with fall approching
faster than it should and summer almost gone, i realized that three months is not enough to read all the cute summer contemporaries, which, to me, is a sad thing. but who says you only have to read them during the summer? i would be so unfair to them. that’s why i decided to list 17 diverse contemporaries to read even though the summer is gone (*sobs*):
the upside of unrequited by becky albertalli
one of my recent reads, and one of my ultimate faves. albertalli delivers such a wonderful story, with a diverse cast, swoon-worthy love interests, and cute romance. i can’t recommend this book enough.
main diversity aspect: fat, jewish main character.
noteworthy by riley redgate
a story about self-discovery, love, music, and friendship, where “PITCH PERFECT meet SHE’S THE MAN”. i read this book about five months ago, and i remember being so amazed and happy after finishing it.
main diversity aspects: chinese-american bisexual main character, japanese-american love interest
how to make a wish by ashley herring blake
this is one of the most beautiful stories i have ever read. it’s about girls falling in love, finding themselves, and being brave enough to face reality and grief. and it’s honestly so realistic and smoothly written that it left me speechless.
trigger warning: parent abuse
main diversity aspects: bisexual main character, black lesbian love interest, f/f romance
written in the stars by aisha saeed
i, a heartless person who never cries over books, nearly sobbed when i was done with this one. it’s so beautiful, and teaches you so much about pakistani culture, from clothes to food to architecture.
trigger warning: rape, violence
main diversity aspect: an all-muslim cast
kissing in america by margo rabb
this is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated contemporaries ever. it’s about road-trips, finding yourself, and loving yourself. and if that doesn’t convince you to read this book, i don’t know what will.
main diversity aspect: jewish main character
the hate u give by angie thomas
inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter events, THE HATE U GIVE was #1 NYT bestseller for so many weeks that i lost count. and it deserves it. it’s inspirational, it’s funny, and it’s thoughtful. and it’s going to be a movie! so if you haven’t read this book yet, i honestly don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
main diversity aspect: black main character
geekerella by ashley poston
if you’re looking for Another Cinderella Story with fandoms, something predictable but still cute, and not 100% realistic, try GEEKERELLA. it may not be for everybody, but i personally enjoyed it (which i’m surprised i did, actually).
main diversity aspect: black love interest
aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by benjamin alire saènz
while the writing is very monotone in this one, the story is very beautiful. it’s about sexuality, love and first times. i did not expect to love it as much as i did.
main diversity aspect: mexican-american main character, m/m romance
how it feels to fly by kathyn holmes
this is a book that portrays anxiety in doing art so well, it scared me how much i related to it. not only that, but the story is wonderful itself. i can’t believe how underrated this book is.
trigger warning: panic attacks
main diversity aspect: main character with depression and anxiety
simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda by becky albertalli
this is my personal go-to book if i want something to put a smile on my face. it’s quick, cute, funny, and it doesn’t need a lot of concentration while reading. but at the same time it makes you think, and deals with so many social issues. + the movie is coming out on march 2018.
main diversity aspect: gay main character
everything leads to you by nina lacour
this book guys. this book is BEAUTIFUL. while it’s slow at times, the writing takes your breath away, and the setting is so aesthetically pleasing (?). the f/f romance is so subtle and sweet. *sigh*
however this may not be for everybody. while some think the writing is subtle, others find it dull and empty.
main diversity aspect: lesbian main character, f/f romance
queens of geek by jen wilde
this is one of the cutest yet most important books ever. it has got two adorable romances, one of them is f/f, and the other has the best-friends-to-lovers trope. not only that, but it’s sex positive, body positive, mental health positive, and relationship positive. it’s empowering, and it’s amazing.
main diversity aspects: main character dealing with autism spectrum disorder anxiety, bisexual chinese australian main character, and love interest of color
to all the boys i’ve loved before (trilogy) by jenny han
also one of the cutest trilogies ever (even though i still haven’t read the last one). it’s quick, and so so so cute. almost too cute. + there’s a movie coming soon! which is why you should get into TATBILB if you haven’t yet.
main diversity aspect: korean-american main character
it all comes down to this by karen english
this middle-grade novel is so underrated and i really don’t know why. it deals with racism and other social issues in the twentiest century and i got all kinds of feels while reading it. it’s a really important novel.
main diversity aspect: black main character
gena/finn by kat moskowitz and kat helgeson
while not my favorite book, GENA/FINN does have its charm, from different formatting to stories about fandoms and meeting people through the internet. so if you are interested by any of these, you should definitely give this book a try.
main diversity aspect: queer main character dealing with her mental health
now tell me:
- have you read any of these books? what were your thoughts?
- do you have any other recommendation?
- what was your favorite read of the summer?