Contemporary-A-Thon Mini Book Reviews

Last week (February 12-18), I participated in the Contemporary-A-Thon hosted by chelseadolling reads, Pages and Pens, and myreadingisodd.

I’ve attempted my own self-imposed read-a-thon before, but this was my first time trying to read as many books as I could in a set period of time with a community of people. This particular read-a-thon was unlike mine in that it had a theme—contemporary books—and optional challenges to complete within the week. The challenges were to:

  • Read the most recent contemporary that you purchased/acquired
  • Read a contemporary book with pink on the cover
  • Read a hyped contemporary book
  • Read a diverse contemporary book
  • Read a dark/taboo contemporary
  • Read a contemporary(ish) graphic novel
  • Read a contemporary book that has been recommended to you

I knocked out three books during the contemporary-a-thon (one of them went one day over but shhh let me have this) and accomplished four of the seven challenges. Even though it might not seem like much, I would call this read-a-thon a success; it dragged me out of my reading slump and allowed me to complete three, solid 4-star books. The books showed me how wide and diverse the contemporary genre is, and I have a new-found appreciation for it because of them. I’ll definitely be participating in more read-a-thons in the future (maybe I’ll try hosting my own?), and you all should join too!

Blah blah blah…

on to the mini reviews!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne


  • Read a hyped contemporary book
  • Read a contemporary book that has been recommended to you
the hating game.jpg

Goodreads Description: Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


It’s been impossible to escape this book since it was released in mid-2016. This book is in almost every contemporary book recommendation list I read and was even recommended by one of the hosts, Chelsea. The Hating Game is  definitely hyped, but for good reason. Joshua and Lucy were tailored for every lover of the enemies-to-lovers trope. There’s an intense connection between the two that brings about tons of tension, and their biting wit had me laughing out loud.


i really liked it

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid


  • Read the most recent contemporary that you purchased/acquired
maybe in another life

Goodreads Description: At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.


I had been eyeing this book for a while when I finally picked it up right before the read-a-thon. Anyone who knows me knows that I love pondering about alternate realities, so I’m bound to acquire any book with the buzzwords “parallel universes” or “another life”  in the synopsis. I was destined to enjoy this book from the start and was not disappointed. I can say with certainty that Maybe in Another Life had my favorite female friendship. The book emphasized how all your actions have consequences that you have to own up to and showed that your greatest support can come from someone you have a platonic relationship with.


i really liked it

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman


  • Read a diverse contemporary book
radio silence.jpg

Goodreads Description: What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…

She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.


This book ticked multiple diversity boxes—the main character was biracial and bisexual, her friend asexual, and her friend’s friend gay. Every once in a while, I read a book that just feels like a mesh of other books I’ve finished. In Radio Silence‘s case, they were all books that I enjoyed, like Catcher in the RyeTell Me Three Things, and Eliza and Her Monsters. This book taught me more about asexuality, reinforced my learnings on mental illnesses, and clued me in to what the British education system is like.


i really liked it

Thanks for reading! Did you also participate in the contemporary-a-thon? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know 😊.
I really enjoyed writing these mini reviews and think I might utilize this format more often. What do you guys think? Also, hopefully I won’t be as busy with school the next time I participate in a read-a-thon so that I can make daily posts 😁.

6 thoughts on “Contemporary-A-Thon Mini Book Reviews

  1. AHH RADIO SILENCE! I LOVED that one, I’m so happy you enjoyed it as well. Alice Oseman is such a great writer, I loved everything she’s done so far 🙂
    I have heard great things about The Hating Game, it’s already on my TBR and I look forward to reading it at some point 😀 x

    Liked by 1 person

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