Top Ten Contemporary Books You Might Be Surprised To Learn I Haven’t Read

“Top Ten Tuesday” is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!



This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is the Top Ten Contemporary Books You Might Be Surprised To Learn I Haven’t Read.

Regular followers of Pop! Goes The Reader will know that there is no genre I love more, no genre I feel more comfortable with, and no genre in which I’m more widely read than the contemporary genre. That said, like any reader, I have a few glaring omissions in my reading history that some might find shocking. For example, I have never read a novel by Sarah Dessen. I know, I know! Please, lower your rotten tomatoes. The worst part is, I have absolutely no excuse. I don’t know why this is or how this happened, but I do plan to rectify it. I actually own four books by Dessen – What Happened To Goodbye, Just Listen, The Truth About Forever and Lock & Key – now it’s a simply matter of working them into my rather overwhelming review schedule of current and upcoming releases. Some of the books on this list, like The Fault In Our Stars and Second Chance Summer either hit a little too closely to home or focus on subject matter that I find particularly upsetting. Others, like The Sky Is Everywhere, Jellicoe Road, Open Road Summer and Anna and the French Kiss are either so critically acclaimed and/or surrounded by such an overwhelming amount of hype and popularity as to raise my expectations and render me exceedingly intimidated. Whatever the reason or excuse, these are all books that I do intend to read at some point and cause me no end of mortification that I haven’t done so already. Behold, my secret shame.

As always, these choices are listed in no particular order.

1) The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

2) The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

3) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

4) If I Stay by Gayle Forman

5) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

6) What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

7) Second Chance Summer by Morgan

8) The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

9) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

10) Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

18 responses to “Top Ten Contemporary Books You Might Be Surprised To Learn I Haven’t Read”

  1. Alyssa says:

    Okay I loved The Sky Is Everywhere so much I could have claimed Jandy Nelson as a favourite author just from that one, but I’ll Give You The Sun solidified it for me. Jellicoe Road and Second Chance Summer were spectacular and I bawled hard core for SCS. I only read Anna this past summer and completely fell in love with the series and characters. Open Road Summer was adorable and the friendship was perfect. I really loved If I Stay too!

    As for The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, I was pretty disappointed and think the hype surrounding them is much too strong. But I also don’t think John Green’s characters are relatable in any way and his writing is pretentious so…

    I hope you love them all when you get a chance to read them though!
    Alyssa recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

  2. Alexa S. says:

    Jen! You should definitely read these YA contemporaries, because I’ve read them all and thoroughly enjoyed them. Were I to pick one to really endorse, it would have to be Second Chance Summer! Love Morgan Matson, and particularly love this story for having family, friendship and romance 🙂
    Alexa S. recently posted…Wildlife – Fiona WoodMy Profile

  3. Okay okay okay. So. If you’re going to read a Sarah Dessen novel, I would suggest doing so in chronological order (not that it matters to the actual stories or anything), or by reading one of my two favorites first ALONG FOR THE RIDE or THIS LULLABY. As a debut and a novel on its own, OPEN ROAD SUMMER is very good. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is, like, perfection, and I’d tell you should read it sooner rather than later, but I think you already know that so I won’t. (:
    Rachel Patrick recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (118)My Profile

  4. Perks, TFIOS and E&P are must reads! I hope you enjoy them.

    I wasn’t that impressed with Anna and the French Kiss. Maybe because everyone hyped it up and I was very disappointed with some of the romance.
    Nicole @ Nicole’s Novel Reads recently posted…Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t ReadMy Profile

  5. WHAT. I thought I was the last person to read TFiOS! I just finished it Sunday night, and never would have read it if were not required for YA lit class. I’m amazed I lived. And I totally understand why you don’t want to read it! I don’t like sad books.

    But Anna… Open Road Summer… DO IT. They are such lovely, feel good books with swoons and smiles. 🙂
    Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl recently posted…If I Lived in a World With Soulprint Technology… | Blog Tour + GiveawayMy Profile

  6. I am surprised! The Fault in our Stars?! Anna and the French Kiss?! If I Stay?! Eleanor & Park?! Oh my! :]
    booklife4life recently posted…Top 10 Tuesday! (3)My Profile

  7. Honestly as much as I found The Fault in Our Stars emotional when I first read it I do think both it and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are kind of overrated, but as someone who rarely reads contemporary my opinion probably isn’t all that valid!

    I read If I Stay last November and really enjoyed it, so I recommend checking it out. 🙂 Great list!
    Jess @ Curiouser and Curiouser recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | Historical Fiction I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet!My Profile

  8. Janhvi says:

    If I Stay and the Sky is Everywhere was amazing!
    here’s our TTT

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts
    Janhvi recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #46My Profile

  9. Ahh, so many great books! I ended up enjoying The Sky is Everywhere so much more than I thought I would, and TFioS, Perks, and Anna are some of my favourites.
    I hope you enjoy all of them when you get to read them!

    New follower 🙂 And I must say, your blog design is gorgeous!

    My TTT
    Katie @ Books Under Blankets recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Books I Want To Read From The Paranormal & Contemporary GenresMy Profile

  10. Katie says:

    Okay. Sarah Dessen fanatic over here. I agree with Rachel up there in saying read them chronologically! There are little glimpses of past characters that make it worth it. That said, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and LOCK & KEY are my personal faves.

    Also please, please, do ANNA. You will not regret it.
    Katie recently posted…The Case of Howard Stark’s Sad Mustache (Agent Carter recap 1×04: “The Blitzkrieg Button”)My Profile

  11. I’ve only read four of these bookse – TFIOS, Eleanor and Park, Anna and the French Kiss, and Open Road Summer. I definitely recommend Eleanor and Park and Anna and the Friend Kiss. TFIOS is great, and I did like Open Road Summer, although as time has passed since I’ve read it, I don’t like it as much as I thought.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Top Ten YA Fantasy Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t ReadMy Profile

  12. Emmah says:

    Ahh, you MUST read #1, 4, 7, and 9!!!

  13. I feel comforted because I’ve read more than I haven’t from your books. I have to say I’m surprised you’ve not read any Sarah Dessen, but I don’t think rotten tomatoes are required, if you want a recommendation for a book to read by her I would probably say Just Listen, because I love books that include music, but any book by her is good, I hope you eventually manage to read one of them.

    As for Open Road Summer, wait until summer and it is a perfect read for a lazy summer day, I think. And by that point you may have forgotten some of the hype and be able to read the book simply because you want to.

    Great list, though, just looking at it makes me want to go back and reread a couple of these books, it has been too long.
    Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity recently posted…Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read From Contemporary YAMy Profile

  14. Bahaha, I’m also a self-proclaimed contemporary YA lover, and I haven’t read Jellicoe Road, Second Chance Summer, The Sky is Everywhere, or Perks yet…so you’re not alone.

    And speaking of Sarah Dessen…I just find her okay. I read one book, and I was kinda meh. But I do have Saint Anything, so I’m going to give her another try.
    Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #18: Paranormal/Fantasy YA Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read YetMy Profile

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I need to read a couple of these books too LOL!!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

  16. Lola says:

    Elanor and Park made my list too!!! I highly encourage you to read The Sky is Everywhere and Anna and the French Kiss. Both great books! 🙂
    Lola recently posted…Fairest: Levana’s Story (The Lunar Chronicles 0.5) by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  17. Casee Marie says:

    I haven’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower either! Nor Eleanor & Park or If I Stay. And I’ve always been curious about Anna and the French Kiss because I’ve heard such. great. things. But I’m with you on being intimidated; it’s tough when books get such impossible hype and you doubt they can live up to the experience. Honestly, I read The Fault in Our Stars in December and it just didn’t take. I have such tremendous respect for John Green, his talent is just this immense and wonderful thing, but the entire time I was reading the book I felt overcrowded by everyone else’s praise and my own fragile expectations. I never felt like I was alone with the characters enough to really get a sense of their merit. Does that make sense? And it makes me sad because I know there’s a gem of a book there, but I just wasn’t able to get that experience from it. 🙁
    Casee Marie recently posted…Murphy’s Law by Rhys BowenMy Profile

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