If you’ve been around for the last few months or so, then you already know that I’ve been reading more YA Contemporary books. For a long time, I fell out of love with the genre – unless by a few specific authors.
But 2021 is chock full of really, truly amazing sounding contemporary romances and I Am Here For It.
These books keep popping up on my feeds, or I catch quick glances of them, and I have this sudden desire and urge to read them right now…except none of them are out yet.
So, I’m suffering.
This is honestly only a small number of all the YA Contemporaries I want to read, but they are easily the ones I desire the most. Like, I’d kill for a chance to read these books early…okay, maybe not actually kill – but you get my meaning.
If any (or all, I’m not picky) of these books were to show up on my door or on my Kindle, I would freak the fuck out and probably wouldn’t know where to start.
I highly recommend checking all of these books out and pre-ordering them. I’m like 99.99% certain that these are all going to be fantastic and easily become new favorites.
You’ve Reached Sam – Dustin Thao
Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend, Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cell phone to listen to his voicemail. And Sam picks up the phone.
What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?
Filled with a diverse cast of characters, the heartache of first love and loss, and the kind of friends that can get you through anything, plus a touch of magic, You’ve Reached Sam will make an instant connection with anyone looking for a big emotional romance of a read.
I want this book desperately. It sounds absolutely amazing and heartbreaking, and honestly – bring it on. Rip out my heart, stomp on it, and expect me to be okay afterwards. It’s fine. I’m ready. Like, it’s actually kind of ridiculous as to how anxious I am to get my hands on this book. Every time I see the cover, I have to go read the synopsis – it’s the only thing making the wait more bearable. Anytime Goodreads runs a giveaway for this book, I’m there. I’m desperate for this book and I cannot wait to read it. I love YA contemporaries that have a *touch of magic* – they’re always so wonderful and so fun and usually they make me feel everything.
Not Here to Be Liked – Michelle Quach
Eliza Quan doesn’t need you to like her. She puts in more hours than anyone else and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, which makes her the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her high school paper. At least until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly, her vast qualifications mean squat. Eliza tries too hard (and somehow also not hard enough), while the inexperienced Len, who is tall, handsome, and male, just seems more like a leader.
When Eliza’s frustration about the sexism spills out in an essay gone viral, she finds herself at the helm of a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between two camps at school: those who believe she’s a gender-rights champion, and others who think she’s simply the girl who cried misogyny.
Amid this growing tension, the administration asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.
This one is new to me – I only came across the cover about 2-3 weeks ago. It popped up on my Twitter feed and based on the cover alone – I wanted the book. Then I read the synopsis and rivals to lovers?? Fuck yes. I need it. You set rivals to lovers in a high school setting, and I am automatically trash for it. I will eat it up. I am so glad I stumbled upon this one, because it was not on my radar prior to seeing it on Twitter. I can’t wait to meet Eliza and Len.
Never Saw You Coming – Erin Hahn
Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed.
While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship about the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive – even when he can’t possibly forget.
As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.
Erin is just going to make me stay up all night, again with her books. I can’t wait. I like, really cannot wait. I just want to meet these characters and go on this journey and I know Erin *might* rip my heart out, but I trust her to put it back together again. After reading You’d Be Here I knew that I needed anything and everything Erin was going to write. She just makes you fall in love with the characters and the story and then suddenly it’s 5AM and birds are chirping outside your window.
XOXO – Axie Oh
Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.
Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.
When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love.
Can we just appreciate this cover? The colors, the title, just everything. And then can we appreciate that based on the synopsis that this book is going to be cute as fuck and I need it. I need to meet Jenny and Jaewoo. This has been on my radar for months already and I just want to read it now! I feel like a child throwing a tantrum lol. I love this premise and I truly cannot wait to see how it all plays out. This is easily going to keep me up all night when it does finally come out, and I’m here for it.
Like a Love Song – Gabriela Martins
Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?
Fake dating. Legit sold. Between that and this cover – I don’t need convincing. You give me fake dating and I will eat it up. I mean, Brazilian pop star and British indie film star – it’s perfect, and the fact that it doesn’t come out until August is highly unfair. I want to inhale this book by staying up far too late. It won’t matter the repercussions of doing that, I will and I cannot wait to dive into this.
Let me know if any of these made it on to your TBR – and make sure you add them on Goodreads! I’m going to be preordering all of these books, and so should you. I truly believe these are going to be utterly fantastic reads and everyone should read them.
7 thoughts on “5 2021 YA Contemporary Books I’m Excited For!”
Thank you so much for these recs. They are all new to me, will be adding to my tbr 👏💜
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Yay! You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy them!!
I love Erin Hahn!! Can’t wait to read her latest release
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You’ve reached Sam sounds so good and utterly heart-breaking so I NEED it!
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Right?!?! Like, I want to cry – let me cry! I want my heartbroken. 🙈
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