Thoughts #45: Contemporary for Cynics


I’m not typically one for contemporary fiction. I tend to like my books with adventure, time travel, dragons or wizards. But occasionally I find a contemporary novel that really works for me. Therefore I wanted to share those particular novels here for my fellow contemporary cynics!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


I won Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell from a fellow blogger (thank you Lianne!), and I am SO glad I did, because I’m not sure if I would have picked out for myself. It would appeal to anyone who considers themself to be part of a fandom, or is particularly passionate about a book, television show etc. Cath is so relatable, definitely someone for bookworms to connect with. The romance is sweet and genuine, born from a friendship rather than any kind of insta-love. For some, this might hit home – the worries of starting university (or a new job etc) as an introvert, meeting new people, socialising. Fangirl gets what it means to be an introvert and passionate, and is definitely a recommendation for people who feel like they fit either category.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The main reason I picked up We Were Liars was due to the hype – so when it was £0.99 on the Kindle store, I thought why not? It reminded me, at least at the start, of the summers I’d always wished for as a child – the kind where each day presents a new and magical adventure, where the summer passes in a slow, warm state of bliss. However, there is much more to We Were Liars than a bunch of rich kids enjoying their summer. It has much more depth to it than you initially realise, and the ending may leave you a little heartbroken.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones’s Diary has been one of my favourite books for a long, long time. Despite it being part of a genre I tend to avoid – not just contemporary but also ‘chick lit’, I absolutely love it. Bridget is hilarious, a 30-something singleton who fears dying alone and being eaten by alsatians… Her sense of humour is perfect and she manages to get herself into so many ridiculous scenarios. The sequel is also excellent, but the third book, which came out over fifteen years after the first, is one to be avoided…

Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon and the Homo Sapien Agenda

Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda was one of those Young Adult books I’d heard a lot about, and I thought it sounded a bit John Green-esque. I spotted it in my local library and thought I’d give it a shot. I made the mistake of starting this late at night, and then had to stay up far too late to finish it in one go. I read it in 2 and a half hours because I HAD to know who Blue was. I’m so glad it turned out the way it did! It is a truly adorable tale.

Are there any contemporary titles you would recommend for people who don’t usually read the genre?


18 thoughts on “Thoughts #45: Contemporary for Cynics”

  1. I love your new blog design! How long ago did you change it?

    Fangirl and Simon vs. are two of my all-time favorite books. I was nervous about them because of all the hype, but they both surpassed my expectations. I’m glad you had the same experience. I read Bridget Jones years ago, but I remember laughing quite a bit.

    I read more contemporaries than you, so here are some of my favorites:
    -Anything by Melina Marchetta (Jellicoe Road & The Piper’s Son are the best)
    -All the Rage by Courtney Summers
    -Mosquitoland by David Arnold (super quirky)
    -Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
    -I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
    Every Last Word is probably the most traditional contemporary on the list, but I thought it dealt well with the topic of mental health.

    1. Thanks 😀 Only a day or two ago!

      I’ve read Finnikin of the Rock, so I’m aware of Melina and have heard about Jellicoe Road. Might have to keep an eye out for it 🙂 The only other book I’ve heard of from that list is Mosquitoland, I did try and get a review copy of it actually!

      1. Oh good, I was worried you’d done it ages ago and I somehow hadn’t noticed. XD

        Let me know if you end up reading either one of those! I hope you like them. 🙂

      2. Haha 🙂 Nah I was getting a little bored of the other one, it was up for over a year – which is definitely a record for me.

        Will do!

  2. I’ve been scared of the hype from when We Were Liars came out, but I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it! I do own it (I was supposed to read it for a book club meeting that I never went to) so I’m hoping to get to it at some point.

  3. Kasie West and Emery Lord are great contemporary writers. I ADORED Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I highly recommend that one!

  4. I would recommend The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord to contemporary. It’s definitely my fave YA contemporary I’ve read yet – the only one I’ve ever given 5 stars! I think part of it is because there’s nerdy banter which fans of Firefly and Jane Austen will appreciate, but also there isn’t a ton of drama like there can be in some contemporary books. I also enjoy Kasie West’s books!

    1. Oooh that sounds interesting 😀 What’s so great about doing posts like these is that I probably would not have considered reading either of those authors before this, but since so many people have commented and named those two authors, I’m much more convinced to give them a shot.

  5. I totally agree with this list. Contemporaries, especially of the YA variety don’t really work for me but I enjoyed all of the ones on your list. Except Simon… I have yet to read that one.

    It’s a shame that I can’ think of any others to recommend!

    1. I feel like it’s definitely hard for me to find the right contemporary book, but if I’m using the library, I have nothing to lose when trying them out, right? Definitely give Simon a try, such a sweet story.

  6. I love your new blog design!

    As for your question, I always recommend Fangirl first. I just love Rowell’s writing style and feel like it is an easy book to fall for. I recently read The Distance Between Us by Kassie West and would totally recommend it without reservation to anyone who wasn’t sure about that fanfic aspect of Fangirl. And, I read a bunch of contemporary books last year to get over my cynicism about them, and Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor was totally up my alley. I noticed people were split about the narrator, so I guess you have to like snarky/up front main characters to enjoy it.

    1. Thanks 😀 Got a little bored of the old!

      Yes, it is definitely my first one too – especially with fellow book nerds because it really resonates. Not heard of Melissa Kantor before, so I shall take a look 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s