Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is Top Ten Books of [Insert Genre Here]. Now, contemporary, aka realistic, fiction is an interesting area for me. In general, I get along with it a good deal better than historical fiction, but I don't tend to connect with it as deeply as I do sci-fi/fantasy or the thriller genre. (My brain is just not great with practical, real-life stuff.) However, there are some contemporary novels I've absolutely loved, so I thought it'd be nice for today's prompt to list my Top Ten YA Contemporary Novels. Enjoy!
1) The Truth Commission by Susan Juby. This is a dynamic and engaging book about a Canadian girl attending an arts school who struggles under the weight of her older sister's legacy, but finds her own way to shine by becoming, essentially, a collector of truths. Highly recommended.
2) All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. This is a powerful and incredibly vital novel about a black boy who gets beaten up by a police offer and about what happens in the aftermath. A tearjerker and thought-provoker that everyone should read.
3) Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. Neal Shusterman plus mental illness representation plus an unusual narration style equals a happy Kira! This book is about a boy who is institutionalized for schizophrenia, and because it's told from his point-of-view, it's strange and confusing and, as what's real and what isn't slowly becomes clear, ultimately brilliant.
4) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. John Green is often seen as the face of YA lit. He's written a handful of well-known YA literary contemporary novels and has a strong presence online. I also enjoyed Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, but The Fault in Our Stars is my favorite of his, the one that got me interested in his work and increase my interest in reading contemporary lit. This book is about a girl with cancer who joins a support group, falls in love, and goes on a trip to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author. It's very thought-provoking on the whole, and emotional.
5) Shut Out by Kody Keplinger. Keplinger writes feminist contemporary novels that address issues of sex and relationships. I've read a couple of them, and this one by far is my favorite. I think it's important that girls have proper sex education in a way that stresses consent and personal comfort levels, and this book does that beautifully. It's about a group of girls who make a pact not to have intimate physical contact with their boyfriends so long as the rivalry between interschool sports teams continues. It's based on a Greek play that I haven't yet read, The Lysistrata.
6) When We Collided by Emery Lord. Probably my favorite novel of 2016 so far, this one is about a girl with bipolar disorder and a boy with a tough home situation who fall in love over the summer. The voices are vivid, and the story both wrenching and enjoyable--and incredibly honest. A great read.
7) The Serpent King by Jeff Zetner. Another recent release, this book is far more character-driven than plot-driven, but the characterization is phenomenal--and ultimately, the story has a lot of power. Three best friends--a boy whose preacher father is in jail for child porn, a girl who runs a famous fashion blog, and a boy who is all about the fantasy fandom--during their last year of high school.
8) Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley. This book tells the story of a girl whose "mommy blogger" mother has discussed her whole life online, creating an extreme lack of privacy that the girl resents, and how she creates her own blog to fight back. I've never been a private person, like, at all, but this story made me seriously consider the effects of the Internet and public exposure.
9) Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman. This YA romance novel is both sexy and sweet, and the main character, Lola, wonderful and vibrant. In the story, Lola is convinced by her best friend to fake her way into rehab, only to discover it's not nearly as fun as her friend made it seem. However, while in rehab, Lola also discovers that she has a lot of issues that she's never faced up to before, many of them with her mother, and in the process of dealing with her issues, she falls in love.
10) Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. This novel is about a deaf girl whose conflicted feelings about the fact that her deaf baby sister is getting a cochlear implant cause her to make an unusual decision: she decides to become the manager for a band, even though she can't hear the music. The story is thought-provoking, fun, and full of heart, a favorite for me.
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