You see that title right there? That is a brave thing to undertake, to break down into ten specific (but not too specific) categories the types of Contemporary YA currently available. And let me tell you, this is not easy. Seriously. First I struggled to come up with ten unique categories and then I struggled to limit myself to only ten. And I'll tell you right now, a lot of these categories within Contemporary overlap and touch each other and share. So I'm going with the category that most strongly describes the book, not necessarily the only one.
Also, I feel like I need to point out that I'm not really an expert on all things Contemporary, (although I like to seem like I am sometimes) so you might disagree with the categories I've created, and might disagree with some of the categories I've combined. But whatevs. This is me talking and this is what I think. Also- This is one time that I have not read each of the books listed. The ones I haven't read are one that I am dying to read and have (for the most part) also heard good things about. * marks those I have not yet read.
(Also, forgive the slightly wonky layout on this one... I wanted to have at least one picture for each category & it's messing w/ me layout a bit.)
1. Drugs/Pain (emotional or physical)
Crank/Glass/Fallout by Ellen Hopkins, Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert, Scars by Cheryl Rainfield, Willow by Julia Hoban, Break by Hannah Moskowitz
2. Abuse(non bfgf relationship)/'Hard Life' (general tough stuff)
Identical (sexual abuse and etc) and Tricks (teenage prostitution) by Ellen Hopkins, Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman (online predators), Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (rape), Stolen by Lucy Christopher (kidnapping), *What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen (abusive father), *Shine by Lauren Myracle (hate crime)
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, *Saving June by Hannah Harrington, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Maston, Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers, Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
4. Romance/Relationships (both good and bad)
Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles, the books of Sarah Dessen, books by Jennifer Echols, Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan *Stay by Deb Caletti, Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn,
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman, Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout, Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert, Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez, Audition by Stasia Kehoe, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, *Amplified by Tara Kelly, When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer, *Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
7. Depression/Mental Illness
Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta, It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler, Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly, The Babysitter Murders by Janet Ruth Young, Rules by Cynthia Lord
8. Physical Illness/Disability/Body Image
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John (also belongs in Music...) , Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt, Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going,
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott, Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt, Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonneblick, *We the Animals by Justin Torres, Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens (this should really probably be in Romance, but her dad is so creeptastic, I had to include it here).
10. Life/Friendship/General Coming of Age (also includes too many categories to put in one place)
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder, Past Perfect by Lelia Sales, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
There are, of course, smaller categories that are worth mentioning, but a little too specific for this post. Things like Road Trip Novels, Mystery/Thriller (this one really should have been listed, but I only had ten spots), Novels in Verse or Novels that take Place in only One Day/Night etc. There are lots of places to take a list like this, but I tried to do the ten broadest categories I could think of.
I also left out a lot of examples for each topic area. Seriously. These were only the ones that immediately came to mind. I could have listed so many more!
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Recommendations for me to fill in the gaps in my own reading list? Any of my *not yet read books you think I need to push up my list?