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If you like The Fault In Our Stars, you’ll love…

The Fault In Our Stars is kind of a big deal right now. With over nine million copies sold internationally and a number one movie at the box office, the novel and its author John Green have been the subject of endless discussion and a steady stream of articles, going as far as calling Green “the teen whisperer” and suggesting that he has saved YA literature.

And hey, The Fault In Our Stars is a good book. It clearly speaks to a lot of people. But it doesn’t do anything that isn’t done in many other similar, fantastic books by female authors who were writing long before The Fault In Our Stars appeared on the scene. And it’s sad that a lot of these truly amazing female authors don’t get more attention.

So. Here are some of my favorite YA contemporary novels in the heartbreaking vein of The Fault in Our Stars. If you enjoy John Green’s writing, I really think you’ll love these too.


If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Probably the highest profile novel of these books, since it also has a movie coming out this summer, and the one that I think is most similar to The Fault In Our Stars. After a car accident that kills her parents and leaves her brother critically injured, cello prodigy Mia has an out of body experience and must decide whether she’s strong enough to live on without her family, or whether she wishes to die with them.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Author website


Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

I’m a massive fan of all of Courtney Summers’ books, but I think this may be my favorite. Regina Afton is one of the meanest mean girls of Hallowell High. Then her best friend’s boyfriend tries to rape her, and she becomes ostracized by the very bullies she used to be a part of. As Regina faces ever-escalating cruelty, she tries to find support from Michael, an outcast she herself used to bully, and must face both the person she has been and the person she wants to be. This is a punch-to-the-gut type novel, unflinchingly painful and compelling to read. Also check out Cracked Up To Be and Fall For Anything.

Goodreads | The Book Depository | Author website


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The ultimate book for, well, fangirls, but also for anyone who’s suffered from anxiety or simply doubted the direction of their life. Mega Simon Snow fangirl Cath has been defined by her love of the popular book series (she is, after all, the author of the biggest fic in the fandom) and by her constant companion, her twin sister Wren. But now she’s starting college, the book series is ending, and her sister no longer wants to be her friend. Thrust into freshman year of college with no support, scared to even eat in the dining hall, Cath must figure out who she is as a person when her sister and her fandom are taken away.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Author Website

10231501The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Not enough people have heard about this book. When band geek Lennie’s older sister dies, she struggles to deal with her grief and the feeling that she now has to navigate life alone. She finds solace is sharing memories of her sister with her sister’s ex-boyfriend… until she kisses said dead-sister’s ex-boyfriend in a fit of grief, and is horrified at the person she seems to have become. Impossible to say more than that — it’s just a gorgeous book that you have to read.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Author Website


A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Charlie loves music, but is too afraid to perform in front of others. Spending her summer with her grandfather in a small town in Australia after her mother’s death, she desperately wants a friend. Meanwhile Rose, the girl next door, wants nothing more than to get out of this small town. She’s ignored and dismissed Charlie for years, but perhaps now she can use this big city girl’s desperation for friendship as her ticket away. This is a heartbreaking and emotionally real book, all about want that is just out of reach, and what a person might do in order to fulfil it. Highly recommended.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Author Website


Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Chloe has always been in her sister Ruby’s shadow, willing to do anything that her sister demands. Even if that means swimming in the supposedly haunted reservoir at night. Even when that means finding the dead body of one of her classmates floating in the middle of the lake. Two years after the traumatic incident, Chloe returns to her sister and their small town, only to realize that her charismatic sister may not be all that she remembered. Deliciously creepy.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Author Website

What are some of your favorite YA contemporary novels? Share your recommendations in the comments!


Rhiannon Thomas is the author of A WICKED THING and KINGDOM OF ASHES. She lives in York, England.

4 thoughts on “If you like The Fault In Our Stars, you’ll love…

  1. Are there any women in fiction named Regina who aren’t mean?

    Not marketed as YA, and it contains some fantasy elements, but Jo Walden’s “Among Others” seems to fit with this list. It’s mostly about the protagonist figuring out her life after the death of her twin sister in an accident which also damaged her leg. I’ve just read TFIOS, and I think that’s as much teenage melodrama (not in the pegorative sense) that I’m up for just now.

  2. Sarah Dessen does a great job of writing believable and relatable contemporary YA. Love Fangirl and am curious about the others you listed :). However, TFioS really didn’t do much for me when I read it.

  3. I’ve read most of these (not Imaginary Girls, or A Little Wanting Song – though I did read and love another of Cath Crowley’s novels, Graffiti Moon).
    Here are some contemporary YA novels I’d suggest to people who liked TFIOS and are looking for more books to make them feel things:
    Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
    This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
    Hate List by Jennifer Brown
    Saving June by Hannah Harrington
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
    also just about any of Sarah Dessen’s novels (though I’m fond of This Lullaby, and Lock and Key).

  4. Hi there! I just came to say I really like your blog (I only found it out today though, but I’ve been reading it for a good 5 hours now) And I’m definitely bookmarking it. You’ve given me a lot of very interesting book recommendations through it, and it is throughly appreciated. Also sorry for my english for I’m not a native speaker :)

    But I think I might have a recommendation for you to read, if you’d like. I didn’t see it anywhere on your blog, but I might’ve just missed it or you might’ve read it anyways…BUT! It’s called The Shock of the Fall and it’s by Nathan Flier, and I originally picked it up knowing nothing about it only because it had a very beautiful cover. I’m an art student in university so if I buy books randomly I tend to go for the pretty ones (which, in retrospect, has landed me with great and awful reads). I don’t really want to say too much about it, since for me since it’s such a pleasant surprise when you dive into a book you know next to nothing about and find it engaging, but I’d recommend it to you.

    Another book I might recommend is The Other Hand by Chris Cleave but…I had a lot of problems with it so I don’t know if I should recommend it to anyone. It tries really hard to have a feminist message but falls kind of short and underneath it’s narrative is some very racistic thoughts, even though the protagonist is a young woman of colour. But in a way it was still really interesting to read and it made me think about our whole society, though not in the way the book meant. Just how wrong you can go, even with well intentions purely because of ignorance, an born priviledge. That sort of thing.

    This comment is turning into a long monologue and I’m sorry. But I really like your blog!
    Also Pride and Prejudice is my ultimate favourite book :)

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