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30 Of Your Favorite Contemporary YA Books

S. Zainab Williams

Executive Director, Content

S. Zainab would like to think she bleeds ink but the very idea makes her feel faint. She writes fantasy and horror, and is currently clutching a manuscript while groping in the dark. Find her on Twitter: @szainabwilliams.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Bang by Barry Lyga.

One shot ruined his life. Another one could end it.

From New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga comes a heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake. For fans of This Is Where It Ends, Bang is as true and as relevant as tomorrow’s headlines, the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed.

Let’s talk about the here and now of YA, where the struggles are real(istic) and modern. The genre can be lighthearted, dark, powerful, joyful. Maybe even all of the above. We asked you to share your favorite contemporary YA books, and you responded. Here are 30 of your favorites!

Boys Don’t Knit (in Public) by T.S. Easton

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Perks of Being a Wallfower by Stephen Chbosky

The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

Winger by Andrew Smith

Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci

Everlost by Neal Shusterman

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Challenger Deep by Neal and Brendan Shusterman

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Looking for Alaska by John Green