Top 10 YA Contemporaries I’ve Recently Added to my TBR

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List.  This time last year I had fully immersed myself in YA fantasy reads so this summer I’ve decided to switch gears a bit and explore more YA contemporary reads.  Here are some contemporaries that have piqued my interest recently and that I hope to read this year.

Top 10 YA Contemporaries I’ve Recently Added to my TBR


1. WORDS IN DEEP BLUE by Cath Crowley

Goodreads Synopsis: Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.  (Read more…)

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2. LETTERS TO THE LOST by Brigid Kemmerer

Goodreads Synopsis: Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.   (Read more…)

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3. IF BIRDS FLY BACK by Carlie Sorosiak

Goodreads Synopsis:  A sparkling debut about love, family, and the mysteries of the universe.

Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

With humor and heart, debut author Carlie Sorosiak weaves a story of finding people who leave and loving those who stay, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Emery Lord. (Read more…)

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4. THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END by Adam Silvera

Goodreads Synopsis:  New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.”   (Read more…)

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5. DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone

Goodreads Synopsis:  Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.  (Read more…)

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Goodsreads Synopsis:  This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.. (Read more…)

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?  (Read more…)

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8. IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE by Christina June

(Publication Date:  August 29, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:    Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.   (Read more…)

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9. ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus


Goodreads Synopsis:  One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them. (Read more…)

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10. CITY OF SAINTS & THIEVES by Natalie C. Anderson

Goodreads Synopsis:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.. (Read more…)

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Question:  What YA contemporaries have you added to your TBR recently?

40 replies
  1. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog says:

    This is such a good list! I just bought It Started With Goodbye bc the Kindle version was on sale. I want to read the first two, the new Adam Silvera and One of Us is Lying. They all look so good! Great list!

  2. Sydney
    Sydney says:

    Definitions of Intagible things and One of Us is Lying are both on my TBR too. I’m looking forward to them.

  3. Kate @ Midnight Book Girl
    Kate @ Midnight Book Girl says:

    I read and adored It Started With Goodbye, plus I know the author from her blogging days. Words in Deep Blue, They Both Die at the End, and Dear Martin are all on my TBR piles, just need to get to them!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m so glad to hear you loved It Started with Goodbye. I picked it up on a whim because it was $1.99 on Amazon but I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I just picked up It Started with Goodbye on sale on Amazon so I’m excited to get to that one soon, and so far I’ve heard good things about One of Us is Lying so I have high hopes for that book as well.

  4. Greg
    Greg says:

    I have been loving contemporaries lately. And had pretty good luck with em too! One Of Us Is Lying was great, I loved it!

    Words in Deep Blue looks good too.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed One of Us is Lying. I look forward to reading your review on that one. 🙂

  5. Chrystal
    Chrystal says:

    Even though we both chose different genres, we both featured One of Us Is Lying! I’m really looking forward to this one.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      So glad to hear you loved Letters to the Lost. I hadn’t heard much about it, but the synopsis just sounded so good.

  6. ShootingStarsMag
    ShootingStarsMag says:

    I love contemporary novels. I really want to read Dear Martin and One of Us Is Lying. And of COURSE I need They Both Die at the End because Adam Silvera is a favorite of mine. 🙂

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’ve actually not read anything by Adam Silvera yet. I really need to do something about that because I always hear such great things about his books.

  7. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Awesome list!! At least half of the books you mention are already on my TBR pile.I just added DEFINITIONS OF INDEFINABLE THINGS by Whitney Taylor to my list thanks to you.

  8. Jovita
    Jovita says:

    Words in Deep Blue is also on my list, I’m going to add One of Us is Lying. I just started reading YA Contemporary this year and so far I’m finding some I really enjoy 🙂 Have a wonderful day.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Same here. I’ve been really pleased by all of the YA contemporaries I’ve read so far so hoping all of these will be great too 🙂

  9. Jessica @ Strung Out On Books
    Jessica @ Strung Out On Books says:

    All of these look so interesting! I’m particularly curious about Words in Deep Blue because it’s been getting mentioned on ton in my feeds lately! I just read In Started with Goodbye and I liked it! Great list!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed It Started with Goodbye. I’ve heard great things about it too so I’m looking forward to that one a lot.

  10. Zoe @ Stories on Stage
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage says:

    Yes to all of these! Everyone has been saying so many great things about Letters to the Lost and One of Us is Lying sounds amazing as well. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, I think Letters to the Lost is the one I’m most looking forward to reading. All of the reviews I’ve seen so far have been very positive about it. Thanks for stopping by, Zoe 🙂

  11. Bookshelves & Paperbacks
    Bookshelves & Paperbacks says:

    Great list! There are a bunch on here that I really want to get to as well, including SAINTS AND MISFITS and THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END. I loved Silvera’s first 2 books and if the synopsis for this is any indication, I’m sure I’ll love it too. IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE is a really cute summer contemporary. I hope you enjoy it!

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m reading Saints and Misfits now and absolutely love it. I haven’t read any of Adam Silvera’s books yet but from the great reviews I’m always reading, I definitely need to do something about that. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  12. Georgiana
    Georgiana says:

    Half of these are on my TBR as well. “Dear Martin” sounds like such an emotional read, I’m sure it will be just as moving as “The Hate You Give”. Amazing to see that more and more YA books talk about important subjects.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Right? I don’t remember YA tackling so many important subjects way back when I first started reading it. I’m so happy to see it happening now.

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