May 23

Continuing Paranormal Week, plus Celebrating YA Contemporary Novels!

I’m continuing to celebrate Paranormal Fantasy Novels this week, plus Contemporary YA Novels!

What are Contemporary Novels?

Well…that’s easy! Contemporary YA novels are about characters, settings and events, usually, in modern times. Contemporary YA is sometimes considered “realistic fiction” or “coming of age.”  They are stories that are fiction, but could happen in real life. Usually, fantasy and paranormal elements are excluded from these kinds of books.

These stories focus on relationship dynamics between family, friends and romantic partners. They can also deal with serious issues, such as: suicide, bullying, addiction, physical and mental illness, accidents,  kidnapping, even homicide. Contemporary stories take place in settings throughout the world. They are “grittier” and often considered controversial in nature. Several contemporary novels have won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

Note: I’m a paranormal girl at heart so I’ve been trying to read more Contemporary YA Novels


Popular Contemporary YA Novels:


By: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub. Date: March 2010
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback Electronic and Audio
Pages: 470
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: YA+

Follow Lauren Oliver on:  Website | goodreads

Order BEFORE I FALL on: Amazon | B&N

Publisher’s Synopsis: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

By: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: October 2007
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback Electronic and Audio
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: YA+

Follow Jay Asher on: Website | goodreads


Publisher’s Synopsis: Jay Asher’s brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative — alternating between the girl s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening — this honest, poignant story reveals how other people’s actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual’s faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind.

By: John Green
Publisher: Puffin
Pub. Date: March 2005
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback Electronic and Audio
Pages: 221
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: YA+

Follow John Greene on:  Website | goodreads


Publisher’s Synopsis: Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green’s arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

By: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub. Date: September 2006
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback Electronic and Audio
Pages: 419
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: YA+

Follow Melina Marchetta on : Website | goodreads

Order JELLICOE ROAD on: Amazon | B&N

Publisher’s Synopsis: “What do you want from me?” he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn’t a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

By: Kody Keplinger

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: September 2010
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback Electronic and Audio
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: YA+

Follow Kody Keplinger on:  Website | goodreads

Order THE DUFF on: AmazonB&N

Publisher’s Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Puffin
Pub. Date: October 1999
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback Electronic and Audio
Pages: 198
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: YA+

Follow Laurie Halse Anderson on: Website | goodreads

Order SPEAK on: AmazonB&N

Publisher’s Synopsis: When Melinda Sordino’s friends discover she called the police to quiet a party, they ostracize her, turning her into an outcast — even among kids she barely knows. But even worse than the harsh conformity of high-school cliques is a secret that you have to hide.

By: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Pub. Date: October 2004
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback Electronic and Audio
Pages: 537
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: YA+

Follow Ellen Hopkins on: Website | goodreads

Order CRANK on: Amazon | B&N

Publisher’s Synopsis: Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina — she’s fearless.Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul — her life.

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4 Responses to “Continuing Paranormal Week, plus Celebrating YA Contemporary Novels!”

  1. Natalie says:

    You have fabulous taste! I have yet to read Crank, The Duff, and Looking for Alaska, but I love your other picks!
    Natalie recently posted..Giveaway of The Dark City by Catherine Fisher

  2. Small Review says:

    I *loved* Thirteen Reasons Why. I was reading it in a doctor’s office waiting room and I started crying. I really hope Selena Gomez isn’t cast to play Hannah.

    • Julie says:

      Were you alone in the waiting room? If not, did anyone ask you why you were crying? I cry during a lot of books, movies and TV shows 🙂