Thursday, July 16, 2015

Recommendations: Young Adult Contemporary Authors YOU Should Read! (pt. 1)

The following books are young adult contemporary reads that I have given five stars to. Keep in mind that the following are due not include new adult or middle grade novels. These are strictly YA and I love each and every one of them!

1.) Jenny Han, aka The One Who Will Tear You to Pieces, aka The Queen

I love Jenny Han to pieces! Everything she puts out is a must-read for me, and I've never been disappointed with her yet. Her Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy really got me into reading again, and I have such great memories about them. Han is a master at making you feel all the feels. Her To All the Boys I've Loved Before duology is lighter than her aforementioned trilogy, but I recommend both to you, whether or not you're an avid reader or a beginner just getting back into it.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and it's sequel, which came out earlier this year, follow Lara Jean, a high school girl. Lara Jean has always written letters to all the boys she has ever "loved." Though she never sends them, she seals them up, addresses them, and puts them in an old hat box that once belonged to her mother. When these letters are mysteriously sent out, Lara Jean has to deal with the aftermath. Not only is Lara Jean a genuine character, the family dynamics and culture are represented really well and there are some hilarious scenes as well.

 The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy 

Once again written by Han, this trilogy includes The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, and We'll Have Summer. This trilogy was what actually brought me back into reading as much as I do know and introduced me into the young adult genre. I always have such a special place in my heart for these novels, and if you're just getting into books I definitely recommend these. The story follows Isabel, or Belly, as her friends call her and just her life as a teenager. The plot itself in the first book centers around another summer Belly has a house she shares with another family, as she has her whole entire life. However, this summer, the boys from the other family, Conrad and Jeremiah start to notice her. Over the course of trilogy, many deep and emotional subjects come to play and Belly really evolves into such a great young woman. Whenever I feel like I'm about to get in a slump, I just re read parts of the last book.

2.) Gayle Forman, aka The One that Makes You Cry, Queen of Duologies

I started reading Gayle Forman in late December 2013, and by the end of January, I read read four of yer novels. Though I haven't read her most recent release, I Was Here, it is on my TBR list. If you're looking for a deeper young adult contemporary, then I definitely recommend Forman's novels. Just One Day and Just One Year are lighter than If I Stay and Where She Went, so if you don't want to cry, than I recommend the former. If you do, the latter is the one for you.

Just One Day and Just One Year
Even though its been a year and a half since I've read this duology, I still think about this every now and again. The plot follows a high school graduate, Allyson, right before her first year of college as she goes to a European tour. She bumps into a man named Willem, and things take off from there when they go out of this great adventure. Later on we follow Alysson throughout the whole entire year and her college experience herself. Just One Year is the same story, but in Willem's point of view. If you're looking for a contemporary that is a perfect mix of light and deep, then this is the one for you. There's also a novella that takes place after the end of this duology called Just One Night that's amazing as well.  

If I Stay and Where She Went

If I Stay and Where She Went is much darker than Forman's other duology. The first book, If I Stay, follows Mia as she has to make the decision whether she wants to live or not while in a coma. Where She Went follows of the aftermath of If I Stay but in Mia's boyfriend, Adam's point of view. This duo is such a fast read. If you're looking for something that will fly by, these books are the one for you. Also, If I Stay was turned into a movie with the same name, so you can also check that out as well!

3.) Susane Colasanti, aka The One that Makes You Laugh and Cry, aka The Beginner Reader's Best Friend

If you're just starting out reading young adult and are looking for some quick reads that you don't have to think about, then Susane Colansanti is the author I recommend for you. Though I've actually read several of her novels, When It Happens and Something Like Fate are the only ones I have loved. I think this is because I was just getting back into reading, so I wasn't as picky with what I was reading at the time.

When It Happens

Almost published ten years ago, When It Happens is still relevant today. The plot is about two high school seniors, Tobey and Sara. Though Sara has always noticed Tobey, she's never had a thing for him, unlike Tobey who has liked Sara for the longest time. Seeing their relationship evolve is very cute, and overall this novel is just so light hearted and fun. Though it does get a bit deeper towards the end, I will always love When It Happens

Something Like Fate

My other favorite of  Colasanti's is all about a girl falling in love with her best friend's boyfriend. Keep in mind that there is no cheating in this book, so don't be put off by the premise. Something Like Fate is deeper than her other novel, as it approaches people growing up and growing apart. Erin and Lani have been best friends for the longest time, but when Erin gets a boyfriend, Jason, things take a turn for the worse in their friendship. Lani, the main character, can be annoying at times but her and Jason have the best chemistry. The novel handles this love triangle really well and even better is that Lani values her friendship with Erin just as much as she does with  her and Jason's relationship, even though they've been growing apart , which was very touching.

4.) Simone Elkeles, aka The One that Crosses Ethnic Barriers, aka The One that Gets Deep

Last but not least, Simone Elkeles is one of my other go to contemporary authors. Her novels always have a barrier that is the main reason why the two protagonists can't be together. Elkeles handles the drama in her novels really well, and I never thought that it was overbearing.

Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise

Another duology in this list, these novels are all about the intense relationship of Maggie Armstrong and Caleb Becker. The reason I love these books so much is because at first these two characters hate each other. Maggie had always liked Caleb, and he was her best friend's brother. However, it all changes one night when Caleb drives home drunk and hits Maggie with his car. Maggie now has to endure grueling physical therapy and walks with a limp. The first book has such a huge twist and I could not recommend a more compelling read. This duology is fast paced and you will not want to put it down for anything.

The Perfect Chemistry Series

The Perfect Chemistry series is much like the Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry, except shorter and more compelling. If you've had trouble connecting with main characters, I highly recommend this series. These novels are just so much fun to read, and just like Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise, you won't want to put these down. You can actually read these is any order that you want because they are all companion novels. In fact, I accidentally read Rules of Attraction, the second book, before Perfect Chemistry because I didn't realize it was part of a series. My favorite is actually Rules of Attraction, by far. If you're looking for what seems like a fun quick read that actually is deeper than what it seems, then these of the books for you.

I hope you guys found some books you haven't heard of before! Who are your favorite contemporary authors and/or books? Sound off in the comments below!

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