Thursday, September 10, 2015

Where to Start: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction

From here on out, we're going by genres. First, repeat after me: YA is not a genre, it is a book category, much like adult fiction or middle-grade is. YA can be anything from contemporary to fantasy to mystery to urban fantasy and heck, most of the time they blend the genres anyway. It is NOT all the same. Please, stop saying this. Especially if you haven't even read beyond Hunger Games.

YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction: This is YA that takes place in present day. There is no magic/special powers/aliens or the like happening. Just real people and real problems. A lot of times this can be code for romance. But most of the time it's usually just a blend of romance and drama.

Staples of YA Realistic Fiction you should read pronto, because otherwise you'll get funny looks if you say you haven't read them:
Looking for Alaska (or Fault in Our Stars) by John Green
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Some Popular YA Contemporary Authors:
John Green
Laurie Halse Anderson
Maureen Johnson (would start with 13 Little Blue Envelopes or Bermudez Triangle)
E. Lockhart (would start with The Disreputable History of Frankie Landou-Banks)
Sarah Dessen (would go with Just Listen or The Truth About Forever)
Rainbow Rowell
Gayle Forman (would start with If I Stay)
David Levithan (would start with Every Day)
Simone Elkeles (would start with Perfect Chemistry)
Morgan Matson (would start with Amy and Roger's Epic Detour)
Jennifer E. Smith (would start with This is What Happy Looks Like)
Courtney Summers

Some Popular Contemporaries to Read Now:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Duff by Kody Keplinger
To All the Boys I've Loved Before series by Jenny Han
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
All the Rage by Courtney Summers

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