The best contemporaries ever: My favorite books from the genre I hate most and read most

I am, as I have often said of late, an extreme masochist.

It takes a certain level of mental instability to lock down a 2.7 average rating for an entire year’s worth of (131!) books.

I have one genre to thank for this massive lack of success. It’s young adult contemporary, those books I almost always hate and yet read far and away more frequently than YA fantasy, classics, magical realism, or anything else that gives me a snowball’s chance in hell of liking a book.

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You Review: The last (and practically only) favorite read of 2017

Synopsis: When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means MURDER!!!!!!

Dun dun dun.

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More unpopular opinions: Two books only I hated out of the whole world, except not really

Well, this year has been characterized by unpopular opinions and one-star ratings and really bad YA contemporaries. So why not close out the year with the best possible indication of what that year was like?

So here we are. Two contemporaries with decent Goodreads ratings; two somewhat promising but not completely synopses; two one and a half star reviews.

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Just One Day Series Review: Even good things are bad, you know?

Oh man oh man oh man. Here we are again.

You may have seen me freaking out recently about Just One Day. The rare good kind of freaking out. It scraped – just barely – into my all time favorites list. I screamed about it in my July/August wrap-up. But mainly this book gets hella name checking on this blog because of the main character, whose name’s spelling I actually genuinely forget. Not a good sign.

Update: It’s Allyson. Ridiculous spelling and I refuse to apologize for not knowing it off the dome.

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The Night Circus Review: Or, nothing in this life will ever be good or easy

Synopsis: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

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Warcross Review: I will never like anything ever; also I’m back

Synopsis: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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Contemporary Reviews: Because reading this genre always goes so well for me

Whaddup whaddup. Happy Halloween!! I hope negative reviews are spooky enough for you.

Has it been too long since I’ve posted? Probably, right? It seems like a safe bet to assume I’m constantly going too long without posting. I’m really good with schedules and organization and efficiency and having my life together, you guys. Nothing is falling to total ruin around me as I pile more and more onto my plate, signing up for more and more things and handling none of them appropriately or anything like that. I didn’t skip a class this morning in order to sleep for four more hours or something.

Moving on.

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