A Contemporary Guide For Newbies


I once was a frightened reader. "Of what?" you must be asking yourself. I'll tell you. I was afraid of the daunting genre that is known for making us emotional wrecks, breaking our hearts and slowly mending them, and forcing us to face tough issues. Why yes, I'm referring to CONTEMPORARIES.

I know that there are quite a few people who still avoid this genre at all costs. It's okay people, I'm here to help you through it with a contemporary guide!



Fluffy books make us feel so happy! These books make us grin and swoon and grin some more. We root for this couple and follow the highs and lows of romance until everyone has their happily ever after.

Fluffy - Adorable. Swoon-worthy. Romantic. Heart-warming. Blissful. Gushy. LOL.


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Some contemporaries are about social issues such as rape, sexuality, racism, sexism, etc. These books make us see a different way, they worm their way into our minds and really make us think. These books tend to be emotional reads but are worth it in the end.

Social Issues - Reflective. Strong emotions. Empowering. Intellectual.


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Other contemporaries focus on life and other tough (self) topics like mental illness. These books tend to be emotional as well and bring wonderful themes and lessons. They make us think about life in a different way.

About Life & Hard Topics - Tearful. Inspiring. Self-reflective. Impactful.


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And then there are the contemporaries that have loads of sexiness in it! They get pretty hot and heavy. Usually they're NA, and the couples have awesome dynamics and banter. These books are sometimes paired with wit and snark and lots of humor.

Sexy Times - Hot. Sexy Bits. OTPs. Great Couples. Hilarious Moments. Snark. Wit.


These are my recommendations! I hope you try one out. :)

26 comments:

  1. I am def in the terrified of contemporary camp-- I despise drama and for some reason my brain had linked contemporary with needless drama. I am being totally unfair, I know! Great post and recs :)

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  2. Oh, I'm definitely trying The Distance Between Us, Made You Up and I'll Meet You There. :)

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

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  3. I'm actually really surprised at how many people avoided contemporary books like I did xD This is a great guide, I only recently started really getting into contemporary YA but the books I have read out of these picks were AWESOME, so I think this will be really helpful :) Rites of Passage is one of my favorite books, but the ending to that romance WHYYYY

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  4. Thanks for this guide, Rachel!! This is just a reminder of all the books I seriously need to pick up . . . haha . . .

    After reading your 5/5 review, I NEEDED to get my hands on The Royal We, but the bookstore was completely out of stock! Currently expecting an Amazon package in the next few weeks. :)

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  5. I used to be the same way about contemporary and now I read them all the time. I LOVED I'll Meet You There! Made you up and Even in Paradise are on my TBR.

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  6. Thank you for this because I'm not quite terrified of contemporary books, seeing as I think they're great. I'll be checking these ones out soon ;)

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

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  7. I used to be afraid of contemporaries, I just wish this post was there to aid me theeeen. But I love these recommendations and need to check out I'll Meet You There asap.

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  8. Believe it or not, I used to hate contemporary genre haha xD I'm more into fantasy. But now, I'm addicted to it. There's something interesting about reading about someone's life. And also, the fluffy romance! That's the best part from contemporary :D Great guide, Rachel!

    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought

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  9. What a fantastic guide Rachel! I absolutely LOVE the contemporaries that focus on real important issues, and ADDICTED TO YOU is probably my favourite on this list.

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  10. Thanks so much for these recommendations Rachel! I *really* want to read Even In Paradise and Made You Up especially - they seem like really poignant novels. Kasie West is definitely on my list to read too - I have a copy of The Distance Between Us so hopefully I can start it soon :)

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

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  11. Ahh thank you so much for this!! I struggle a lot with contemporaries because I can't seem to find anything that works for me :/ I'll make sure to add these to my goodreads!!

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  12. This is such an adorable post, I just find it cute for some reason XD! I am not scared of contemporaries, I just prefer books that are out of this world (literally haha)
    Buttttttttttttttttttt I do need to read these <3 nice post, I will have to add these to my TBR shelf :)

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  13. I'm more into serious contemporaries than fluffy ones but I don't see why I shouldn't try them out once in a while :") I loved Addicted To You and that entire series, omgg, I'm so glad that there will be more stories in that "world", who knows if we might run into the Calloway sisters now and then :D

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  14. I used to avoid contemporaries like the plague but now I love them! I'll have to check out some of your recommendations.

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  15. I needed a guide like this when I started reading contemporary. I use to only read fantasy and Science Fiction but Jessica pushed more and more contemporary books at me. My favorite though is NA, I find it more "real" in many senses then some YA contemps. Great post and thanks for pushing Addicted To You at me :)

    Amber ❤ The Book Bratz

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  16. This is such an amazing post Rachel - and so helpful too! I've been thinking about how cool it is that there's so many different subgenres that fall under a contemporary category, and this really lists them all. It's amazing how one genre can attack and cover so many different things. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ♥

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  17. I agree with Rites of Passages and I'll Meet You There. The other ones, I haven't read them yet, but I did buy Made You Up so I should receive it next week. I also want to read The Distance Between Us because I've read On the Fence by Kasie West and it was pretty cute :))

    Have you heard or read the series Whispering Pines by Jen Calonita?? I've read the first book and it was SO good. The P.E.R.F.E.C.T, most perfect, summer read ever. ^^

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  18. Great post! I've been on a fantasy kick lately, but I'll have to try some of these. I like how you organized the recommendations into different categories!

    -Annie @ Indoor Sojourner

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  19. Out of all of these I've only read The Distance Between Us & I'll Meet You There, but I really want to read all the other books! Seriously, I think I have all of these on my tbr. Also, your gifs are so spot on. I love it :D

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  20. I love fluffy and about life & hard topics type of contemporary reads. SOme times I go around social issues as well but they're not my usual reads. Now I really need to read Made You Up soon...

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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  21. Kasie West is the Queen of Fluffy. I love her books; they are so adorable. Also loved I'll Meet You There. I'd throw in All the Bright Places for the hard topics one because it's amazing, and I seriously can't wait to read Made You Up (I've heard such wonderful things). And YESSSS to Addicted to You! I still haven't read any of the books besides that one but I loved it and definitely need to finish the series soon.

    This is such a great guide to contemporary!

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  22. Ohh if you put Even in Paradise next to Made You Up, then it must be pretty good! I loved MYU, and I actually have EIP on my TBR this month :D Can't wait to get to it soon!

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  23. The Distance between us and Ill meet you there I loved but Addicted to you and the whole series was just amazing.

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  24. I really want to read Made You Up. I heard great things about that one. I hope I get to read it. Great picks, btw!

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  25. GURL. Contemporary is my jam! Love that you rec'd I'll Meet You There, Made You Up, and The Distance Between Us. They are 3 of my favorites. <3 If you ever are looking for any recs yourself, don't hesitate to ask. :D Welcome to the contemp club!

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  26. I think Dana and I will be reading The Distance Between Us next month! :) I still have to read I'll Meet You There and a whole bunch! Thanks for all the recs!

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