Why I {Am Learning To} Love Contemporary

Posted November 30, 2011 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 8 Comments


…originally posted on Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing as part of  
November’s Just Contemporary event…

shrugged off the YA Contemporary genre for years…

both young adult and adult fiction. Why? 
Because I have a mortgage. I have bills and children and friends that have 
 crumbling marriages
Also, I’ve been through high school and never cared to read about 
teen pregnancy
drug abuse
or any of those other awful things that I remember about my younger days. 
After all, who wants to revisit high school? Not me.
When I graduated, I wanted to try and walk away from that stuff forever. 
never imagined that I would want to voluntarily read about it. 
More importantly, 
When I think about some of the subject matter of the YA Contemps, 
I absolutely panic and freak out for their future. I don’t want to go there. 
(But I need to get over that.) 

A few things have happened recently that have caused me to rethink my 
“No-Contemp” personal policy!

  • I realized that John Green writes contemporary. As I am one of his biggest fans, I stand in violation of my “no-contemp” rule!  
  • I traded recommendations with Ashley and read my first verse novel, which also happened to be contemporary: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder. And I fell in love…beautiful, twirling, dancing-on-clouds love
  • I started actually reading the blogposts/reviews of trusted bloggers who love the contemps and you know what? Some of their recommendations kinda-sorta interested me a little bit. 
  • I realized that as a reader of plenty of adult fiction, I already do read some contemporary. 
  • Not all contemporary is sad or hard-to-read, right? 

All of this being said, I’ve always read to escape
I use stories to go to faraway places, places that aren’t real
I want to read about dragons or faeries, vampires or zombies
I want to read about mythology and fairy tales
I want to visit a crazy post-apocalyptic or dystopian society 
where civilization is on the brink of crumbling (or maybe it already has!) 
and only one person can save mankind
These are the books that make me 
hold my breath
turn the pages fast
nearly die freak out when something awesome happens.
So I don’t see myself rearranging my favorite genres anytime soon. 
I am incorporating more contemporary into my already-eclectic mix
This way, I can truly be more eclectic
I am so happy about this! 
In the past few months, 
I’ve read some amazing adult fiction contemporary books 
that have changed me and opened dialogue in my heart and in my house
(Isn’t that one of the great things about contemporary?)
More recently, I’ve started reading some YA contemporary books
and I am really proud of this
I haven’t read that many yet, but I’m really thinking that 
2012 is my year for contemporary.

This is my official entry into the 
2012 just contemporary reading challenge.
I’m challenging myself to 
plain and simple.
I’m not type specific…not this year!
I’d like to try and read 
12 contemporary books in 2012
but maybe I’ll read more. 
I’ve surprised myself before. 

Bring. It. 

*I would have never made the leap into this genre if it wasn’t for Ashley, Jacinda, and some other incredible awesome wonderful bloggers. The recommendations are amazing for people like myself — new to the genre — and the conversations afterward on Twitter or via email or blog comments are meaningful and inspiring. From the bottom of my heart, Ashley, thank you so much for the push nudge, and not giving up on me! I really AM learning to love contemporary, and I never EVER would have thought that possible! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


8 responses to “Why I {Am Learning To} Love Contemporary

  1. Tee

    LOL Ashley, I am in the process of writing up a blog post similar to this one. Oh, I have already signed up for the challenge, but I wanted to rather vent on my close mindedness of this genre.Like you I have taken the challenge to read 12 contemporary books next year..one a month. Maybe we can help each other out when it comes to what to read next!

  2. I'm going to have to follow your reviews on this challenge because I avoid YA contemporary as well. I *hated* high school and have actually blocked out large chunks of that time period, so I avoid real life books because I get depressed and anxiety-ridden way too easily. I read to escape as well, so I'm curious how this works out for you.

    Not ready to jump into this particular challenge myself, but perhaps you can convince me for the next go round.

  3. Yay! 😀 I'm so excited Asheley! 😀 Cannot WAIT to see what you read! 😀

    And Mandriod- if you ever want recommendations to try, I can definitely recommend some 'tough life lite' books 🙂

    And again – Yay Asheley! 😀

  4. I love this list of reasons why you didn't and now why you are going to try. I like my fiction more on the paranormal/fantasy side as well but I've found contemp to be a great palette cleanser. Hope you enjoy this challenge!

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