Time for some Top Ten Tuesday:)
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely book blog: The Broke and the Bookish.
Today I'm going to be exploring the topic: Top ten books that would be on my syllabus if I taught contemporary 101! The funny thing is, initially I came in a bit weary of what the vast and colourful world of contemporary world would be like but then these books made me realise that it's a kind of paradise.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
One of the first contemporary books I ever read (thanks to my BFF<3) was Anna and the French Kiss This book has made Stephanie Perkins an auto-buy author for me because I cannot tell you how much I love this book! It's in Paris, the city of love, and is filled with an atmosphere I wish I could bottle up and save so it would twinkle in a little glass bottle endlessly. The CHARACTERS. Anna is one of the most relatable and likeable characters ever- sometimes she thinks just as awkwardly as I do and she's so fun to experience the story with. Etienne... *sigh* - I loved how he and Anna go together like PB&J. While I use the cliche of PB&J, I'd like to add in that I never found it too cheesy - in fact I kinda loved how I felt like I floated away to Paris when I read this book and I thought the relationships felt so grounded in a true and beautiful connection that it wasn't too cheesy but perfect. They're so sweet and real and serious and right for each other that their scenes together make me feel like I'm watching one of my favourite romcoms. The thing is I use this as my standard of contemporary romances because this romance felt genuine because the characters actually got to know each other over time to the point of you getting more and more invested in their relationship as the books goes on. If you want to smile and swoon then this is for you!
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I'm reading this book right now but I'm already fangirling about it because it's not just like eating an amazing chocolate bar - it's like eating your favourite kind of chocolate cake, your favourite chocolate bar, brownies, and all of your favourite comfort food being laid out before you while your all-time favourite movie happens to play and pillows form underneath you till you're in some kind of fluffy paradise. What I'm incoherently trying to express is that this book makes me smile more than most books have ever managed! It's been a while since I've loved a narrator so much that I've just wanted to watch Harry Potter with them and give them a great big hug because they deserve a thousand. Simon is a Harry Potter fan (a.k.a. he's one of us;)) who is a lovely friend. He's a bit uncomfortable at parties and has a golden retriever called Bieber - can I just say I love him? This story is about Simon, who is gay, falling for a guy he only knows as Blue as they've been emailing after Simon saw a beautiful written post Blue wrote that he needed to tell him he loved. Simon is being blackmailed by someone who read his emails so he's in a tricky situation plus he knows Blue and he go to the same school but not who he is (it was unexpectedly suspenseful!) Reading their emails and seeing Simon's reactions to them is like eating candy. This is a book about the characters (like how The Office is about the wacky and wonderful characters) so if you love that then give this a go!
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Gosh I adore this book like I love art and love.
A story about twins, family, love, tragedy, art, mistakes and acceptance that makes me feel like I've lived through everything the characters go through because I'm so invested in them.I actually wrote a review on it here:) --> http://anotheronceuponatime.blogspot.sg/2015/07/review-ill-give-you-sun-by-jandy-nelson.html
Let's just say the rainbow of creativity within this story, the beyond soulful and beautiful description of art in Noah's mind and the messed up but lovely characters made this one to remember.
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
I may have read this a loooong time ago but I'll always treasure the romance of it. Brittany and Alex are so different... or are they? Being in high school, it's so interesting to see how two people from two very different groups interact and how slowly they realise what people expect of them isn't what defines them. Love is a choice we get to make and this book shows you what a intense and butterfly-inducing experience it is when you get it right.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
This book was a moving and gorgeous read that anyone who loves bookshops might love. It's about a bookstore owner, A.J. Fikry, who has given up on life because he's never smiling - he's never really living. But then one day a baby called Maya is left on his doorstep and his life changes forever. I liked reading a story about becoming who you are and love and explored these themes in a new way. The fact that the main character is a booklover helped too:P Seeing someone's life go through a rollercoaster of change is really something that makes you appreciate every little lovely thing and it makes you root for them and yourself.
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
I wrote a review which basically explored this book and MY LOVE FOR IT!: http://anotheronceuponatime.blogspot.sg/2015/02/2-mini-reviews-these-broken-stars-amy.html
This was also at the beginning of my contemporary journey and let me just say this is one I'll never forget. This is what I want falling in love to feel like for me. Who doesn't love a good friends to something a bit (a lot!) like love romance?:) Amy and Roger were written so insightfully and with a loving hand because they're wonderful apart and together. They go on a road trip together that turns into so much more than a trip with a destination - it turns into an adventure in which Amy and Roger counter bears, delicious food, ice cream, new makeover-loving and video game-loving friends, golf courses and Graceland.
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
This book is like a melody that you never want to let go of. The lyrics that Gayle Forman wrote as Adam's character are so emotional and raw - they give the book a whole new layer of golden musical notes. I think the love story in this one is one that I couldn't help but root for. An undeniable connection. Love leaking through their eyes. Hoping love wins.
Reading this book felt like lying on a cloud above and watching a couple so destined for each other work their way back together.
Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Another perfect recommendation from my amiga! Just thinking back to this book makes me relive it - and it's a wonderful feeling. It's such an intense romance that I felt and still feel so sucked in by it. I loved who Noah and Echo both went through so much in their lives and somehow it leads them to each other. They don't seem like two pieces that would fit together yet they're strangely and perfectly made for each other. Noah's in YA tend to be amazing, don't they?
He's had a hard life and so has Echo, and I felt like I had their scars while reading this which made me love them all the more.
Two Contemporary Books I Want To Read:
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley: It's a book about teenagers on an adventure of graffiti, art, high school, love and life in 24 hours. After reading 'I'll Give You The Sun," I've been longing for another book that made the world a bit more colourful and chalky.
Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith: This is about a couple who are about to embark on the next chapter: university. They're trying to make the difficult decision of whether to break up or try long distance once they go to university so they decide to retrace their relationship. I'm fascinated by the idea of a couple reflecting on their own relationship so I hope it proves an emotional, sweet and moving read. (& the COVER!)
Thanks for reading! What do you guys think should be on my Contemporary 101 syllabus?:)