to be honest, I’m not much of a contemporary reader. If there’s no fantasy, I don’t want it. Except it sounds super good, then I’m getting all grabby hands. Somehow I read contemporaries mostly during summer. I don’t know why, but they somehow have a summer-y vibe even though they are set in winter. I know, that doesn’t make any sense. But it also does in a weird way. I should probably just stop. So, here we go.
HOUR OF THE BEES BY LINDSAY EAGAR
Hour of the bees is actually a middle grade, but I threw it in this list anyways. It is Lindsay Eagar’s debut novel and let me tell you, it is wonderful. We follow the story of a young hispanic girl who is forced to spend the summer with her family at her grandpa’s place. Which is a farm. In the middle of the desert. And he is also mentally ill. She just wants to go home. Until she discovers the first bee and strange things begin to happen. Soon, she grows on her grandpa, but family drama is going down and it might destroy everything.
This was such a heartfelt book, it was very emotional and full of love and friendship. And let me tell you, I cried. A lot. I fell totally in love reading this.
ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS BY STEPHANIE PERKINS
I believe Anna was one of the first contemporaries I’ve ever read. And I loved it. It was a lot of fun. I really liked the main character Anna, who goes to a Parisian school and gets thrown in with already existing cliques. She falls in love with a taken boy. She falls in love with the city. I fell in love with the book. I fell in love with Étinne, the love interest. Anna and the French Kiss is the first book in a trilogy which is only kind of a trilogy, because the books are not that much dependent on each other. And all of the books are light, happy books that made me smile a lot and just wanting more. Such fluff.
DRAMARAMA BY E. LOCKHART
This is probably THE ultimate summer contemporary. It’s all about drama and singing and musicals, the problems of the showbiz and friendship. I love it, because it has such unique characters. The main character is not a save-the-day or I’m-better-than-everyone-else kind of person, but basically the complete opposite. She’s angry a lot, but she’s also very kind and passionate. She’s at a summer camp where she is not the best. Her gay best friend is super popular. Their friendship has to go through a lot. But there are also other people, friends and foes. It is so much fun reading this book. And if you love musicals, you’ll have even more fun because you understand everything which I didn’t.
EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU BY NINA LACOUR
This, too, is a summer book. It is set in L.A., where we follow the story of a girl who works in the film industry where she designs the sets. She gets to know a lot of interesting people, for example her girlfriend who soon becomes her ex. But she soon meets another girl and is fascinated by that young actress. The book is written in soft tones, you feel with the characters. It is an enjoyable read for hot summer days.
RADIO SILENCE BY ALICE OSEMAN
Radio Silence is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read. Not only is it diverse (LGBT+ characters, black characters, Indian characters), the story itself is also really good. The main character Frances is a fangirl par exellence who gets to work with her idol. Her best friend is suffering from his mother. His sister and Frances‘ ex-best friend is missing. The book shows the good and bad sides of fame, shows how difficult it is to grow up and become an adult. It shows what pressure can do to a person. And Alice Oseman does this with such great words, they seem to be picked straight out of the internet, where the story actually starts. Really, Radio Silence is such a great book and I will probably never stop recommending it to each and everyone.