Happy Belated Teen Literature Day!

The one where I love on my favorite Contemporary YA novels =D

Well, what started as a late #meetmybookcommunity April prompt post, has turned into a spontaneous blog post because each of the 15 books* in this photo are near and dear to my heart. I’ve all of them except Always and Forever, Lara Jean but that’s because she’s the most recent first read I believe. She does also have her own blog post here.

*by the time I numbered all the way through, I realized I’d miscounted. There are 16 books. #numbersarehard

I’ll just go mostly in order of the way I stacked them on my desk:

1/15 // Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

I remember reading this way back the year it was released, coming off of having the stomach flu. Weird, but it’s because I remember feeling better and Ant and I going to get pizza. I loved the saints and the pizza place and the male MC’s welcoming family.

2/15 // Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

I believe this came out when I was engaged to Ant. I remember starting it while my sister was house-sitting for a couple from church. I distinctly remember sitting on their stairs landing. I love the insomnia, Auden’s name and her baby sister’s name, the local burger place, the bikes. I reread this one last summer as Contemporary YA research during the 10-week Fiction Blueprint Summer Challenge. I love it.

3/15 // the truth about forever by Sarah Dessen

I couldn’t pick just one Dessen novel, you guys! I believe I reread this one last summer as well for comp research. The catering crew is the best!

I discovered Sarah Dessen in high school after reading Speak (which is also on this list!) I’m pretty sure. I didn’t know this high school/teenage girl genre existed and fell head over heels in love it with it.

4/15 // Geekerella by Ashley Poston

This is a book about a convention. Nuff said. hahaha! but really, it’s great! There’s also a Firefly reference in it which is bomb dot com because that is a very niche show. All the books in this Con Series are sweet. I think Ant has also read this one.

5/15 // this lullaby by Sarah Dessen (again!)

You guys, she’s just the best. I say, “Hate Spinnerbait” all the time, and last summer Ant finally read it =D #wifewin I love this book.

6/15 // catch a falling star by Kim Culbertson

First of all, she’s a local author! It’s also just a really sweet book. The Main Character is trying to figure out her future post high school and how dancing figures in it when she’s asked to be the love interest in the teen Hollywood star that’s come to town to film a Christmas movie. The star/galaxy metaphors are great! Also, I love her supportive parents in this book.

7/15 // speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I first read this book in high school. It’s not an easy book to read when you’re a naïve teen yourself, but it was necessary and, the way I remember it, it opened me up to the rest of the Contemporary YA genre that I still read (and write!) today. This was the first book my shelf that Ant read. He read it secretly when I wasn’t home or when I was sleeping and then surprised me when he’d finished it.

8/15 // Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

This book! High school rock bands and the band manager is deaf. I first read it through the library like five or six years ago and finally (!!!) received as a Christmas present a couple years ago. I think this was the book that Ant had trouble ordering. I’m so glad to finally own it 🙂

9/15 // always and forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Love Before #3) by Jenny Han

This is the third book in this series and I loved it! I read the first one when Ant and I were still at the Rocklin Apartment (July 2016) and I wanted to keep going–you know what? I think that’s the year I received a Target gift card for my birthday and I spent it on this series. If not all of them, then at least the second and third books, but I think it was all of them.

Anyways, I really wanted to keep going but *low-key spoiler*, Lara Jean and Peter kept going back and forth, so I finally just put it down. I finally returned to the series as a whole again less than two years later in April 2018. (In double-checking Goodreads, apparently I reread the first book in April 2018 and read books two and three in August 2020. huh.)

I loved the first one, appreciated the second one when I finally did read it, and LOVED this one (the third one). The post-high school tension of picking colleges and/or love was written very well. The family dynamic is also strong in this series. I still want to watch the movies on Netflix. Oh! And Kitty is getting her own movie?! I saw the commercial for it recently!

10 & 11/15 // if i stay and where she went by Gayle Forman

Oh man, you guys, these two books. I love them. Mia’s dynamic with her family, the pov from out-of-body experience, the musical family, her best friend. And then the sequel, told from Adam’s perspective. Gold. I appreciated it way more the third time I read it. Neither have been read since 2017. My To Read is so long, but these are SO GOOD! I’ll have to see about rereading them again soon 🙂

12/15 // The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson

Only the first book is pictured here, but the three books that are out so far (I’m still holding out for the fourth one!) are amazing! A ghost Jack the Ripper story meets an American girl studying abroad in London. It’s so great. I love all of it. Ant and I still giggle over the friend knitting sleeves (just sleeves!) when she’s nervous.

13/15 // The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

This wasn’t my first Deb Caletti novel. I believe I gave Honey, Baby, Sweetheart a try in high school and didn’t finish it. But a few years later (post high school?), my sister checked out The Six Rules of Maybe (also on this list!) from the Cameron Park library and I fell in love with it and I think I read The Nature of Jade next.

I love the zoo trips and the connection to the elephants in this book.

14/15 // Skinny by Donna Conner

Way back in…2012 maybe I attended my local chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) writing conference in Rocklin, and I sat in on YA Muses’ panel, where I learned so much about writing and revising. I followed their blog for the longest time… I think it’s archived now.

Donna Conner was apart of this group that called themselves the YA Muses. Skinny was her first YA novel I believe. I read it in 2014. What Skinny represents is amazing and deep. For the main character it was to lose weight and become skinny to be pretty and popular, but we all have our own versions of Skinny, and I really resonated with that, even barely a year into being married.

That’s why I love books. I don’t need to be middle-aged or still in high school, wondering where I’m gonna go to college or having a mid-life crisis to relate to a lot of the characters I read about.

15/15 // The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

You guys, this book is the sweetest. I reread it last summer as part of my comp genre research and loved it just as much as the first time. Nerds and young love, friendship and fanboys and fangirls, New York Comic Con. I love that more and more Contemporary YA books are taking place at Cons.

16/15 // The Six Rules of Maybe

Okay, Goodreads says I read this in March of 2018, definitely had to be a reread. I remember getting this from the Cameron Park library. It has, to this day, my favorite scene ever written. It takes place toward the end of the novel and the main character makes her one of her neighbor’s days. It’s the best scene ever. I remember the first time I read it, copying it out to keep it forever. It’s also been on my wish list for forever and I finally own it! Mom gifted it to me for my birthday this year–woot woot! I’m excited to reread this. It’s definitely on the list!

Not pictured other favorite Contemporary YA:

  • Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon
  • All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
  • Starfish by Dawn Akemi Bowman
  • Right Where I Belong by Krista McGee
  • Golden by Jessi Kirby
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Noggin and Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Teen Fantasy not pictured:

  • The Legacy of Orisha series by Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
  • Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
  • The Divergent series by Veronica Roth
  • The Black Mage series by Rachel E. Carter
  • The Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
  • The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Wow! What a trip down memory lane for Teen Literature Day! That was a blast =D let me know if we have any reads in common. Also also, do you read teen lit? If so, what are your favorites?

Writing Process Notes:

4/18/23 // 7:25am-9:02am. just sat down and started writing. My end of the couch. “God” playlist on Spotify. Checked Goodreads for some dates, checked personal IG for documentation of the SCBWI conference. Word count: 1,610

One thought on “Happy Belated Teen Literature Day!

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