Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Contemporary YA Authors

Posted October 16, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 30 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is to choose favorite authors from a specific genre. I chose young adult contemporary. Now why I chose this genre I will never know, since I don’t actually read a lot of contemporary fiction. But I do like to focus on topics I do not get to talk about very often, and I DO have some favorite authors in this genre. Not ten, however. I will be lucky if I make five. 

Reason why I do not read a lot of YA contemporary? Well, I like to escape when I read. That’s why fantasy, sci fi, and paranormal are favorite genres of mine. I prefer NOT to read about the tough stuff because I don’t find it entertaining or enjoyable. But every now and then a book comes along with a blurb that draws me in. And not surprisingly, they are usually by the same authors. I will be focusing on them. Here we go.




1. Jody Gehrman

I’ve only read one book by this author, Babe in Boyland, but it was a good one. I’ve got almost all her other books in my tbr pile and I hope I can get to it soon. I like the way she writes and I like the topics she writes about. I don’t like my contemporary too serious, and most of her books are not. This is perfect for me. 





2. Sara Zarr

I know I just said I don’t like my YA too serious, and I usually don’t, but Sara Zarr is an exception. I’ve read two of her books, Sweethearts, and How to Save a Life, and they were both fantastic and very, VERY special. If you haven’t gotten the chance to read them yet, I suggest you do so as soon as you can. 



3. Kirsten Hubbard

Author of my favorite contemporary book (ya or adult), Wanderlove, this one is like a no brainer for me. Any contemporary list would not be complete without her on it. I have not yet read Like Mandarin, but I intend to do so soon. If you have not read Wanderlove yet, you need to. Right away. Kirsten Hubbard has a writing style and a way of constructing characters that is second to none. Her editor must have the easiest job in the world.




4. Sarah Dessen

Umm, duh? I love reading young adult contemporary romance, and there is no one that writes it like Sarah Dessen. I have only read three of her books, but they were all great and I think I have several more on my shelf that I bought but haven’t gotten to yet. When I say I like to read to escape, she is one of the few contemporary writers that can make me feel like I am actually escaping. Nice talent she has there.



5. Lauren Myracle

She is one of my favorite authors of ANY genre. She penned two of my favorite books: Shine and Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks. Everyone has heard of the first, but not so much the second, and yet, they are both very special and extremely well-written. I cannot wait to see what she writes next. I have a few books of hers left to read yet, but I need more of her work right away. And Shine certainly has one of my favorite book covers of all time.



6. Melina Marchetta

She should be on every list. I still have MANY of her books to read. But the two I have read, Saving Francesca and Looking for Alibrandi were uhhmazing. Of the two, I actually favor the latter, unlike most people, but mostly that is because I relate to the story better. They are both good, and wow can she write. She doesn’t just write contemporary, but she writes a lot of it. I hope to start Finnikin of the Rock soon. I’ve been wanting to read it FOREVER!!


And that’s it for me. Like I said, I knew there wouldn’t be ten. But contemporary is a genre I am definitely trying to read more of. Hopefully when this topic rolls around again, I will have more for you! Leave me a comment and a link to your TTT and I will try to come visit. Happy reading!

30 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Contemporary YA Authors

    • Thanks for your comment, Deb. I think teen minds can handle it just fine. Most teenagers are reading much more serious topics than the ones presented in YA books. And above all, I believe we should be encouraging them to read PERIOD because that is the most important thing. I’m not saying you are advocating censorship, but I definitely want teens to be able to read what they want. Serious topics help prepare them for real life.

  1. I’m with you. I like my sci-fi and dytopia and rarely read contemp, but this year I’ve discovered some great ones like Pushing the Limits! Babe in Boyland sounds like a cute read, will have to check it out!

  2. I was SO CLOSE to putting both Lauren Myracle and Kirsten Hubbard on my list!! Love them both!
    I still have not read a Sarah Dessen or Melina Marchetta…I need to do that.

    • I plan on reading TFIOS at some point. I have heard so many good things about it, but I have yet to read a John Green book. I have a couple on my shelves, but I have not gotten to them yet. I can’t wait though!

      Shine is a fantastic book. P,L, & BD is a less serious read but still a really good one.

  3. I did YA Contemporary as well, and also because it’s not my favorite genre, but when that really special book comes along… I also included LM! Love her. Forgot about Sara Zarr, but she’s fantastic too! Great list!

    Check out my Top Ten Favorite YA Contemporary Authors HERE!

    Also, I have a FANTASTIC giveaway of a SIGNED copy Lauren Oliver’s new book, THE SPINDLERS, going on HERE!

  4. I would love to see how you enjoyed On the Jellicoe Road. It’s one of my favorite novels ever – no one gets contemporary YA like Marchetta!

    I love Hubbard too! Like you, I really need to read Like Mandarin because Wanderlove was one of my favorite reads last year πŸ™‚

    • I’m going to try to read it soon Jessie. It has been on my pile for ages. I actually will be reading Like Mandarin soon. Probably next month. And I can’t wait to get to it!

  5. I’ve only read a book by two of these authors… Jody Gehrman, though I read her latest, which I was sort of meh about. I really want to read Babe in Boyland, though. Also, I’ve read a couple Sarah Dessen books and I love her. πŸ™‚

    • Which was her latest? I missed a book? That cannot happen. *goes to look* Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft? That’s disappointing. I really want to read that one.

      Sarah Dessen is one of my comfort authors. I know I am getting quality at the very least by reading a book of hers.

  6. If I’d done YA contemp, I would have had like three so you’ve done a good job with your list! I loved Looking for Alibrandi when I read it in my teens – I should get a copy and read it again.

  7. Amy

    I have only started really reading contemporary this year. I have read it before, but few and far between. I really have been loving the ones I have read this year though. That’s a great list. I will have to pick up some of those.

  8. Wonderful list, Kara! I have to agree – Kristen Hubbard’s editor must have SUCH an easy job. She’s a phenomenal author and I simply adore her, not to mention Melina Marchetta is phenomenal along with Sara Zarr and Sarah Dessen. I need to check out the other authors you mentioned though, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy those novels too. Thanks for those recommendations, Kara! πŸ˜€

  9. I haven’t read any of these, but Wanderlove is on my TBR list. And I checked out a Sarah Dessen from the library, but I ended up having to take it back before I could get around to reading it.

    Check out my TTT.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  10. I haven’t read any of these authors except Marchetta – I should really change that. These sound like they’d be right up my alley. Awesome list lady πŸ™‚

  11. I love your list, Kara! Contemporary is definitely one of my favourite genres, and I found quite a bit of my favourites on your list. Wanderlove was phenomenal, Melina Marchetta is… I’ll just stop there before I begin gushing uncontrollably. πŸ˜‰ How to Save a Life was so very poignant and beautifully- crafted. Since you’re also a fellow Sara Zarr fan, I highly recommend you try out her other YA contemp novel- Story of a Girl. That book will break your heart, I promise you..

    P.S. I like those jack o’lanterns, btw. πŸ™‚

    • OMG Leanne. I love Wanderlove sooo much. Feel free to gush on my blog anytime.

      I agree with you about How to Save a Life. While not a favorite, I truly appreciated how important the book was and rewarded it with 5 stars for that.

      I intend to get to Story of a Girl as soon as I have time. It’s definitely on the list.

      Thanks, Leanne!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge