Top 5 YA Contemporary Must-Reads! (Oct 2019)

Top 5 YA Young Adult Contemporary Must Reads 2019 Header - Top 5 YA Contemporary Must-Reads! (Oct 2019)

Heyo Bookaholics!

I’m finally giving you a list!

My weekend has been hectic, so I decided for this week that I’d keep the post light and fun by talking about some contemporary young adult novels that I have absolutely fallen in love with!

I have compiled a short-list of 5 contemporary YA books that I consider amazing must-reads. I have written reviews for 4/5 of these novels and those can be found by clicking the link just below the title of the novel. I have also added in purchase links if you’d like to buy the novel (I receive a commission of 5% if you use the Book Depository link -ty).

Save The Date
by Morgan Matson

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Spoiler-Free Review

Why I love this novel:
Save the date is a beautiful novel. It’s heartwarming, family-oriented, funny, awkward and an overall well-written story of a girl who just wants what she used to have.
It is essentially a meet-cute story with family drama in a situation that seems so realistic you forget that it is actually a work of fiction. I’ve never “read” a sitcom but I expect that it would feel like this novel did.

About the novel: 
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married at their family home so EVERYTHING is hectic. This will be the first time in years the all her brother’s and sisters will be home and Charlie cannot wait. What she hopes to be a perfect weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster, everything is chaotic, people are fighting, relatives aren’t speaking, things go missing, Charlie really wants things to work with an old fling, the peace is ruined, the band only plays covers and the new wedding planner’s nephew is cute af. This novel spans three days and Charlie learns far more about herself and her family than she ever expected to. She realises that trying to maintain what was in the past, means missing out on the future.

Buy the novel: Book Depository | Dymocks

I Was Born For This
by Alice Oseman

i was born for this book cover 196x300 - Top 5 YA Contemporary Must-Reads! (Oct 2019)Spoiler-Free Review

Why I love this novel:
I was able to relate to the main character on a very basic level and as I read this, all of my feelings came back from the time I used to be a One Direction fangirl. I absolutely loved the queer representation in this novel and how perfectly the unrequited love was written. Also, the dual perspectives did not feel repetitive or annoying, especially since the two characters weren’t together 24/7 rather Oseman was showing us two totally separate lives.

About the novel: 
Told in dual perspectives, Angel Rahimi is a huge fangirl for The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci is one-third and frontman of The Ark and owes the band his entire life.
Angel meets Jimmy in the most fanfic-esque way and their lives are both turned upsidedown and around and around. If you’ve ever been a fangirl, IWBFT will bring back all those feelings and more as you glimpse life on both sides – fangirl and band member – seeing how truly unglamorous it is and how toxic it can be to be so truly and utterly obsessed with something.

Buy the novel: Book Depository | Dymocks

Starry Eyes
by Jen Benett

starry eyes cover 197x300 - Top 5 YA Contemporary Must-Reads! (Oct 2019)Semi-Spoiler Review

Why I love this novel:
The main reason why I loved this novel was not because of the cute romance and family drama, but the sex-positive themes! I have not yet read a novel other than this one that talks so openly about carrying and using condoms in such a casual way. It’s a totally normal thing and has to be mentioned. I love the sex-positive mothers of Lennon and Lennon’s love for reptiles.

About the novel:
Best-friends-turned-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. Their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets, but when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together. They use this time to hash out their issues through witty jabs and insults and some sex. Trecking through the wilderness, it’s them and no one else until they reach civilisation. As the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface and as they get closer to civilisation, it turns into a question of whether or not their new-found relationship will survive past the border of the woods.

Buy the novel: Book Depository | Dymocks

I Had Such Friends
by Meg Gatland-Veness

I had such friends book cover 195x300 - Top 5 YA Contemporary Must-Reads! (Oct 2019) I didn’t review this novel because it ripped my heart out and I wasn’t sure how to approach the heavy themes in this novel.

Why I love this novel:
It wasn’t so much ‘love’ I had for this novel but intense appreciation for its existence. I was warmed, overwhelmed and moved by this novel so much that by the end I was bawling my eyes out in pain. It is a novel I would read again especially knowing what I will be getting into. The story was so pure but at the same time, heartbreaking. I never wrote a review on it due to the fact I could never put my intense emotions into words. It’s feelings like those that are so intense I feel like I’ve never experienced them before and therefore could not articulate the pain I was in.

About the novel:
The death of Charlie Parker leaves everyone in the school shocked except one boy, seventeen-year-old Hamish Day, who lives on a cabbage farm and has only one friend. Hamish soon finds himself pulled into the complicated lives of the people left behind, uncovering startling truths about his peers, his perspectives on friendship, love, grief and the tragic power of silence are forever altered.

With hard-hitting themes including unrequited love, abuse, neglect, sexuality, bullying, prejudice, death and suicide, I Had Such Friends is a poignant journey of self-discovery, grief and the tragic power of silence. A gripping look at adolescent pain with a narrative maturity that accurately reflects its YA milieu, I Had Such Friends resonates with young adult audiences and pushes them to reflect on their own ‘sliding doors’ moment.

Buy the novel: Book Depository | Dymocks

The Astrid Notes
by Taryn Bashford

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Why I love this novel:
It was a sweet story that brought together two people from two ends of the music industry and allowed them to grow, open up and heal each other through the use of music. I’m a strong believer in music as a healing method and this novel has added strength to my argument.

About the novel:
A band member who lost his band and an aspiring opera singer. Astrid Bell wants to write pop music but also wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps of being an opera singer even though she suffers from stage fright. Jacob Skalicky is an indie singer, gifted performer, lost the only real family he’s ever known. A heartwarming story of finding oneself and by working together, the teens work again forces to uncover secrets and learn to understand grief’s place in their lives.

Buy the novel: Book Depository | Dymocks

These are just my top 5 YA contemporary reads! I have so many more novels that I am in love with, these are on top because they gave me the most feels and the stories have stayed with me long after I read them.

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Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).

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