Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite YA Contemporaries I’ve Read This Year (So Far)

Posted June 27, 2017 by Madalyn || 14 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is the best books we’ve read in 2017 so far, broken down however we choose (by genre, strictly 2017 releases, etc.). I’ve read a lot of contemporary so far this year, so I decided to share my ten favorite YA contemporary books I’ve read so far this year. I gave all of these either got 4.5 or 5 stars on Goodreads!

madalyn’s top ten

In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers // My first read of the year– and a five-star one, at that! This is SUCH a beautiful story of a diverse cast of lovable characters who go on a scavenger hunt set up for them by their mutual friend, Hope, who has recently passed away. I smiled, I laughed, I cried. ITHOM is so underrated, and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton // This duology reminded me of everything I love about YA contemporary. It’s set at a prestigious ballet school, it’s totally drama-filled, the three POV characters are all ruthlessly ambitious, and every element was done SO WELL. This is one of those books that made me want to do absolutely nothing besides sit down and read it. I binged this duology like I haven’t binged a series in a long while. If you haven’t read this one, for sure check it out!

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate // I haven’t shut up about this book since I read it, so I’ll be brief here. Noteworthy is my favorite read of 2017. A capella + cross-dressing + excellent bi rep + boarding school setting + the most lovable cast of characters I ever did see… what more could you ask for from a book?

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis // A brutally honest exploration of the patriarchy and rape culture, full of flawed, human characters. I think this is a super important addition to YA, and I’m so glad dark books like this exist. This is not a happy story, but it will force you to think.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde // The most adorable book I’ve read in forever. Loved the representation, loved the Comic-Con-like setting, and shipped the hell out of both romances.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // Another of my very favorite reads of the year. What’s not to love about this book, honestly? Molly is the most lovable, relatable protagonist ever written, the representation among this cast of character is fantastic, the romance is precious. Becky Albertalli has such a talent for writing realistic teenagers in realistic situations. All her characters feel like real people you want to be your best friends.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // I’m not sure I can say anything about this gem of a novel that hasn’t been said (likely much more eloquently) already, but I can promise this is a book everyone can take something away from. The social commentary, the family dynamics, Starr herself, and the general timeliness and necessity of this novel cannot be understated. Read it, people.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord // Emery Lord does it again. This is definitely one of my favorites of her novels– it explores so many important topics, from love, to family, to religion, to grief, to the experience of finding your first “work family.” This is the perfect quietly thoughtful summer read (plus, it’s set at a summer camp!).

Always & Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han // The only sequel on this list! All of the Lara Jean books have impressed me, but this final installment in her story has to be my favorite. Lara Jean just feels so… real. I love the growth she and the rest of the wonderful characters in this series go through in this book! It wrapped her story up so wonderfully.

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennet // I am so surprised by how much I LOVED this book! It was witty, sexy, and all-around just the perfect YA contemporary. Plus, it features a totally swoonworthy love interest!


It was so hard to narrow my list down to ten this week! I’ve read a ton of great contemporary so far in 2017, that’s for sure. Have you read any of the books on my list?

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Madalyn

Madalyn is a 20-something music student and lifelong lover of reading. When she's not reading or singing, you're likely to find her drinking coffee, traveling, or buying more lipstick than one person could possibly need.
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  • Noteworthy and Alex Approximately are also one of my best this year. Can’t wait to read the rest!

  • The Names They Gave Us and The Upside made my list too. I really enjoyed Noteworthy and The Hate U Give too. I hope to get to Alex Approximately soon!

    • YES to all of the above! (Also, I think you will really really like Alex!)

  • Sydney West

    THUG was so good! And I still need to read the Upside of Unrequited. I mean I own it so Idk what’s taking me so long. 😛 Great list girl!

  • This is such a great list, Madalyn! Three of these are books I included in my TTT this week, too (THUG, The Names They Gave Us, and Queens of Geek). The Female of the Species and The Upside of Unrequited are both on my TBR. I think my library has both so hopefully I’ll get to read them sometime soon even though I can’t really buy books right now (being unemployed sucks, haha). I’m really glad to see you liked them so much! 🙂

  • I’m on a pesky book buying ban right now but I swear to god The Upside of Unrequited will be the first book I’ll buy in August lol

  • Yay for Queens of Geek, Alex, Upside, THUG and Names! Those are books that blew me away too this year. I’m going to read the Lara Jean books this summer and I can’t wait for the binge-session. Also Noteworthy. I need to read it ASAP!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed all of those, too, Nick! They were really really excellent. AHHH, I can’t wait for you to read the Lara Jean books!

  • Brittnee Bryan

    I’m so behind on all of the contemps that have come out this year! I have more than half of these on my shelf, just waiting to be read! I have read Noteworthy though and really enjoyed it!

    • Noteworthy is probably my top favorite book of the year so far! Love love loved it so much. I hope you like the others when you get to them! 🙂