My Go-To Young Adult Contemporary Recs

Hey everyone!

welcome to my first ever recommendations post (only 5 years into blogging)!

Given the title, you know this post is all about young adult contemporaries. I truly believe there is some magic in them. How they captured the uncertain teen years full of freedom and rules. Discovering how to navigate the world and learning all about yourself. They talk about everything from family and friends to romance. There is a special feeling in YA contemporaries that no other book can capture, and I LOVE IT.

Today I am sharing my favourite YA contemporaries and why I think you should read them.

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FOR FAMILY FOCUS: darius the great is not okay by adib khorram

“Darius has never really fit in at home, and heโ€™s sure things are going to be the same in his first-ever trip to Iran to visit his grandparents. His clinical depression doesnโ€™t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes.”

One of my favourite comfort reads. This book will stand the test of time because of how well it deals with specific themes. It deals with three parts of Darius’ life in-depthโ€ฆ depression, family and identity. Every aspect felt explored in a nuanced, whole, heartwarming way, making you not only fall in love with Darius but the story too. Another bonus is how the story takes you to Iran, allowing you to experience the land, language and culture. With the effortless, direct writing style and celebration of all kinds of love, it is sure to be a hit with most readers.

๐Ÿ„ Darius The Great Is Not Okay By Adib Khorram | Book Review

includes โ†’ (positive) clinical depression representation ๐Ÿ’Š, biracial identity, travel โœˆ๏ธ, Iran ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท, extended family (focus on grandparents) ๐Ÿง“๐Ÿฝ, body image conversations, complex father-son relationship ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ, friendship focus.

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FOR CREATIVE PURSUITS: radio silence by alice oseman

“Frances and Aled struggle to find their voices over the course of one life-changing year. Will they have the courage to show everyone who they really are? Or will they be met with radio silence?”

With the success of Heartstopper, I feel very comfortable in stating Alice Oseman as one of the biggest YA contemporary authors in the UK. As a massive fan of their books, I am all for this. Whether handling deep emotional topics, carving out safe space for queer teens or well-timed humour/culture reference, Oseman is a master. My favourite of their collection has to be Radio Silence.

I appreciate this book because it empowers choosing your own path, celebrates friendship, and discusses academic pressure and creative pursuits. That is what this novel is about. Yet, to deem it as only so would be missing what’s special about it. It could easily be an “inspirational poster” book. However, the exploration of emotion and struggle made it a sincerely human book, making it a far more memorable read.

includes โ†’ cinnamon roll characters ๐Ÿฅ, art ๐ŸŽจ, friendship ๐Ÿ’•, queer ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ, academic pressure ๐ŸŽ“, a character you will HATE ๐Ÿ‘ฟ, support, love, set in the UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง.

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IF YOU LIKE COMPLEX RELATIONSHIPS: the henna wars by adiba jaigirdar

Nishat decides to start a Henna business for a school project where the winner will receive 1000 euros. But another group, crush included, also decided to start a Henna business making her success become that much harder.

From reading the premise, you can imagine how this captures fun, drama and romance. In fact, I would even call it a perfect YA contemporary plot. The execution of said plot makes it so much more. Whilst it is a sweet contemporary, it deals with many heavy topics from cultural appropriation, homophobia, divorce, and racism. Each one was handled with care and added to the book. Plus, it dealt with many of Nishat’s relationships, such as her sister, an ex-friend, a love interest and her parents. The entire book had a satisfying whole, nuanced feel. Things weren’t simplified to make them fit more easily into the book, and it was the greatest strength of this book for me.

includes โ†’ sisters ๐Ÿ‘ฏ, cultural appropriation, enemies to lovers ๐Ÿ—ก๏ธโค๏ธ, ex-friends, Bangladeshi-Irish main character ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช, set in Irealnd ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช, rival businesses ๐Ÿ”ฅ, queer, f/f relationship ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ‘จ

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FOR EMOTIONAL HEALING: last night i sang to the monster by benjamin alire sรกenz

Zach is an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn’t remember how he got there. He’s not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive – well, what’s up with that?

Sรกenz is well known for “Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe”, another book I love. But I want just one book per author on this list, so I had to pick this book.

You will experience a very personal journey in this book. It takes the approach of following emotions more than a plot, but there is a lot of purpose in that decision. It successfully explored the tangle of messy, dark emotions and discovered what the road out was along the way. It was achingly beautiful, and I, for one, was enraptured by the writing and meaning of this book. I can’t recommend it enough.

includes โ†’ addiction ๐Ÿง , depression, poetic writing ๐Ÿ“œ, support, friendship๐Ÿ’•, trauma, healing, help ๐Ÿ†˜

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FOR A SLICE-OF-LIFE STYLE BOOK: the sun is also a star by nicola yoon

Set across one day in New York, Natasha tries to prevent her family from getting deported to Jamaica. Daniel is the perfect son and student, even if it prevents him from becoming the poet and dreamer he knows he is. When their lives unexpectedly collide, it could change their lives forever. 

I’ll admit, I dismissed this book when I first heard about it, believing I knew what would happen. I could smell the clichรฉ, or so I thought. Instead of being about how love will change your life, it was about how life in itself will change individuals every day, and by chance (or fate), this is what changed on this New York day. It was beautifully written, dream-like, philosophical and captured the possibilities of first loves. It was about the present as much as it was about the future, and it felt like getting a slice of everyday magic in the best way.

๐Ÿ„ MOVIE NIGHTS: book-to-movie adaptations ๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ

includes โ†’ set on one day ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ, opposite attracts ๐Ÿงฒ, first love, New York ๐Ÿ—ฝ, family, the meaning of life๐Ÿ’›, beautiful writing ๐Ÿ“œ.

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FOR FINDING YOUR VOICE: american panda by gloria chao

A college set novel as Mei explores what it is to be her own person. Her parents had her life all planned out to be a doctor, and she was all on track. Except she hates germs. When Mei reconnects with her brother, estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, she questions whether she can find a way to be herself.

Chao’s books are always a charming experience, but her debut still remains my favourite. Mei was such a lovable main character giving this story, along with the sweet romance, a delightful feel. It felt like such a personal journey and message. I loved how you could feel every nuance and emotion throughout this book to create such a meaningful story. All the family relationships were complex, especially the mother and daughter. It made it an emotional read as it spoke about pressure, pain and love.

๐Ÿ„ American Panda by Gloria Chao | Book Review

includes โ†’ Taiwanese-American main character ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ, family ๐Ÿ‘ช, pressure, college ๐ŸŽ“, romance ๐Ÿ’™, sweet love interest ๐Ÿฌโ˜•, sister-brother relationship, finding your voice ๐Ÿ“ฃ

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FOR A IMPERFECT, POWERFULLY SO, NARRATOR: patron saints of nothing by randy ribay

Jay travels to his family in the Phillippines after his cousin was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs and no one in his family will talk about it. Hoping to uncover more about his cousin’s murder, he will learn about the Philippines and his own family, all whilst dealing with the many sides of his cousin before facing the whole truth… and the part he played in it.

This goes without saying this is a meaningful book because it encourages heavy and relevant conversations. What I found even more notable was how this story was crafted. Jay is a learning narrator who made mistakes and adapted to his environment giving the readers more to follow and engage with. It came to a well-balanced end in both a fulfilling and realistic manner. Plus, I have to talk about the writing. It was so direct and profound. One of my favourite styles in YA contemporaries. Patron Saints of Nothing is a memorable read for all the right reasons.

includes โ†’ set in the Philippines ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ, family๐Ÿ‘ช, short chapters, beautiful writing๐Ÿ“œ, guilt, conversations around drugs๐Ÿ’Š, blossoming friendship/romance ๐Ÿงก, learning narrator, grief, mystery ๐Ÿ”.

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IF YOU LIKE RAW, PERSONAL PLOTS: release by patrick ness

Another book set across one day, this time following Adam on one of his most difficult days. Handling boyfriend trouble, a horrible incident at work and a showdown with his preacher father. Let’s not forget that something extraordinary and unsettling is lurking at the edge of this story.

This book was really compelling, even in a short space of chronological time. Using the small details to showcase grander themes and showcase how a day is capable of invoking immense change. Through flashbacks and present time, you understand the characters and their choices well. As mentioned, this day is not an average day. It is a bad day. Therefore the content is painful, but I liked how raw and unedited the story felt. It made you feel like you were feeling every emotion with Adam, which can only be a strength for a book.

includes โ†’ set on one day ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ, family, brothers, ex-boyfriends ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ‘จ, friendship, sweet love interest ๐Ÿฌ, handling homophobia ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ, magical realism ๐Ÿช„

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FOR A HEARTWARMING READ: love from a to z by s. k. ali

Zayneb goes to live with her Aunt in Doha, Qatar, after being suspended for confronting her teacher. Seeing her friends get in trouble through her actions, she promises to be a ‘nicer’ version of herself here. Then there is Adam. After being recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, he left school to focus on making things and keeping his mother’s memory alive for his sister. Both play versions of themselves for other people. But, what will happen when they meet?

The characters completely made this book for me. Both had so much emotion and kindness in them, even when they didn’t act perfectly (who does?) I felt for them. I enjoyed watching them grow as individuals and towards each other. Honestly, sweet romances don’t get enough hype because they are perfect. It touched on heavy subjects though, and I really liked that side. Especially with the use of ‘a marvel and an oddity’ every dayโ€ฆ to respect both the good and bad in life, for they co-exist. It was able to do this in a very hopeful manner which I loved!

includes โ†’ set in Qatar ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ, family๐Ÿ‘ช, Muslim main characters ๐Ÿ•Œ, grief, cute romance ๐Ÿ’™, islamophobia, dual POV.

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FOR THE LOVE OF POETRY: the black flamingo by dean atta

Michael is a mixed-race gay teen living in the UK. As he goes from childhood to teenager to college years, he faces many different hurdles to come to terms with his identity and expression. A story about choosing and embracing who you want to be.

This story felt like a very authentic and personal story as we follow Michael through his teen years. I like that we got to see him at different points in his life as it really emphasised how you are constantly changing and growing. It is not just one identity you come to terms with, and then you are settled, but more of an ever-evolving journey. Being told in verse made the language incredibly beautiful and compact whilst still touching on many things making it a distinctive read.

includes โ†’ identity, queer ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ, drag ๐Ÿ’„, set in the UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง, poetry, illustrations โœ๏ธ, relationships, family, college ๐ŸŽ“, Black main character.

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IF YOU LIKE A DARK EDGE: the female of the species by mandy mcginnis

Follow three different high schoolers to examine rape culture. Alex’s sister was murdered with no justice, so she resorted to violence… and got away with it. She knows she cannot trust herself with people. Not Peekay, the preacher’s kid at the animal shelter where she volunteers. Or Jack, the star athlete, trying to get to know her. As the senior year unfolds, Alexโ€™s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

I love this book because it is such an intriguing mix of perspectives. They are unconventional picks for narrators in how they interact with each other and their purposes in adding to the conversations surrounding rape culture. This book exceeded my expectations because of the morally grey characters, relationships, nuanced themes, and compelling writing format.

includes โ†’ high school๐Ÿซ, multiple POV, rape culture, violence ๐Ÿ”ช, friendship ๐Ÿ’•, a twist ๐ŸŒช๏ธ

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FOR A GOOD ANTHOLOGY COLLECTION: black enough, edited by ibi zoboi

I was ready to write off anthologies as not for me until I read Black Enough. A collection of 17 stories of being young & Black in America, from being a Black nerd, handling a parent’s divorce, dealing with stereotypes, chasing creative pursuits and the potential of falling in love. 

Each story had a different experience and message. Some were lighthearted, celebrating hope and joy. Whilst others were serious, showing how racism is ingrained social behaviour and its effects.

The fact that I consider half of these stories my favourites of the collection shows how good they were more than any point I could make. The creative talent of these authors in only short stories deserves to be admired, and that is why you need to read this book.

includes (this is hard to do with an anthology)โ†’ multiple short stories ๐Ÿ“š, romance, friendship ๐Ÿ’œ, family, racism, sexuality, Black joy ๐Ÿ–ค.

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IF YOU LIKE A STRONG COMEDIC VOICE: the exact opposite of okay by laura steven

Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. After photos are released of her having sex with a politician’s son, she is thrown under national commentary. Of course, her school is talking about nothing else as well. Any guesses on the comments?

Discussing slut-shaming with such an extreme example and a comic centred character voice is quite a ballsy move. I am happy to report the balance of humour and seriousness was well done. The book had a really engaging tone and powerful message. A power combo, if you will. Picking apart multiple angles of sexism, casting the conversation into broader areas to provide a more fulfilling experience for readers. The writing was easy to read and even light-hearted, without sacrificing the integrity of the message & plot.

๐Ÿ„ The Exact Opposite of Okay By Laura Steven Spoiler-Free Review

includes โ†’ friendship ๐Ÿ’•, slut-shaming, mystery aspect๐Ÿ”, sweet love interest, feminist themes โ™€๏ธ, double standards, blogger main character ๐Ÿ’ป, comedy ๐ŸŽญ

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IF YOU LOVE BOOKS WITH MESSY CHARACTERS: more happy than not by adam silvera

Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. The support of his girlfriend is helping him rediscover joy, but it is his new best friend, Thomas, who gets him to open up. Struggling with new emotions, a new revolutionary memory-alteration procedure might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?

I truly wish more people would take a chance on this book. The characters are lovable and messy, especially Aaron. You will 100% feel for Aaron in this book. He goes through a lot of pain in this book, almost being followed by a feeling of ‘lost’. It allowed him to freely discuss his identity in imperfect ways. This rare display of messiness felt so honest and crucial to becoming himself. It is an emotional read for all the right reasonsโ€ฆ and some pretty unforgettable reasons.

๐Ÿ„ Reading Adam Silvera (for the first time) | do I cry? ๐Ÿฅฒ

includes โ†’ Bronx neighbourhood ๐Ÿ™๏ธ, memory themes ๐Ÿง , Puerto Rican main character ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท, friendship, love, queer themes ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ, family ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘, grief, depression, emotions ๐Ÿ˜ญ, a twist ๐ŸŒช๏ธ

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IF YOU LIKE MAGICAL REALISM: black girl unlimited by echo brown

Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side to go to the rich school on the West Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything sheโ€™s worked for.

This coming-of-age memoir mixed with magical realism makes for a unique and powerful book. It definitely deserves more hype. It is full of complex characters, life, emotional topics, healing, pain and heart. It was a very transformative read, not to mention a beautiful, heartbreaking piece of fiction. The fantasy aspect added to transporting emotions to readers by being wonderfully attentive and silently descriptive. It is a short, powerful, unforgettable read. Please check it out.

includes โ†’ magical realism๐Ÿช„, Black main character, poverty ๐Ÿช™, sexual violence, racism, sexism, depression ๐Ÿง 

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bonus

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Please give me your YA contemporary recommendations. Do we share any favourites? What makes you love a YA contemporary?


35 thoughts on “My Go-To Young Adult Contemporary Recs

    1. Yay, I’m glad we share some favourites!! ๐Ÿ˜ I agree, contemporary are the comforting reads that can hit really hard or make you smile so much, I love it! Oohh… I so hope you love Radio Silence, it’s a good one! Thank you so much Prutha ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’—

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    1. Thank youuu Caro ๐Ÿ’ž aw… thank you for saying that as I tried to showcase the different factors of each book so you knew what to expect, and hopefully entice people in ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Such good books, right!?! ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank youuu Stephen ๐Ÿ’› The Poet X and You Should See Me In A Crown deserve all the love they get! I would definitely recommend the henna wars as you can hopefully tell ๐Ÿ˜‚ I hope you love it too! ๐Ÿฅฐ

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  1. I’ve only read radio silence and love from a to z and I’ve loved both these, I’ll definitely be checking out the other books in this list!!
    Great post!

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  2. omg sophie!! how is this post SO good and on point?? ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅบ summer is the best time to be binging contemporaries and i’m definitely saving this list!! i realllly loved the small key points you made at the end of each recommendation- they’re VERY helpful <33
    i agree with what you said about darius the great and radio silence and the henna wars- they're my comfort books and make such an emotional mess out of me. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Oseman's books are honestly the most relatable books out there and though i love all of them, loveless is having a greater impact than all of them as i keep reading more of it.
    i was way too disappointed with everything everything by nicola yoon, so i was kind of hesitant of starting the sun is also a star, but your description has me convinced because i had those exact same feelings after the synopsis haha. Love from A to Z has been on my tbr since forever ahh i should get to it soon!! And more happy than not sounds so amazing- messy characters have all my heart, so i really wanna read it now :)) and thanks to this list, i'm also gonna be adding american panda and the female of the species to my tbr- the former sounds like the perfect summer read to cry about and latter seems so unique and intriguing!!
    the poet x reminds me of clap when you land, which i'm reading currently and is also so amazing!! you should see me in a crown was super great, i enjoyed the characters, the themes as well as the writing! speaking of which, i also have another book by the author on my tbr- rise to the sun, and it seems so wholesome ahh i can't wait to read it! ๐Ÿฅบ A few other YA contemporaries i adored were aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe, the lucky list, and foolish hearts (and every other book by emma mills too hehe).
    THANKS A MILLION for this wonderful post, i loved reading it sm!! ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

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    1. aw… thank you so much janhavi โค๏ธ๐Ÿฅฐ summer is the best time for contemporaries and I didn’t even think of that… hopefully that was my subconscious at work ๐Ÿ˜‚
      yayyy I am glad you liked the key points at the end, it was harder to do than I thought it would be so thank youu ๐Ÿฅบ

      Those three books were sooo goooddd, nicely balanced between comforting and emotional!
      Oseman books are chef’s kiss. ohh loveless is a great book. I loved rooney a lot ๐Ÿ’œ so glad it is such an important book for you!
      the premise for everything, everything doesn’t appeal to me even after loving the authors debut tbh. I think I shall give it a miss. I do think the sun is also a star is worth the shot though because it really surprised me… it does have an element of clichรฉ but it is soo much more too. The audiobook is amazing!
      Oohh yes read love from a to z and more happy than not, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!
      american panda IS a perfect summer read, its like a warm hug. The female of the species is a different book but in a good way. Hope you love both these two ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

      I am sooo happy you are loving clap when you land. Acevedo is a very talented author. I still need to read With The Fire On High, which also sounds epic!
      you should see me in a crown would be the perfect Netflix movie if they could please get on that!! Rise to the Sun looks like another perfect summer read and I need to read it asap too!
      ari and dante are perfect! the lucky list and foolish hearts are books I need to read, I’ve heard all good things about emma mills, I can’t believe I haven’t read any of her books yet!

      no thank you for this lovely comment ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ’œ and all your kinds words. It was amazing and I loved every second of it ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

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  3. Thank you sooo much for this wonderful list!! i am an avid YA reader and I can’t wait to pick up some of these books; I also love how diverse your list is!! One of my favourite YA book is Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney! It perfectly captured the feeling of being a teen and coming of age! ๐Ÿฅฐ

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    1. Of course, thank you soo much for reading and commenting โค๏ธ ooh, I hope you discover some new favourites then! Yay!
      Oohh I still need to read Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry but it sounds amazing… I love the title and those feelings you’ve described are some of the best parts of YA books so I am even more excited now ๐Ÿฅฐ

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  4. RADIO SILENCE!!! AHH ITโ€™S SIMPLY SO GOOD!! Iโ€™m glad someone else agrees with me on it being the best Alice oseman novel I will gladly stand by that decision any day!
    I REALLY REALLY HAVE TO READ THE HENNA WARS ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ everyone has told me itโ€™s amazing plus itโ€™s so hyped up on here!! I just how it lives up to my expectations haha!
    And I really adored the sun is also a star, I loved how we got to see snippets from so many charactersโ€™ lives, it was a truly unique thing I had never seen any other book do!
    Thanks so much for these amazing recs, Iโ€™ll definitely check them out !!! โค
    Loved this post ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

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    1. YESSS, radio silence supremacy is undefeated in my mind too. Aled and Frances have my heart ๐Ÿฅฐ I would love to see them on screen at some point ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
      I definitely recommend the henna wars, it was sooo good. I know what you mean about high expectations, sometimes they make for impossible standards. It is a risky game but you could find some 3๐ŸŒŸ reviews and read them to balance expectations ๐Ÿค”
      the snippets from characters lives in the sun is also a star were amazing… it felt so poetic and sweet. like you say no other book had done that and I adored it ๐Ÿ˜
      yayyyy, I hope you love any you decide to pick up!!
      Thank you so soooo soooo much Suhani, so happy you liked this post ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’—

      Like

  5. Great recommendations! I see so many of my favourites on here as well – especially Darius and The Henna Wars! I am so excited to get to Patron Saints of Nothing and am so glad to hear how much you enjoyed it!

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    1. Thank youuu Jayati! Yay, I am glad we share some favourites!! Darius and The Henna Wars are great books!
      I hope you are able to read Patron Saints of Nothing soon, I have a real soft spot for it! It definitely deserves more love ๐Ÿฅฐ
      Thank you for stopping by! ๐Ÿ’ž

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  6. I’ve been reading so many adult thrillers lately that it feels like a million years since I read a YA contemporary. The last one I read was American Panda and I remember getting so annoyed at the parents in that book, but I did still enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Adult thrillers are very different from YA contemporary books ๐Ÿคฃ. When I’ve been reading a lot of adult fantasy, I quite like turning to YA contemporaries for a change of pace though.
      American Panda did invoke a lot of emotions in me too especially with the parents, I liked how it was a different focus and showed not anything is perfect. Glad you enjoyed it too! ๐Ÿฅฐ
      Thank you for reading ๐Ÿ’š

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  7. ahh, absolutely love The Poet X & Emergency Contact! I adore YA Contemporary and am really falling back in love with them this year, there’s so many amazing ones I need to read. I’m looking forward to catching up on Gloria Chao’s books, feel like I’ve had her books on my shelves forever! Everyone is always talking about The Henna Wars too & sometimes I feel like I’m the only YA reader who hasn’t gotten to it yet ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Poet X and Emergency Contact were great, I loved the emotions and writing of them! ๐Ÿ˜
      I think YA contemporary has a special quality and I’m glad you are falling back in love with it. I really hope you enjoy Chao’s books… I love the mix of heartwarming and complex emotions in them!
      This post has made me realise how many people have read and loved The Henna Wars tbh ๐Ÿ˜‚, but I think it is worth the hype! I hope you enjoy it as much as everyone has! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this post.โค๏ธ I’m definitely using this list on my next library visit. These sound amazing I must read all of them immediately. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

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  9. obviously, i feel very seriously about this post because i love ya contemporaries so much and these recommendations speak to me DEARLY.

    i have yet to read last night i sang to the monster. it sounds like the type of book that would destroy me and rip my heart open, so i think i have to be in a certain headspace for it hahah.

    i had never heard of release, and patrick ness is such a well known author that i have not picked up a single book from! iโ€™ll for sure be adding this one to my TBR.

    i also had no idea the exact opposite of okay had a blogger main character??!! i feel like we hardly ever come across bloggers in books and i love seeing how different people approach a hobby that is so dear to my heart๐Ÿค

    this post was FANTASTIC, sophie, with so many amazing recommendations! thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YA contemporaries are golden and I can always rely on you for great recommendations for them, so that means a lot Lais ๐Ÿ’•

      Last Night I Sang To The Monster has a lot of trigger warnings but I felt they were well handled… i really enjoyed the emotions and journey. But, definitely be in the right headspace for it!

      Release is kind of a under the radar book, especially compared to Ness’ others books but it is definitely my favourite of his. It felt like it has a really different approach to relationships and explored a lot different aspects of Adam’s life but in depth. It has a weird edge as well but I liked it! I really hope you enjoy this one Lais!

      The exact opposite of okay does have a blogger main character, in fact I believe it is almost written as if you are reading her blog posts yourself, so it isn’t your traditional blogger. Perhaps more of a diary but I liked that!

      Thank you sooo much !! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ thank you for reading and for this comment, it has made me so happy! ๐Ÿฅฐ

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  10. HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF MOST OF THESE BEFORE??? BUT ALSO. I LOVE THIS POST OBVIOUSLY AND ALL THE BOOKS KJSDNDSBHDSHB!! THEY LOOK AMAZING! i’ve only read the henna wars and american panda from the list, BUT COMPLETELY AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID ABOUT THEM!! henna wars was one of the first books i ever read with south asian characters and MAYBE that might be the biggest factor in me calling it a favorite, but also THE CHARACTERS ARE AWESOME??! and ALL THE CHARACTER GROWTH mei goes through in american panda?? INCREDIBLE ๐Ÿ˜ญโคโค AND DID I MENTION I NEED THE REST OF THESE ASAP??? seriously losing my mind over which one to read FIRST right now ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ (WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME???) i’ve been meaning to read the patrick ness books since SO SO LONG now, but never got around to them for some reason?? THE TITLES + SYNOPSES OF ALL THEIR BOOKS SOUND GENIUS and I NEED. so OBVIOUSLY am starting with the book you recommended as my first ever patrick ness book, THANK YOU!! and last night i sang to the monster sounds incredible too, I AM HONESTLY DESPERATE TO READ THEM ALL ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ THANK YOU SO SO MUCH FOR ALL THE RECS, SOPHIE!!! I LOVE THEM ALL AND CANNOT WAIT TO GET TO THEM โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh… I am glad I could bring some of these books to your attention then. I mean I am clearly bias but BEST BOOKS EVER!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜
      Yayyy, so glad you liked this post Anoushka!! It makes me sooo happy and thank you for all your kind words!!
      The books do make it far too easy to gush about them and I am not complaining!
      I am so glad the henna wars could give you that representation and I love that Adiba keeps publishing books!! ๐Ÿ˜ I don’t know if you have seen this post from Fadwa (Word Wonders) but it is full of South Asian authors’ books (https://wordwoonders.com/tbr-expansion-books-south-asian-authors/) and it has sooo many recs if you ever want to check it out!
      I do love the characters in the henna wars, they were naturally very endearing and made me immediately feel for them!
      Mei’s character growth in American Panda was stunning and I love all the complex relationships! Such a great read ๐Ÿฅฐ
      Ahhh… Book lovers problems; which books to start with ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I am sorryyy (not really ๐Ÿ˜‰)!!
      Patrick Ness is such an intriguing author like you say no premise is alike and I really admire the different approaches, topics and conclusions they come up with! Release felt so personal and powerful because of it! I hope you have a great time with Ness’ concoctions (especially RELEASE)!
      last night i sang to the monster is emotional, there are a lot of trigger warnings though.
      THANK YOUUUU FOR THIS COMMENT!! ๐Ÿฅบโค๏ธ๐Ÿ’— It truly made me smile, thank you for reading, this comment again and just thank you for you! I hope you love these books and I’d love to hear your thoughts on all or any ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿฅบโคโคโค DID I EVER MENTION YOUR REPLIES MAKE MY DAY??? THEY’RE LITERALLY THE SWEETEST EVER, OKAY??? *sobs* and omgggg checking out the post right away!! tysm for the link! AHHHH I TAKE THAT AS PERMISSION TO SCREAM YOUR EARS OFF?? ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘€

        Liked by 1 person

        1. aw… not you, the best commenter, complimenting my replies ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ YOU are the sweetest!!!
          Hope you like the post!! ๐Ÿ’œ Yessss PLEASE scream my ears off!!!!!!

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