I’m not writing this to say that I never ever read YA contemporary or that I completely write it off. I know people who love YA contemporary and dislike my favorite genres, so that is not the issue here. There are a few exceptions that I did find myself enjoying, one of them being Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius. The main draw for me was the retelling of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. It seems, however, I usually like books other people don’t quite love.
Three reasons I don’t usually read YA contemporary.
1.I have my own problems and I don’t care to read about yours.
A little harsh sounding, but I want to get away from real life problems and anything that might resemble my own. I don’t care for petty high school issues, such as getting that special someone to go to prom with you or making a sports team, either. Sure, some YA contemporaries do touch on important issues (death, war, and other serious aspects of life) and I respect that, but I tend to read to escape.
2. I just can’t relate to YA contemporary characters.
Many teenage characters are so stereotyped you would think that all teens would have the same experiences no matter their background. My teen years were uneventful and did not involve drugs, serious or any relationships at all, sneaking out, getting into trouble, etc. So it’s hard to read and not roll my eyes at really stupid decisions these characters make (although the same is true outside YA contemporary). Plus many are unrealistic, anyway. How do these kids get away from adult supervision/law enforcement all the time is beyond me.
3. Romance is usually involved no matter what, even when I think it shouldn’t be.
So I know a lot of people like or want romance in their stories, but I think it should not always be necessary for every book. Not everyone gets a relationship so early in life and not everyone gets to be with the person they love. And the biggest thing, not everyone gets two wildly attractive dudes wanting them like a thirsty man wants water. Now I do like romance every now and then, but I want some platonic love, too.
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What about you guys? Do you find yourself loving, hating, or in between when it comes to YA contemporary? What is your favorite contemporary book?