I love it because there's nothing that special about the heroes of realistic, contemporary fiction. They don't have superpowers or curses or magic or any of that. They're human. Which means that when they succeed it's because of some inner strength - because they want it enough or they work hard enough or they're lucky enough. Or a combination of everything.
I love realistic stories because reading is like looking in a mirror. It's seeing yourself a little clearer, a little better, finding a piece of yourself in a story that someone else has written. And sure, this happens in other genres, but nowhere is it as widespread as contemporary/realistic.
I don't often talk about what I'm reading right now on the blog, but today I have Wendelin Van Draanen's latest, The Running Dream, sitting next to me. It's about a 16 year old runner who loses her leg in an accident. Who has to learn to live as an amputee.
I don't know anything about losing a limb, but the hospital scenes are almost painful to read. They're real. The horror of seeing yourself in a mirror that first time after being in a hospital bed for days, the food you can't hardly eat and the longing for real food. The complicated and confusing emotions that come with all the "get well" wishes and cards and flowers.
She hit the nail on the head and I love it because, even though I'm not a runner, I can relate to the protagonist. And I know that when she gets through this -- when she makes it to the end of this journey, it won't be because of magic or spells or supernatural creatures. It will be because of her. And because of the people around her. The very human, very fallible people around her.
And that's the kind of strength I love seeing in characters. Real strength. Human strength. I can relate to that.
Why do you love contemporary? Or whatever genre it is that's your favorite -- what makes you adore it so much? Also: I've been doing a few of these more personal reading posts lately; what do you think of them?