2018 is the year where I officially turned into a big ole contemporary loving fluff ball. 🌺 A lot of my blogger friends (looking at you, Marie) have been raving about wonderful contemporary books that they’ve fallen in love with over the years, and I decided to take the plunge and pick up their recommendations. I can proudly say that I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and fallen in love with these heart-warming, feel-good reads. 💕 Therefore, today’s post features my top 10 favorite contemporary reads this year that I hope will inspire some warm and cozy feelings in your heart!
1. Anything by Kasie West
No, not a book titled “Anything” you silly goose. 😂 (I know…bad joke but I just had to) I mean, any book that Kasie West has written, but if you want specifics, I’d recommend P.S. I Like You and The Fill-In Boyfriend. These books are so cheesy that my stereotypical Asian lactose-intolerant self was scared. 🧀 Kasie West’s books are like Disney Channel original movies in book form—guilty pleasures that you can’t help but love.
2. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
I would actually recommend most of Morgan Matson’s books, but The Unexpected Everything is hands down my favorite. It’s a summer romance that features dogs(!!!) and the most adorkable male lead. 🐶 It has wonderful family relationships and a teenage summer journey of self-discovery. This book strikes a perfect balance between friends, family, and romance.☀ If you love this book, I’d also recommend her other summer romance, Second Chance Summer.
3. Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Have you ever seen a more aesthetically pleasing cover?? My eyes are in love. 😍 Always Never Yours is so fire-trucking cute that I can’t help but squeal when I think about it. It’s a classic friends-to-lovers trope but with some unique twists along the way. Megan and Owen have the cutest friendship that slowly evolves into romantic feelings and every one of their interactions made my heart happy.
4. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Geekerella is a modern remake of Cinderella as per the title. It’s the perfect read for us geeky, reader fangirls because the narrator is very relatable. 🎬 While the book itself is based on a story we all know, it also won’t fail to make your heart flutter and swoon. The main character’s development throughout the novel is fantastic, and the romance was very slow-burning in the best way. ✨
5. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
I know it’s winter in the U.S., but I would still highly recommend this wonderful summertime read. Alex, Approximately appealed so much to my California girl heart because it’s set on the beach and the male lead is an ex-surfer. 🌊 It also has the cutest playful banter!! The characters have a lovely balance of fun and excitement with touching and deep moments. 10/10 would recommend! (TW: gun violence)
6. Wanderlost by Jen Malone
Have you ever read a book and instantly wanted to be transported to its setting? That’s Wanderlost in a nutshell. 🌎 Europe has always been one of my top bucket list travel locations, and this book makes me want to pack my bags and hop on a plane to another continent. I think the best part about this book is that the romance doesn’t take away from the main character’s self-discovery and growth. Now, I’m low-key regretting not studying abroad next semester. 🙈
7. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
I would describe Emergency Contact as very slice-of-life. It’s a very subtle and slow read, but it also touches on important topics of friendships and family. ☕ I really love the idea of having “a person”, someone you can always rely on. This book is different from other contemporaries I’ve read this year because it’s more unconventional, but I still found it pretty enjoyable! (TW: rape)
8. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I’m flailing because 1) this trilogy is so cute and 2) there’s confirmation of a movie for P.S. I Still Love You!! 🎉 I will admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book during my first read of To All the Boys primarily because of the pacing, but Jenny Han’s writing does improve throughout the trilogy. The second book is really what made this series for me and 90% of that is because of John Ambrose McClaren. 💖
9. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
I definitely don’t think that I’m someone who cries easily, but this book had me in tears in the middle of the shopping mall. Sarah Dessen’s books always have this blend of serious topics with soft romance, and I would say Once and For All is her most emotional one yet. 💐 It’s filled with wedding festivities and happy-go-luckiness, yet it’s also filled with pain and sorrow. (TW: gun violence)
10. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
This book had me flopping with cuteness but also tearing up like an emotional mess. Plus, the drawings in this book are phenomenal! 🌟 If I had to describe Eliza and Her Monsters in two words it would be: soft and serious. There are amazing anxiety and depression representation, and I think it’s also a very touching book for us readers who are also bloggers because we can relate to having a piece of ourselves out there on the internet.
I hope you enjoyed these recommendations and decide to give them a try! If you want more amazing contemporary recommendations, Vicky wrote a post about her favorite feel-good reads. And if you’re already looking towards 2019, Marie wrote about her most anticipated 2019 contemporary reads which you can add to your TBR. 😊
#Project14Lists is a project Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch started, with a goal to write and post a bookish list every day from December 18th to December 31st. Participating bloggers are tasked to come up with creative list ideas, and on each day until December 31st, write a list and post it on their respective blogs. Check out who else has accepted this blogging challenge here.
If you’re interested in joining the fun as well as entering an exclusive giveaway for participating bloggers, read this!