My Guide To Navigating The Contemporary Genre

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Hello Fellow Book Lovers,

I'm here with a new guide for navigating the contemporary genre — which is surprisingly more complex than I'd initially thought.

(Just a quick disclaimer, I don't know everything about the genre. This is more general characteristics.)


What makes a book fall under the contemporary genre?

Sometimes referred to as "realistic fiction", the contemporary genre covers books that take place in the "real world" and have absolutely no trace of fantastical/paranormal and sci-fi beings/elements fall under the contemporary genre.

Subgenres:

Mystery

Books like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew fall under this subgenre. The protagonist sets out to solve a crime in a realistic fashion, using gadgets and techniques that a modern detective might use.

Spy Novels

Novels like I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You and the rest of the Gallagher Girl series might tell the tales of espionage, but they meet the criteria and are a part of the contemporary genre.

Romance

Not to be confused with erotica — which falls under its own special category — romance novels make love the main focus of the story. A book that falls under this genre is A Little Something Different from Swoon Reads, who specialize in YA romance.

YA Contemporary

Books like The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, and To All The Boys I've Loved Before are all about the life of a modern teen set some place real in our world. The protagonists are usually between the ages of 13-19 and make some irrational decisions like teenagers today.

Historical Fiction

A historical novel set in this world is considered historical fiction of the contemporary kind. Books include Code Name Verity and Prisoner of Night and Fog. The setting is almost always accurate, but the characters are original.

Classics

Classics fall under this genre, however, I don't actually consider them to be their own subgenre since they are not always contemporary (like 1984 and A Brave New World).

I know there are more, but those are pretty much the main ones that I have come across.

I will most likely do another one of these sometime in the near future. If you're interested, my fantasy one is here: http://heartscrowns.blogspot.com/2014/10/my-guide-to-navigating-fantasy-genre.html.

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See you all soon!

- Hearts And Crowns

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