Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Contemporary Summer: Guest Post with Alissa from The Grammarian's Reviews - Contemps Old and New!

Today I have the awesome Alissa from The Grammarian's Reviews on the blog for a guest post on contemps, old and new, that people often overlook. Alissa has brought to attention some of her favourites - I hope you enjoy her post! :)
When you think of Contemporary Fiction, a billion and one titles come to mind. Contemporary Fiction is a very broad genre, encompassing any and all issues, experiences and ways of life. Better yet, each of these issues, experiences and ways of life are told and seen through a multitude of perspectives – male, female, younger, older. You can read the same sort of story and come out with something new, and that’s the beauty of contemps.

But being such a huge genre, a lot of books fall through the cracks. So let’s look at some new and old titles you may be missing out on:

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot: We all know Ms. Cabot is a staple in the Contemp circuit, but you probably know her best for her Princess Diaries series. While there’s nothing wrong with spending time with Mia and her princess duties, it’s worth getting to know Sam and her relationship with the President’s son.

Pop Princess by Rachel Cohn: You probably know Cohn for the super popular titles Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, and her upcoming Beta. But back in 2004, Cohn had this other perfectly good stand-alone novel. Being that there are so many Path-to-Stardom books now out there, this may seem a bit cookie cutter and jaded. Approaching it with a fresh outlook may help in seeing it as what it was for its time.

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen: You most likely know her for her 2011 title, The Running Dream. But in 2001, Van Draanen rocked my world with Flipped, a beautiful, innocent novel told through two voices exploring a young budding romance.

The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this book is good. It follows in suit of Flipped, being that it’s told in alternating viewpoints. I know you’ll want to overlook this. But where else are you going to find such a sweet, funny character in YA with Asperger’s? It brings something new to the table.

Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy: In case you missed it in the title, let me repeat: BOYS. Boys, boys, boys, boys, boys! Maybe it’s just me, but I think boys are underrepresented in YA lit – especially as just friends. I also think tomboys are underrepresented. When’s the last time your female protagonist wasn’t a girly girl and/or too busy being a sexy [insert fantastical creature] slayer/lover? (I know we’re talking contemps, but still.) This is a nice break from everything else that’s out there.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan: This list wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include Mr. Levithan. Of course, you probably know him for The Lover’s Dictionary, Every You, Every Me, and his upcoming Every Day. But in 2004, Levithan published this little gem: a contemp composed of 20 different voices, all written in verse.

Thank you so much, Liz and Cait, for letting me butt in on the Contemporary Summer event to bring attention to older and newer contemps! Contemps forever and always!
Thanks so much for being on the blog, Alissa! So many great contemps there, and I'll definitely be checking out the ones I don't know (Flipped and Being Friends with Boys particularly stand out, for me).

What are you favourite contemps, old and new? Were there any you grew up with? I personally read Meg Cabot from my tween to teen years and have always loved her since then!

Don't forget to stop by at Cait's blog where Asher from Paranormal Indulgence will be doing a guest vlog!


  1. All these contemporary recommendations are making me crazy! I want to read them all!

  2. This was such a great post!! I really enjoyed reading it. Totes love All American Girl, AND The Realm Of Possibility is actually a pretty amazing book!! SO happy to see it on this list. I think I will want to check out The Half-Life of Planets for sure, but everything sounds amazing!!

  3. Love this!! I actually haven't really seen any of these around, sabe for Being Friends With Boys, so thank you for introducing me to some amazing new titles, Alissa! Despite having seen Being Friends with Boys around, I actually haven't taken much notice of it. UNTIL NOW. Totally putting this on my wishlist because BOYS and a TOMBOY protag? I WANT.

    I haven't read any David Levithan books... I know, I know, I'm AWFUL. But 20 different voices? All in verse? I am SO intrigued!


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