Sometimes you just feel like you need to read a cute contemporary, right? I don’t know about you, but I definitely like to cleanse my palate from high fantasy and the darker contemporaries with something light and fluffy. In my books, ‘fluffy’ is always a good thing. I love being entertained. I love losing myself in a narrative where the the apocalypse is not imminent, the government isn’t threatening to kill everyone, and no one’s fighting for survival in the wilderness. We all need a break sometime, right?
So here are some of my favourite cute contemporary novels of all time! The most recent of which is Morgan Matson’s Save the Date. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate her gorgeous novels.
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute. Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
I’m a big fan of Morgan Matson and adore all her novels, so it was no surprise that I fell head over heels for her latest release as well, Save the Date. Save the Date is basically about a wedding where nothing goes to plan, and as someone who freaks out when changes of plan are sprung upon me at the last second, that sounded like an absolute nightmare. I’m sure it’d be the same for everyone. But while Save the Date could have been a novel that made me really tense, it was surprisingly a lot of fun to read. Does it make me a bad person for finding the whole situation hilarious? The fact that their wedding was mistaken for a child’s Australian-themed party was the best thing ever.
But while the wedding did take centre stage for a lot of the narrative, it was good to see that wasn’t the only thing going on. There was a love triangle (the good kind, trust me), a famous, long-running comic strip, a loud and dynamic family, and lots of swoon-worthy moments. Oh, and there was a dog. An instant five-star rating from me. My favourite thing about Save the Date was undoubtably Bill’s presence in the narrative. No spoilers, but I went all heart-eyes as soon as he entered the room. So much gushing!
Just when you think things can’t get any worse for this poor family on the day before—and even of—their wedding, another spanner is thrown in the works. It was problem after problem, and it was just so entertaining seeing this family try and turn a disastrous situation into something that says a little less sinking Titanic and a little more Harry and Megan’s big day. Who knew that’d be possible? But it was through this terrible situation (or string of them) that we saw the relationships between the characters shift and change even over such a short time. It also warmed my heart to see the protagonist, Charlie, transition to a new stage of her life and realise what she really wanted.
Ultimately, Save the Date is a hilarious and heart-warming story about disasters, family, and learning what to do when things don’t go to plan. Morgan Matson has done it again with a cute contemporary that is sure to make you laugh out loud. Just don’t read it if you have a wedding coming up!
Thanks for including me in the Save the Date Blog Tour, Simon & Schuster!
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Right from the moment a Starbucks iced latte was thrown in a guy’s face, I was sold. Just kidding. Partly. What made When Dimple Met Rishi such an unforgettable read for me was because of two things, the first being how funny it was. I mean, you don’t go from that Starbucks scene in the first chapter or so and expect to read something gritty or sobering. It was just fun. And the second was how it was of the first high-profile YA novels written by and about an Indian-American young woman. It’s so important to see that kind of representation in YA, and I adored reading about Dimple’s family relationships and the expectations her parents and those around them placed on her. When Dimple Met Rishi is a book you can’t help but fall in love with.
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
If you haven’t read this gorgeous trilogy yet, you need to add it to your TBR ASAP—and get to it before the release of the film on Netflix! What I love most about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is just how relatable it is. There’s talk of baking and stationary, and family dynamics that will melt your heart. And as you would expect from a book that revolves around the sending of letters to past crushes, there’s a lot of swoon-worthy moments involved. If you’re looking for a book to clutch to your chest while you squeal, this is the one for you.
Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name.
When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?
Jenn Bennett is another one of my go-to authors if I’m in need of a comfort read. Her contemporaries are perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jenny Han—and Alex, Approximately is my ultimate favourite by her. It takes the intrigue of Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and mixes it with the gorgeous summer setting of Second Chance Summer to create a swoony story that will melt your heart like no other. I can’t praise this one highly enough. What a stunning novel!
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
And finally, The Sun is Also a Star is one of my favourite contemporaries of all time. I love it so much that whenever anyone asks me for contemporary recommendations, it’s usually the first one I suggest. Like some of my other favourite contemporaries, this novel by Nicola Yoon isn’t just all fluff—there’s a depth to it that I just love. Not only is The Sun is Also a Star a novel about two teens that gradually fall for each other of the course of a day, but it’s also about societal expectations, tough family situations, and deportation. It’s got a lot of swoon-worthy moments, but it also has the grit and complexity of so many other ‘deeper’ contemporaries I adore. The Sun is Also a Star is perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli alike.
What are some of your favourite cute contemporary YA novels? Have you read any of my favourites? Which are on your TBR? Let’s talk about all of them!