Tuesday 13 September 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Favourite Books From The Contemporary Genre'.

I'm not normally a huge fan of picking favourites, especially in a particular genre.  I find it so hard! I know that in the past I've covered Fantasy and Historical Fiction, two of my favourite genres, as well as looking at Fairy Tale retellings! I thought I'd look at a genre that I don't enjoy as much because when it comes to Contemporary, it has to be really good in order to catch my attention!

1) 'Seven Ways We Lie' by Riley Redgate.

This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I honestly feel strongly about teens and young adult readers reading it. It has an intriguing plot, and while seven POVs might sound like a lot, Redgate handles them all no problem. My favourite thing about the book however was the fact that it's characters were diverse: sexually and ethnically, with the inclusion of strong female characters to put the cherry on the cake. It really reminded me of my own sixth form experiences which was refreshing to read, be cause I normally find books with a school setting difficult to relate to.

2)  'The Rosie Project' by Graeme Simsion.

There's no doubt about it, if you're looking for a funny read then this could be the book for you. I first heard about this book when my Mum purchased it and begged me to read it. She knew that these kinds of books are not usually my kind of thing but I'm glad I gave it a go because I read it while on holiday, and it turned out to be the perfect beach read! I liked it's sequel 'The Rosie Effect' too, though didn't find it nearly as charming as the first in the series.

3) 'The Shock Of The Fall' by Nathan Filer.

I heard great things about this book and fell for it's cover so I was really pleased when the content proved to be as good as it's appearance. I was a big fan of the unreliable narration style provided by Matt, a deeply eye-opening and interesting character to read about. Watching his mental illness get progressively worse was heart-breaking too, but best of all I enjoyed the fact that Filer really knew his stuff in terms of how 'the system' works. A well-researched, thought-provoking novel by a talented writer.

4) 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green.

This book was a hit not too long ago, and as soon as I read it I understood why. It made me bawl like a baby, shattered my soul and broke my heart all in one, but at times it was extremely witty, insightful and well-written. It was one of my sister's many great recommendations and despite my huge phobia of books that will make me cry, I managed to push past it in order to read it! Well worth the tears I think! Also, having been to Amsterdam now, it was so fun to see some of the places that Hazel and Gus will have gone to.

5) 'All The Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven.

Along a similar line, this was also a very sad book, but for an entirely different reason. Not long after reading 'The Fault In Our Stars', Goodreads and Amazon continually tried to recommend it to me, and I eventually caved and bought myself a copy. It took a lot of prompting from my two lovely flat mates before I got round to reading t however, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Finch was a great character, who provided a really unique outlook into mental illness. I can't wait to read more by this wonderful author!

6) 'Beautiful Broken Things' by Sara Barnard.

I adored this read. For so many reasons. When I went to YALC I actually watched Sara Barnard talking on a panel and doing so reaffirmed my love for it! Finally a book about friendship! If you're after romance, try almost every other YA Contemporary out there, because this is one of the few that doesn't even hold a scrap of it! Instead it focuses on issues of toxic friendships, domestic violence and mental health, all things that I think more books need to focus on in the future.

7) 'If You Find Me' by Emily Murdoch.

This book is a little different to my other contemporary reads, especially in terms of setting and character situations. That's because it's actually a book about neglected children and family, and how young people would cope when the lives they have grown adjusted to are completely turned upside down. I really enjoyed the story for a number of reasons, but most of all because the plot felt so different from the usual kind of thing I read in YA Contemporary.

8) 'The Girl On The Train' by Paula Hawkins.

I couldn't resist choosing this one, a recent read of mine. Why? Because very few thrillers impress me that much and this one really did. I bought it on a whim, as a large number of people in the Book Blogosphere were really into it! I too felt instantly sucked in as soon as I began page one. The mystery and plot are full of twists and turns which I loved, but most of all the characters in it are really good quality. It's a story abut survival, overcoming obstacles and what it means to be strong and 'right'. 

9) 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky.

It has actually been a really long time since I read this book, but I still remember vividly how much I enjoyed it. Having watched the film beforehand, it did take me a little while to get into the story in the same way. However, once I had done so I was hooked. The thing that really makes this book great is it's characters: Charlie is adorable, Sam so intensely vibrant, and Patrick (my favourite of them all) absolutely hilarious yet noticeably vulnerable. 

10) 'Good Kings, Bad Kings' by Susan Nussbaum.

Last but certainly not least, I will never stop raving about this book. I won it from the Goodreads 'First Reads' giveaways and wasn't completely convinced that it would be my cup of tea. How wrong was I?! This book was everything I wanted it to be; filled with distinct, unique and diverse voices. I loved that Nussbaum really got into the heads of all of her characters and did a great job at showing just how awfully corrupt homes for the mentally ill can be in the USA.

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