TTT- Recommendations for People Who Normally Do Not Like YA Contemporary

TopTen Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme that was created over at The Broke and the Bookish! I am so happy that Top Ten Tuesday is back! I loved coming up with an idea for this weeks topic.  I know that YA Contemporary can sometimes get a bad rep and it used to be a genre that I avoided all together.  Lately, I have read some absolutely amazing YA contemporary books so I wanted to share those and recommended them to people who don’t like the genre!

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Neslon– I can not adequately express to you how good this book is.  It has become my favourite YA book of all time! Jandy Nelson is beyond talented and the story is so beautiful and masterfully written.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han– This series has some of the most relatable characters that I have ever read.  I recently reviewed the entire series if you want to know more of my thoughts on it.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas– This book deserves all the hype that it has received.  I truly believe that THUG is a must read for everyone.  It is a book that is so relevant and should be taught in schools.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky– I read this book a few years ago and it remains a favourite.  I like all the characters and could relate to the story. It is also a shorter read so I get way to dip your toe in to the genre!

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson– This is another book that I read years ago and still think about! It is also short, but the message is so important.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz– Beautifully written and character-driven. It is a moving coming of age story that I have recommended to others and they have loved it as well.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller– A book all about finding yourself when everything falls apart.  I cried and laughed while reading this book.  I also appreciated that the love story was realistic.

Crank by Ellen Hopkins– I don’t think you can go wrong with anything by Ellen Hopkins.  She writes in prose and always writes about difficult but relevant topics such a drug use, prostitution, etc.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman– I really enjoy the main character. This book is pretty dark and depressing but I appreciated that about it and I like how the author handle such hard topics.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton– I couldn’t make a post like this without mentioning The Outsiders. One of my favourites books of all time and a must read! I tear up just thinking about it!


I have just recently gotten in to reading YA contemporary so there are a lot of books that I have heard great things about that I have yet to read! If you have any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated!kkbLogo

60 thoughts on “TTT- Recommendations for People Who Normally Do Not Like YA Contemporary

  1. I only read I’ll Give You The Sun and Ari & Dante from the books you mentioned but I absolutely adore both of them!!! Two of the softest books I’ve ever read!
    I don’t read that much contemporary ya myself, though I keep trying to find new good titles. Well I did just finish We Are Okay by Nina LaCour yesterday which I LOVED. And ofc one of my all time favourite authors – Melina Marchetta – writes mostly that so you should check her out if you haven’t already!

      1. I think if you like Ari & Dante, you will also enjoy We Are Okay. :>>>> It has some of the same, gentle vibes.
        I’m so excited for you to discover Marchetta!! I hope you will love her books as much as I do & I’d be more than happy to recommend a good place to start (she has a few lbr).

  2. I’ll give you the sun has been on my radar and you made me wan to read Ben more!! There are some other books I’m interested in, great recommendations!!

  3. I’ve read Perks of Being a Wallflower, but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as others did 🙁 I have I’ll Give You The Sun and The Hate U Give on my bookshelf, and Aristotle and Dante and the Lara Jean series on my list of books to read, which I hope to get to soon! I do enjoy YA contemporary, but I don’t read them all the time, I do find them very refreshing when I do pick one up though! Great list 🙂

  4. I’ll Give You the Sun is on my TBR for this month! And I loved To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Hate U Give 🙂

  5. I’ve got about half of these on my TBR, and I’m so glad for this list, because me + contemporary = mnehhh. Not that I don’t care about these important issues… I just like dragons. 🙂 Thanks for the list!

  6. I’ve seen The Hate U Give on a few similar lists, it’s definitely going to be a popular one on yearly wrap ups I think! Great list, I love contemporary novels and have really found my groove with them this year. There are still a few from your list I am yet to read such as Speak and I’ll Give You the Sun.

    I also used contemporary books for my list but focused on UKYA contemporary novels! Here’s my TTT.

  7. I don’t read much YA contemporary though I loved The Outsiders! This is a good list to work from when I want to pick something a little different than my usual reading. The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Aristotle and Dante especially appeal to me. Great list!

  8. Great post! I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary but I love The Outsiders so much.

    I recently read Eliza and Her Monsters and absolutely loved it – very highly recommended! More Happy Than Not but Adam Silvera is also great.

  9. A few contemporary books I’ve read this year and enjoyed are: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer, Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett, Geekerella by Ashley Poston, and Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia.

      1. I just now realized that basically all of the contemporary books I recommended were fandom related, whether that was characters obsessed with movies, or certain shows or whatever. I’m a geek and I love when I can relate to the characters because of the things we love.

  10. Perks!!! If you liked Perks you have to listen the audiobook, it is just… a must to do <3 The narration!!!

    I'll Give You the Sun is just one of my favorite together with Aristotle… Ethereal is a word that I learn on "I'll Give You the Sun" and its the word that will describe the book completely… For Aristotle… there is a sequel coming… and I just can't… wait…

    Thank you for sharing!

      1. I swear to the gods of the Olympus… that you will love it! The narrator (I have said this already but I have to say it again haha) can give you a 30 day trial haha it is more than enough to love that book <3 I found out about Aristotle's sequel like a month ago, and now I cannot even get out of home eh haha

  11. I’ve read and loved a lot of these, especially THUG, Perks, and Crank. I love all of Ellen Hopkins’ books so much. It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything by her, I need to get caught up!

  12. I love this list!!! LOVE!!! I feel like people who say they don’t like YA Contemporary are mostly thinking about the YA Romance books. There are so many deep/serious/dark/emotional YA books, and I think those are more likely to impact someone. I do love To All the Boys though!!

  13. I’ve read seven of these books, and I loved them all. Speak was so good; I remember having to read it in school in grade 9, then we watched the movie… talk about a moving book! So haunting, yet so eye opening.

  14. I *still* need to read the ‘Boys’ trilogy. It’s been on my bookshelf (book one) for a looong time, and since I picked up book three, I now simply need to binge read the pretties (which I expect will become one of my most favorites).
    I also have been off and on curious about Gayle’s book especially since I did enjoy “If I Stay” better than anticipated. 🙂

  15. Great list! I read quite a few of these and loved them. I still really need to read I’ll Give You The Sun, To All the Boys, and The Hate U Give! I own them all, so I need to just read them already haha.

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