For a few months now I have been making posts called ‘My Top Reads’ where I talk about, shockingly, my top reads within a certain topic or genre. So far I have done ones such as my top middle grades, my top underrated reads, my top metal health books and more. And I really love doing them. And while I have been writing them I have realised that I have never just told you my general favourite reads.
So, over the next months I have decided that I am going to do a few posts talking about my top 10 books in a few general categories, such as trilogies, series, duologies, contemporary standalones, fantasy standalones and more. and today I am kicking it off with my top 10 contemporary standalones. These are in no particular order, mainly because I love them all equally. So, let’s do this.
- When We Collided by Emery Lord
This book is a stunning young adult contemporary. It follows two main characters, Jonah and Vivi as they spend their summer falling in love with each other. Vivi whirls into town, this vibrant, bundle of energy and turns Jonah’s life upside down. All is not as simple as it may seem though. Jonah is still grieving his father, dealing with his mother’s break down and trying to play parent to his three young siblings and Vivi has plenty of demons herself. It is a beautiful story about love and loss, darkness and light. It is truly wonderful.
- We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Set on a private island, you follow Cadence as she slowly uncovers the events that scared her family. This young adult contemporary will break your heart. It grips you from page one, pulling you in. It handles the topic of PTSD with amazing care and attention and addresses everything amazingly. You will not be able to put it down. It is a truly stunning book with so many twists and turns it will leave you dizzy. This is one of my favourite reads ever. If you are only going to read one book this year, make it this one (although word of warning, do not read any reviews before reading it. Just trust me on that one).
- Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
You need to read this book. Follow 16-year-old Vivian through most of the junior year at East Rockport High. At this very corrupted school, the football team are hailed as gods, allowed to do as they please with no repercussions, not even by teachers. Viv has had enough of ‘make me a sandwich’ comments, strictly enforced dress codes that only target girls, being grouped in hallways and all the other stuff that is going on at her school. So, taking inspiration from her ex rebel mother, she starts a zine called Moxie and triggers a revolution. This is a brilliant book. It explores feminism and girl’s rights and the idea that one girl can cause a change. I read this in just one sitting. It is brilliant. Everyone needs to read it.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
if you are only going to read one book this year, it needs to be this one. This incredible YA contemporary follows 16-year-old Starr as she witnesses her best friend get murdered by a cop, and the aftermath of this event. The whole book is themed around the black lives matter movement and is such an important read. But not only is a topic that we all need to focus on and tackle more, the book itself is incredible. You are instantly so connected to the characters and you want justice for them. Honestly, everybody needs to read this book.
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This is the story of a 17-year-old girl’s suicide. After Hannah takes her own life, tapes suddenly start arriving on her classmate’s doorsteps, on them, Hannah’s reasons for ending her life. Throughout this book you see how people’s actions have consequences, how everything is all linked together and entwined. And how everything can snowball. This is a heart-breaking story and is well worth a read. You will laugh and cry and really connect with the characters. I do suggest listening to this one, is because of the format of the book. The book is told from Clay’s (one of the people who has received the tapes) POV but is primarily Hannah speaking. The audiobook is read by Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone who each take a POV. This just makes the story a lot easier to follow and much more enjoyable. There is also something about listening to this that just feels right. Plus, they are both amazing actors who really help to bring the story to life and to connect you to the characters. But however you read it, this is one of those books that you just cannot put down.
- The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
This is hands down the best contemporary that I have read in ages. This story follows 17-year-old Molly over the course of one unforgettable summer. She is the girl who has had 26 crushes, but never done anything about it. this story follows her as she develops crush 27, makes new friends and generally starts to discover who she is. This is a beautiful story full of brilliant characters, and realistic storylines. I have never related to a story as much as I did this one. It is sweet and funny and so good. It is the perfect summer read.
- I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
This YA contemporary is absolutely stunning. Although it is primarily set during the summer, this book is definitely a good winter read. This beautiful story follows twins Noah and Jude as they struggle with the reality of being a teenager and all the struggles that come with it. This book tackles some really difficult topics such as homosexuality, grief, bullying and so much more. This book is beautifully written and is such a beautiful story. You can’t help but fall in love with it. Even if you don’t like contemporary books, you will like this one. It drags you in from the first page and you won’t want to put it down.
- Paper Towns by John Green
Paper Towns is the perfect spring contemporary. Set in May, follow Q and his friends as they try to unravel the mystery that is Margo and find out where she has gone. This is a brilliant story about love, isolations, friendship and adventure. You can’t help but fall in love with it. It is sweet and funny but also dark and it tackles some serious topics. It is one of those books that you want to read in one sitting. It is perfect to curl up with during spring and just lose yourself in.
- Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
This is a stunning YA contemporary that follows two teenagers, Maggie and West, as they both struggle to come to terms with losing a parent. The pair connect over their joint experiences and slowly fall for each other. This is a beautiful story about loss and love, friendship and trust, and the idea that no two people experience the same thing, in the same way. It is honestly such a good book. It is beautifully written and you will instantly fall in love with the characters and the story. It is the first in a series of companion novels titled ‘The Field Party’ and they are well worth a read.
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is one of my favourite contemporaries that I have read this year. It follows 18-year-old Cath, an avid fanfiction writer, as she navigates her way through her first year of college. this book is full of brilliant characters, amazing relationships and complex storylines. You cannot help but fall in love with the characters and the storyline. It is sweet and funny, but also sad and so relatable. This story was so much more complex then I was expecting and I ended up really enjoying it.
And there we have it, those are my top 10 contemporary standalones. Obviously, this list is always changing. I am always reading and falling in love with new books. But, as of this moment in time, these are my top 10, all-time favourites. What are yours? Any of mine on your list? And are there any other lists that you would like me to do? besides the ones I mentioned at the start? I hope that you have enjoyed todays post and I will see you all again very soon.