Hi there! Thanks for stumbling upon this post. Maybe you were directed here from my Whitewashing Katniss Everdeen post, or are a kind friend who decided to peruse my site in a fit of boredom. Irregardless of intent, it’s a pleasure to have you.
You only have to know me for five minutes to know I am a huge young adult (YA) fangirl. Even though I am no longer in my teens, there is something inside of my that connects deeply with the messy, dark and twisty internal monologue of teenage YA protagonists.
And so, I thought I’d share my top 4 favourite contemporary young adult books. I actually found this list hard to create without making every book one by Laurie Halse Anderson, who is my ultimate author bae – which is why there are only four listed, and not five.
Straight up, this book should come with a massive trigger or content warning. It explores the reality of relapsing from an eating disorder in graphic detail, as well as exploring suicide and psychosis. Wintergirls is a startling study in using formatting to deepen the story, and is one that will haunt you long after you read it.
Those of you outside of Australia will probably know Marchetta as the author of Looking for Alibrandi. Saving Francesca is a novel about a young woman dealing with the breakdown of her family due to her mother’s apparently sudden onset of depression. It has a cast of colourful characters and remains one of my favourite home grown novels today.
This infamous, small novel perfectly encapsulates what it is like to be a person who is different and to feel that difference deep in your soul. Chbosky’s observations on identity show that Perks is a seminal YA text – one that writers can learn from.
Melinda Sordino is my spirit animal. The sarcastic, biting narration mixed with tree imagery makes this novel a true YA classic. The fact Speak shares a common yet often invisible story of a very young woman being sexually assaulted makes Halse Anderson’s book a utterly important read.
I’ll be posting lists of my favourite urban fantasy YA novels soon.
What are your fave contemporary YA books?