Ten reasons why drowning in YA contemporary books is GREAT

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).

i regret nothing

1.

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, toobizarre

2.

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.

3.

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. hsm

4.

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 …

5.

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. feels lotr

6.

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.

7.

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. excitingDespite 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.

8.

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. big hero

9.

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.

10.

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.

Do you read contemporary YA (or not!) novels ? Why, or why not? Do you LOVE those stories as much as you do? 💬

What do you think of my ten reasons? Can you think about more? Why do you read (genre of your choice!)? GIVE ME REASONS TO READ WHAT YOU LOVE! 💬

What are YOUR favorite books in that genre? One can NEVER read enough contemporary -or enough books, for that matter-, so let’s talk about BOOKS! 💬

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

30 thoughts on “Ten reasons why drowning in YA contemporary books is GREAT

  1. Great post, Marie! I love your ten reasons, and I agree with a lot of them, especially how contemporaries are mostly standalones! Don’t get me wrong, I adore fantasy and dystopian series but I tend to read standalones first because I like binge-reading series. My favorite contemporaries are We Are the Ants and The Love that Split the World! 🙂

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  2. All of this post. All of it 🙂 I’m in a book club… and we were just talking about this while reading ‘Eleanor and Park’. Anything by Rainbow Rowell makes me unbelievably happy, because she captures being the outcast (who we all feel like at least some of the time) so poignantly.

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  3. Not to downplay contemporary but you can definitely find predominant issues and conflicts faced in contemporaries in other genres as well. It might not be as evident or in your face when, as you say, you’re challenged by learning curves and exposition but intersectional dynamics can exist there as well.

    Urban fantasy or Hist-Fic has seen some of my favourite reads recently because they do take place in past-or-present fixtures of Earth. Even The Rest of Us is wildly whimsical and speculative despite being wholly contemporary.

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    1. I agree with you, those dynamics can be found in other genres, (I think I said it in my post, or if I forgot, well it’s definitely something I think of, anyway), they are just a little less obvious indeed 🙂 I’ve been reading contemporary for a while, and I love the genre, but I’m definitely going to read some more urban fantasy, and I hope to be surprised by it, too. Who knows, maybe I’ll do a little list about that genre, too 🙂
      And The Rest of Us…well, I’ll tell you my thoughts when I finish reading it- I just started! 🙂
      Thank you for your thoughts on this, Joey!

      Like

  4. Ahh I love this post Marie! I am the reluctant reader and my bias will always be fantasy. But I’ve been venturing out to other genres whenever I feel like I want to, and over the years contemporary is one genre I’ve grown fond of. Like I don’t just read one on a whim, I make an effort to discover new novels! I agree that this genre can offer a lot of things and those ten reasons practically summed up my feelings. I can relate to feeling all the emotions and for seeing myself in the shoes of the protagonist 🙂 It also gives you a lot of memories, I often tell myself “Hey that’s exactly what I did when I was in high school!” so it’s definitely relatable and believable. While fantasy offers an escape, contemporary tells us how to deal with the reality 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you, I’m so happy you like it! ❤ This is why I love that genre, it feels relatable and makes me feel close to the characters. That's exactly it: it deals with reality, and while I LOVE to escape in crazy worlds, I love having a new perspective on reality with those contemporary books, too! 🙂
      Thank you so much for your comment!! ❤ ❤

      Like

  5. love this post! I agree- they’re really relatable and my favourites are always the ones where I feel like the characters are basically me 🙂 that’s why I love Isla and the Happily Ever After so much (I know, I know, I’ve mentioned it like a gazillion times!)

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  6. I don’t have the words to express the love right now!! This post is TOTALLY ON POINT, Marie, I have to say I completely agree with you! Fantasy is totally one of my favourite genres, but contemporary is right up there with it, because of so many of the reasons you mentioned. ❤ The contemporary genre is wide, full of possibilities, ranging from sweet and fluffy books to books dealing with hard issues and/or mental health—or maybe even both. It's a genre that most certainly cannot be replaced, and a genre I don't regret reading!

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  7. Ah, this is all so well said! And there’s so much credibility since we all know you love your contemporaries, Marie! 😉 I have to admit that I’m more of a fantasy/paranormal reader by default. I think I read a lot more contemporary when I was younger than I do now. The only contemporaries I read then were Sarah Dessen and the occasional fluffy library display pick-up I’d get in the summers. But ever since I started blogging I learned about so many new titles and have added them to my TBR. So I can’t wait to delve more into that genre! And my favorites so far are The Truth About Forever and Just Listen, both my Sarah Dessen. And, of course, more recently The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. 🙂

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    1. You know me well, now, Summer! 😉 I really think that book blogging makes our TBR grow faster than ever, but it’s so good. It makes me discover and want to read new books, in genres I don’t turn to, usually, so this makes me happy! 🙂
      I really need to read Sarah Dessen! And you’ll be happy to know, I bought The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, and I’m going to start reading it hopefully today, yay!! 😀
      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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