Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten YA Contemporary Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week, bloggers got free rein to choose any genre, and after much thinking, I went for YA contemporary as I've read some amazing books in this genre fairly recently.

We Can Be Heroes by Catherine Bruton - Jam packed with issues - bereavement, prejudice towards Muslims, and family problems - but with a light enough touch to be a great read, this is stunning.

Beat The Band by Don Calame - Gross-out humour at its finest. As good as Swim The Fly was, this sequel, focusing on the unruly Coop is an absolutely sidesplitting coming of age tale.

When I Was Joe by Keren David - Action packed, exciting, and harrowing. This thriller about a boy in the witness protection scheme and the girl he falls for can be hard to read at times it's so intense, but you won't be able to put it down when you've started it. Sequel Almost True is also superb.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham - I welled up watching the trailer for the upcoming movie based on this one. The book had me in floods by the last few chapters. Heartbreaking but a must read.

Looking for Alaska by John Green - Staggering, but near-unreviewable because I was so petrified of spoiling it. All I'll tell you is it's heartbreaking, wonderful, and often hilarious.

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt - Book of the year so far for me, this romance featuring a girl scarred from a car crash and a boy shunned as a New Age traveller has it all. Fabulous characters, wonderful writing, and a brilliant plot.

Lottie Biggs is (Not) Mad by Hayley Long - Starts off light-hearted, becomes a surprisingly deep study of mental illness. Wonderfully well written and a hugely likeable heroine in Lottie.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - I love road trip books and movies in general and this stands out as the very, very best. The scrapbook style makes it gorgeous to look at while the writing is superb.

Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty - I disqualified her masterpiece, Dreaming of Amelia, because I don't think it QUITE counts as contemporary due to some of the stuff happening. This is Moriarty's second-best book and is still a classic. Told via letters, diary entries, and transcripts, it's a unique tale and is one of the funniest books I've ever read.

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson - I paused reading this one for half an hour because I was on a train and knew I wouldn't be able to hold back the tears. An absolutely phenomenal treatment of grief.


  1. I absolutely loved Amy & Roger's and The Sky is Everywhere! I really need to read the others on this list, especially Looking for Alaska!

  2. Huh...I haven't heard of a lot of these, and I thought I knew all about contemporary YA! Guess I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Fab list, there's certainly a few in there I still need to check out. Would agree about how hard it was to review Looking For Alaska!

  4. Looking for Alaska is simply AMAZING! Some of these I've had on my to-read list but now I have a few more I can add! Thanks for commenting on my Top Ten! :)