MINI REVIEWS! // 5 Contemporaries That Are Perfect For Summer

Do I ever stop reading contemporaries?

The answer to this question is a resounding no. Lately I’ve been reading contemporaries more than ever, and loving them more than ever, too. Today I’ll be sharing five contemporaries I read recently and loved so much that I had to share them with you, too!

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All of these books were featured in my June library haul,ย and this is the long-promised follow-up to that post in which I share my thoughts and ratings. I’ve been looking forward to this for ages now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’re looking for summer book recommendations, you’re in the right place! I’m here to help you find the perfect contemporary (or five) to add to your TBR. Let’s get started!


Everything Leads to You, by Nina LaCour



Page Count:ย 312


Rating:ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…



Before reading this book, I heard so much about it. There was a lot of hype surrounding it, so I was nervous to read it, butย it was absolutely perfect.

I kind of want to keep rereading this book over and over again (and knowing me, I probably will). The writing was amazing, the ships were theย best, and I felt fully submerged into Emi’s world.

The story follows Emi and takes place in the summer after her senior year of high school. She’s preparing for college in the fall, dealing with a break-up, and working as a set designer intern. Everything changes for her when she finds a letter that opens up a whole world of mysteries and new adventures.

As the adventures unfolded, I fell in love with Emi, all the friendship dynamics between her and her best friend, Charlotte, and of course theย adorable romance between Emi and a girl whose name I shall not mention becauseย spoilers. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was also SO interesting to read about all the set design and learn more about that.

This is a five star read if I’ve ever seen one! It’s perfect for any time of year, but if you’re looking for a summer contemporary that will melt your heart, look no further.


Girl Against the Universe, by Paula Stokes



Page Count:ย 400


Rating:ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†



I first fell in love with Paula Stoke’s writing when I readย This is How it Happened. I instantly wanted to read all her other books, andย Girl Against the Universe didn’t disappoint at all.

My favorite part about this book is definitely the characters. I quickly became a fan of the main character, Maguire. Maguire sees herself as a bad luck charm- no matter where she goes, horrible things happen to other people but never to her.

One thing I loved about this book was that Maguire constantly pushed herself and took risks instead of staying in her bedroom forever. She really grew as a character throughout the book, and that’s so important! I also loved the love interest…it’s an adorable romance that doesn’t take over the whole story, but is stillย so cute.

My only major complaint is that this book is a little long, but it’s so worth it to spend more time in Maguire’s world. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s perfect for a summer’s day!


Under Rose-Tainted Skies, by Louise Gornall



Page Count: 330


Rating:ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†



This book. *clutches heart*

Under Rose-Tainted Skies deals with anxiety, OCD, and agoraphobia. It’s not a light book, yet it still manages to tie in an adorable romance that had me squealing with happiness!

I can’t speak for extreme anxiety, OCD, or agoraphobia as I haven’t experienced them, but I do feel as if I understand them a lot better after reading this book. It was so interesting to be inside of Norah’s head as she battled with them, and I think the author did really well at the representation. But! Like I said, I really can’t say for sure, since I don’t have extreme anxiety, OCD, or agoraphobia.

I LOVED Norah’s relationship with her mom (who else loves parent-child relationships? because I’m all for them) and alsoย the romance. It was fairly slow-burning (for a YA contemporary) and awkward yet adorable and heart melting and heart breaking and I can’t stop squealing because I loved it that much. XD

This book isn’t light and fluffy, it deals with important issues, and that’s what makes it amazing. Now, off you go to read it. ๐Ÿ™‚


Saints and Misfits, by S.K. Ali



Page Count: 352


Rating:ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†



I didn’t have any prior knowledge or expectations going into this book, and I’m glad I didn’t. So I’ll try to be as subtle as possible in this review. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The thing that really got me about this book- the thing that made it so amazing to me- were all the relationships. The main character, Janna, has many different kinds of relationships with tons of different people.

You have her granddaughter-grandfather like relationship with the man she helps take care of, her sibling relationship with her brother, her complicated friendships, her sometimes-rocky-but-loving relationship with her mother, and…some other ones that I shall not say because this is a spoiler-free review.

I loved seeing her interactions with other characters, and that’s really what I loved about this novel! I also really enjoyed the Muslim representation, but as I am not a Muslim teen I can’t say if it was accurate or not.

I want to revisit this book again someday, and it was a great contemporary to read over the summer! There is a trigger warning, so please highlight here if you want to see it: sexual assault.arrow

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, by Maya Van Wagenen



Page Count:ย 272


Rating:ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†



This book was not what I expected at all.

Did I expect to enjoy it? Yes. Did I expect to read it in one sitting and love it? No. Spoiler, that’s exactly what happened.

This book had me captivated from page one! I was so eager to figure out how Maya’s quest to become popular would unfold. Her hilarious writing style, knack for storytelling, and adventures throughout the book had me hooked.

I wouldn’t call this book heavy in the least, but it wasn’t fluffy either? It was light and airy and the perfect summer read. Short, sweet, and incredibly entertaining.


And there you have it! I’m sorry this is a little late (I’ve been promising it since mid-June), but better late than never, right?

This was quite a few less books than my original library haul post, but I already reviewedย A List of Cages separately, and then I didn’t finish the other two books I got. Besides, last time I did this type of post, the amount of reviews I did was a bit…ambitious. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope even more that you came away with at least one new book added to your TBR!ย The monster grows larger. All of these books are great summer (well, and year round) reads.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Which ones do you still want to read? I’d love to chat with you in the comments.

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31 thoughts on “MINI REVIEWS! // 5 Contemporaries That Are Perfect For Summer

  1. Ahhh youโ€™re making me so excited about Everything Leads to You, Iโ€™m really tempted to move it up on my TBR now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And Girl Against the Universe sounds like such an amazing contemporary as well, I love character-driven books where the characters really grow and evolve.

    Wonderful post, Olivia! I really enjoyed your reviews. ๐Ÿ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay yay yay! Everything Leads to You definitely deserves all the excitement and attention and love. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

      It really is! Yes, same here- Girl Against the Universe is perfect for that for sure.

      Thank you so so much, Lily!๐Ÿ’“That makes me really happy to hear.


  2. I havenโ€™t read any of these yet, but they all sound so good! Contemporaries are the best and Iโ€™m glad you enjoyed these. And Under Rose Tainted Skies has been on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Everything Leads to You sounds amazing! And I really need to read a Paula Stokes book. I remember when Popular came out, but that’s another I need to read. hah I used to read YA contemporary all the time, but I mix it up a lot these days so I’m a bit behind on some of these.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, Everything Leads to You is such an incredible book.๐Ÿ’“If you do get around to reading it, I’m sure it won’t disappoint!

      Another Paula Stokes book that I LOVED (even more than the one I reviewed here) was This is How it Happened, so I would highly recommend that one as well.

      I think I’m a little too obsessed with YA contemporary… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy reading, Lauren!


  4. All 4 and 5 stars, that’s a very successful haul if I may say so!

    Thanks for bringing Everything Leads to You back to my attention. I put that book on my wishlist on Goodreads agessss ago and still haven’t got around to purchasing it. It’s good to know that it’s working me keeping it on there. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad to see you’ve had so many awesome summer reads!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! You could definitely say I loved all these books. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Oh, yay! I hope you get around to reading it soon, because it was amazing. I kind of want to convince everyone in the world to read it. XD

      Thank you! Wishing you all the awesome summer reads, too.


  5. Ahh fantastic reviews Olivia, I’m so glad to see so many contemporaries you enjoyed so much! โค I loved Everything Leads To You so much, as well as Girl Against The Universe, I'm so happy you felt the same way โค Under Rose-Tainted Skies was so great – it was not an easy read, it was intense, yet I loved it and it was really good to see amazing anxiety and OCD rep in this book as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. you got me hooked on wanting to read these!! I don’t want to forget!! I really think it is considerate of how you did the highlighting for the trigger warning…I have never thought of that before. Really kind of you, i’m impressed.
    I know this is a dumb question, but are contemporaries different that realistic fiction?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good! My mission has been accomplished.๐Ÿ˜I won’t let you forget about them, don’t worry. And thanks!
      That’s not that dumb of a question. XD Contemporaries are realistic fiction, but they’re set during modern times, such as right now, which makes them contemporary. I think.


  7. AHH yes, the highly anticipated post! :)) I’m so glad you liked all of them. As you know, I’ve read Popular, and I most want to read Girl Against the Universe and Saints and Misfits. Also, CONGRATS ON THREE HUNDRED FOLLOWERS. That’s so exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

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