Hello everyone! We’re past the half-way point of August which means summer is almost over!
The other day I talked about the four books I want to read before the end of the summer, but today I wanted to recommend four books for you to read!
I personally love reading YA contemporary books during the summer, especially slightly fluffier and romantic ones. Hence, I’m going to be sharing with you four of my favourite YA contemporary books.
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Everything Leads to You follows the story of a young set designer, Emi, and how she falls in love with Ava. It’s an ode to beautiful romance and also to the magic of Hollywood.
This is perhaps one of my favourite LGBTQ+ YA books simply because it isn’t about being LGBTQ+.
Of course books which explore the struggles some people face with their sexuality are important, but sometimes I just want to read a book where I can think “oh this is a really sweet romance” and the main character just happens to be lesbian.
Being lesbian isn’t Emi’s defining trait and it doesn’t define this story either. The characters undergo important, realistic character development and the writing is gorgeous too.
It’s been awhile since I read this book, so I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but I remember loving it so you should definitely check it out!
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I’m certainly not the only person to sing this book’s praises and it’s very much beloved in the blogosphere so you may well have seen this book before if you haven’t already read it yourself!
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is probably technically not a contemporary novel as it is set in 1980s El Paso, Texas, but I’m including it anyway, because it reads more like a contemporary than a historical fiction… and the 1980s aren’t that long ago.
The story follows two boys- Ari and Dante- through their later teen years. It’s about two loners becoming friends and the trials and tribulations of growing up and accepting yourself.
This book touches on LGBTQ+ themes as well, amongst many other issues which are particularly relevant for teenagers. Above all, though, this book is written in such an absolutely incredible way that you can’t help but fall in love with it!
Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
Night Owls is one of my all-time favourite romantic YA contemporaries. It follows the story of Beatrix who meets a boy called Jack on the San Francisco night bus. Jack happens to be one of the city’s most notorious graffiti artists, but of course nothing is that simple.
I’m a sucker for artsy books (in terms of characters who like artsy things), so I’m already predisposed to like the book when one of the main character’s is a graffiti word artist and the other draws anatomical drawings, but when the writing is as gorgeous as this book I couldn’t help but fall in love.
Not only is this book really fun to read, but it’s also well thought out and touches on important topics. The romance is healthy and realistic, an emphasis is placed on healthy and consensual sexual activities, the characters’ parents play a role in the story and aren’t complete idiots or horrible people.
The book also touches on topics such as schizophrenia, having family members which are dealing with some kind of illness or disorder and has both LBGTQ+ and homeless side characters, which are important to feature in a book as part of a diverse cast, even if they’re not the main characters.
Overall, this book isn’t world-changing because it is just a romance story, and not that unique, but the way the book explores the romance is just so phenomenal that you just have to read it!
note: this book is also known as The Anatomical Shape of the Heart in the US.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
A lot of you have probably heard of this book and it was even made into a film (Love, Simon) earlier this year! The film is really good, by the way, so I definitely recommend you watch it after reading this book!
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda follows a teenaged boy, Simon, who writes anonymous emails to a boy called Blue, talking about his innermost thoughts.
When the class clown discovers the emails Simon can’t risk him or his friend Blue getting exposed and finds himself being blackmailed into setting Martin up with one of his friends. Which obviously doesn’t end well.
This book covers a lot of themes alongside the romance- bullying, friendship, loyalty and accepting yourself amongst other things, making it both a really funny book (because the humour is hilarious) and an important book as well. Also- Simon has a supportive and loving family, which I am all about.
And that’s it! Thank you for reading this post 🙂
What books do you enjoy reading in the summer? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
Happy reading, Keira x.
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