Top Ten Favorite YA Contemporary Reads of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Read in 2013! I decided to just focus on YA Contemporary since I read a lot of it this year. (For more of my year-end favorites see my wrap up posts for: Audiobooks, New Adult books, and favorite New-to-me authors)

These YA Contemporary reads are tops in my book:where the stars still shine

1. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller – Emotional story wrapped up in a great setting. The emotional journey includes abuse, mental illness, drug addiction, family issues, and love in a relatable way that gets under your skin.

2. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – This author just makes me love historical fiction! Set in 1950 New Orleans, this coming of age offers mystery, romance, and colorful characters.

sex & violence3. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina – This book about bullying really hits home. Yaqui has a great voice and strong themes including family and race relations.

4. Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian – Sex & Violence has really stuck with me. It deals with sex & violence, yes, but also PTSD and family. This author is one to watch.

5. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch – I read this one back in March, and it’s haunted me ever since. It’s a lovely, harrowing read about survival.

6. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan – A relevant and moving read that looks at gay teens today as compared to the 1980s during the early days of the AIDS epidemic.this song will save your life

7. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales – This book spoke to me with its musical theme. A lonely girl finds salvation as a DJ.

dr. bird's advice for sad poets8. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos – Such a quiet and quirky read. A depressed boy talks to his makeshift imaginary therapist pigeon, Dr. Bird. This book makes me smile.

9. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg This book made me lol, and I just loved the theme of labels and sexuality. Such a witty book, with great characters.

10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell E&P vs. Fangirl- it’s like Sophie’s Choice! I love them both, though I may slightly prefer Fangirl, with its creative misfits.

Bonus 8 that are also great! Eleanor & Park, When You Were Here, The Reece Malcolm List, Golden, Just One Year, Picture Me Gone, Also Known As, and Wild Awake.

Having too many favorites is a good problem to have, and writing about these books makes me want to read them again. Hope next year is another awesome year for YA Contemporary!

What books top your list?


32 thoughts on “Top Ten Favorite YA Contemporary Reads of 2013

  1. Tara says:

    I ended up with 3 copies of Openly Straight at NCTE, and was able to give two away to friends…and still haven’t read the copy I saved for myself! But I did just get Dr. Bird’s and Sex & Violence from the library, so I will wait to read your reviews until I read them (though I know you said I’d like Dr. Birds…and I trust I will). A lot of these are making a lot of Printz hopeful lists this winter — which of your reads is your pick to win the medal?

    1. Lucy says:

      Gosh, I don’t know- there are so many good choices! And yes you do need to read Openly Straight soon 🙂 It was a good year in YA Contemp!

  2. I still need to read Out of the Easy and Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, they both sound so good! 🙂 My TTT list:

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    1. Lucy says:

      Yes I hope you do read them! Happy new year, Alice 🙂

  3. GREAT LIST! I want to read/have already read ALL OF THESE BOOKS! Fangirl and Two Boys Kissing made my list this year, and I have been meaning to read Dr. Bird for a while now! I need to get on that!
    Happy New Year!

    Jennifer @ A Librarian’s Library–My TTT!

    1. Lucy says:

      Oh yay I’m glad we have Two Boys Kissing and Fangirl in common. Can’t wait to hear what you think of Dr. Bird!

  4. Haven’t read these books yet, but they all sound amazing! 🙂

    My TTT 🙂

  5. Annie says:

    If You Find Me and Openly Straight are 2 books I’d love to read in 2014. Trish Doller’s book is already on my TBR pile – I’m glad you loved it because I’ve heard mixed things about it. 🙂

    1. Lucy says:

      Can’t wait to hear what you think of If You Find Me and Openly Straight, Annie. Happy new year!

      1. Annie says:

        Happy New Year! 🙂 I’ll let you know how I get on. All three of these sound awesome…

  6. BermudaOnion says:

    Great list! I loved Eleanor & Park and Fangirl but have them reversed on my list. Out of the Easy was terrific too!

  7. Thomas says:

    Love how you feature such great novels here – I just got Fangirl on my Kindle and I’m so excited to start it. I have to say my favorite of this year was definitely Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. (:

    1. Lucy says:

      I’ve heard such good things about Aristotle & Dante. I’ll be listening to the audiobook soon so I’m glad to hear it’s your fave!

  8. bookgoonie says:

    I have to get Doller & Sales in this year. Openly Straight is in my TBR too. & I know I’m getting to Meg closer to Banned Book time. Rainbow has wormed her way into my hear too. Always fab lists.

    1. Lucy says:

      Banned Book Week always introduces such great books! Can’t wait to hear what you think of Yaqui.

  9. AMAZING LIST. So glad to get to know you this year & see how lined up our tastes are. I bought Dr. Bird… a few months ago. I heard Evan read and the voice was so so charming. Can’t wait to finally pick it up. 🙂 Happy new year!

    1. Lucy says:

      Can’t wait to hear what you think of Dr. Bird! So cool that you got to attend a book reading. Happy New Year!

  10. Anne says:

    Great list! One thing I’ve decided from it: I must read Fangirl! I haven’t read any Rainbow Rowell and she is on so many lists. I am certainly missing out by not getting one of her books into my hands.

    1. Lucy says:

      Lots of Rainbow Rowell love this year. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of her books 🙂

  11. I need to read so many of the books on your list! I can’t believe how many lists Fangirl, Where The Stars Still Shine and This Song Will Save Your Life are on, but it’s a sure sign they should be in my TBR pile right now. 🙂

    My TTT

  12. I loved fangirl and eleanor & park!

  13. I have Out of the Easy on audio and should get to it soon. Eleanor and Park is the other one I heard fantastic things about and would like to read.

  14. Ah, I see a few faves on your list that are on ours, too! Great picks, Lucy. SEX & VIOLENCE and THIS SONG are especially faves. 🙂

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  15. We have 4 of the same books on both of our lists, I think that’s the most I’ve had in common with anyone’s list so far. Yay! I agree about Carrie Mesrobian being one to watch. She blew me away. Happy New Year!

    1. Lucy says:

      Go us! Your list is fab and I’m looking forward to chatting about books with you this year.

  16. booksofamber says:

    I loved Out of the Easy! Ruta’s books are so fabulous. Excellent choice!

    Happy New Year!

    1. Lucy says:

      Ruta is amazing. I wonder what she’ll write next. I guess I can re-read Easy in the meantime 🙂

  17. Melody says:

    I have quite a few of these on my TBR list! Can’t wait to get to them!

  18. Great list. You’ve got some really amazing books on your list – This Song Will Save Your Life made my list too. I really want to read Fangirl and Where The Stars Still Shine; I’ve heard amazing things about both. Happy New Year 🙂 My TTT.

    1. Lucy says:

      Glad to hear This Song made your list! I’m eager to hear what you think of Where the Stars and Fangirl. Happy reading 🙂

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