I’m the type of person that can never be without a book, whether it be an e-book or physical book. I also tend to read more than one at once (still trying to get through Anna Karenina). I’ll read anything and everything, but I’m not going to lie, when I need a go-to genre, I always turn to YA fiction. But, when someone asks what I’m reading, I feel ashamed to tell them the truth and utter something like,
“Oh you know, this and that.”
Recently I had a breakthrough and realized I should be promoting and encouraging these fabulous books I’m reading! Not only because I myself write YA contemporary fiction (stay tuned for excerpts from my current manuscript), but because these books are generally a good read. If you haven’t read any YA fiction books in awhile, the genre has grown and is honestly not just for high schoolers anymore. Yes, many of the books have become incredibly popular movies, but the books themselves are worth reading as well and can even relate to your life.
Consider the protagonist in most YA novels; they’re generally pretty badass and trying to solve all the problems in the world with everything against them. There are many obstacles they have to overcome on their own with a ton of quirky side characters. A moral or two can be found along their epic journey, and many end on a happy note, but not all. Almost every single instance I’ve cried over a book was the result of reading YA. I still remember having to don the “sunglasses look” on the train home from work to hide my ugly crying while reading The Fault in the Stars by John Green. Another perk is these books tend to be on the shorter side, so it will bump up your Goodreads tally of books you have read and be something lighter to read after a mind numbing day at work.
YA contemporary fiction books focus on a variety of problems young adults face today, but they are also similar to issues that everyone deals with on a daily basis like going after your dreams, fighting with family members or friends, not fitting in, and moral conflicts. There is usually a love interest that used to be their enemy, is the “new” kid at school, or someone that they never thought they would fall for but were paired together with for a project. I don’t know about you, but this also mimics my real life in various ways. I’m still striving to achieve my ultimate dream of becoming a published author (hope this changes soon). I also fell for my husband in the most unexpected way. We were both members in an orchestra together for three years, sitting one seat apart, but never really talking. I didn’t give him the time of day and vice versa. When an orchestra member became absent for a couple months, we were forced to sit next to each other and have a real conversation. My mind was blown and I guess his was too, because we have been married for almost three years! Sounds like a great premise to a YA book…maybe my next project?
Not sold? Why don’t you try one for yourself? Here are some I recommend:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alice Saenz
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Leanne Oelke
The Problem with Forever by Jennifer Armentrout
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Did I miss some? What are some of your favorite YA books?