Teen Thursday - Contemporary YA

So... it's almost June. We started this blog almost a year ago, wanting a place to highlight contemporary fiction. Wow. How time flies, huh?

We wanted to get people to realize - hey, real life stuff is kind of cool. Exciting. Funny. Scary. And anything and everything in between. Maybe books about real life stuff aren't so bad after all.

I don't think we've accomplished everything I had hoped we might accomplish. Part of it is that authors are busy, busy people.

But to those of you who have stopped by often, who have tweeted for us and about us, who have bought our books and told your friends about our books - I want to say thank you!!!

Agent Mandy Hubbard had this to say on her blog about contemporary fiction recently, after a trip to meet editors and find out what's on their wish lists:

"Another thing I heard all day, every day? Realistic/Contemporary YA is a tough sell, but almost every editor wants it to rally and come back in a huge way. Some editors joked that they are going to force it to come back by buying some killer Realistic/Contemp. Successful books like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS By Stephanie Perkins and PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles make everyone very hopeful that this trend continues. The more contemps that break out, the more likely this trend can actually pan out. So if you’re a contemp lover, get thee to the bookstore. If the readers don’t buy it, the editors can’t buy it."

Did you hear that? If the readers don't buy it, the editors can't buy it.

I'd love for you to tweet this post far and wide. Let people who have never seen our web site before see it now. Let people realize that we have an amazing assortment of books to offer up for whatever kind of reader one might be. We've got a lot of stuff covered in our list of books - suspense, mystery, loss and tragedy, humor, romance, relationships, and much more.

Summer is almost here. It's the perfect time to curl up with a good book on the beach, by the pool, in a tent, under a tree...

Can we make June contemporary YA month? And maybe even July and August? Hey, why not? A contemporary YA summer! Support contemporary YA authors and buy one or three or five or ten contemporary novels!!!

SO I want to know, what's your favorite contemporary YA novel you've read lately?


Honey said...

June is YA contemporary month? PERFECT! I am head over heels in love with YA contemp and June is my birth month so it couldn't be more perfect! As for my favourite YA contemp: there's Anna and the French Kiss, of course. But The Duff and She's So Dead To Us come to mind as well. So many good ones! I will definitely treat myself to YA contemps this June. And don't worry, I'll tweet the hell out of this post :)

Kristine Asselin said...

Contemporary YA is the place to be! Thanks to you all for highlighting it.

lostnthestacks said...

I just read LOVE STORY by Jennifer Echols and I will be recommending it all summer for Teen Summer Reading Club.

Adam Russell Stephens said...

Most recently I finished Gayle Forman's WHERE SHE WENT. Wow! What a phenomenal novel! Definitely a reason to read as well as write YA contemporary fiction. In fact, my whole year has been pretty much consumed by YA contemporary stories, from Sarah Ockler's two incredible novels to some Ellen Hopkins, finishing off with Gayle Forman. I plan to start John Corey Whaley's WHERE THINGS COME BACK soon, because it looks really good! And I'm currently devouring AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES. Do I even need to utter who its by (John Green, for the unfortunately ignorant. He's awesome!)?

Bee said...

Contemporary YA ftw! It's my fave genre ever!
Just finished and immensely liked Sara Ryan's EMPRESS OF THE WORLD, Kody Keplinger's THE DUFF and Angela Morrison's CAYMAN SUMMER.
I read a book everyday but since my finals are on, I'm on a halt, but I miss them already.
I live for the contemps :))

Lydia Sharp said...

The bulk of what I read is YA, and the bulk of *that* is contemp.

Recently finished (and loved) Bad Apple by Laura Ruby, Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz, Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer, Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales, The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker, and (although it's technically MG) It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder.

I could go on. But then I'd be here all day. ;)

Stasia said...

I'm in for June as Contemporary YA Month. Great post about great books!

We Heart YA said...

Our fave contemporary reads recently are...

- IF I STAY (Gayle Forman)
- PULL OF GRAVITY (Gae Polisner)
- THE SECRET YEAR (Jennifer Hubbard)

And we really want to check out some more (like FORBIDDEN, WHERE SHE WENT, LIKE MANDARIN, BUT I LOVE HIM, etc...). So yeah, we're down for June being contemp YA month!

Claire Dawn said...

June as YA contemp month? If you say so, it must be true. Maybe I'll dedicate my weekly giveaways to contmps... I'll let you know and if you want ot tell your contemp-lovers, they can come over to mine and win.

My fave recent read was OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal.

Shelli Cornelison said...

Love Contemporary YA. Some of my recent faves are Sarah Ockler's TWENTY BOY SUMMER,C.J. Omololu's DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, and Allen Zadoff's MY LIFE, THE THEATER, AND OTHER TRAGEDIES.
Currently reading an ARC of Jennifer Ziegler's SASS AND SERENDIPITY. It comes out July 12th.
Real people make great characters.

Jill Corcoran said...

I'm a huge YA CONTEMP fan! In fact, I have recently sold quite a number of them and more are selling soon including:

DITCHED by Robin Mellom to Hyperion
BLIND SPOT by Laura Ellen to HMH
WELCOME CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE by Shelly Coriell to Abrams
I'M NOT HER by Janet Gurtler to Soucebooks Fire
IF I TELL by Janet Gurtler to Sourcebooks FIre
GIRL MEETS BOY anthologized by Kelly Milner Halls to Chronicle
ALSO KNOWN AS ROWAN POHI by Ralph Fletcher to Clarion
FAT BOY by Erin Fry to Cavendish

and even mid to upper MG CONTEMP incl
THE CLASSROOM by Robin Mellom to Hyperion
ICE ISLAND by Sherry Shahan to Delacorte

Wow, this is making me really look at what I have sold and the others are historical (both set in the '70's which is now considered historical and not contemp), contemporary chapter books, poetry and non-fiction. The least number that I have sold--paranormal.

I don't know if that just reflects my list and I am an anomaly but that is a lot of CONTEMPORARY books pubbing in 2011, 2012 and 2013+

Please buy CONTEMPS, Write CONTEMPS. Champion CONTEMPS. I luv them.

Chelsey said...

I'm all for upping the contemp.

Anything Sarah Dessen
Pink by Lili Wilkinson
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Paper Towns by John Green

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I'm definitely a huge contemporary YA fan. Where She Went definitely makes my favourites of 2011 list. The Liar Society is an awesome contemp mystery. I just read Jellicoe Road this year, which I think would be contemporary, even though there's a bit of a dual narrative... anyway, it's now on my favourites of all time list. Plus I always have to give props to The Sky is Everywhere which is just amazing and beautiful.

Callie Kingston said...

A few of my favorites are: Wintergirls
If I Stay
Story of a Girl

And my genre-defying guilty pleasure: Going Bovine

jenniferpickrell said...

Books set in the 70s are now considered historical? I feel old.

June as YA Contemp month is a marvelous idea!

leanneardellebeattie said...

My novel Cage of Bone is contemporary YA. A whole month dedicated to this genre is amazing. Life is all about problems and contempory YA helps readers cope with whatever issues they are facing.

Actin' Up with Books said...

I can't shout it loud enough: FREEFALL by Mindi Scott. Contemporary YA is my favorite and my go-to for recommendations. I have a ton on my shelf just waiting to be devoured. I'm all for a contemporary ya summer! Let's do it!

Melissa Walker said...

Yes! June is my birthday month too (and Sarah Dessen's and Gayle Forman's, btw, so obviously it is a CONTEMP time of year). GEMINIS! I'm in. x

Bella said...

I've definitely been on a contemporary kick lately and have just bought, as well as pre-ordered, a whole bunch.

My all-time favourites are THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, which is just gorgeous, and TWENTY BOY SUMMER.


I'm so excited and I hope that contemporary YA becomes as trendy as paranormal books (and dystopians :o) are these days, because more contemps therefore more variety would make me very happy! :)

Tammy said...

YA contemp is my favorite genre. It's also what I write in. I recently read Sarah Dessen's What Happened to Goodbye and Deb Caletti's Stay. They were both amazing!

Trish (Just a YA Girl) said...

I'm doing a Contemps summer! I think it's great what you guys are doing and I liked it so much I posted a link on my blog. Here

I've only started blogging this month and have only eight followers but every little bit helps right?

Katy said...

Contemporary YA is by far my favorite genre, and the genre that holds all my favorite books. :) The best contemporary YA I've read recently? FORGET YOU by Jennifer Echols. Loved everything about it.

Ricki Schultz said...

I write contemporary YA, and I have had the distinct pleasure of reading some fab manuscripts by some of my friends (who are out on sub right now), and I couldn't be more excited about their work as well as this resurgence! YAY!

My picks:
I love *anything * by John Green and Lauren Myracle, of course.

Recent faves include:
Jandy Nelson's THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE *swoon*

Lauren Strasnick's NOTHING LIKE YOU

Kody Keplinger's THE DUFF (obvi)

Wendy Toliver's LIFTED

I'm currently reading both Kirsten Hubbard's LIKE MANDARIN & Sarah Dessen's THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER. *love*

I'm happy to pimp you guys out any way I can!

Sara said...

Yeah! I'm off to Tweet it!

Sarah Darer Littman said...

Book that I think was incredible, beautifully written and didn't get nearly enough attention (did win 2011 Sydney Taylor Award, so I'm excited to see her in Montreal in June) Dana Reinhardt's THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS. Also HUSH by debut author Eishes Chayil - so powerful.

mfay2 said...

I'm so happy because contemporary its mostly what I read! My favorite at the moment is Where She Went.

I'll do a post about this in my blog!

Claire Dawn said...

Just wanted to let you guys know, I'll be giving away a YA contemp book every Thursday at my blog http://aclairedawn.blogspot.com. It's open internationally.

Love live Contemp Month!!! :)

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

EVERY month should be Contemp month-- my favorite genre! Recently, I LOVED Beauty Queens (hopefully that counts as contemp...ish) by Libba Bray, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King :)

Lauren Elizabeth Morrill (Mona Mour) said...

I love love LOVED Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler, and now I have her first book, 20 Boy Summer, waiting in line on my Kindle. I also burned through Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers, who is just a master of writing an atmosphere that is so thick and sticky that you're just sucked in until the very last page. I'll read anything she writes EVER.

And of course, May was awesome because of the release of the newest Sarah Dessen! I loved What Happened to Goodbye (and am giving away a free copy of it on my own blog!)


Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I love that June is Contemporary month! I've never been big on trends in reading and even though I dabble with many genres, contemps will always be my #1. As of recently I have LOVED The Summer I Turned Pretty series. So a great story of growth, love, friendships, and finding yourself :)

Lauren Elizabeth Morrill (Mona Mour) said...

I almost exclusively read contemporary YA, so there's a lot to choose from ... but I gotta say, Courtney Summers' Fall for Anything was really amazing. I couldn't put it down. I've ready all three of her books and I can officially say she's on my Release Day list (ie, authors whose books I will buy on release day, no matter if I have to pay full price!).

One that's coming out soon that I'm DYING to read is Lola and the Boy Next Door, the companion to Anna and the French Kiss. I'm such a sucker for a YA romance!

Eliza Faith said...

I'm going to go with Looking For Alaska!

Alexa said...

Contemporary is definitely my favourite genre, so hoo-ray for June being YA contemp month :)

Best one I've read recently ~ FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John

Favourite of all time ~ SAVING FRANCESCA by Melina Marchetta

Most anticipated in 2011 ~SAVING JUNE by Hannah Harrington

kaye (paper reader) said...

Recently I've loved STAY by Deb Caletti and MOONGLASS by Jessi Kirby.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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