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 by Julie Buxbaum
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
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. ❤
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
- The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
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)
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
- The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
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
- The Problem With Forever by Jennifer Armentrout
- More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
- History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
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 by Rainbow Rowell
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
- The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
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
- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- A List of Cages by Robin Roe
- Whisper To Me by Nick Lake
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! ❤