In honour of spring, I wanted to give you all five contemporary book recommendations that are perfect for this upcoming weather. I’m a total bookworm, so all of these books I have read and loved myself and hope you are willing to give these a try as well!
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
I’ll Give You The Sun is by far my favourite young-adult book of all time. Although, I’ll admit I’m a little biased because the main characters are fraternal twins and so am I, so I can definitely relate to them deeply which is what makes this one so special to me. In general though, this book really dives into the complexity within sibling relationships and how they change drastically over time, especially between main characters Noah and Jude. The novel switches between past events told by Noah and present told by Jude, and how everything intertwines in the end. This unique perspective allows a reader to make discoveries alongside the characters, making you feel absorbed in the story. Most of all, Jandy Nelson shows both the good and bad parts of sibling relationships and the change from child to adult in the process.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I read this one about a year ago and it’s one of those books that has stuck with me over a long period of time. This coming-of-age story is based around two boys, Aristotle and Dante (pretty obvious!) who form an inseparable friendship despite being very different from each other. I love the exploration of Mexican-American identity, gender roles, sexuality, and family dynamics the author does in this book, making it unique and relevant to young readers.
Second Chance Summer is the perfect book to jump into if you are in a reading slump. It’s fast-paced, on the lighter side, and will get you in the mood for summer really quick. I also like the fact that this book was able to focus on heartbreak/teen love aspects AND have strong family relationship elements as well. Not all books can accomplish both of these and I like how the author offered a realistic balance between the two. The main character, Taylor, and her family decide to spend the summer at their old lake house for the last time, but she hasn’t been there for years. However, her former best friend and childhood crush are still there, and that’s where things get interesting.
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
In my opinion, this book is very underrated in the young adult world, but I love it and the messages it carries. Fixing Delilah follows Delilah’s life one summer, where everything seems to be falling apart regarding her family and boyfriend situation. Throughout the summer Delilah struggles to deal with reconnecting with her family, unexpected new romance, as well as hidden family secrets resurfacing. Just like I’ll Give You The Sun, this book has an interesting family dynamic, but really focuses on mother/daughter relationships, which gives a realistic feel to the whole plot.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Because the other four books listed are all Young Adult, I wanted to offer an adult-contemporary book that’s a little darker. White Oleander follows Ingrid, a fascinating and mysterious poet who has been put in prison, and her daughter, Astrid, growing from child to woman in the midst of foster homes. The language in this novel is incredibly poetic and timeless, so read it slowly and savour every moment.