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Jen's YA Contemporary Book Bucket List
Bestselling YA contemporary novel covers

Do you like modern YA novels like The Fault in Our Stars or If I Stay? If you're looking for recommendations for original new books to read with similar appeal, here's my YA Contemporary Bucket List. Although these young adult novels are good books for teens, they also appeal to adults who enjoy young adult fiction. Some are popular hot new bestselling releases. Others are timeless beloved classics. All of these books feature the romantic and emotional journeys of great teen characters. (Warning: Have a box of tissues handy!) All have the ability to wrench your heart out and leave you a better person on the other end. And all are fantastic and worth the read. Which ones are you adding to your Book Bucket List (AKA: your TBR (To Be Read) list)?

P.S. The top four books below are FREE to read with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited.

You can also visit my YA Dystopian Book Bucket List and my YA Book Bucket List OR you can go on a blind date with a YA book!

 

Books to add to your bucket list ...

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl cover Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews

A high-school senior is forced to befriend a girl who is dying of cancer.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl.
This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life. 
Lost in Los Angeles
by J.W. Lynne

A traumatized teen girl searches for hope in the city of Los Angeles.

Just weeks after eighteen-year-old Erin tragically loses her best friend, she is brutally betrayed by her high school crush. Plagued by crippling panic attacks and disconcerting visions of her dead friend, Erin travels to Los Angeles, searching for a sign that life is still worth living. Shortly after she arrives, she meets Ben, a mysterious man who captures both her curiosity and her heart. As they explore Los Angeles together, Ben reveals shocking secrets of his tragic childhood and helps Erin believe that she can heal from the wounds of her traumatic past. But Ben is hiding one horrible secret. A secret that could destroy her.
More Than This cover More Than This
by Jay McLean

A girl's world is torn apart and a stranger wants to help her put it back together.

When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone.

Jake, a handsome stanger, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on Jake. Despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, Mikayla tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone or letting love in. 
Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan Reason to Breathe
by Rebecca Donovan

An abused teen girl finds love.

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

A teen girl with cancer falls in love with a teen boy with cancer.

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky

A teen boy copes with first love, the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness.

Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
Before I Fall cover Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

A teen experiences multiple versions of the last day of her life.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined. 
Looking for Alaska by John Green Looking for Alaska
by John Green


A boy falls in love with a self-destructive girl at his boarding school.

Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. 
If I Stay by Gayle Forman If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

A teenage girl who is critically injured in a car accident is caught between life and death.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. 
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

A teen boy discovers a mysterious and dangerous place.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

A teen boy learns that there are thirteen reasons why a girl at his school decided to end her life, and he is one of them.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.