8 YA Contemporary Recommendations! // Mini Reviews & All the Heart Eyes

Hi, I’m Olivia, and I love contemporaries way too much.

Okay, maybe not way too much, because there’s no such thing as loving contemporaries too much. They deserve all the love and hugs and heart eyes in the world, am I right?! The answer is yes.

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Today’s post is my long-awaited at least by me mini reviews of the books I got in my last library haul, as well as reviews of a couple other books that I read but that didn’t come from the library. All of these are YA contemporaries that I would recommend to all of y’all, and I hope this post helps your TBR turn into even more of a monster. 😉

Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Girl Out of Water, by Laura Silverman

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Page Count: 350

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★★★

 

This book was unexpectedly amazing.

I expected to like it, and I expected to think it was a cute, summery read, but did I expect to absolutely love it?! No. And did I? YES. From the friendships in this story (the BEST group of best friends ever) to the slightly-insta-love-but-still-adorable romance, to the family dynamics (basically the best father-daughter relationship ever), I loved every second of it.

Honestly, it one of my favorite reads of the summer. That’s saying a lot!

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A Thousand Perfect Notes, by C.G. Drews

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Page Count: 282

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★★★

 

I have been waiting for this book for so long, and it was definitely worth the wait.

I fell in love with all the characters (my pRECIOUS Beck! and August is the loveliest ever! and can we just adore Joey?!) and loathed the Maestro, and loved all the mentions of cake. Since this book isn’t available in the US, I ordered it from Amazon, and I’m so happy I did because now I have it on my bookshelf to reread over and over again.

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The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls, by Jessica Spotswood

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Page Count: 320

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Never underestimate the power of a book built on sister relationships. The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls exceeded all my expectations, and then some.

I was in love with the sister bonds (all the Penderwicks vibes), the diversity, the romances, the feminism, the pop culture references and did I mention the sister relationships?! AND THE DIVERSITY. I still can’t get over how much I loved this book.

If you’re looking for a summery and fun contemporary, this is for you! And even if you’re not…still read it. 😉

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Not the Girls You’re Looking For, by Aminah Mae Safi

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Page Count: 336

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

I thought this was going to be a light read? I’ve never been more wrong.

Even though this wasn’t what I expected, I still loved it! It did take me a little bit to get into this book, but once I got into it, I literally couldn’t put it down. This was a read-while-I-was-brushing-my-teeth kind of book.

You’ll fall in love with the crazy Lulu, her amazing group of friends (y’all! the friendship dynamics in this book!!), and I’m still over here crying my eyes out about how much I love the ship between Lulu and someone who you’ll find out about when you read this amazing book!

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Wanderlost, by Jen Malone

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Page Count: 321

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

This is the perfect contemporary to read when you need a whole lot of fluff and a whole lot of happiness in your life.

It definitely did give me wanderlust, and I loved reading about the adventures Aubree took through all these beautiful European countries, and I loved the ship (but kind of hated how insta-lovey it was). My favorite part of this book was watching Aubree’s character development (she started off SO whiny, but got a lot better). My least favorite part was probably this random plot twist near the end that really made no sense at all. *sigh*

Oh, and the cover?! All the heart eyes here.

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Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, by Sheba Karim

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Page Count: 320

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

It’s a known fact that road trip books are amazing.

I liked this book, but not really because it was about a road trip. I went into this book expecting to read about the adventures of three best friends, but it was so much more than that. It tackled the serious topics of religion, family relationships, racism, homophobia, and Islamophobia. These are all very important topics that I thought were discussed really well in this book!

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You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, by Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Page Count: 384

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

I wish I could say I loved this book, but all I can say is that I thought it was good. Not amazing, just good.

I thought the premise (twins Adina and Tovah get tested for Huntington’s Disease, one has it and one doesn’t) was great, the plot moved along fairly well, and it was well-written, but my one problem was: I didn’t love the two main characters. They both made decisions I wasn’t the biggest fan of, and I just never grew to love them.

But, I still enjoyed reading this book and I think this was just a personal taste issue, so I’d encourage you to still read it if you’re wanting to.

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Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli

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Page Count: 303

{goodreads}

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Everyone has probably read a million positive, glowing reviews about this book by now. And the truth is, I have no insightful thoughts to add to any of those reviews, so I’ll just reiterate how amazing this book is.

IT IS AMAZING. Simon’s friends are my favorite (especially Abby), I hate Martin with a passion, Simon and Blue are the most adorable ship I’ve ever read in my entire life, and it lived up to all my expectations. And more.

If y’all haven’t read this, you need to. It’s the best ever.

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Wow, that was a lot of reviewing! XD I would love to do full on reviews for all these books, but due to me only posting once a week, I feel like my blog would get overwhelmed with reviews if I did that. Still, even though these reviews were the miniature variety, I really hope you all got some great recommendations from this post! 🙂

Also, I do have a giveaway (!!) for a $20 visa gift card going on right now! If you haven’t already entered, definitely go check out this post and do so right away!

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them? Which ones you do you want to read? I’d love to chat with you in the comments.

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Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash >> Credits for the photo used in my featured image, many thanks to the photographer!

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53 thoughts on “8 YA Contemporary Recommendations! // Mini Reviews & All the Heart Eyes

  1. Ooh I love mini reviews!! This is such a great post💞
    I’m looking forward to reading A Thousand Perfect Notes; it’s been on my TBR for ages. And ahh I’m so glad you loved Simon vs. ❤️ I really love Abby too! Have you read The Upside of Unrequited?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHHH YES YOU READ AND LOVED SIMON!!! I’ve had A Thousand Perfect Notes on my shelf since its release date but I know I will cry so I keep putting it off 😂 So many of these sound great though, I should definitely get to them ASAP

    Liked by 1 person

  3. INSTANT LIKE BECAUSE YOU MENTION A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES. I am dying from the need to read Queen Cait’s book. 😭 1) everyone raves about it 2) I’ve been waiting to read it ever since I heard about it 3) I KNOW CAIT (sort of, because I read her blog…) 4) the story sounds fantastic! 5) THE COVER. NEED I SAY MORE? I need it on my shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ooh I have so many new books for my tbr!! I totally agree with you about Wanderlost, it was so cute and fluffy and made me so happy. Also I REALLY need to read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (for like the first time ever I watched the movie before reading my book and it was AMAZING and so so cute so now I need to read the book. But in my defense the movie was on the airplane…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay, that makes me so happy to hear! The point of this post was definitely to grow your TBR. 😉 Wanderlost was so cute! And I really need to watch Love, Simon. I didn’t see it when it came out because I wanted to read the book, haha, but airplane movies are definitely an exception. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YES TO ALL THE CONTEMPORARIES ❤ Contemporaries are THE BEST, this post makes me so happy right now – also don't mind me tearing up about Girl Out of Water, I loved this book way too much and I am so happy you did just as well, it was such a perfect read ❤ ❤ I'm also so happy you enjoyed Simon vs., such a fantastic book ❤ I have A Thousand Perfect Notes on my TBR and I can't wait to get to it, as well as the Garrett Girls book – SISTERS relationships, YES YES YES 😀
    Lovely reviews! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES!💓We’ll be screaming about contemporaries together for years, haha.
      I loved Girl Out of Water SO much! I didn’t expect it to be as perfect as it was, and I’m really happy that you loved it, too. I hope you get to ATPN and the Last Summer of the Garrett Girls soon, because both of those are a few of my new favorites. 😉
      Thank you so much, Marie, you’re the sweetest!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You read while brushing your teeth too?? Haha, I do that, and I always use my toothpaste to hold the pages down too. I haven’t any of the books you reviewed, but I added Girl Out of Water to my to be read list, and I’m pretty sure Not the Girls You’re Looking For is already on there from your library hall. I’ve been reading a bunch of fantasy lately (it was what I was feeling), but I’m probably going to start American Panda soon.

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    • Yes, I do! XD Ooh, sometimes I use my toothpaste, but other times if the pages are too heavy, I have to use a lotion bottle or face wash or something, haha. I’m really excited to hear your thoughts on Girl Out of Water and Not the Girls You’re Looking For, both are amazing! I’ve been feeling the fantasy lately, too. I read A Monster Calls after you recommended it to me, and I reallllly loved it! Now I’m reading The Raven Cycle. What fantasies have you been reading? Also, YAY, American Panda is super good. 🙂

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      • Hahahaha, that’s funny. Oh great, please don’t plan on hearing my thoughts any time soon- my to be read list is a good hundred books long. Ahh, you did? I’m so glad you loved it! I read the first Raven Cycle book, but I didn’t really like it. What do you think so far? I read Red Seas Under Red Skies (not as good as the first book), City of Blades (very good, as good as the first one), The City of Brass (lost me a bit interest wise), House of Many Ways (not as good as the first way), and The Poppy War (also lost me interest wise). And okay, good!

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        • Haha, don’t worry, same here! Yes, I really did love it. 🙂 So far, I’m on the second book, and I actually really like it. The plot is a little hard to follow, but I love all the characters. I’ll have to check out the books you mentioned!

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  7. YES ALL OF THESE BOOK OH MY GOSH!!! I NEED THEM ALL. + I’m so disappointed in myself because I was at the library just yesterday and Not the Girls You’re Looking For was THERE ON DISPLAY??? AND I 1000% DIDN’T KNOW IT WOUld BE GOOD!! I need to go back to the library right now. c: c: Also I want to read C.G. Drews’ book sm,,,she’s a fellow book blogger??!!! and lskjdflskjflks so nice and inspiring??? ❤

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    • AHHHH, I’M SO HAPPY YOU LOVE THEM. Aww, I’m so sad you just missed Not the Girls You’re Looking For, but I hope you can get it soon. 😉 That happens to me sometimes, where I see a book one time and don’t get it, and then soon I’m wanting it but it’s gone. *sigh* YES, I love her blog and her book was UNBELIEVABLY GOOD, I hope you get to read it soon. Also, this is completely random, but I feel like I have heard you mention The Raven Cycle on your blog? And if I have, can we please scream about it together because I’m obsessed?!

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      • OH MY GOSH YES WE NEED TO OBSESS OVER TRC TOGETHER!!!!! BECAUSE ADAM IS MY YOUNG SON!!! AND GANSEY IS THE ACTUAL LOVE OF MY LIFE!! he’s justt so loyalllll and caring and he’s everyone’s dad???? AND SWEET NOAH???? I ship Noah and Blue’s friendship SO HARD. **the second and third book blue + noah????* AND RONAN??? WHO IS TOO PRECIOUS AND HE LOVES ADAM WITH ALL HIS HEART??? I love how the first book is basically all about friendship and my bleeding platonic heart was so happy, but then they mature and the plot is so magical???? I didn’t even understand what was going on half the time, I need to reread asap. And I have an unpopular opinion that Henry was an unnecessary character, he shows up at the v end when Noah deserved more affection + attention c:

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        • OKAY YES YES YES. This comment makes me so happy oh my goodness!
          I’m currently only on the second book, so I don’t know too much yet, but I ALREADY LOVE IT SO MUCH. ADAM IS PERFECTION, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND HE’S JUST ADORABLE. Gansey is my favorite though because he’s Gansey! And he’s amazing and I want to cry because right now Blue likes him and he obviously likes her but they can’t be together and it’s killing me slowly over here. NOAH AND BLUE ARE THE BEST. *cries my eyes out* I’m horrible at following the plot, but the characters and adventures are my absolute favorite, so it all makes up for it. I haven’t met Henry yet, but I’ll let you know what I think of him. 😉 THANK YOU for screaming with me!

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          • OH MY GOD I REMEMBER THE BLUE + GANSEY AWKWARD STAGE. They are both so scared of upsetting Adam??? BUT ADAM’S TRUE LOVE IS ACTUALLY COLLEGE. Gansey is the sweetest boy in the whole world, he DOTES on Adam so much c: c: + I want to just reread every Noah + Blue scene for hours, they are so playful and cute together???? And then Ronan gets so jealous whenever someone else has Gansey’s attention??? AND WHEN RONAN STOOD UP FOR HIS ADAM IN BOOK 1???? </3

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            • YES YES YES. They’re still in that stage now and I’m ready for it to be over. Don’t tell me, but PLEASE LET THEM END UP TOGETHER. I keep forgetting Gansey is going to die, omg I can’t take this.😭I LOVE how Gansey is like a different Gansey around Adam and the platonic love is there and it’s beautiful and I’m obsessed. AND RONAN IS SECRETLY SO AMAZING I CAN’T AHHHHH.

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  8. loved this!! I’m half dying to read ATPN, like I need it in my life right now but my local library doesn’t have it yet *cries* thanks for the recs! I’ve been looking for new books to read recently, and this post did the trick 😉 I mean, I have tons and tons of books on my tbr list but I still think I don’t have anything to read… ahh the troubles of a bookworm 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!💞Ohh, yes, you do need ATPN in your life right now. Same here, I had to order it off Amazon, but it was 110% worth it. HAHA, that struggle is so relatable- I never think I have anything to read, when in fact I have books in my own room that I haven’t even read yet.😂Happy reading!

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  9. I’M SO GLAD YOU LOVED NOT THE GIRLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES, AND SIMON VS!!!! All three are personal favorites of mine!!! 😍 Although I’m sad you didn’t enjoy You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone more. I haven’t read it, but everyone else seems to love it! But I totally get it being a personal thing–I feel that way about so many books! 😖

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  10. I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH! AAAHH I CAN’T STOP FANGIRLING 😍😍😍 I added almost everything on my tbr list and girl i’m drowninggg. I LOVE your taste in books!! I’ll have to read these sooner. I’m so excited! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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