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Saturday, October 16, 2010

YA Bloggers Want...Contemporary Allure: Words on Paper

Welcome to Cass from Down Under! More specifically, from Words on Paper, her fantastic blog chronicling her take on YA near and far. Cass is here for the What YA Bloggers Want series to tell us what she's dying to see on her shelf.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Cass through my blog--I don't know how she found me, but I've been glad ever since! So please give a warm welcome to Cass...hopefully she'll pull up a chair and stay a while.


I love contemporary YA novels. As opposed to other teens my age that prefer to stick their nose in a good fantasy or paranormal, contemporary is my first pick. Characters who could be the girl next door; issues that are realistic and actually happen to people . . . there’s just something so intriguing and alluring about the whole genre. Some of my favourites include: TELL ME A SECRET, BEFORE I FALL, IF I STAY, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE.

I'd love to see more family interaction, I mean, lately I've been reading books where parents are either absent, passed on, or just not important enough to have some "screen time" within the story. For example, in TMAS, a familial situation was an integral part of the storyline, which I quite liked. It’s refreshing, and a good change from the typical romantic love which is almost always thrown into any YA novel.


Thank you, Cass, for visiting my blog and for the TMAS shout-out! (She wrote a very kind review here.)

Readers, what do you love about contemporary realism? Any favorites? What kinds of realistic issues haven't been explored enough? Comment for a chance at this week's book prize!


  1. I love contemporary YA fiction the most too. As a non-teen (my way of saying older) and reader of contemporary YA novels, it is nice to read these novels having some perspective. But I wish that I would have read more contemporary YA novels as a teen because I see my teenage self in so many of the characters I am reading about now. Some of my recent favorites are A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian.

  2. I love contemporary YA because it allows my 8th grade students who don't want to get hooked into the fantasy worlds a way of getting hooked into reading. Many of them need to realize that they're not alone in this crazy world with their adolescent emotions and dramas, and contemporary book give them that perspective.

  3. I love contemporary YA fiction! One of my recent favorites is The Sweetness of Salt by Cecelia Galante, which I read through an ARC tour group. There is a little bit of romance in the story, but it's mainly about a girl's relationship with her sister and her parents. It was refreshingly real!

  4. It is through contemporary realistic fiction that I first fell in love with YA. I hadn't read all that much YA (since I was an early teen) before taking a college course on teaching YA lit in the classroom. I was so excited about that course, but was asked to read a bunch of books that didn't really appeal to me (mostly because they were Robert Cormier books, and I'm just not a fan). But, we were required to choose 10 novels to read on our own. Anything we wanted! My first pick was Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak.

    I took this course in the year 2001, so Speak was relatively new and groundbreaking. I was impressed by the realness of Melinda--I could remember encountering situations and conversations like hers when I was in high school. I knew that I had to teach books like this and provide them for students when I became a teacher. I've been teaching for 8 years now and am happy to report that my students are awach with current realistic fiction. They love it. And I do, too!

  5. What do I love about contemporary realism?
    Hm, everything.
    Most esspecially the voice.
    I really want to hear from my main protagonist in a comtemp novel, I want to know everything about them, I want the facts, sure, but I want to see the way they view the world; I want to know, what’s it look like from your perspective.
    I am waiting to read a contemp novel about Human Trafficking, or about a teenager in a foreign country, not euro-style, but a third world country, I want to feel their pain, see the world through their eyes.
    Sea by Heidi Kling got close, but not far enough for what I am looking for! Still loved the book.
    I am reading The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson right now and I just adore it, about two hundred pages in. It reads like a foreign film, indie’s music and a picnic on the Seine, all in one. A wonderful voice.
    Other favorites include Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and before i fall by Lauren Oliver.
    I guess I really like mournful contemporary come to see it. Huh, I hadn’t thought of it that way before.

    Holly- I am begging you to please, please host a remake the cover contest for Tell Me A Secret! I have an amazing idea that (I hope) will blow you away.
    Let me know if you don’t think this is in the cards so I can make it and send it to you anyway!
    Bella <3

  6. I understand the thing about the "issues that are realistic and actually happen to people." It bugs me sometimes when the situations are so unrealistic that I want to put the book down. I also believe that the parents and family need to be more involved in YA contemp books. In reality, parents and family play a big role in a teens life.

  7. Why I love contemporary realism? Because it's right AT IT. Take away the fluff, this is life. And it's such a pity that contemp YA is so underrated where trends are concerned, cos this genre has the best fiction.

  8. I don't really remember HOW I find my way over to your place, Holly! Oh, the mysterious powers of book bloggers!!! Loved reading all the answers. I'm glad that people are so enthusiastic. ;) I'm burned with exams, so I haven't been following the feature too well.

    That reminds me. I need to think of some more titles for "Street Creed". :P

  9. I do like reading other genres occasionally, but my heart is really with contemporary.

    Gabrielle, have you read Patricia McCormick's SOLD? It's very, very well done, about a girl trafficked from Nepal to India. I would love to host a cover remake contest! Princess Bookie did one for me on my blog tour. I don't know how to do the intricacies of voting code, etc., but I'll see if I can figure it out! I'd love to see your design anyways. :)

    Cass, I'm glad you did find me and that you've stayed to chat about books!