Genre Favourites #2 [YA Contemporary Fiction]

Young Adult Favourites

Welcome to part 2 of my genre favourites series! For this post I will be discussing some favourite YA Contemporary fiction reads. This is not a genre that I read a lot of, but I do pick up (and usually love) books of this genre when I am in the right mood. It was actually very easy to choose 4 books to discuss, they are the books that pop into my mind when I think of this genre, books that I will reach for time and time again, and books that have made an impact on me in such a way that I cannot forget about them.

Before I Die – Jenny Downham

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Sixteen year old Tessa knows she is going to die, and so she writes a list, entitled ’10 things to do before I die’. The book follows Tessa’s final months of life, as she sets out to accomplish everything on her list, and as she does so, she finds herself learning a lot about life, and what the important things really are.

I have read this book a number of times, and have enjoyed it immensely with each read. It is a book that makes you appreciate life and the world around you. It is not written in a bleak or depressing manner, the subject is dealt with fantastically, with honesty, humour and love. I laughed a lot while reading, and I cried a lot as the book reached its conclusion. I first found this book in my local library when I was around 17 years old, and after reading and returning that copy, I went out and bought my own edition, as I just knew it would be a book that I would want to return to in the future.

Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma

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Forbidden is a somewhat controversial novel. Its main characters are Lochan and Maya, and the told book is written from both viewpoints in alternating chapters. The essence of the novel, is a love story; about the love between Lochan and Maya. But it is forbidden, as they are brother and sister.

I was very moved when reading this book, I felt the love between the characters, and I felt their pain. They had suffered at home very much, and I think that their closeness, and love simply grew almost as a way of survival for them. I think that Forbidden is written beautifully, and I wrote down a lot of quotes while reading, that I wanted to remember when I finished the book. For example ‘at what point does a fly give up trying to escape through a closed window – do its survival instincts keep it going until it is physically capable of no more, or does it eventually learn that there is no way out? At what point do you decide that enough is enough?’

I did not find the incest affected my enjoyment of this book, but I feel I should point out, that I am an only child, and therefore am not plagued with images of my own siblings while reading this novel. I do have a friend who simply could not read the entire book, because of being unable to get the image of her sibling out of her head!

But I Love him – Amanda Grace

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‘But I love him’ is about the abusive relationship between Ann and Conner. It is told from Ann’s perspective in reverse chronological order. One of the reasons why this book resounded with me in such a strong way, is from the way It is told. We meet Ann at the very end of this abusive relationship, when she is left tattered, bruised and feeling at her worse. We then take the journey back, through the relationship, and as we reach the end of the book, we also reach the start of Ann and Conner’s relationship. I have never read a book that is written in this way before, and it makes the story incredibly powerful and moving. I highly recommend it, it is gripping, sad and also very educational.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

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Because of the current popularity of this book, I’m not going to delve into huge amounts of detail about the wonder of the love story between Hazel and Gus. I adore this book, I fell in love with the voices and characters of Hazel and Gus almost instantly, and I cannot adequately express my love for this book in written form. Speechless.

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