Young Adult Contemporaries: Relatable Fiction for Today's Teens

As teens reluctantly head back to school this fall, they’ll luckily have a great selection of new, contemporary Young Adult reads to keep them company. With such a wide array on offer, there’s something for everyone. And these contemporary tales are sure to snag readers' attention because these stories are relatable to today’s teens — no vamps, weres or dragons in sight. Just the everyday, and not-so-everyday, issues that young adults face.



Pushing The Limits

by Katie McGarry

Real life issues: Amnesia and absentee parents

The book in a look: A girl that is a social outcast and a boy with a bad reputation are brought together by the social worker who oversees both their cases.

You’ll love this tale … If you can’t get enough of Simone Elkeles' compelling and complex contemporary teen love stories. 



Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You

by Joyce Carol Oates 

Real life issues: A suicide, an eating disorder and a dangerous relationship with an older man

The book in a look: Two friends' lives are shaken after the illusive Tink commits suicide. But can they pull each other back from the edge before they've gone too far?

You’ll love this tale … If you're a fan of Pretty Little Liars, Michele Jaffe's Ghost Flower or issue books like Patricia McCormick’s Cut.



by Marley Gibson

Real life issue: Cancer

The book in a look: A girl fights her way from the sidelines into the position of popularity she’s always craved, but will she be forced to give it all up when she discovers she has cancer?

You’ll love this tale … If you like empowering reads, the catharsis of a good cry or if John Green's The Fault in Our Stars is one of your personal top picks for the year.


No Boyz Allowed

by Ni-Ni Simone

Real life issues: Foster families, particularly two siblings’ struggle to stay together in an overcrowded system

The Book in a look: When heroine Gem and her little brother are taken in by a new family, will she be able to see that their acceptance is genuine — and finally start putting down roots?

You’ll love this tale … If you couldn’t get enough of Cynthia Voight's Tillerman Chronicles or Nikki Carter's Fab Life series.



If these tempting tales have whet your appetite for contemporaries, we have a few more to suggest. Budding poetess Lennie is left reeling after the death of her big sister, and she releases her anger/hurt in the poems she leaves scattered about town. Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere  will have readers reaching out to give their own sisters a hug after they finish this lyrical and touching book that addresses overwhelming grief.

In Kody Keplinger’s The Duff, a teenage girl also has her life ripped apart. When a cruel boy reveals that she’s considered the "DUFF" of her inner circle, the Designated Ugly Fat Friend, and her family starts to fall apart, she heads down a path that has her questioning her self worth.

Finally, there is the riveting, and sometimes heartbreaking, tale of Gayle Forman’s Mia and Adam that spans two books, If I Stay and Where She Went. When a tragic accident leaves Mia orphaned and in a coma, she must make a decision: Does she choose to let go or stay for the people she still has in her life? The books follow the impact of her decisions, especially its consequences for her boyfriend, Adam.

For more Young Adult coverage be sure to keep your eye on the RT Daily Blog and check out RT’s Young Adult Page!