|Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.|
This week's prompt is our Top 10 favorite books in any given genre, and in a move that's surprising even to myself, I decide to talk about my favorite realistic contemporary books. I know, I know — this is a shocker. Every time I get a contemporary book, or wishlist a contemporary book, I talk about how I don't really read contemporary... Maybe it's actually a case of the lady doth protest too much, but for some reason, contemp book don't normally end up on my radar, or high on my wishlist, and I tend to think of them as all throwaway fluffy romances and books about Mean Girls being mean (which is absolutely not fair to the genre, which has some real stand-outs!). Because of that, I thought I'd talk about the ones I really, really do like, and remind myself how much I actually do (apparently) like contemporary, even if I don't always admit it...
10. The Summer I Turned Pretty and A Little Wanting Song
A Little Wanting Song just charmed me. It may have been the first realist contemp book I've truly liked, at least as an adult reader.
9. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
A deep soul-connection in a 24 hour span? To some people, that sounds dreamily perfect, but to me it sounds so saccharine I can barely stand it. Fortunately, there's something about Statistical that just works, and it skillfully avoids being saccharine and cheesy. (Okay, it's a little cheesy. It has an acceptable amount of cheese.)
Proving that not all realistic contemporary has to be serious or heartbreaking, the Heist Society series is charming good fun. Okay, maybe a little less on the "realistic" side, since it's a crime family caper, but still.
7. Something Real
I've talked pretty recently this book, and how pitch-perfect, affecting, funny and spot-on it is. And it shows just how ridiculous "reality" can be.
6. Anna and the French Kiss...
*Well, not now. I actually really love the cover redesigns (above), but the original... Oof.
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
Sherman Alexie, man... Sherman Alexie. He is a master of the funny-sad.
4. The DUFF
This book did things to me. I thought I'd like it, but damn. (Also, one of the few contemporaries I've reread, and know I will reread again in the years to come.)
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
[Which is why it is BEYOND AWESOME that I'll be giving it away this year for World Book Night!!]
2. basically anything by AS King.
and #1, without a doubt, is...
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (or On the Jellicoe Road in countries that are not my own, so if you're not in the US, check under either title.)
And I can't even begin to tell you why, if you haven't read this book, you should. Soon. Now.
Okay, so that was technically more than 10. I also probably should have tried to work Looking for Alaska in there, somewhere... Now, since this is all realistic contemporary fiction, it doesn't include the other contemp-but-paranormalish books I love, like Before I Fall, or dystopia-tinged stories like How I Live Now, or the myriad magical realist books that I adore. And if I could have included Madapple, which seemed a little too odd a fit for this list, I absolutely would have. Love it.
Honorable mention to Austenland, which is a little too far-fetched for me to call realistic (are there people that obsessed with Jane Austen? Yes. *points to self* Do they really get a Darcy in the end? No. *sobs*)
But there you have it: a damn fine list.
What are your fave contemporary realist reads? And if you take part in Top Ten Tuesday, which genre did you pick, and what are some of your faves?