protagonists, and for anyone who, too, fell in over their heads with their first serious relationship. (also on: Winter Reads, Nice Guys)

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
This vignette-style novel about two prep school best friends is one of the funniest books I've read this year. Violet's mentality is all-too-relatable in this day and age. (also on: Guilty Pleasures, Humor)

Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
This book's unassuming premise may have made it slip under your radar, but Veronica has a perfect teen voice, and the consignment shop setting is fascinating and endearing. (also on: Nice Guys)

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
Journey with Jessie, skirt-maker extraordinaire, as she navigates the perilous waters of changing friendships in high school. (also on: Summer Reads, Supporting Characters)

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
A he-said/she-said holiday romp through New York City. Charming, funny, and sweet--enough said. (also on: Winter Reads, Humor)

Thought-Provoking Reads
These books won't fail to get you thinking, whether they break your heart or cause you to rethink what you thought you knew about your life.

Hush by Eishes Chayil
An incredible and well-written story of the insular culture of modern Jewish Hassidic communities, and the humor--and horror--that breeds in such a community. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Debuts of 2010, Families, Diverse Reads, Important Themes, One for the Awards, Canonicity)

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
This everygirl's tale of date rape and eventual triumph should be required reading for every sex ed class. Daisy Whitney truly gets inside Alex's conflicted feelings. Some aspects of the student judicial system may feel a little artificial, but you absolutely cannot dismiss the raw truth in Alex's insecurities and self-loathing: the "Maybe it was my fault" train of thought is all too real and painful. (also on: Boarding School Settings, Important Themes, One for the Awards)

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
You'll cheer for Marcelo, who has Asperger's Syndrome, as he navigates the treacherous and manipulative real world with a law firm job. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Quiet Gems, Memorable Protagonists, Exceptionalities, POC, YA for Adults, One for the Awards)

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I'm temporarily putting this incredible book in the contemporary issue of my lists because I am confused about where it should go! But if you think that you won't be interested in the story of a mean girl who relives the last day of her life over and over again until she learns what she can or can't do, think again. (also on: Best Books Published in 2010, Best Debuts of 2010)

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
By all accounts, Daelyn should not even be telling us this story. That is because she is supposed to be dead. But her suicide attempts have never turned out right. Fortunately, Daelyn is determined to succeed this time around. The story is as powerful and beautiful as it seems. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Books Published in 2010, Nice Guys, Beautiful Covers, Canonicity)

Almost Home by Jessica Blank
Interconnected vignettes about what drives various teenagers to live on the streets of LA. As sad as it may be, sometimes the company of near-strangers on the LA streets is better than what waits for them at home... (also on: Important Themes)

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Overachiever and self-proclaimed feminist Natalie Sterling is about to be beat at her own game when her old babysitting charge's shocking ideas about feminism inspire her to start a clandestine relationship with one of the most popular boys in school. Few people, I think, can write contemporary YA as well as Siobhan Vivian. (also on: Memorable Protagonists, Girl Power)

This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
Follow Olivia as she unwittingly gets sucked into dealings with a disturbing stalker before she realizes it. Chilling and unfortunately all-too-realistic. (also on: Horror/Suspense/Thriller, Best Villains, Different Reads, Important Themes, One for the Awards)

Angst-Filled Reads: “Lives of Quiet Desperation”
Oh, the drama, high highs and low lows that goes with adolescence. Here are some contemporary YA that deal with these such emotions.

Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
Lauren's debut is short in length but long in impact. Kind of like a Courtney Summers book. I love Holly's "too tough for her own good" voice. (also on: On Grief, Messy Relationships, Memorable Protagonists)

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Keep Eddie company as she navigates her complicated feelings following her father's suicide, as well as her feeeeeelings toward two different boys. This book will mess with your feelings as well, in the best way. (also on: Night-In Reads, On Grief, MysteriesMessy Relationships)

Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Sienna goes to Indonesia to help out in an orphanage following the tsunami. In between battling ghosts of her mother's death in this part of the world, she learns how to fall in love. The synopsis sounds a little Disney Channel/Lifetime movie perfect, but Heidi's descriptions of Indonesia are beautiful. (also on: On Grief, Nice Guys, Wonderful WorldsDiverse Reads)

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
Debut author Holly Schindler combines beautiful writing with a poignant mother-daughter relationship to tell Aura's story of art and schizophrenia. An utterly heartbreaking read. (also on: Best Debuts of 2010, Families, Exceptionalities, Books with Artists)

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
This tale of a brother and sister falling in love is definitely angsty, but in such a way that you will find yourself cheering for a happy ending, however impossible that may be. American readers, rejoice: Forbidden will be published in the US next year. Book banners, ready thy ridiculous selves. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Eternal Romances, Families, Messy Relationships, Different Reads, 2011 Books to Anticipate)

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
The return of Tessa's kidnapped best friend is not as she imagined, because a lot changes in two years.

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
This is a lot more poignant than I think its title and cover implies: over the course of a summer, Mia learns to come into herself and find romance with the boy next door in the process. (also on: Summer Reads, Nice Guys)

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
Drea (who probably has Asperger's) moves to a new town, where it seems that some people actually want to be friends with her. (also on: Exceptionalities)

The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
Not only is this debut novel an intricate exploration of different types of relationships--family, friends, romantic relationships--it is also one of the few books I've read that features characters from the lower end of the socioeconomic scale. (also on: On Grief, Families, Messy Relationships, Diverse Reads)

The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C. K. Kelly Martin
His best friend for years or the new and exciting older woman? How's a young and naive guy like Mason to choose? (also on: Messy Relationships)

On Grief
In looking over the books I read this year, I noticed that a lot of them deal with death and grief. Check out these books if you want to read about that:

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor
Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
After by Kristin Harmel
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

Quiet Gems
Overlook these beauties at your own loss.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Probably my favorite Printz winner since Looking for Alaska. There is no way to sum up this book in one or two sentences, except with: you need to read it. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Night-In Reads, Nice Guys, Messy Relationships, Wonderful Worlds, Beautiful Writing, Diverse Reads, Different Reads, YA for Adults, Canonicity)

Summer, Book 2: It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
If you like well-written contemporary in the style of Sarah Dessen, you must check out Jenny Han's YA series. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Books Published in 2010, Love Triangles, Escapism for Smart Teens)

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
Marcelo's navigation of the thorny world of a law firm is triumphant. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Thought-Provoking Reads, Memorable Protagonists, Exceptionalities, POC, YA for Adults, One for the Awards)

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
Four teens--two girls, two boys--in a small town in the middle of summer learn that they have more in common than they thought. Filled with aching song lyrics and descriptions so wondrous you'll pause on every page to savor Cath Crowley's words. (also on: Best Books Read in 2010, Best Books Published in 2010, Messy Relationships, Beautiful Writing)

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
You wouldn't think that the story of Gemma's abduction to the desolate Australian desert by a lonely man, told in second-person, would work...but it does. Wonderfully. So different from anything else out there, and that is what makes this book beautiful. (also on: Summer Reads, Best Villains, Beautiful Covers, Different Reads, One for the Awards)

Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont
The basic premise of the story is that Sydney, on a fast track to a bad life, gets pregnant and gets sent to a wilderness program up in Canada. But this book is so much more: an insightful and beautifully written look into human nature and the ambiguity of decisions.

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
Miranda deals with the ghosts of her sister's death while struggling with her own difficult choices. An unassuming, powerful, and tearful read. (also on: On Grief, Families, Diverse Reads)

Jump by Elisa Carbone
P.K. and Critter, both dealing with family issues of their own, go on a rock-climbing journey across America...making powerful self-discoveries in the process. (also on: Summer Reads, Beautiful Writing, Books with Athletes)

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor
Another contemporary read that features all that's good about this genre: relatable dilemmas, carefully controlled emotional turmoil that doesn't delve into the melodramatic, and hope. (also on: On Grief, Families)

For Keeps by Natasha Friend
If you love Gilmore Girls, you should definitely read this one. (also on: Families, Books with Athletes)

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
A series of interwoven poems and short narrative chapters that combine to form an incredible portrait of a diverse and talented inner-city classroom. (also on: POC)

What were some of your favorite contemporary reads this year?

Back to: Master List | Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Guest List #1 | Pt. 3 | Guest List #2 | Pt. 4 | Guest List #3 | Pt. 5 | Guest List #4 | Pt. 6 | Pt. 7 | Guest List #5 | Pt. 8 | Guest List #6 | Pt. 9 | Guest List #7 | Pt. 10

Linked titles go to my reviews; annotations as inspired.


  1. Great list! I still have to get my hands on Anna and the French Kiss because it looks like something I would really love! Before I Fall and Every Little Thing in the World are both fantastic novels that I gave 5/5 for! :D

  2. I love your list! I don't read nearly enough contemps, and I'm doing my best to break the mold this coming year. I need to read out of my comfort genres (steampunk, dystopian, etc) :)

  3. Okay, this list is amazing! I've just gotten into contemporary YA this year and there's so many on there I *need* to read. Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick is top of my wishlist, because I just read Her and Me and You and *adored* it.

  4. another awesome list! my favorite YA genre is contemporary. i have a couple of the books you mention on my shelf and i can't wait to read them :)

  5. These list are so fantastic. I'm rearranging my TBR pile as we speak... Thanks!

  6. Definitely adding to my TBR list - thanks for posting!

  7. Thanks for sharing your list! I am currently addicted to contemporary reads (more so than paranormal now!)

  8. Instead of making my own list I feel like I should just point to yours xD

  9. amitriptyline fibromyalgie hammam et hypertension coral calcium products allergia zafferano sinemet farmaco sersrt centros de alergia voltaren soluzione iniettabile diabete pene


Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...