5 YA Contemporaries You Should Be Reading // Mini Reviews!

I have read so many wonderful books lately.

I owe that all to the many book blogs I read, all of which have provided me with ample book recommendations and succeeded in burying me in my TBR. 😉 I’ll make it out someday. I think. Today I’m really excited to be doing a few mini reviews of some books I’ve been especially loving lately!

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I read all of these books in the past two months or so, and they’re all books I highly recommend to you all. Oh, and a disclaimer- there will be no spoilers in any of these reviews (I try to never do spoilers, and definitely not without saying so), so feel more than welcome to read on even if you haven’t read any of these.

Let’s get right into the reviewing!


1. Girl Made of Stars, by Ashley Herring Blake

Image result for girl made of stars


Page Count: 304


Rating: ★★★★★


You know those books that are so beautiful, so heartbreaking, so incredibly important that you don’t even know how to describe them?

Girl Made of Stars is one of those books.

It has already gotten a lot of love from book bloggers and bookstagrammers (and probably on other platforms too), but it deserves way more. GMOS explores a topic that no one wants to think about but that everyone needs to think about, and does so eloquently and in a very real manner.

It also deals with changing relationships (familial, romantic, and friendships) and the emotions and heartache associated with that. I was instantly drawn into the story and became emotionally attached right away.

I could ramble on for a lot of blog posts, but I’ll stop myself here- just know that I hold this book in the highest regard, and I really think you should read it.


2. Always Never Yours, by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Image result for always never yours


Page Count: 336


Rating: ★★★★☆


Well, this was adorable.

Shakespeare, love, a gorgeous cover that I’m still obsessing over, and the most wonderful characters? I’m in, thank you very much. 😉

I LOVED all the Shakespeare, even though I’m not really a fan of Romeo and Juliet, it still was utterly adorable! It also had the BEST friends to lovers romance. *squeals* (Owen, one of the main characters, was completely perfect ((mostly)) and definitely has my heart. After Gansey and Harry Potter, ‘o course.)

Also, I think it’s so cool how this was written by a husband and wife duo. It was overall very well-written and kept me entertained the whole time. I would definitely call this a fluffy contemporary, but it was full of fluff of the very best sort- would highly recommend.


3. Darius the Great is Not Okay, by Adib Khorram

Image result for darius the great is not okay


Page Count: 316


Rating: ★★★★★


This may be one of my favorite reads of 2018.

My three favorite parts about this novel (and the three things that I think made this book such an incredible reading experience for me) were Darius himself, the Persian culture, and the friendship between Darius and Sohrab.

First of all, DARIUS. Darius was so soft and cinnamon-y and he is obsessed with tea (the drinking sort) and he is very much someone I would love to be friends with. He is a very, very real character. He struggles with depression, and while I can’t speak for the depression rep in this book, I felt much more educated after reading this book from his perspective.

Next, the culture. I’ve never read a book with Persian culture, but WOW, this was amazing. The culture was described so richly, and all the food and traditions and everything- it was really amazing to read about. I felt very immersed into the story.

And finally, I adored the friendship. We need more books with just completely supportive, I-jump-you-jump-Jack, amazing, strong, friendships. The bond between Darius and Sohrab was so lovely, and it made me so happy to read about.

There were so many other great parts to this book (Darius was the best older brother, great family relationships and also some that had to be worked on, very well written) but I will stop here before I write an entire essay on the wonderful book that is Darius the Great is Not Okay.


4. When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

Image result for when dimple met rishi


Page Count: 380


Rating: ★★★★☆


If you ever hear a deafening shriek coming from this blog post, it’s probably me screaming over how much I loved this book.

Even though When Dimple Met Rishi only came out in 2017, I feel like I’ve had it on my TBR for at least three years. XD At any rate, I definitely feel as if I waited so long to read this, and the hype only grew and grew as I waited.

My favorite part of this book was definitely the characters. I loved the two main ones, Dimple and Rishi, for very different reasons. Dimple was amazing because she’s independent, ambitious, driven. Rishi was absolutely adorable, respectful, and romantic. I was cheering both of them on from the very beginning.

I also loved the dual perspective, because it’s always so interesting to be able to read from the point of view of two different characters. It really gave me a better insight into the story, which I loved! It was also interesting to read about the relationships both characters had with their parents, and how those relationships changed over the course of the novel.


5. How to Make a Wish, by Ashley Herring Blake

Image result for how to make a wish


Page Count: 336


Rating: ★★★★☆


This was a book full of relationships.

You have the relationship between the main character (Grace) and her mom, the relationship between Grace and the new girl to town (Eva), and the relationship between Grace and her long-time best friend (Luca). Oh, and a lot more thrown in there.

There was a lot going on, but I felt really invested in the characters, and that is really important to me. It was definitely not fluffy, but a lot of parts gave me all the feels.

For example, the platonic love between Grace and Luca was EVERYTHING. Please, I’m 1093093028% here for all the platonic friendships that don’t turn to romance. There was also a friends to lovers romance, which I was 34830948029% here for also. 😉

Overall, super lovely book that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a great YA contemporary.


And that concludes my collection of reviews! I was really looking forward to writing this post all month, because you all know how much I love to scream talk about books I love. 😉 I hope I’ve been able to give you some recommendations!

I still have a lot of books waiting on the queue to be reviewed (I’ve read too many amazing ones lately?!), so I might have to do another post like this next month…y’all, there are too many books and not enough time. I wanted to make this post longer, but I decided against it for the sake of all of our sanities. XD

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

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Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash >> credits for the image I used in my featured image!

59 thoughts on “5 YA Contemporaries You Should Be Reading // Mini Reviews!

  1. Wonderful post, Olivia!! I smiled so widely when I saw the title of this post, because I adore YA contemporaries; they’re honestly my favorite books/genre to read. I’ve read Girl Made of Stars and How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake, and I loved both of them! Ashley Herring Blake really knows how to write emotional contemporaries. (I also read her heartwarming MG novel, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, and adored it as well.) Ahhh I really need to read the other books you mentioned in this post too; they’ve all been on my TBR!! Again, great post as always! I loved reading about how much you loved these contemporaries 💓

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so so much, Dezzy!💛Aww, I love YA contemporaries so much too. Oh, I should really check out Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, because I’ve enjoyed all the other Ashley Herring Blake books I’ve read- and I love a good middle grade every once in a while. Thank you again, I’m really happy I could boost all the contemporary love! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These reviews are GREAT Olivia, and for so many awesome books! ❤ I read and loved Always Never Yours so much, it's such a lovely, adorable read ❤ ❤ I also read How To Make A Wish and I agree, that platonic boy/girl relationship made me SO happy, we don't see that too often and it made me so sad. I don't think I'll read Girls Made Of Stars because of the tough topic, but I'm definitely reading Darius at some point, this book sounds INCREDIBLE! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you, Becky! That makes me so happy to hear.❤️I’m sure I’ll need fantasy books at some point (I love my contemporary but sometimes I do branch out XD) and when I do I’ll definitely be coming to you!


  3. This is such a lovely post! 💕 I loved Girls Made of Stars so much, it’s such an emotional, but beautiful read. All the female friendships in it were amazing. Darius the Great is Not Okay sounds wonderful, I’m so soft for friendships in books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thank you! I agree, emotional and beautiful are two of the best words to describe GMOS.☺️Ahh, I’m so soft for friendships too! You will definitely be satisfied with Darius the Great is Not Okay, then- I hope you get to read it soon, and that you enjoy.


  4. Oooh I haven’t read any of these yet! I’ve been in such a mood for fantasy lately that I’ve been missing out on all the good contemporaries😧 I’m going to have to check all of these out for sure though. Girl Made of Stars is one I’ve been wanting to read for a while – I’m so glad to hear you love it so much! Great post Olivia and thanks for all these recs☺️✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, I’m so excited to hear your thoughts on all of these, once you’re in the mood for them! 😉 I hope your fantasy kick has been going well, though- I really want to get into some more fantasy. Thank you so much Brianna, and thank you for your lovely comment!💓

      Liked by 1 person

  5. this post is so cute!!!

    i LOVE ya contemporary, its absolutely my pick-me-up genre, there’s just something so familiar and easy when you read them! i’m thrilled that girls made of stars is on this list bc its really getting me excited for when i read it! why are all the YA contemp covers so beautiful, ugh, its making it hard for me to pick which one to start lol

    great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, May!💘

      SAME. When I’m faced with contemporary versus another genre, the odds are definitely in the favor of contemporary. XD Oh, I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on GMOS. And yes, I know, right? The covers are the best, honestly they are a large percent of why I naturally gravitate towards contemporaries.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t read any of these books???? What am I doing with my life? I also just realized that the only books left on my physical TBR pile are fantasy, so I definitely need to restock on contemporary. I’ll have to check these ones out! For a long time I only read contemporary, but I didn’t really talk about it because I feel like it’s easy to get kind of snotty about “fluffy” books versus “real, hard-hitting” books. BUT FLUFFY BOOKS ARE STILL BOOKS. They’re amazing books. I respect any author that can make me feel all warm and happy on the inside. I am SO here for all the fluffy book recs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • *claps because more books to read* Fantasy is amazing, too. 😉 I just never seem to get around to reading much of it?? Ahh, that is so true, and I think I’m guilty of doing that sometimes as well. I do love fluffy books too, though- GIVE ME ALL THE FLUFF. I like to have a balance, but you can catch me reading all the fluff all the time, too. Thanks for bringing this up! It would be a super interesting discussion post one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. YES. Fluff of the best sort!! I want somebody to coin a phrase that conveys the message that a book is fluffy but so much more than that too.
    Hahaha, it’s funny how normal words like tea need clarification.
    Again, need to get on some YA contemporary book reading.
    This is not related to your post, but have you read Dumplin’ or seen the trailer of the Netflix movie adaptation coming out soon? It looks SO GOOD. I’m so, so excited. Jennifer Aniston is in it! Also, I watched multiple episodes of Friends over break (including the one with the thumb, the butt, the black out), and they were truly making me laugh. Thought you would want to know. :))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, YES, me too! There a big gap between marshmallow fluff and a hard-hitting book, especially in YA contemporaries.
      I know, right? That makes me laugh how modern vocabulary has changed an age-old word like tea. Especially since tea always makes me think of proper England, but now I also think of…tea. As in, spilling the tea. XD
      I haven’t read or seen the trailer! I have wanted to read the book for a while, though. I’ll have to watch the trailer! I love Jennifer Aniston. YAY, FRIENDS. I’M SO HAPPY YOU LAUGHED. And if you watch more episodes, I really hope you enjoy them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • EXACTLY.
        Hahaha, yes!
        I can assure you that I will be watching and enjoying more episodes. Last week at school somebody brought up how they were going to take Friends off of Netflix on January 1, but yesterday another person told me that’s not happening anymore. Thank goodness too, there’s no way I could have watched ten seasons in a month.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I enjoy realistic and historical fiction, fantasy, certain types of science fiction, retellings, and interesting biographies. I know that’s sort of all over the place. 🙂 Mainly, the characters are my favorite and if I like them I’ll almost always like the book. What’s your favorite type of book to read?
        Also, you have such a beautiful blog! I love the pink and black.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. ALL of these are on my tbr and now I’m even more excited to read them! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them Olivia 🙂 I think I have to putt GMOS and Darius off for a while though, as my mental health has been fluctuating lately and I don’t think it’s a good idea to read those right now, but one day I’ll definitely read them!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. *immediately checks current tbr to see if I have them* *realizes that I only read GMOS* *adds the rest even though my tbr started overflowing months ago* *and I don’t care*

    I am SO with you on platonic relationships *cries* I feel like there should be more of them in YA books especially? Though, as a fellow fangirl, there are some exceptions… 😉Oh, I don’t know anymore – I want more platonic relationships in books yet I also live for childhood friends that turn into a relationship?? Olivia, help me out here 😭

    great post (as always), and thank you for all the wonderful recs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • *laughs* *relates to you* *shifts aside stack of books* *peers through opening in books* *waves at you from under the sea of my TBR*

      THERE SHOULD BE. Platonic relationships make my heart way too happy.😭Okay, yes, I agree, there should be a balance! You knowww how much I love my ships, but I feel like for every romantic relationship there should be a sweet, pure, platonic relationship too?? It’s too hard this is why I’m not an author XDXD

      Aww, thank you, I’m so happy you could get some recommendations!💘

      Liked by 1 person

      • *dives in after you* *realizes I need oxygen to breathe under water* *finds out that books give out an infinite source of oxygen like trees* *because books… are made from… trees??*

        oh yes, you just read my mind. that is probably also the reason why I’ll most likely never become an author XD

        Liked by 1 person


    first and foremost i am so happy you loved Darius, his friendship with Sohrab haunts my days forever, it was SO HIGHLY CUTE! and they never changed into romance which made my small platonic heart shine w happiness

    +++ I want to read Always Never Yours so much!!!!!!! it seems like the kind of book i would become obsessed with, best friends to lovers? Shakespeare?????? FLUFFY FLUFFINESS?????? c: c: c: i just want to be placed #1 on the waitlist bc my life is in danger if i’m forced to wait a moment longer

    & you have officially made me want to read How to Make a Wish bc you mentioned a strong friendship which is the surest way to make me want to read somethinggg ❤ ❤

    also ilysm c: c:

    Liked by 1 person


      I’m so happy I loved it, too! Also thank you for introducing it to me on your blog, I’m forever in your debt for that. 😉 Darius and Sohrab were perfect, and yes, I love that it stayed platonic because I need more platonic friendships hereee XD

      AHH, YOU SHOULD READ IT. I do feel like you would become obsessed with it for all the above reasons. It is indeed a Malanie book!

      YAY, my life goal is complete, all I want to do is convince people to read books and eat chocolate and smile. Thank you for the lovely comment Malanie, I love you!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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