Hot Topic Tuesday: Celebrate good books

Hello contemporary YA readers!! So glad you're here!

Please look around and check out all the info. we've set up for you (see the tabs at the top of the page). There's a lot to share, but first, I want to tell you why this group is here.

It's pretty simple, really. See, I love contemporary Young Adult fiction.

I love it so much, I'd have dreams of a big party with all of my favorite authors.


We'd have karaoke set up so we could sing and dance, and in between songs, we'd eat cupcakes. Hundreds of cupcakes. And we'd invite teens, thousands and thousands of teens, so we could sing, dance, and eat cupcakes together. Then, at the end of the night, I'd give a speech that went something like this:

Hi everyone, thanks for being here!
I love singing and dancing with awesome people like you.
And we ALL love contemporary YA fiction, right?
(Everyone in the crowds raises their fists and yells, "Right!")
I know - it rocks!
(Lots of yelling, cheering and whistling)
So come on, dance with me as we celebrate contemporary YA fiction!
(Kool & the Gang steps on stage and starts singing, "Celebrate good books, come on!")

But after years of lottery tickets with all the wrong numbers, I decided a different approach might be necessary. So when I sold a contemporary YA novel last spring, the wheels started turning. Maybe I couldn't take on the whole lot of contemporary fiction (or have the biggest dance party ever), but perhaps I could take on a group with novels releasing over the course of a year. I put some feelers out, and I had a good response. And then my friend Lindsey Leavitt said, let's make it happen. She set up a time to call me, we talked, and suddenly it wasn't just an idea anymore. It was a plan.

Okay, sadly, there are no cupcakes or karaoke here, although in our books, who knows? But hopefully with the help of this incredible group of authors that has gathered here, we can still have fun, discuss books and interesting topics, and celebrate contemporary YA fiction. You are going to be blown away by the amazing books coming at you from this group. We have books with action, adventure, friendship, romance, mystery, drama, heartache, death, and sharks. Yes. Sharks!!

We are 21 authors who are all about keeping it real with books coming out between September 2010 and August 2011. We're running it with the school year because for teens, it often feels like that's the year that really counts.

Some of us have many books on the shelves, some of us are debuts. Some of us write only contemporary YA, some of us write other things. But the two things we have in common are the books we're bringing to you in the coming twelve months and our love for contemporary YA fiction.

During the coming year, we plan on discussing real life stuff teens are experiencing. We're going to (over)share information from our own teen years and ask some of your favorite authors to do the same. And we plan on highlighting contemporary YA fiction whenever possible, not just our own, but many other great books by other YA authors. It really isn't all about us, I promise.

I hope you'll check out the "Get Involved" tab, because to make this work, we need you like Taylor Swift needs her guitar! So please, get involved in any way you can. We'll be blogging regularly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and occasionally on Fridays. Primarily, we want some great conversations to happen here. We want to make you think, make us think, and remind everyone why contemporary YA fiction is so freaking important. And awesome.

Okay, let's get the party started! Can you share one or two of your favorite contemporary YA books with us today in the comments? (See the top of the blog post where it says "comments" and click there.) We'd love to know which ones have rocked your world! And then spread the word via your blog, twitter, facebook, or your adorable mouth that we're here and we're celebrating contemporary YA fiction!

Before you go, we hope you'll hit the follow button. And please come back tomorrow for a fun surprise and the kick-off of a FABULOUS contest!

Keep it real,
Lisa

60 comments:

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

The site looks great! I'm so excited for something dedicated to comtemporary!! I like fantasy... but my heart lies with contemp.

Some of my favorites have been Hate List by Jennifer Brown, Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe and Take Me There by Carolee Dean.

Erika Lynn said...

The site looks great and I am so excited about it! A few of my faves are 20 Boy Summer, Tell Me A Secret, North of Beautiful and anything by Megan McCafferty and Elizabeth Scott.

Sara said...

Congrats on the big launch!

Two (recent) favorites: FLASH BURNOUT by LK Madigan and WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green & David Levithan

Sab H. said...

Love the site! <3

Absolute favorites:
- JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta
- CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers!!!

Lisa Schroeder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

Yay!!! Here we are! Here's another vote for FLASH BURNOUT. I also love Sara Zarr's books and am dying to read WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON. My to-be-read pile is a mile high!

clumzbella said...

SO excited about this! Paranormal romance is fun, but I really love realistic fiction and much of it goes relatively unnoticed ... until now!

Can't wait to see all you have planned!

Bee said...

I adore contemporary and I'm so glad you got together to get the Power of the Contemp going Xx

Mostly I end up liking all contemporary books. Some of my faves?
Jenny Downham's Before I Die
Angela Morrison'a Taken By Storm
Anne Cassidy's Missing Judy
Kirstin Cronn-Mills' The Sky Always Hears Me And The Hills Don't Mind
All of Jaclyn Moriarty's books

<3!

June G said...

I'm so happy to see Contemporary YA get the attention and promotion it rightfully deserves.

Two of my favorites are Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles and Sweethearts by Sara Zarr.

Can't wait to see what's going to go on around here. I'll be blogging and twitting about it. Already put your badge up!

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Not a fan of the way to comment on here. :( Definitely need something at the bottom. :(

My favorite YA contemporary would have to be Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. But really, anything by that women is pure awesomeness.

elissa said...

Hurray, YA Contemporary is my favorite, too! My favorites that I've read this summer are Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta!

Great site, and I'll be sure to share with my students as the year unfolds!

Doret said...

Two contemporary novels I loved this year.

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams and Sweet, Hereafter by Angela Johnson

Much congrats on the launch

Susan Adrian said...

Yay Contemps!! Excited to see you here.

Fav contemps: Courtney Summers' books, Before I Fall, If I Stay...

but I do love fantasy too. I am equal-opportunity. :))

Little Willow said...

Good morning, Contemps! I am familiar with many of your works and know some of you one-on-one. (Some of you are my website/webdesign clients! Hi there!) I'm looking forward to learning more about the new folks and debuts. Best wishes to each and every one of you on your future releases.

Tiffany Schmidt said...

Hooray for contemps! I'm so excited you guys have finally launched.

Some of my favorites:
20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Drums, Girls, Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

John The Bookworm said...

Yay! An entire site dedicated to contemporary books - with some favorite authors of mine in the mix as well. Count me in for the Angela Morrison and Jacyln Moriarty love.

My two favorite contemps are:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham.

Honorable mention to The Vast Fields of Ordinary. :p

Liz Gallagher said...

Congrats on your launch, Contemps! I'm so excited that there's a new group dedicated to realistic YA! Bummer that you guys can't do any zombie/unicorn type battles, though . . . how about Ex-Best Friend vs Number One Crush? Hmm . . . needs some work. Who do you think ARE the archetypes in realistic fiction?

A recent fave for me: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Corrine said...

The site looks fantastic!! Love the contemp love! :)

Some of my recent favourites have been:

Hate List - Jennifer Brown
Once Was Lost - Sarah Zarr
The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams

Micol Ostow said...

So many great titles, guys! I'm going to put Adam Rapp's PUNKZILLA out there. What a voice.

Stacey said...

Some of my favorite Contemp books are:


Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Perfect Chemistry(PerfectChemistry, #1)
by Simone Elkeles


I could go on, their are so many great Contemp books out there. Great Site by the way

captainstupendous said...

SETH BAUMGARTNER'S LOVE MANIFESTO by Eric Luper is a fantastic book, as is LIFE, AFTER by Sarah Darer Littman.

poposhika said...

Congrats! The site looks great.

A couple of my faves (I have too many): Paper Towns and 20 Boy Summer.

Raven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raven said...

WOW.

I love the site.

YA contemp. is an awesome genre, both to write and to read.

My fave contemps are

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Bryan B. said...

By far the best YA book (Contemporary/Realistic or not...) I've read in years is CATCH by Will Leitch. Great, great book.

paulgreci said...

Two of my recent favorite Contemporary YA novels:

Brutal by Michael Harmon

We Were Here by Matt de la Pena

Brittany said...

The site looks wonderful and it's already growing in numbers based on the followers. Congrats! :D I put up one of those badges in the sidebar of my blog (hersimplegifts.blogspot.com).

My favorite contemporary YA novels are John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA and Sarah Dessen's SOMEONE LIKE YOU. Maureen Johnson's 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES was also great and when I was a younger teenager, I loved E. Lockhart's THE BOYFRIEND LIST. It's been a long time since I read it, but I also remember loving Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain's BASS ACKWARDS AND BELLY UP.

When I was going through some rough health issues in 7th-9th grades, I read Hailey Abbott's SUMMER BOYS SERIES (very good distraction from life for a young teenage girl). She has quite a few other novels, too, and out of those, I've also read THE SECRETS OF BOYS, GETTING LOST WITH BOYS, and WAKING UP TO BOYS.

Sara said...

I'm SO excited for The Contemps! I've found myself falling for Contemporary YA more than any other genre I've read lately, so I feel home! :))

Favorites include Jellicoe Road, Some Girls Are, The DUFF, The View from the Top, Stalker Girl, The Mockingbirds, Forgetting Delilah, all Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott novels... Really, the list could go on and on. I can't get enough!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This is definitely my favorite genre and usually what I write as well. Some absolute favorite contemp novels?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Willow by Julia Hoban

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Catherine Ryan Hyde in general. :)


-Lauren

Sarahbear9789 said...

Contemporary is my favorite genre. I love:
-Before I Die by Jenny Downham
-Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
-Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala
-Sea by Heidi R. Kling
-The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
-The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
-Forever Changes by Brendan Haplin
-Going too far by Jennifer Echols
- Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
-Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns by John Green
-Jellicoe Road and Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
-Fixing Deliliah and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
-All of Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, Maureen Johnson, Laurie Halse Anderson, E. Lockhart, Judy Bloom, Sara Zarr, and Deb Caletti's book

Sena said...

My fav is Undone by Brooke Taylor!

Jordyn said...

I looove contemporary YA. Especially since I don't really read paranormal or fantasy. heheh

My favorites? UHM. SO MANY. I'll just stick with somewhat recent releases though...

-Sea, by Heidi R. Kling (sealove ftw)
-The Unwritten Rule, by Elizabeth Scott
-Tweet Heart, by Elizabeth Rudnick

Sarah Ockler said...

Awesome books, you guys! I've just added a few more to my TBR list. A few contemp titles I've loved over the last year are SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR by Matthew Quick, ONCE WAS LOST by Sara Zarr, and JUMPING OFF SWINGS by Jo Knowles.

This week, I also read and loved MEXICAN WHITE BOY by Matt de la Pena and TELL ME A SECRET by Holly Cupala.

Mardougrrl said...

Yay! So happy to see this site--contemp YA is my favorite.

Some recent faves: How to Say Goodbye in Robot, 20 Boy Summer, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Adios to my Old Life, Some Girls Are, anything by Sarah Dessen, Looking for Alaska (OK, anything by John Green), anything by Sara Zarr, anything by Siobhan Vivian. Would Going Bovine also count as contemp? Because wow, I loved that book so much.

I'm going to have fun picking up some new recommendations on this site, I think.

I Heart Monster said...

Willow by Julia Hoban is an amazing book. Definitely in my top 5 of all time.

Sounds like you guys have a great site going here and I'm looking forward to following you guys!

Susan said...

What a fun site! My recent favorites have all been mentioned - obviously, there's a reason why :)

JELLICOE ROAD - Melina Marchetta
THE CHOSEN ONE - Carol Lynch Williams
TAKEN BY STORM - Angela Morrison

and the list goes on ...

Mindi Scott said...

I'm a big fan of Carolyn Macker's GUYAHOLIC and John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA. But, truly, contemporary YA is my one of my deepest passions, so I love many, many, many books that fit in this category.

kristen tracy said...

Wow. There are a lot of great books listed. I just read The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt and I loved it. Also loved A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by her. Um. I am going to add another book I didn't see listed. Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet out of Idaho by Jon Katz. I guess it's crossover. (YA/Adult) I'm from Idaho. So I ate it up.

The Book Girl said...

So excited about this site!

Favorites are Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.

I linked to the Contemps! http://thebookgirlreads.blogspot.com/

Lindsey Leavitt said...

Yay contemps!
Off the top of my head, some of my favorite contemporary books are:
FLASH BURNOUT by LK Madigan
AUDREY WAIT by Robin Benway
THE WAY HE LIVED by Emily Wing Smith
THE WHITE DARKNESS by Geraldine McCaughrean
And THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by The Boss, Sherman Alexie

Rebecca said...

I was blown away by Thalia Chaltas's Because I Am Furniture. In the past, I haven't been a big reader of contemporary YA, but that book is amazing.

Camilla45242 said...

I really liked the book The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper and Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka

vivian fernandez said...

I am a HUGE fantasy fan, yet my favorite book is SOME GIRLS ARE by Courtney Summers. I nag everyone I know to read it. I also recently read an ARC of YOU by Charles Benoit and it is fantastic.

Carly Reads said...

I am totally psyched to find a group totally dedicated to contemporary YA fiction! I'm just not a fantasy fan, and I always wish that I had more people to talk to about books that DON'T revolve around vampires. (Nothing against vampires, of course, they're just not my cup of tea.) Yay for The Contemps! Jennifer Smith's THE COMEBACK SEASON and anything by Deb Caletti are high up on my list of the best YA contemporary fiction out there.

Christi said...

Congrats on the new site! Looking forward to exploring it and following you all! 20 Boy Summer is one of my all-time faves in contemp fic; more recent favorites include The Unwritten Rule, will Grayson, Will Grayson, Girl Stolen, the Summer of Skinny Dipping...there's just too many to list!

Chelsea said...

The site looks great!
My faves are Going to Far by Jennifer Echols, Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, and Heist Society by Ally Carter!

April Henry said...

I love Gail Giles, Caroline Cooney, Walter Sorrells....

robinellen said...

A few recent contemporary books I've really enjoyed --

FLASH BURNOUT, by L.K. Madigan
CARTER FINALLY GETS IT
ZEN & XANDER UNDONE, by Amy Kathleen Ryan
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE, by Erin McCahan
NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL, by Justina Chen Headley
CHASING BROOKLYN

And I have some books by the wonderful authors gathered here in my TBR pile...

Meg said...

Awesome site!! Yay! I'm excited!

My favorite books are anything by Melina Marchetta-she's the best!

Cass said...

Congrats on the site launch! This looks great, can't wait for the post tomorrow. :)

I loved Tell Me a Secret, The Sky is Everywhere, Th1rteen R3asons Why... but I haven't actually gotten to read all that many books just yet. All of the books upcoming from the Contemps sound brilliant! I can't wait to get my hands on them. :)

Sharli said...

I'm so excited about this blog! :D
Two of my favorits are Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison and Going too Far by Jennifer Echols.
Oh and I'm currently reading Cracked up to be by Courtney Summers. It's awesome so far!

Robbie (BoywithBooks) said...

Three of my all-time favorites are "Going for the Record" by Julie A Swanson; "Head Case" by Sarah Aronson; and "Side Effects" by Amy Goldman Koss. Oddly, the last two were both done by Roaring Brook Press.

I also really really loved "The Vast Fields of Ordinary" by Nick Burd, it spoke to me on a very deep personal level.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

My favourites are Sarah Dessen, John Green, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

They let you reach into somebody else's world.

Bee said...

Ooh, I forgot to mention one of my recent faves - Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden.

Cindy said...

There are two authors so far who have written teen books that have rocked my world basically. They are Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott. Sarah Dessen's 'The Truth About Forever' and 'Just Listen' were both amazing and really changed my life. So far I have read 'The Unwritten Rule' and 'Perfect You' by Elizabeth Scott and both were amazing books. I could really relate to both authors characters and recognize parts of me in them.

Melissa Walker said...

JUST finished a contemp that blew my mind--HUSH by Eishes Chayil. Amazing!

Patty said...

I love the site already...I have loved Hate List this year and also The Betrayal Of Natalie Hargrove...

Jo said...

I'm a little late, sorry! This is such a great site, I'm really looking forward to reading your future posts! :)

I have read quite a few YA contemporaries recently when I held Body Image and Self Perception Month on my blog. The ones that really touched me were Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley and Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going. And last week I read The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and fell in love with it. Just beautiful!

MissAttitude said...

Chiming in to add some of my favorites. My current top 10 (I love contemporary! I recently discovered fantasy but contemporary and historical fiction will always be my top genres).

*No particular order

1. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher (ok this is my fav book of all time)

2. Sea by Heidi R. Kling
3. 8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich
4. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
5. It Chicks series by Tia Williams
6. The Making of Dr. Truelove by Derrick Barnes
7. The Kayla Chronicles by Sherri Winston
8. Girl overboard by Justina Chen Headley (and North of Beautiful)
9. Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel Fattah
10. The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

I'm most eagerly awaiting The Mockingbirds and the Duff! So glad they come out in September, my birthday month :)

Congrats on the debut of this website! I'm really enjoying reading about the teen exepriences of authors.

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