Fantasy is actually not the only genre I love?? // Why I love contemporary + Books you have to read because I said so

Obnoxiously loud statement of the day: I reeeeeeeally want it to be the weekend.

Seriously, why is it only Wednesday???

Also, this post was supposed to go up on Monday and I’m behind on two posts that were supposed to go up this week?? #whylife #ugh *cries*

But talking to you guys always makes my day better, and so now I say HI! I hope you’re having a lovely day. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, ignore my momentary grumpiness and screeches of first world problems haha.

To the task at hand! All of you know (even if you didn’t before, it’s in the title so UM.) how much I love fantasy! I’ve always loved it (HP and PJO, anyone?) and got even more into it after joining the blogosphere. BUT. I am a polygamous lover (for books, not irl, just in case you got confused lollll) and so fantasy is actually not the only genre I love! *cue gasp* Contemporary, is a genre I only really got into once I started blogging, and I do love reading it! My fantasies are always going to be dear to my heart, but contemporaries can be so much fun and also very very important. This month, I’ve noticed my reading material has mostly been contemporaries, and this month also had a large number of contemporaries being released, so I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about why I love contemporary books so much and also grace you with my wonderful book recommendations!  That all of you will absolutely agree with and add to your TBR immediately. Of course. 😉

1. There are so many different stories to be told.

Not that this doesn’t apply to other genres (don’t get me wrong, it TOTALLY DOES #fantasy anyone?), because this aspect is kind of universal to reading in general and is not in any way exclusive to one genre, BUT. It’s the aspect of reading that makes contemporary special to read for me. Of course, there are books that follow a similar structure and storyline, (sooooooo many tropes everywhere) and seem like they’re copies of another book, but at the same time I know I can pick up a contemporary book most of the time and be brought into a story unlike others I’ve read, if that makes sense. (Also because nowadays I’m a bit more selective and try to picks books that I’ve either been recommended or think I’ll like haha.) At the end of the day, there are just so many different types of stories to be told and I can appreciate that, no matter what genre I read.

2. I can relate to the characters (more?)

Again, this can and does definitely apply to other genres! (Let’s play a game: see how many times that phrase is repeated throughout this post!) And there are of course exceptions where the character could be an oddball alien who doesn’t like reading and I will not relate at all. (#truth lol)

BUT it is kind of comforting to read about characters who deal with more mundane and normal struggles? As much as I’d like to relate from experience, I actually can’t understand what it feels like to face off against Voldemort (or even just go to a magic school, honestly–because who wants to battle old Voldy anyway?) or go on epic heists with a whole squad of fabulous people (I wishhhhhhh #sixofcrowsquad). The magical thing about reading those books is feeling like we’re a part of that and being taken to this whole new world (AND I LOVE THAT SO MUCH), but sometimes it’s a great feeling to read about the experiences of people who are not as other-worldly. Let’s forget about the fact that I hardly experienced half of the things that happened to contemporary novel characters either. And also the fact where the majority of them seem to despise having friends and I can’t relate because friends are lifeeeee .

3. Diversity! (YES PLEASE)

Again, this totally can (and should??!) be found in other genres! But in contemporary is where I have noticed it to be most evident and I hesitate to use this word, but common??? Although most, if not every genre, is making the effort to include diversity (or at least they should be!), the books I find that have, I don’t know, LGBT exploration, mental illness/disabilities, or POC characters seem to be found generally in contemporary. Again, diveristy is NOT exclusive to this genre! That is not what I’m saying at all, but in contemporary it seems to be more often that I see diversity explored–but maybe I’m just reading the right books or the wrong books in other genres. 😉 Either way, the amount of diversity rep that I’ve found in some books is AMAZING and one of the reasons I love this genre so much.

4. Cute and fluffy is so much fun! All the smiles!

I love blood and all the battling as much as the next person (who is actually probably creeped out?? And have you realized how inaccurate this statement can be?? The ‘next person’ can have all sorts of feelings and you don’t know how much they like something what am I doing with my life I don’t even know anymore) But sometimes it can be kind of therapeutic to sit down and read something that maybe doesn’t take as much focus, or commitment (because fantasy is almost never just one book) and just something that’s light and FUN. Because life is stressful and winding down with a cute and fluffy book that you know will have a happily ever after can be SO SATISFYING. Maybe that’s just the romantic in me speaking, I don’t know, I kind of love cute contemporary romances from time to time ahah. Also the best of the best can make me SMILE or laugh and bring out all the happy emotions that remind me there is a life outside death haha. (But also this applies to any genre; if a fantasy novel can make me laugh or smile in between all the heartbreak, INSTANT LOVE. cough Shades of Magic series cough)

5. But there are also books that BREAK YOUR HEART and that is fabulous.

If you thought contemporary is all about the light and fluffy (now I’m thinking of baking cupcakes???? Oops. But I do want cupcakes right now???), well you’re not wrong! There is like, an abundance of light and fluffy books that all seem to follow the same recipe (ha) and one of the reasons I feel like people don’t take contemporary seriously? BUT a mistaken perception is that’s all it is, because it is SO NOT. There is actually a relatively large amount of books that have either a) broken my hearts so much I CAN’T EVEN. OR b) shined a light on topics that are not talked about often and hence are SO SO PRECIOUS??! And those books are forever imprinted in my heart and just as beloved as the fantasies that claim my heart. (!!!)

I would totally list more reasons but doing these ones took a lot more time than I expected (dangit my habit of writing extremely unnecessary long things) and I am very short on time right now, but I wanted to write this psot because it’s been SO LONG since my last one, but I also want to give you guys a good list of books to read so I’ll be cutting my original plan to 5 reasons instead! I think I got the main ones though?? I hope??

Books you need in your life

For the relatable characters and cuteness

Tell Me Three Things is SUCH a fun and sweet novel! It seems like it has a love-shape of some sorts, but it actually doesn’t really and was overall super cute and I highly recommend if you’re looking for a fun novel! I can’t wait to see what book this author writes next.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is also a favourite of mine!! It’s actually not a stand alone though, so bewareee. So far the first two are released and the third one is going to be released in a few days on the second? I liked the first better than the second I think but I am still super excited.

Literally any of Sarah Dessen’s contemporary will probably be amazing. I haven’t read all of her books, but the ones I’ve read are so good and The Truth About Forever is one I will always recommend! Other good ones are Just Listen, as well as Saint Anything that I also loved. ❤

If there’s a book that is beloved by nearly all that’s read it, it’s FANGIRL! Such a favourite everywhere, and for good reason too! Fangirl speaks to everyone and anyone who is/was ever an introvert and gives us a super adorable romance while we’re at it. Agh. So much love!

Awwwwwwwww is all I say to this haha (and also there are so many books with this kind of title??? Be more creative plz my brain gets confused). Kasie West is another one of those authors who literally writes the cutest books ever?? I chose this one because it’s the most recent one I read (like, sometime last year) but I also adored The Distance Between Us, The Fill-In Boyfriend (super annoying main character though), and a bunch more. For a cute contemporary, this is where you go!

Morgan Matson seems to be one of the most popular authors when it comes to contemporary as well? She’s written multiple books that so many people love, but I’ve only read one of hers haha. Definitely hope to change that because I’ve heard Second Chance Summer is another one of her good ones and The Unexpected Everything was so cute.

Last but not least, Anna and the French Kiss aka one of the most cringe-worthy titles ever but such an adorable story? (I also really really really really want to go to Paris!!) I haven’t picked up the following companion novels Lola or Isla, but I’ve heard so many good things (about Isla especially) that I can’t wait!

For the diversity, cuteness and also relatable characters (#win)

Am I putting both of her books here? Why, yes I am because both are literally SO GOOD. I’m going to have to say Simon vs is my favourite (I LOVE IT SO MUCH) but I recently read The Upside of Unrequited and now I am in love with it tooooooooo. SO MUCH LOVEEEEE. Also side note Becky Albertalli liked and replied to my tweet on Twitter???!!! *cue freaking out*

Everything, Everything is not without flaws, but props for diversity (POC main character, #ownvoices) and it is super adorable with very cute little artsy images that I loved!! Holding Up the Universe was also super adorable and diverse (YAY). I’m getting lazier and lazier but The Summer of Chasing Mermaids has a POC main character, is very loosely based off The Little Mermaid (very very loosely) and also has a super cute romance!


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas that has all of the above and also deals with very very important topics and is kind of the best ever???? READ IT. (I just found out she’s writing a second book and BE STILL MY HEART.)

For the above + broken heart

Because authors seem to stick to a certain type of book and in this case Adam Silvera decides on destroying our heart but also shower it with feels and love and cuteness?? BUT SO MUCH HURT. And pain. *cries* The Problem with Forever also does this and it was so adorable in some parts but my hearttttttttt omg. </3

Eleanor & Park BROKE MY HEART so much, guys. *cries* And I’ll Give You the Sun has the bonus of being one of the most beautifully written contemporary book ever IT WAS SO GOOD. My heart was destroyed, the characters felt so reallllll and just all around amazing. Same goes for The Sky is Everywhere *cries* (although the main character makes the worst decisions). Jandy Nelson is basically a fabulous author? (Literally every author on this list ever.)

Broken hearts galore

Goes unsaid for all those who have read All the Bright Places but it is UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING BUT ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. So beautifully written, and my heart still hurts thinking about the story and its characters!

A List of Cages did have some happier/lighter moments (ADAM <3) but it is completely heartbreaking and also such an important read, diverse and also it has the best brotherly-type relationship EVERRRR (including Kell and Rhy ofc). ❤ If you can stand heavier and tear-worthy topics, read this one because it is just such an amazing book.

I’m still reading Whisper to Me, and I’m not even halfway yet but my heart is already in the process of being destroyed??? AGH. I totally did not expect it either is the thing, it seemed like a super cute book (just look at that cover??) and I forget blurbs very very easily. I’m kind of scared to finish it because I know the feels and all the heartbreak is going to increase SO MUCH. But I love it??

Raise your hand if you think my posts are too long!

Me: *raises hand* *laughs guiltily* 

I hope you still enjoyed this post ahah, I feel like it’s a post long overdue, but now here it is! Do you like reading contemporary? What books were your favourites? Which of my recs do you plan on reading (if you haven’t already)? (All of them is the right answer, fyi. :P) I hope you guys are all doing well, happy Thursday! ❤

30 thoughts on “Fantasy is actually not the only genre I love?? // Why I love contemporary + Books you have to read because I said so

  1. FANTASTIC POST, and you know me, I love contemporary so I can only applaud at this ahahah. Also, all of your recommendations are so on point, I see only books I love and books I am planning to read, crazy how we have the same taste in books ❤ I really want to read Whisper to Me, The Promise of Forever and of course, The Hate U Give! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU MARIE 💞💞 Ahah I totally had you in mind writing this post. 🙈 Contemporary fans united! ❤️ Yayy I’m so glad you think so, it’s actually the best thing ever knowing how similar our tastes are. 😘 Ohh yes those are all so fabulous oh my gosh, I have no doubt you’ll love them all. ❤

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  2. I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH! I love contemporary but to be honest, I don’t relate much to most of the main characters either xD I’ve read so many of the books you recommended and they’re all fantastic 😀 Never heard of Whisper To Me though – added it to my TBR. May read it a bit later if it’s as sad as you’re saying 😛 And I’m so excited to read The Hate U Give ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • YAY I’M SO GLAD!! 😊😘 Haha right?? Their lives always seem to be so different from mine and I can’t actually relate to a lot of the main characters… 😂 Yayyy look at you, being on top of the contemporary game. 😉 Ahah yes, it’s a very emotional read! The main character hears a voice in her head (schizophrenia of sorts?) and it’s so heartbreaking. 😍 Yesss THUG is so amazing!!!


  3. Great post! I’m a fantasy lover too but I also check out Contemporary books for a change. I’ve read only three books from your list and some books are already in my tbr list. I’m looking forward to read The upside of unrequited. I’m planning to binge read To all the boys I’ve loved series after the third book is released. 🙂

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  4. This is an amazing post Analee! 😀 ❤ And yes I completely agree with everything you wrote as well. Fantasy is always going to be my number one favourite genre but I love contemporary books as well. Sometimes it's a case of the fluffier the better in which case I'll pick up something by Kasie West or Sarah Dessen, but other times I enjoy the books that break my heart a little (I read both of Adam Silvera's books back to back, kind of a mistake because no matter how amazing they were I wasn't ready for that much heartbreak).
    Also the diversity in contemporary is beyond amazing, and it's definitely something we see in contemporary more than fantasy but hopefully someday that'll change and we'll see equal amounts of diversity in all genres! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Beth! ❤ I'm so glad to hear that ahah. Yes, fantasy is a favourite forever!! But contemporary is such a lovely genre to delve into for sure. The fluffy books are sooooo much fun, agreed, Kasie West and Sarah Dessen are great for those! Oh gosh, yeah, Adam Silvera's books always have me emotionally in pieces, reading them back to back is not an easy thing to handle at all! </3 That must've been so tough.
      Oh yes, I love that aspect SO MUCh and it is so needed! Ahah right? Here's hoping fantasy and other genres will all pick up on diversity rep and have lots of it in their books haha. ❤ Contemporary is a bit ahead in the game, but we're getting there! 😉

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  5. I’ve just now started reading a lot of contemporaries too! They are sooooo amazing — AND FLUFFY AND CUTE AND ADORABLE AND UGH. Thanks for adding more books to my TBR *glares* and AGAGAHAGAG I’VE BEEN MEANING TO READ SOOOOO MANY OF THE BOOKS YOU MENTIONED! Also Simon Vs. stole my heart + life so now I’m dead.

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    • YAYYYYY FOR CONTEMPORARY!! ❤ I KNOW RIGHT. So adorable and fluffy and just the besttttttttttt??! *laughs devilishly* Secretly my plan is to make sure everyone's TBRs grow so large they never complete it?? (Tbh I doubt most people need my help in that area or maybe that's just me…) YAYYY I approve of your taste!! *nods* YOU MUST READ THEM. ❤ Oh my gosh right??!? I love that book so much I can'tttttt.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. SO MANY BOOKS ON HERE THAT I EITHER LOVE OR NEED TO READ! You listed the exact reasons why I too love contemporary (though fantasy will always be #1) – I definitely feel you on contemporary books having more diversity. Are we reading the wrong books in the other genres?? Or is it true?? I feel like the diverse books that get a lot of hype are usually contemporary though, so maybe the other genres really need to step up their game..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know right??! Yesss contemporary is such a lovely genre (but FANTASY omg!! <3) and I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who feels that way?? But like, really though. Maybe we haven't been reading the right books? But yeah, exactly, more often than not if it's a diverse book it tends to be contemporary and I hardly hear diversity hype from fantasy/other genres, sooooo. Ahah I think so too, honestly! 😀 Get on it, other-genre-writers, pleeeeease! Diversity shouldn't be exclusive to contemporary haha. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. WOOOOOOOOW SO MANY CONTEMPORARIES SO LITTLE TIME!!! I always tend to switch between genres – I’ll read a fantasy book but then I can’t just dive into ANOTHER new fantasy world so I pick up a contemporary. And then again a Fantasy novel. And a contemporary. AND SO ON! This was such a lovely post AND NOW I HAVE SOOOOO MANY NEW BOOKS TO ADD TO MY TBR SO THANKS FOR THAT!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I KNOW RIGHT??! Ahah at least then you get a mostly equal balance between both of the fabulous genres??! ❤ That pattern has happened to me before, though lately I've been on a contemporary binge haha. There are so many fantasy reads I want to read though and a bunch of them releasing this upcoming month so maybe that will change! BUT CONTEMPORARY YASSS. I am sooooooo glad to hear that!! YOU MUST READ THEM haha, they're so amazing. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I try to alternate between non-contemporary and contemporary reads just to give myself something new to read. Usually I read New Adult novels but I’m developing a bit of a soft spot for YA contemporaries, particularly the more diverse reads like Symptoms of Being Human and None of the Above. But OMG Simon Vs was by far my new favourite novel. I loved every minute of that book!

    I’ll be keeping some of these books in mind when I’m looking for new audiobooks to read 😉

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  9. I love this post so much! Literally at the perfect time because I feel like I’m slowly crawling out of my contemporary slump. I’m a huge fantasy reader as well but I also love contemporaries pretty much for all the same reasons as you. Sometimes I feel like contemporary reads are my “no brainer” reads for the fact that they can parallel real life and don’t require me to figure out a new world or magic system. And, yeah, the characters are that much more relatable from a real life stand point. Also, I agree that I’ve noticed more diversity in contemporary rather than fantasy but I have seen it popping up more in fantasy this year (YAY!). And I love all of your recs! So many I’ve read and loved and so many that are on my TBR. Fangirl, P.S. I Like You, The Sky is Everywhere, I’ll Give You The Sun, and Everything Everything are favorites of mine. I also really want to read Whisper to Me. I’ve heard some good things about it! Great post and thanks for the recs, Analee!! 😊♥

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    • Aha that’s so great to hear!! ❤❤ YAYY progress haha the contemporaries misssss you. 😂 Oh very true, in comparison to fantasy there is very little focus required to read them which can be so refreshing. Yes, definitely! Oh I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed that! I was worried maybe I just haven’t been reading enough diverse books, but diverse reads overall are just more often hyped for contemporary. It’s so great to see fantasy books making progress in that area!! 😍 YAYYY! I’m so glad. Oh yes, those are all such good books, I love them so much. Whisper to Me is so good. Plays with your mind and so heartbreaking! Thank you Melissa!! 😘

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