Thanks to Bookstagram I got introduced to Contemporary YA which I don’t think I would have ever read without it. Now I have a few books in the genre and more that I want to get but haven’t had chance to yet. so, here is my TBR Top 5 of Contemporary YA books!
Note: Some of these may not be strictly YA but I added them because of the themes rather than the reading age.
1 – Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship–the kind of friendship that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through their friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves–and about the kind of people they want to be.
So I decided to read this book because whenever I ask for Book Recommendations one of my friends ALWAYS recommends me this one, she absolutely adores it so I hope I do too so I can talk about it with her.
I’m not exactly sure what to expect except a very heartwarming and funny book that may be sad at times (it is YA after all). I know this is meant to be a queer lit book so I hope there’s a cute romance of some sort between Ari and Dante although I wouldn’t still love it even if it just turns out to be a really nice and strong friendship between the two of them. In short, I just hope for some cute and funny queer lit romance as this will be the first book I read in the queer lit genre (they’re really hard to find for me, recommendations are welcome) and I honestly cannot wait to get stuck into it!
2 – The Art Of Being Normal
Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…
From this book except to learn more about transgenders if I’m honest. Obviously most people know what transgender is but I don’t think people are honestly willing to learn about it in more depth and actually open their minds to the fact that people aren’t happy when the gender they’re assigned at birth.
Note: Sex is biological, you are born either male or female. Gender is a social construct, you are assigned a gender at birth, either boy or girl, but this can be easily changed. Even if you are born female that may not mean you identify as a girl. (I know this seems a little patronising but some people still don’t seem to know the difference.
I digress, this book seems sweet on the surface but also tackles serious issues like fitting in, coming to terms with things you may have been told are wrong or unnatural (which they most certainly are not) and of course changing yourself from your assigned gender into the one you are actually comfortable in. Myself, I am female and identify as such so I have never had to go through anything like transgender people may have which makes me want to read this, to understand even slightly what they may go through.
3 – Fangirl
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.
Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible…
What do I expect from Fangirl? A massive insight into the world of a fangirl, not that I need one! This book has had massive hype since it came out I eventually bought it to see what all the hype was about although I still haven’t got to reading it yet. It seems like a interesting story, a sister having to go it alone for the first time when she goes to uni, an introvert who learns to open up to others and go it on her own in the big bad world. I’m looking forward to reading this even though I’m not too sure about all the hype.
4 – Wonder
Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go.
Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?
I’m not entirely sure whether Wonder actually classes as a Contemporary YA but I added it anyway because it just seems like such a heartwarming story. I can’t wait to find out how Auggie manages to cope with bullies and gaining new friends and just generally learning about his condition and how he copes with it. It sounds like a beautiful story! Obviously this is a story about growing up with a disfigurement that means people can cruel but this book seems like one about friendship as well all the malice in the world that can be directed at an innocent child so I am looking forward to reading this to see how it is approached and dealt with.
5 – One Man Guy
Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Why bother, when their home cooking is far superior to anything “these Americans” could come up with? Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshmen year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.
Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. When Ethan gets Alek to cut school and go to a Rufus Wainwright concert in New York City’s Central Park, Alek embarks on his first adventure outside the confines of his suburban New Jersey existence. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend–he’s barely ever had a girlfriend–but maybe it’s time to think again.
This book seems to be very little known but to me it sounds really good so I decided to buy it to read. A boy goes to summer camp and upon meeting another boy there realised me may actually be gay. It seems like a book that will show struggles within the person and the family, especially given Alek’s family Armenian. But it all it seems like another heartwarming story that I can’t wait to read and join Alek and Ethan in there journey at summer camp.
That’s my Contemporary YA top 5 TBR and I can’t wait to read them all, hopefully very soon!
Until next time, happy reading guys!