My Bookish Christmas Shopping List # 2 — For My Contemporary YA Loving Sis

Once a week, from now until Christmas, I’m going to be sharing my own shopping lists for family members or friends that I have on my list. I’ll be letting you know what they read, the challenges I face in choosing a book for them and some ideas I came up with. I’d love for you to also interject and recommend some that you think would fit as well! So check out my lists if you are also looking to find some books to give as Christmas gifts for the bookish people in your life.

Buying Books For

My 17 year old sister Paige

The “Challenges”


None really with her. She just really doesn’t like anything even remotely paranormal — she’s my contemporary girl! She does prefer the MCs to be older and for it to be a little more mature. Also, she LOVES reading and devours the books when she does read but it’s hard to get her to pick up a book so it has to be super compelling from the get-go or highly recommended.

My Strategy

Pick books based off books I know she’s already loved and ones that I loved since we have the same humor, same love for really heartfelt stories that make you cry and swoonworthy romances with slower builds (there are some exceptions). I’m going to pick a mix of books for every mood basically so I’ll have a better chance of getting her finding one that catches her attention no matter what kind of mood she’s in!

Books I’ve Recommended To Her & She’s Enjoyed

 Sloppy Firsts (the Jessica Darling series) by Megan McCafferty
(my review of Sloppy Firsts)


If I Stay by Gayle Forman (also Where She Went)
(my review of If I Stay & Where She Wentby Gayle Forman)


The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Because She LOVED Jessica Darling & has the same kind of sense of humor as me

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
( I know she’s going to hate this cover but I’m going to beg her to ignore it)

(my review of Audrey, Wait)


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart


The Boyfriend List (Ruby Oliver series) by E. Lockhart



Because She Liked If I Stay….(emotional & heartfelt)

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas


Hold Still by Nina LaCour


The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
(My review of The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson)



Because She Likes Swoony Romances With Substance Like In The Truth Of Forever (She likes more slow building of romance)


 The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
(my review of The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han)


Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
(my review of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour)


Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
(my review of Moonglass by Jessi Kirby)

Other Go-To Contemps I Could See Her Enjoying


Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
(my review of Wanderlove)


Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
(my review of Twenty Boy Summer)


Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
(my review of Sweethearts by Sara Zarr)


Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager
(my review of Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager)


So these are  my prospective picks to buy for Christmas for my 17 year old sister who loves contemporary YA like I do!  I hope this is useful for any of you looking for good book recommendations for family/friends this season…or for yourself :P.   Let me know if you have any suggestions for me to look into as I try to shop for her and find the best choices that I know she’ll love.

Check out last week’s  Christmas shopping list for my sister who is a Twilight fan!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Some excellent suggestions! 🙂 I especially love the Swoony Romance picks (especially Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which I have forced on so many people).

  2. If your sister won’t like that cover of Audrey, Wait! maybe she’ll like the paperback cover?

    I really have to read The Sky is Everywhere. I’ve heard it’s fantastic. Great list! I hope your sister likes all of her new books.

  3. I love this idea!

  4. Let’s do this:
    If she liked The Truth About Forever, she’ll love other Dessen novels. Just Listen (♥) and What Happened to Goodbye are my next favorites but I also read This Lullaby, Along for the Ride and Lock & Key. Along for the Ride is my least favorite but people who like one Sarah Dessen book tend to also like her other books too.

    I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend Jennifer Echols romantic dramas. Her books are maturer, emotional and the romance gets a double thumbs up from me. So Going Too Far, Such a Rush and Love Story are all favorites of mine (the other romantic drama is Forget You but I haven’t read it yet– I’m a bad fan)

    Saving June by Hannah Harrington. Emotional + Great romance.

    Other Sarah Ockler books: Bittersweet and Fixing Delilah. I love both of them! Bittersweet is more fun but it still packs the emotional and romantic punch.

    Melina Marchetta’s Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son (Going off of the Raw Blue rec. These are more emotional than romance but romance is still there. Aussie YA does no wrong!)

    Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos- I read this a few days ago and it’s a fave of the year♥ Very emotional and “romance” is sloooooooooooow. LOVED it.

    I haven’t read any of Kody Keplinger’s books but I know they’re mature and she’ll probably enjoy them.

    (at this point, I doubt this list is actually being helpful. Too many choices!)

    Lovestruck Summer by Melissa C. Walker- older title. Teen spends the summer with her sorority girl cousin on campus. The book doesn’t look like much (poor underdogs) but it’s super great.

    OHH! Something Like Normal by Trish Doller!! ♥♥♥ Mature + Romance + Contemporary + Emotional. I don’t think it will disappoint her.

    Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski- super fun!

    I’m sure I made this harder on you :p Just pick random books off the list and buy them haha
    But if I had to choose the top one’s I recommend: Going too Far, Something Like Normal, Just Listen and Saving June.

    (and if YOU haven’t read any of these…. recs for you too ;D)

  5. *sigh* I’m back: Amplified by Tara Kelly. Mature, the MC graduated from HS so some characters are in their 20’s. Loved the romance.
    First Comes Love (and the sequel is Second Chance) by Katie Kacvinsky- greaaaaat romance.
    You Against Me by Jenny Downham (UK YA!) super emotional.
    Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom- fun, fun, fun.
    Also, I’m surprised Anna & the French Kiss isn’t on your list!

    I’m done (hopefully!)

  6. I think she’ll love Audrey, Wait! It’s fun and addictive and super readable and since you loved it, I’m sure she will too.

    I love The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (read this years ago and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. CONRAD ♥) and Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour (Sqee! My first ever road trip read. Love. Also: anything written by Morgan Matson is a guarantee of awesome. Second Chance Summer is great too. I cried like a baby. *wipes eyes*).

    I love older YA too so here are some of my recommendations:

    Jennifer Echols’ Going Too Far – Older YA, swoony, addictive. My favourite of Jenn’s books.

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – No need to explain, this book is just WOW. I was literally walking around the house in awe whilst reading this.

    Anything by Hannah Harrington

    And my favourite…

    Something Like Normal by Trish Doller – Pick me, pick me! This book is AMAZING. It’s one of my 2012 favourites and it ticks all the boxes which your sister likes – contemporary, older, mature, compelling, swoonworthy romance with a slow build and it packs a punch emotional wise. Travis is by far the BEST male POV I’ve ever come across, his voice is just so realistic and authentic. I really, really, really think she’ll love it. Really. Trish Doller is genius.


  7. I would also recommend getting her Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. She’ll love it. Buy yourself a copy, too. I also suggest If I Lie by Corrine Jackson. The main character is faced with some incredibly difficult choices and I think she’ll love it.

  8. From your list I would definitely go with The Boyfriend List, The Sky Is Everywhere, The Summer I Turned Pretty, or Twenty Boy Summer. I love all those books!

  9. Ginny Poleman says:

    Jamie: Some great books here. I recommend Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. This book blew me away and it’s a beautiful book to give as a gift—gorgeous paper and illustrations by Maira Kalman.


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