Fierce Fangirl Friday is a weekly post created and hosted by Jackie of Too Much of a Booknerd. Jackie created Fierce Fangirl Friday for us fangirls to have the opportunity to discuss our latest or favorite fangirl obsessions. Today, I’ll be talking about one of my all-time favorite genres: British contemporary.
Let’s just start off by saying that I am a contemporary books girl at heart. Yes, I love a good fantasy or historical fiction, but the majority of my TBR pile is primarily made up of contemporary novels. I admit that lately I have begun to lean toward adult contemporary over young-adult contemporary—a person is NEVER too old to read YA, but I think as I become a bit more mature, I find myself relating to adult contemporary more. And as you might guess from my FFF’s title, British contemporaries are the best kind of adult contemporary reads.
So why do I love British contemporaries so much?
1.British culture AKA I WANT TO LIVE IN A VILLAGE
Okay, so maybe it’s because I have always lived in the US and haven’t experienced what it’s like to live in the UK, but I love reading about the cities and villages our characters live in. In most novels, villages are often where our protagonists journey or return to, and I love how many villages feature cute, close-knit communities.
2. They often feature strong/hard-working/hilarious FEMALE protagonists
Many of the British contemporaries I’ve read feature a protagonist who is down on her luck and is trying to figure out where to go next in her career, relationships, or life in general. They’re often very relatable, and they tend to get themselves into some funny situations as they try to head in the right direction
3.They are the perfect books to not put down
Do you like comfort food? If you do, then you’re in for a treat, as British contemporaries are the literary equivalent. Whenever I’m really in the mood to read and I want a book that will keep me glued to its pages, I go for a British contemporary because I often find myself needing to know what is going to happen to our characters. Will they choose the village over city life? A new career? The perfect cupcake recipe?. I find that these books make the perfect beach reads or rainy day reads—basically whenever you can devote a lot of time to reading?
So who & what do I recommend??
If you’re just branching out into the genre, I’d say your first stop is Sophie Kinsella, the QUEEN of British contemporaries. I recently wrote in my review of The Undomestic Goddess that I firmly believe that everyone needs a Sophie Kinsella book in their life. Her books often feature characters down on their luck and trying to figure out their next step, as well as hilarious, heart-warming casts of characters. I have yet to pick up her Confessions of a Shopaholic, even though I really enjoy its film adaptation, but here’s what I read from her so far: Finding Audrey, I’ve Got Your Number, My Not-So Perfect Life, and The Undomestic Goddess.
Cecelia Ahern and Jojo Moyes are also classic British contemporary authors. Jojo Moyes has a variety of contemporary novels, the most well known being Me Before You. I have a few more of her books in my TBR pile, but I recently enjoyed her book, One Plus One – if you like family-driven novels and road trips, this one is for you. If you’re looking for books focused on relationships and feels, Cecelia Ahern is perfect for you. I loved P.S. I Still Love You and Love, Rosie back in 2016, and I want to pick up One Hundred Names soon.
A new favorite contemporary author of mine is Jenny Colgan. If you love books about or featuring baking, then Jenny Colgan is your girl! Many of her books feature characters who are passionate about cooking and baking. I found her books while perusing the shelves of my local library and I’m so glad I did! I’ve only read Meet Me at the Cupcake Café so far, but I plan on picking up more of her books very soon!
I’ve also read Giovanna Fletcher’s Billy and Me and loved it as well, as it focuses on the relationship between an A-list actor and a small-town girl. I really want to read more of Giovanna Fletcher’s books, as well as Paige Toon, but their books are unfortunately hard to find in the US.
Do you like British contemporaries? Have you read any of the books above? Do you have any recommendations for me? Share in the comments!