4 YA Contemporary Books to Read Before the End of Summer

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 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 by Nina LaCour
Goodreads

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


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Goodreads

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 by Jenn BennettNight 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


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.jpg
Goodreads

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.


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Goodreads!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!

4 Books I Want to Read Before Summer Ends

Hello everyone! Today’s post will be really short. I just wanted to share with you the four books I really want to finish before the end of summer (partially to hold myself accountable)!


  • Königin der Finsternis von Sarah J Maas is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series. I’ve read all of the released books in the series multiple times, but I have started to reread this one in German to help me practice, so I would like to finish it. I’m currently only on page 14 so there’s still a long way to go! If you don’t know what this series about, it’s a YA/NA fantasy series and it’s amazing. Check out the first book in the series. 
  • Perfume by Patrick Süskind is another book that I started reading a while ago. I’m on page 84 and so far it’s slightly disturbing. Check it out. 
  • See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng is a middle grade contemporary novel about a boy who is recording a video to send into space, documenting what life on Earth is like. It seems like a really interesting and original book, so I’m looking forward to reading it. Check it out.
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers looks to be a promising Sci-Fi book in that it actually has to do with space (I think). Lots of people sing it’s praise, so I hope I enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to. Check it out.

And that’s it! I did say it would be a short one, after all.

What books do you really want to get to this summer? Have there been any you’ve loved so far? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Happy reading, Keira x.


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Goodreads!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!

The Adventure Book Tag

Hello everyone! I wasn’t tagged to do this, but I felt like doing it anyway when I found it. 🙂 Without further ado, let’s just begin!


Which character would you love to go an adventure with?


Hermione pointing wand, scared and fierce

I think Hermione would be great to go on an adventure with.

  • She has magic powers to save you from certain death
  • she’s so smart that she could definitely help think our way out of some sticky situations.
  • She went on so many adventures  that she’s definitely an expert by now!

If you could be any character for a day, who would you be and why?


I don’t really know what to answer for this one, because the only reason I would ever want to be someone else for a day would be to learn about how other people experience life, but I also don’t think I could deal with having to go through some of the things people go through.

I suppose it would be nice to pick someone with a really good love life so that I can live vicariously through them for the day? But there are so many heroines with amazing love interests that it’s impossible to pick just one!


What book is on your TBR bucket list?


Pride and Prejudice book cover

I tried to read Pride and Prejudice once before when I was about nine years old and found myself extremely put off by the very first line.

Strangely, nine-year-old Keira didn’t understand concepts such as satire and social commentary.

I have watched a couple of adaptations, but I know that they’re not very reliable, so I really need to read the book and see what all of the hype is about and why it’s such a beloved classic.

I even own a copy of the book, so it really needs to happen.


Which book has a contemporary setting you would love to go to?


The country I would most love to go is Norway, but I don’t know any books set in Norway. I also really want to go to a lot of other countries, but found that I don’t really have many books which specifically state where they are set.

The only one I could really think of were mostly set in London or Paris, both of which I’ve been to… or were books that aren’t amazing, but happened to be set somewhere I wanted to visit.

In the end I came to the conclusion that I need to read more contemporary books where the setting is important and defined! If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!


Which book has a fantasy/fictional setting you would love to go to?


Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuireApart from the obvious answer of Hogwarts (because like most people, I was really hoping to get that letter on my eleventh birthday), I would love to go to the world of Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire.

All of the different characters in that book are originally from our world, but found themselves drawn into other worlds. I’d be really interested to see what kind of world would draw me in!

Also, if you haven’t read Every Heart A Doorway, you should do as soon as possible because it is amazing!


What book or book edition would you do anything to get your hands on?


I don’t think there’s any book that I would have that level of dedication to in order to acquire a copy, but I would really like to keep the second-hand copies of books that I have from my parents or grandparents safe for as long as possible. I would love to pass them down to any future children I have and I would feel very guilty if they got damaged.

I don’t think I would do anything to protect them (say if there was a fire, the things I would grab would still be my phone to call for help and the teddy bear that I’ve had since before I was born) but that’s the closest answer I have.


Name a character who is very adventurous and daring.


 

Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass is very daring, especially lateen in the series and she takes a lot of risks when dealing with pretty important and terrifyingly powerful forces. She’s really powerful, of course, which helps, but she’s also really loyal and I admire her strength, especially in later books in the series.


Name the craziest or weirdest place you’ve ever read a book.


Falling down the stairs.gif

Reading whilst walking down the stairs is definitely dangerous, so I think that is probably the craziest place I’ve ever read a book!

Somehow I don’t think it ever caused me to fall down, but there were probably quite a few close calls and I definitely don’t do it anymore!

I like my bones unbroken and the skin to stay on my back (once I fell down the stairs and scraped the skin off my back… ouch)!


And that’s it!

I tag:

Cristina @MyTinyObsessions , Kelly @anotherbookinthewall, Ari @TheRomanceCorner, and Kat @LifeandOtherDisasters. Obviously you don’t have to do the tag if I tagged you and likewise, if I haven’t tagged you feel free to do the tag and link back to one of my posts so that I can see it 🙂


What characters would you love to go on adventure with? Let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy reading, Keira x.


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Goodreads!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!

6 Must-Read Books About Going on Adventures

Hello everyone and welcome to my first post on this new blog! My name is Keira 🙂

I thought I would start off with a slightly more casual post where I just recommend some books to you! Posts on this blog will surround weekly themes which I announce on my Twitter on Sundays. This week’s theme is adventure in honour of author Enid Blyton’s birthday on the 11th of August.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some great adventure stories!


The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton

The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton Book Cover (children on a boat on the sea next to some cliffs)
Goodreads

Enid Blyton was the inspiration for this week’s theme, so naturally she needed to be at the top of this list! Although her work on the Famous Five and Secret Seven series are probably more famous, the Adventure series featuring characters such as Lucy-Ann and the Mannering siblings remains my absolute favourites.

I own old copies of the books that my grandma had as a child, so they have a lot of nostalgic value and besides that the stories are just wonderfully engaging. As a child I also loved the Famous Five, although I never read the Secret Seven, but the Adventure books remain on my bookshelf to this day (it helps that there’s only eight of them!)

The books follow a group of children who end up moving in to an ancient mansion on the coast when Jack, Lucy-Ann and Jack’s bird Kiki follow Phillip home after boarding school is over. The two meet Diana, Phillip’s sister, and the four get up to all sorts of adventures.

The adventures are done mostly by themselves without adults, but as all good children’s series should, there are a plethora of good and supportive adult role models throughout the books who are neither annoying nor boring!


Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Goodreads

Another classic children’s book, Peter Pan is the perfect example of an adventure story. There are pirates, a world where nobody gets older and a boy who loses his shadow!

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, or the Disney version at least, and I actually didn’t read the book until recently, but I found it very much enjoyable.

If you happen not to know the story of Peter Pan then you are seriously missing out and you should go and read the book immediately… or at least watch the film!


The Little Queen by Meia Geddes

The Little Queen by Meia Geddes
Goodreads

Whilst there’s a reasonable to good chance you’ve heard of the previous to books on this list, you probably haven’t heard of this book.

The Little Queen is a slightly confusing, but rather brilliant story about a little Queen who is left to rule the country and goes on a journey travelling throughout the world she lives in where she meets a variety of people from people who walk all the way around the planet to people who make windows and she questions who and what she wants to be.

Not only does the character go on an actual journey, but she makes a personal and emotional journey throughout and Meia Geddes’ lyrical writing style makes the short book a very enjoyable read.


Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.jpg
Goodreads

This is an adult classic this time, and a rather unknown one at that.

Gilman’s most established work is her short story The Yellow Wall-Paper, which deals with rather dark topics to do with a woman being isolated from the world and her interests. Herland is a novella, rather than a short story, but still keeps the theme of very primitive feminism.

Three explorers find a forgotten land where only women live and have their eyes opened. Each of the men has a very different reaction and the way that the book is written gives an interesting insight into the psyche of the time as well as providing a rather interesting adventure story.


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Goodreads

On a more light-hearted note, Furthermore is a middle-grade fantasy novel from the author of the Shatter Me series. In this new novel, Tahereh Mafi is able to express her story through beautifully lyrical, but not overly complicated and busy writing in a way that she developed throughout the Shatter Me series and it was truly delightful to see how it came to fruition in this book.

Furthermore is certainly a fantasy novel, much like Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was definitely a fantasy novel, but similarly reads like a beautiful work of magical realism.

The main characters, Alice and Oliver grow a beautiful friendship form a rather tense beginning as they travel through the world of Furthermore, which is at once beautiful and dangerous, as they try to rescue Alice’s father. Nothing is as it seems and this adventure certainly has a lot of unexpected twists, making it both a beautiful and exciting read.


Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden

Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden
Goodreads

This is non-fiction and it’s also a graphic novel, but I wanted to include it anyway. It is perhaps not as exciting or exotic as many of the other adventures I’ve talked about today, but Sarah Glidden’s journey in Rolling Blackouts is contemporary and important.

Rolling Blackouts is a recollection of Glidden’s journey through the Turkey, Syria and Iraq and tells not only of her own experiences and realisations whilst working as a journalist there, but also the stories of the people she travelled with and the people they spoke to. It’s sad and hopeful and an eye-opener and definitely worth the read.


So that was it!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what your favourite adventure stories are by leaving me a comment!


If you have any requests for other reviews (be that books or music, old or new), leave me a comment below, pop me an email or go here for more information.

Have your own music or book to submit? Take a look at my review policy.

Also make sure to follow me on Twitter to see what the new theme is each week, follow this blog so you’re notified when I next post, and add me on Goodreads!

If you have a blog, pop a link down below along with a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look!