Oh, I love this theme, couldn't resist :) Here we go!
In no particular order (and with no proper capitalization)..
I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
- quietly brilliant, magical, and stunning contemporary. and i can't say enough about how much i adore the writing
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King
- gahh more people need to read this!! an amazing book with some of the most realistic characters. plus the prose is amazing and i love style and plot, plus: flow charts.
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
- can i just shove this book in everyone's face? awesome characters, rock music, swoon, a great portrayal of family dynamics and a grounded deaf protagonist makes for a fantastic read
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
- i think you guys have heard (over and over and over) about my love for this book, it's quiet and gorgeous and romance-free but the prose is to-die-for and the characters are magnetic.
When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer
- intense and addicting, this book took me by complete surprise as i was bowled over by how much i loved it. there's this exciting energy and vibe to the book, seriously recommended!
Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
- i can't tell if this is underrated because it's gotten around in the blogging world. however, i never feel bad about featuring it more because this remains one of my favourite ya contemps with its gritty take on drugs, alcohol, death and abuse. it becomes permanently seared into your mind after you finish, i dare you to prove me wrong.
Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
- recently read this one, man, hannah moskowitz can write boys. and i mean that in the best sense, because she can also write family and write romances and summer and quote camus. fantastic book about family, you don't want to miss this.
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
- i think i'm addicted to this book (and i'm going to just assume it's underrated in north america, it's pretty acclaimed in australia, i believe). i think you guys haves seen this cover and me mentioning this enough in the past few weeks :p aussie authors, you guys are the best (and i just finished Graffiti Moon and it was ohmigodamazing)
Split by Swati Avasthi
- omg can i just talk about how amazing the portrayal of the brothers, jace and christian, are? it's a book about family but it's also a book about redemption and hope and loss and it's all types of wonderful.
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
- seriously guys, this book rocks. it's smart, energetic and a great portrayal of high school. it includes themes of feminism and sexuality and the author pulls the story off with sharp writing and relatable characters, a must-read for contemp fans.
OH LOOK CAPS LOCK IS WORKING AGAIN. Yeah. I excused capital letters today, they needed a break. And looking at this list, these are all contemporary books *shifty eyes*
Honourable (non-contemp) mentions:
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (middle grade too!)
Unwind by Neal Schusterman
Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher
... fudgicles, I really am a selective/picky genre reader O.o Or I just read all the mainstream paranormals and dystopians :p
Anyways... what do you think of the list? I could seriously go on and on about underrated contemporary books, for realz. And yeah.. sorry I can't be more diverse, I know there were a few I wish I could've added to the list as well :p