For those readers who like their reads to be a little more succinct, young adult literature might be the way to go. Young adult literature, typically intended for a teen audience, provides approachable and diverse narratives for adults of all ages. Take some time and check out these highlighted titles for contemporary and realistic young adult literature.
While the characters in The Hate U Give are still in high school, this poignant story is for any age, and is one that will keep you enthralled until the very end. The story deals with the death of a friend, the struggle to do the right thing, and how to find your true self. The characters are flawed and beautiful and it is worth taking a closer look.
Everyone has issues and relationships and stuff. In The First Time She Drowned, Cassie has major issues. Going to college, dealing with her unhealthy relationships, and have I mentioned she checked herself out of a mental institution? This book is a deep and complex read about mental health, toxic relationships and figuring out how to survive.
In Watch Over Me, Mila tackles the heavy subject of overcoming trauma, aging out of the foster care system, and finding a forever home (and maybe a family?). Mila has found refuge at a farm where memories and trauma come back to the surface haunting her and the other inhabitants of the farm. Author Nina LaCour has written a modern-day ghost story for readers to explore and let the feelings of Mila get under their skin.
Spend a year with Ada at a HBCU finding out who she is supposed to be on her terms. Ada is navigating her new world and learning that there are some darker places to explore that she needs a way to find the light. Meanwhile she struggles to let go of the expectations that everyone else has put on her. Every Body Looking is written in verse and is a quick and powerful read.
Meeting people in person is just plain awkward! If you resemble that statement, then Emergency Contact might be just the read for you. Sam and Penny’s lives collide in the most awkward way, they exchange numbers, and in true digital age fashion they become inseparable – online of course (because who would want to actually be that awkward in person?).
Cath is really good at one thing… being a fan of the Simon Snow series. The rest of her life, well that’s a work in progress. Cath and her twin sister Wren used to be inseparable, her love life was… adequate, her friend group was neat and tidy, and her relationship with her parents used to be less complicated. Graduating high school and going to college was a big change that she expected, but Cath didn’t expect her whole world to be up-ended; and to top it all off her professor thinks that fan fiction is the end of the world. Rainbow Rowell paints a true yet comical picture about what it’s like to be the “Geek” finding their place in the world.
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