Good morning, good afternoon, or goodnight, fellow bookworms! How was your week? What did you read this week? I’d love to know! Today is Sunday, a.k.a The Lazy Day, so I hope you’re all having a great time!
As usual, on Sundays, I’ll share my thoughts with you on subjects I love. Today is no exception, and today especially, I want to talk about books that matter a LOT, to me, and in a kind of different form. As you know by now -and if you don’t, well, now you do-, I love contemporary. I read a lot of those books, and I think it’s become my favorite genre lately. WHY, you’re asking me? WHY love stories telling us in an unoriginal way about our everyday lives, when we could be reading about worlds BILLION miles away from here, to really get away? Well, if you keep on reading, I will give you 10 reasons why drowning in YA contemporary books is nothing to be ashamed of, and TOTALLY WORTH IT (if you ask me).
Diversity in characters. Magicians, dragons, assassins, and a lot of different characters make up a fantasy world. I know that. But in contemporary, we get more than different species, and different kinds of people. WE are at the ROOTS of this diversity. We can relate to some characters who are POC, even if we aren’t, we can find ourselves feeling as lost as Simon in the wonderful Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. We can EXPERIENCE all kinds of issues, and get to meet LOTS of different characters. Not because they have crazy magical powers of some kind, but just because EVERYONE is different, in our world, too.
This means that we can RELATE more to what happens in a contemporary book. As much as I would LOVE to experience the Hogwarts’ way of life, and relate when Harry has to save the whole world…well, I just can’t. My letter got lost in the mail, and Hogwarts is still too far away. That’s sad, but true. So, when there are pranks, bullying, and just when there are simple school, or relationships problems, I can COMPLETELY relate, because I could easily be in the same situation.
Obviously, since we could be in the same situation, it could be ME, right there, experiencing these same issues. I admit it, sometimes I just imagine myself stuck in a magical world, fighting with Reds against the Silver power, or other crazy things happening to me.
I’ll admit it, even if I WISH I had tons of money to buy books, well, I, hm, don’t. I cry too often at books that I want to buy, and can’t afford this month. THIS IS A PROBLEM, YES. But this particular issue is a little less TORTUROUS when I buy contemporary novels. Because I KNOW that I’m committing to one book, as contemporaries are usually standalones. But well, it’s hard, too…because well …
CONTEMPORARY STORIES JUST MAKE ME FEEL A LOT OF THINGS. I have a tiny little loving heart, and cute stories always bring something to my heart. But it’s not always sweet. Sometimes it’s hard, it’s sad, it’s heartbreaking. Yet it feels like hitting close to home, you know? Because, well, of the whole my Hogwarts letter got lot issue, I guess.
If you’re a big reader of fantasy, historical fiction, dystopia, or all of these genres, well, you know that it needs a LOT of world-building. I find it INCREDIBLE, by the way, because HOW can you come up with SUCH ideas to create a whole world, just basically by putting words and ideas together in your mind?! I’m getting off subject a bit, here. What I mean is, maybe contemporary isn’t taking us away in a made-up world or island of some kind, but that’s okay, too. It still allows us to wander in a very familiar world, with different people. And, I mean, when you’re tired or something, it’s good not to think about the allegiances, family trees or trying to figure out where in this made up world the story is set.
I know what some of you (or some non-big readers or contemporary might think) : OUR world, characters with NO fantastic abilities, no big conspiracy of some kind… isn’t that kind of…BORING? Well, no. Contemporary does not mean BORING, at all. Despite what we might think, contemporary can make us travel, grip the pages of a book because we want to know what happens next, drive us to tears and/or screaming at the same time because it’s just THAT good. Boring, no, definitely, not.
With Katniss being busy saving the world, Harry being busy kind of doing the same thing, Tris being busy … well, saving her world, too…(you kind of got this, no?) … there isn’t really time to tackle some other important issues in our world. As much as I’d love to save our messed-up world, I know that there are other things that should be mentionned. And contemporary is the best genre for that. No big world-building or conspiracy, but time to analyse and underline what matters too in teenagers’, and everyone’s lives. Themes, such as mental illness, sexuality issues, love and grief, abuse, depression, and many, many, many others, are talked about in lots of contemporary stories. And it’s GOOD. It’s refreshing, it’s eyes-opening, it’s just great to talk about it.
There’s nothing WRONG with wanting to read “fluffy” books. I know contempoary isn’t LIMITED to that kind of books -see above, I mean, it is DIVERSE AND WONDERFUL-, but there are fluffy, cute reads, too. And what if I like those?! We all need to feed the little puppy full of love in us. And we SHOULD, once in a while. It feels GREAT to do so.
If you got me wrong with this post, I’m sorry, and let me be clear : as much as I love contemporary novels, I LOVE dystopia, fantasy (need to read more!!), and lots of other genres, and I’m in no way criticizing them. That being said, I truly believe that, if a wonderful world-building and an earth-shattering story can stay with you forever, a contemporary story can, as well. It’s sometimes the simple stories that can stay with you, forever. Simple characters, a world just like ours, and their lives, forever printed in your heart.