BY ALEXA DUNCAN
Contemporary novels are a staple of young adult fiction. Portraying real life issues based in modern times, contemporary is a genre that’s evolved throughout the years to become one of YA’s biggest and most important juggernauts. Here are five books to read if you’re looking for an escape during these trying times:
- THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY by JENNY HAN
Before she wrote mega-hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han wrote The Summer I Turned Pretty. With her signature warmth and undeniable voice, Han tells the story of 16-year-old Belly as she spends summer vacation at her family’s beach home. The Summer I turned Pretty is a magical little book, sparkling with love and fluttery teenage feelings.It’s the perf
ect book to hunker down with if you love adult writers like Nicholas Sparks.
- THINGS JOLIE NEEDS TO DO BEFORE SHE BITES IT by KERRY WINFREY
I loved Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It, and for good reason. Following the titular teenager, Jolie, in the weeks leading up to a surgery to correct her overbite, Things Jolie Needs To Do is laugh-out-loud funny while also tackling serious issues like ableism and racism. A romantic comedy in every sense of the (two) word, Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It is a perfect read if you’re looking to laugh through quarantine.
- SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW BY MAURENE GOO
I know I’ve recommended this book before. but I just can’t seem to stop doing it. Somewhere Only We Know is an updated version of Roman Holiday, starring a K-pop star and a budding photographer as he takes her on a whirlwind tour of Hong Kong. If this sounds fun to you, it’s because it is. If you like Jenny Han, why not give this book (and all of Maurene Goo’s) books a go.
- TWEET CUTE by EMMA LORD
A contemporary for today’s social media generation, Tweet Cute focuses on a Twitter war and the teenagers behind it. Featuring plenty of tweets and a plot you can’t help but love, think of this novel as You’ve Got Mail for today’s teens. There’s also a lot of talk about grilled cheese. No, really. Give it a go.
- YOU’D BE MINE by ERIN HAHN
You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn is one of those contemporaries I’m a complete sucker for because it follows the lives of two teenage country singers as they tour around the country and fall in love. Think A Star Is Born, but for a younger audience. If you loved that movie, you’ll love this book, and maybe you’ll crank up some Dolly Parton along the way.