Beginner’s Guide to the Contemporary Genre!!!! ft. recs to help you become contemporary trash

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This post is really just me roasting myself, because it literally JUST occurred to me (last week) that there are people out there who don’t read contemporary???

Just when I began considering that perhaps I’m not clueless af, weird alternative realities come CRASHING upon me.

And logically I should have considered that there are people without contemporary in their lives since I barely read fantasy & sci-fi (or any genre that’s not contemporary, let’s be brutal). If I’m like this, surely there are others out there.

So I’ve put together a guide to getting started with this (precious) genre, because Malanie Loves Fiction = Quality Content™️

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but what is contemporary??

My contemporary fiction definition ::

Books which take place entirely in our own setting (time period and world). Contemporary should feature a protagonist in realistic situations. It’s also largely character-driven (rather than plot-driven).

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and why do people hate it???

So, I did research (she said vaguely), and the most common reasons for not reading contemporary seem to be:

1) It’s pointless. Reading is about escaping reality (i.e through fantasy or something)

2) All the contemporary books I’ve ever read are sh*tty. Actual, non-metaphorical garbage.

3) Contemporary isn’t as well-written as fantasy (prose, setting, etc.)

4) Overall, not as fun and immersive.

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I don’t want to say these points are wrong, because for some people all of the above are true. In the end, it’s really just a preference thing.

++ if you force yourself to read a genre, it’s usually disastrous, ft. reading slumps, staring into the existential void, and developing an allergen to joy.

But if you’re ready to become contemporary trash, I have a guide for YOUUUUUUU.

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Choosing contemporary books to read:

The first step to becoming a contemporary trashcan is to choose books than contain themes you enjoy.

The main categories of contemporary are:: fluffy and hilarious, sad sh*t (realistic tragedies), sappy and wholesome (coming-of-age), thrilling, and diverse (LGBTQ+, POC MCs,  neurodiversity, etc.).

Technically, you can find diversity in any of the other categories, but I wanted to specify it because contemporary writers are doing so well lately???? They are actively surpassing white heterosexual manly norms. && I AM SO PROUD

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The next step is choosing your niche.

I’m including recs for middle grade, young adult/new adult, and adult categories. *Pro Tip! Choose middle grade if you don’t want to read romance.

Contemporary tends to prioritize romance in new adult/adult books. Not always, but it’s a common(ly annoying) thing. 🙂

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1. Fluffy Contemporary

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Middle Grade:

Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Technically this is historical fiction (1970s) but I was having so much trouble finding a fluffy middle grade that’s not Percy Jackson. Disclaimer: I barely read Middle Grade lol


But this book is about friendship! And family! I’ve also heard it’s hilarious and fluffy. The best features of contemporary joining forces in this middle grade.

Also, it was a finalist for an award!? So beginners can know they’re going into something generally accepted as a cool thing to do. *swoops in for high five*

Okay for Now

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Young Adult:

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

This is so soft. Emma Mills is generally good for contemporary newbies (and everyonebies). Her writing is very simple and clever and filled with platonic love!!?????

Also, Sloane is unable to tell her friends “I love and care about youu” so she instead embarks on a quest to find her friends’ lost painting.

Honestly same.

This Adventure Ends

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Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

If you’re just getting into contemporary and you like romance, romantic comedy is a great place to start. Josh and Hazel’s Guide is one of my VERY FAVORITES OF THIS EARTH. Hazel is an iconic book girlfriend, I adore her + it’s best friends – lovers.

– I predict you won’t be disappointed –

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

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2. Destroys your feeling and isn’t sorry contemporary

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Middle Grade:

Alan and Naomi by Myron Levoy

Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams recommended this to me and I still haven’t read it because I’m not prepared emotionally. This is another historical fiction but,,,,,it was contemporary at one point okay just pretend it’s fine..

Here is the synopsis:

“When Naomi, a refugee child from Nazi-occupied Paris who acts ‘crazy, ‘ moves into Alan Silverman’s building in New York, he does his best to avoid her. They slowly develop a deep and touching friendship “[which] is a joy [in] this warming story with its heart-wrenching ending.”

Excuse me while I sob in my room.

Alan and Naomi

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Young Adult:

On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


But really the pain is worth it for how special the friend groups are in this book. +++ the plot is a little bit hard to follow at first, but once you get half-way through everything starts to make much more sense and you will fall over in shock.

The way this is crafted is so beautiful!!??? If you want something that’s really immersive, this is a great choice.

On the Jellicoe Road

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A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Marija @ Inside My Library Mind rec’d this to me in her Gansey’s (from The Raven Cycle) Reading List post, and I think I’m going to both hate it and love it. As a rule, I tend to avoid sad stories because they slay me for days, so I have to carefully save the saddest stories for when I have time away from school + life. If not, I’ll go out in public as a literal walking mess.

I would recommend this story if you want a contemporary that handles all the feelings.

A Little Life

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3. sappy and wholesome contemporary

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Middle Grade:

Wonder by R.J Palacio

This is about a boy named August with a facial difference, trying to integrate into mainstream school. It seems like a very hopeful story???? It’s for if you want a sappy story about growing up and connecting with your community.

Wonder (Wonder, #1)

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Young Adult:

You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman

This is one of my favorite books of the year, it’s ///SO REALISTIC//// featuring  academic stress + pressure + burnout. There’s also a soft gay romance, but this story mainly follows Ariel as he handles success-related drama.

I recommend if you don’t want something too fluffy or too sad, but in the middle.

You Asked for Perfect

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99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

I love romances with a hardcore, “scary b*tch” MC and this book FEATURES HER. I cherish the protagonist+ her relationship with her twin brother. Also, the romance is very cute ^.^

99 Percent Mine

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4. Thrilling contemporary

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Middle Grade:

Holes by Louis Sachar

One of my very first contemporaries????? I loved this back in my super smol days. I remember my class read the book as a unified front, then we watched the movie but I was FEVERISH that day and had to stay home.

And I was forlorn, but then my teacher let me borrow her movie because lowkey I was her favorite. She never said so, but there was definitely “you’re my favorite kid” energy.

And I loved the movie too ❤ Overall,,,,, this is a thrilling middle grade with lovable characters + dark humor. c: c: The concept of unruly children + detention centers where close friendships are bound to happen??? idk i’m just really into this entire idea

Holes (Holes, #1)

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Young Adult:

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic


If you’re just starting out with contemporary, why not go big and immerse yourself directly into fictional sports, found family, stabby gangs out to get Neil,and the slowest burn romance ever devised??

The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1)

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// Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I had to read this for a college course that was intro to contemporary literature, so this rec is College Certified Content.

Even though I went into this feeling underwhelmed, I was very soon *fully immersed.* The characters are such horrible people and yet I couldn’t help but hope in my heart for someone to commit murder.

If you like dark books, contemporary has a wealth of opportunities, so many characters who are unapologetically bad. I really love them and support them I’ll feed them chocolate chips

Gone Girl

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5. Diverse! Contemporary

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Middle Grade:

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

One thing I love about contemporary is how it contains so much diversity from actual societies & cultures. This is one I’ve been wanting to read fOr mOnThS, about a determined girl in her Pakistani village who dreams of being a teacher.

The reviews are somewhat mixed, but this seems like such a really great book for getting into middle grade contemporary??? ALSO THE COVER.

Amal Unbound

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Young Adult:

Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius is gay and going to visit his family in Iran and the setting IS SWOOPING AND GIVES ME CHILLS. Darius’ dialogue largely consists of carefully timed “Um”s. He also loves eclectic teas and Star Trek and this book is so under-hyped.

For someone just starting out in the genre, Darius is a great intro book, YOU’LL BE SO CHARMED.

++ the cover is so gorgeous, and when someone asks what you’re reading you can grandly present it and say, “yeah I read contemporary now it’s really casual.”

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

I love this. SO 🙂 MUCH 🙂

The romance made my chest physically hurt. And Stella is autistic, so it’s neurodiverse! So addicting, and a LAVISH introduction to the genre.

You will ask yourself how you can possibly deserve the blessing that is Stella & Michael.

*is weak for them*

The Kiss Quotient

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Do you feel ready for contemporary after my amazing and helpful guide?

Comment with your favorite and/or most disappointing book in this genre!

What is your favorite genre? Do you have any middle grade recs (this post has exposed me)




89 thoughts on “Beginner’s Guide to the Contemporary Genre!!!! ft. recs to help you become contemporary trash

  1. Sieran Lane says:

    Hey Malanie! Even though I’m predominantly into fantasy and science fiction, I don’t mind contemporary. Most of the gay and trans romances I read happen to be in the contemporary genre (whether YA or adult), maybe because contemporary LGBT+ romances are more widely marketed than are fantasy and sci-fi LGBT+ romances? But even if they are not queer or trans, there are a number of contemporary books I loved. Holes by Louis Sachar was one of my favorites ever!

    Do literary classics count as contemporary? For instance, Oliver Twist was set in Charles Dickens’ own time and country, haha.

    One thing I quite like about (21st century) contemporary, is that they often give you insights into the characters’ careers. (E.g. the modeling industry, the food industry, etc.) Whether they get the details right are a different matter, but it’s still fun to read about a field that I am not in. (I’m in the psychology and psychotherapy field.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      hey Sieran!!!! I’VE MISSED YOU!!! also lol that has always been something I’ve argued, that contemporary should count the classics bc when we think “classics” we might immediately starting thinkingggg “wellllll a white heterosexual dude probably wrote it” hahahhhh

      BUT I DO LOVE CHARLES DICKENS SO MUCH. Carton from “Tale of Two Cities” will forever be the second boy I truly loved, second only to Peter Pan XD

      +++ I agree, it’s so great to get to live vicariously through the characters and get to know their careers,,,that’s one fo the reasons I loved The Foxhole Court. I typically can’t understand sports but reading how passionate these characters were, even though the sport was fictional, was so special and cool?? c: c: C:

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      • Sieran Lane says:

        Will reply in more detail later, but speaking of cishet white male authors….

        I suddenly thought of “Raisin in the Sun,” a literary classic written by a black lesbian woman. 😁

        And don’t forget Sappho the lesbian poet from ancient Greece!

        I love lesbians. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • malanielovesfiction says:

          slkdfj I adore “Raisin in the Sun”!!!!! you’re the first blogger that’s ever mentioned loving it too!!!! it’s one of my absolute favorite plays, I watched the film & read it, it made me cry both times c: c: and it was SO AMAZING and refreshing when I realized the playwright was a fellow LGBTQ+ person ❤ ❤ ❤ ALSO OH GOSH MY DEAR SWEET SAPPHO

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          • Sieran Lane says:

            Wow I’m surprised that I was the first one who mentioned it!! It was one of the books I read in a class for African American literature. (I was a double major in psychology and English literature.)

            Ooh for literary classics, I actually think a lot about some female authors, like Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and her sisters, Frances/Fanny Burney, Edith Wharton, Sarah Fielding, Elizabeth Gaskell, and my favorite, George Eliot! (She goes by a male pseudonym).

            For Tale of Two Cities, I actually only read a Chinese translation of the abridged version! I need to read the original someday. My favorite two books by Dickens were Oliver Twist and David Copperfield.

            Yeah even if I’m not interested in that career per se, it’s so fascinating to learn about it. For instance, a guy who’s into marketing and business, or a guy working as a model. Maybe this is controversial, and I don’t know how much research the author put into it, but I enjoyed reading about this guy who worked as an escort.

            Liked by 1 person

            • malanielovesfiction says:

              oh Sieran, I was almost a psychology major as wellll!!!?????? i learned so much in those classes, and I loved using what I learned to ///evaluate/// characters c: c: c:

              AlSO I’M SO HAPPY YOU LOVE THE BRONTES AND JANE AUSTEN!!! I’m so obsessed with Cathy and Heathcliff’s love story + my favorite Austen so far is “Emma.” The only Austen I haven’t read is Mansfield Park, which i’m going to buddy read (hopefully) soon XD

              + I have had an undying crush on Sydney Carton for so long,,,,,he was so ridiculously devoted and misunderstood and tragic. I still need to finish David Copperfield!!!!!!! i believe, deep in my heart, that he was in love romantically, or AT LEAST attracted to his friend from school. the one who kind of became the antagonist slkdjflsj (was it Steerforth?)

              ++ I just finished reading about a male escort! it was in a heterosexual romance called The Kiss Quotient. The female lead is autistic and she hires a male escort to learn how about sex etiquette, etc. BUT THEY FALL IN LOVE and it was so sweet

              Liked by 1 person

              • Sieran Lane says:

                OMG I didn’t see that, but you may be right!!! (David Copperfield and Steerforth). I won’t spoil it for you then.

                Wow Heathcliff and Cathy are so intense and passionate. Have you heard the Wuthering Heights song? :O

                Woah that’s pretty cool! Autistic female and male escort. 🙂 We need more diversity like this.

                Mansfield Park is my favorite Austen novel, because I find Fanny Price so relatable… 😂 Austen fans seem to have polarized opinions about Mansfield Park. Some hate It, some adore it. I wrote a longish book review on Goodreads too, lol, where you would see me ranting about some of the more controversial topics. (Controversial as in many people disagree with each other on these issues.)


  2. Sapphire says:

    Sooo I don’t have a very good relationship with contemporaries, but now I have a lot of recs so I hope I can get into them! Okay for Now and Wonder are two of my favorite MG contemporaries, so I was SOO happy when I saw they were on this list! Also, You Asked For Perfect is my most anticipated release of 2019 AND I’M SO EXCITED FOR IT! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Louise@DragonspireUK says:

    Holes!! I remember checking it out of the library at school over and over again because I loved it so much, and I was thrilled when the library had a clearance and I got to buy it from them 🙂 Fantasy’s usually my thing, but I love character driven stories so most of these will end up on my TBR list. Hoping to make a dent in it during university holidays 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Destiny @ Howling Libraries says:

    Ahhhh this is SUCH a good list!! ❤ Thank you for making this! I love contemporary so much and I honestly wish people would give the genre more of a chance. I can totally respect when someone has tried it and genuinely DOES NOT like it, but I've heard so many people say they hate it and then when I ask why they admit they've never really read much of it. There's so much to choose from!

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  5. Nimika @ wordhaven says:

    this. entire. post. made. me. so. happy.

    i really need to get on to emma mills, i’ve been hearing so much about her.

    josh and hazel was SO CUTE i’m still not over that gooey goodness omg. i need more iconic MCs like hazel. i love meself a good opposites attract, best friends to lovers story.

    wonder made me cry and laugh and feel so soft. i want to hug auggie and never let go. also, did you see the movie? they killed it on the adaptation and it also made me cry bc apparently my tear ducts explode when i come across characters whom i want to adopt (prolly every tuesday for me at this point).

    omg HOW did i not know about sally thorne’s new book?? ‘the hating game’ is prolly my favorite adult romance and i need more content.

    girl. GIRL. I’M JUST GOING TO TALK IN CAPS NOW BC YOU LOVE THE FOXHOLE COURT AND JUST. JESUS. I LOVE YOU ALREADY. I read TFC earlier this year and *screams* i haven’t been able to get over it even remotely. i keep rereading the books, reblogging the fanart, MAKING fanart, basically memorising all the iconic quotes. and oh my god. andriel? help me. (i’m fine.)

    sorry for writing an actual essay but this post deserved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU SO MUCH & YOUR APPRECIATION FOR TFC,,,,,,,,i’m just feeling so happy bc wow where are our TFC friendship t-shirts, we need themmm RIGHT NOW

      and not only that but u are also a Hazel Bradford fan & she brings me joy every time i think about her bc she is actual sunshine????

      “”apparently my tear ducts explode when i come across characters whom i want to adopt (prolly every tuesday for me at this point).”” === I have never said “samme” with such energy before in my life,,,,this is the most relatable thing i’ve ever encountered

      + OH GOSH EMMA MILLS IS SO GREAT!!??? you’re going to love her so much + possibly make an Emma Mills shrine as I have

      ❤ ❤ this post has blessed my existence ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious says:

    I don’t read a lot of contemporary because when I do I tend to read deep, dark stories that are quite heavy emotionally… and I am not always in the mood to have my soul destroyed. But I have loved a good number of the books in the genre I’ve read, like ROBERTO TO THE DARK TOWER CAME by Tom Epperson and ANGER IS A GIFT by Mark Oshiro. I may have to check out some of your recs when I am looking for something not quite as immersive as my typical reads.


  7. mudandstars says:

    This is a great post! I loved Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating too – I really want to be friends with Hazel, she’s amazing. Loved Wonder too, and Holes is an amazing book. I haven’t read it since I was at school, but I loved it so much at the time so I definitely want to re-read it one day. I really want to pick up Darius the Great is Not OK, it sounds so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      AHH tysmmmm!!!!!! i’m having trouble not falling over right nowww because YOU LOVE JOSH & HAZEL TOO!!!! I’ve only met two other bloggers who have read + loved the story as much as I have sldkjflskjflks
      Hazel is simply my wife, she is so perfect??? ++inspiring!!! (the ending was weird though ngl)

      I hope you pick up Darius The Great, it’s such a fluffy book. I was in a book slump but there was sm friendship in that book that I was rescued c: c:

      Liked by 1 person

      • mudandstars says:

        I know, I haven’t heard anyone talk about it on WordPress!!! I heard about it through Booktube. Hahah yes Hazel is amazing!! I agree r.e. the ending, it seemed like it was just tacked on there for extra drama, but it was kind of unnecessary. I’m glad there was an epilogue though because if that was a cliffhanger I would have been so upset.

        Aww brilliant, in that case I will definitely check out Darius! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Kat @ Novels & Waffles says:

    OKAY SO THIS IS PERFECT FOR ME. IT’S LIKE YOU LOOKED INTO MY SOUL AS YOU WERE WRITING THIS. But seriously, I’ve been saying that I want to start reading more contemporary for awhile now, but I totally don’t even know where to start. There are just so many wonderful-looking books to choose from!!!! So, yeah, this was a great post and you are great and now my TBR list is about as tall as Mount Doom so thanks for that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      AHHH YAYYY I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THISSS ❤ ❤ ❤ + oh god I know how u feel, it's like that for me & fantasy books/sci-fi. I loved Harry Potter and felt so accomplished when I got to book 5 (but really it's like, fantasy books for the absolute newb slkdj)) but I have no idea how to become higher fantasy trash???? i am so lost lol *sobs*

      But I'm about to start Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik & I AM SO HOPEFUL

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Olivia @ Purely Olivia says:

    Malanie: are you ready to become contemporary trash?
    Olivia: 🙋🏼🙋🏼🙋🏼

    BUT SERIOUSLY, YES, AND I LOVED THIS POST SO MUCH. Contemporaries are the best and I can never get enough of them. My favorite kind nowadays is 1082938% YA contemporary, but when I’m in the mood for a reread I usually go for MG because that’s what my entire bookshelf is since back when I was a smol child I didn’t have to buy anything and spent all my birthday money on boosk. XD Also I just love all my MG series so much and they’re so comforting and ahhhhh lovely.

    I got so many great recommendations from this post! And also saw a lot of my favorites that made me really super happyyyyy. :)) Thank you for this post, it’s amazing & so are you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:


      ahhh u are so sweet, + i agree w MG being so comforting!!?? I didn’t read Percy Jackson until this year, but sometimes I just think about him and feel happiness bc he + his friends are so pure ❤ + so many MG books I associate w childhood friends and IT'S SO WHOLESOME

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice says:

    AHHH THIS IS SUCH AN AMAZING POST MALANIE I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT 💖💖 (almost as much as i adore contemporaries & you, hehe) contemporary is definitely my FAVORITE genre because i love how relatable and real it is (plus, contemporary books are getting more and more diverse and I LOVE IT)

    i’m already contemporary trash but this is such a great & useful guide!! i’m definitely adding a lot of these books to my tbr ☺️ i’ve read foolish hearts by emma mills but i haven’t read this adventure ends yet, but i’m sooo excited to!! emma mills is a contemporary queen 🙂

    i’m literally so freaking excited to read you asked for perfect (2019 has never seemed so far away 😭) bc i know it’s gonna be so genuine & relatable for me, since i’m a stressed, perfectionistic student as well :’)

    as for middle grade contemporary, i highly recommend ivy aberdeen’s letter to the world by ashley herring blake (same author as girl made of stars and how to make a wish!!). it’s absolutely adorable & heartwarming and i loved it so much. 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jenchaos76 says:

    I’m not a fan of contemporary, but my daughter’s ENTIRE SCHOOL read Wonder to push acceptance and all that. She liked the book, but she usually reads fanfiction. I read strange stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. emmareadstoomuch says:

    contemporary trash…..i have never felt so spoken to.

    yay yay Emma Mills and Gone Girl and i’m so ready to stupid read 99 Percent Mine i could scream!!!!

    great post gf

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Oh I love this post Malanie, and it’s definitely one I’ll be coming back to at some point. 🙂 I love contemporary books, but I don’t read them as much as I do fantasy and sci-fi (which are the genres I’m trash for), and actually based on this post and the fact that I’ve only read two of the books you’ve featured I lean towards thrilling contemporary books (The Foxhole Court) and diverse contemporary books (Darius the Great is Not Okay). Also it’s all about YA for me, but if I ever decide to branch out into middle grade or adult I now have plenty of (what I’m sure are wonderful) recommendations!
    Great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      ahh BETH TYSMMM!!!

      I think if u hadn’t encouraged me to try Magical Realism, I would be a lost cause for fantasy beyond Harry Potter sldkfs

      HP is kind of easy to read and not so intimidating, but magical realism is helping me slowly become fantasy trash, my December goal
      ((I’m still so lost w sci-fi, I need to find the level-below-beginner’s Guide)))

      ++ I would for sure see u as mostly thrilling or diverse contemporary, I’m still so thrilled u loved my favorite series on this earth TFC ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Marie says:

    AHHH a contemporary guide I didn’t know I needed but deep down always wanted ahhhh I love this post so much. ❤ ❤
    I LOVE contemporary, it's my favorite genre ever and I'm always looking for more recommendations as well. I need to read more of Emma Mills' books, I've heard incredible things about This Adventure Ends and I can't wait!!
    On The Jellicoe Road is on my TBR as well and you put it in FEELINGS category and okay I'm all here for this and more!!!!!!!
    AND DARIUS the great has been on my TBR as well, I need to read it as soon as I can, it sounds incredible and exactly like my kind of book ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:


      You are going to love THis ADventure Ends so much, I think it might end up being one of your favorites, it was just ////***so wholesome***////

      *cries again thinking about Jellicoe Road*

      *but recovers thinking about Darius and his smol adventures*

      Liked by 1 person

  15. may says:

    i’m so contemporary trash but this post made me feel so validated wow what a queen. YOU LITERALLY HAD EVERY CATEGORIES POSSIBLE THIS WAS SO USEFUL AND INFORMATIVE, i love!!!

    so, i FREAKED when you mentioned this adventure ends bc ABSOLUTE FAV (the character omg i would die for them, especially frank, my son) and i didnt think i could internally scream any louder but then YOU MENTIONED JELLICOE AND JFKLDJALKJ IM BURSTING WITH FEELS RN

    no one talks about jellicoe enough and its a tragedy in itself, thank you for playing your part for the betterment of humanity.

    im so hyped to read roomies, i dont think i’ve ever read anything by the authors but ive only heard good things, so thats definitely going up on my tbr and yessss to the kiss quotient, amal unbound & gone girl.

    okay im going to stop my ranting essay here but this post was a blessing to my day thank you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:


      +++ Frank from This Adventure Ends was so lovable, and when Sloane calls to vent w him,,,,(bc he formally adopted her),,,and he’s like “um I adore your entire being but i don’t do emotions, here’s some bro advice tho bye”

      + Jellicoe Road ruined my evening bc I was crying so hard, SUCH A PRECIOUS STORY, SUCH SPARKLING FRESH FRIENDSHIP

      also Roomies was good but it was no Josh & Hazel dlkfj

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Rums the Reader says:

    Love this post and the guide you’ve created. I LOVE contemporary novels as well as a wide variety of other genres, but contemporary is what I find myself returning to, time after time. Especially nowadays when there are so many more diverse novels getting published, I feel like there’s something for everyone. I find these as much as an escape as any other fiction, just in a different way. Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. insidemylibrarymind says:

    Wow I love this post! I love that A Little Life is on here, especially since I don’t think people would ever include it in a list like this, even though it is technically contemporary. A pretentious, literary, soul-shattering contemporary. I love all of the recs here?? Emma Mills? Iconic, queen of YA contemporary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      omg Simon v. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is SO GREAT ❤ ❤ to this day I think about Simon and his adorableness.

      ++ i'm so upset w myself bc I had Crazy Rich Asians on loan from my online library and I accidentally returned it. so. i'm back on the waitlist for another 328 years 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Cindy says:

    I’m the opposite I barely ever read contemporaries haha. I do enjoy them though and I am trying to actively read more. I just always end up reading fantasy’s ah. Emma Mills’ books are on my TBR, so I’m glad it’s on your list! Wonder was such a lovely book. The Hating Game is on my TBR, so I’ll probably pick up 99 Percent Mine afterwards. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. acquadimore says:

    I love this guide! Now I really want to read Darius the Great is Not Ok – diverse contemporary isn’t the genre I read more often but I’m always looking for more of it.
    My favorite contemporaries are A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo and Final Draft by Riley Redgate (I’m not counting the ones that are mostly contemporary but have a bit of magic in them, that’s probably my favorite genre.)

    Liked by 2 people

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