February 9, 2014

Sunday Spiel: Contemporary YA

Contemporary YA is a topic of interesting to me, because I think it doesn't just fall under one category. There are different types of contemporary - not that one is better or worse than the other - and they should both be talked about and approached in a different way.

Before I get into this , I'd just like to say these are my opinions. I am in no way saying that you should have these opinions or that mine are correct. This is simply a post open to discussion, and you're free to share your opinions as well. :) I love hearing them!

Okay. So, contemporary YA. *deep breath* I adore everything about this genre. It's one of my favorites, especially because dystopian can become really tiring. (I've been avoiding all dystopian books for a while now, mainly because I feel like the characters and story lines are just becoming so repetitive, and I can't stand to read another repeat again.) But as far as I see it, there are two types. I think I may have mentioned this in a post before, but it was just a small, off-hand comment. Not anywhere near a discussion.

The first type of contemporary YA is fluff. Fluff is, to put it simply, the best. Not if I'm in the mood for something serious, of course, but if I'm completely stressed out and I need an escape, I want to read fluff. Something cute, something that will make me smile, something that will put me in a better mood. Examples of this are anything Sarah Dessen (for the most part), Sarah Ockler (again, for the most part), Joanna Philbin, Morgan Matson (though these books make me sob as much as they make me cry), Stephanie Perkins, and Huntley Fitzpatrick.

The second type of contemporary is real contemporary. Serious. Depressing (usually). As in, cry-buckets-of-tears-because-life-shouldn't-have-to-be-like-this depressing. I'm just going to admit it right now - I love these books. Depressing books/movies are my favorite, and I have no idea why. I just adore them. I mean, I have to be in the right mood, but when I am, boy do I enjoy them. Authors of these books include Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Jennifer Brown. Not as many, really.

I think more people want to read fluff. A lot of people turn to books as an escape, not a harsh reality check. Which is why there are more authors of fluff. I like reading both for different reasons, but I definitely have to be in the right mood for either one.

Which type of contemporary do you like better? Do you think there are any other types? Share your thoughts! :)


  1. Its interesting because I feel like the contemporary (that I read) is very repetitive and predictable. There is something about the more 'real life' story-lines that I can just guess what's going to happen whereas in other genre's can have surprise twists that you don't expect at all. But maybe I'm not reading the right kind of books. I have to say that right now fluff is exactly what I need- do you have any specific recommendations?

  2. I agree 100% about dystopian YA, I can't even finish the Uglies series. I have just read too much dystopian to even care what happens in the last book.
    The fluff part of YA contemporary is not my favourite but when I pick a novel up, I always seem to like them. What do you think of historical YA?

  3. I usually like the second type more. I don't know why. Maybe it's because they touch me on a deeper level. I like to thing. I like to feel. But sometimes I do need fluff. And I enjoy it. What I *really* love is something that's kind of inbetween. Like I LOVED 45 Pounds (more or less) by K.A. Barson for this reason. It was mostly fluff, but it upset me in a good, slightly deeper way at the same time. Great post!

  4. I am actually also avoiding dystopian books at the moment, just because I'm not in the mood to read dystopian books. I am currently loving just reading fluffy reads and I love fingerling about OTP's and my ships and they are great. However, I do really like dramatic books though, I love sobbing at books I don't really know why.

    I must also mention that I adore your website, last time I was here, it was completely different. At least, as far as I can remember :P

  5. I'm not really a huge fan of contemporary YA, but when I do read it, I'm definitely more interested in the second category...the stuff that makes you sad and feel a lot of feelings. I'm not sure why, but I can't seem to get interested in the fluffy stuff. Occasionally it's exactly what I want to read, but that doesn't happen too often. I wish I knew why I was like this! I definitely want to be able to read more of that kind of stuff...but I don't know. I guess it's just not my "thing."

  6. See, I don't like to read fluff. I find fluff boring. That's why I can't read much romance. I like the deep stuff where the characters go through something and *do* something worth writing about.

  7. I guess I'm more for the rip-your-heart-out contemporary. I like contemporaries with a bit of meat on them...something to chew over. The fluff is okay...but I really have to be in the mood for it. ;) Or I get frustrated. But then, I really don't like chick-flick movies or anything either. XD