Unfortunately, I'm still a student in high school. Which might have been a fortunate experience for some, but all I can say about these past three years is: ugh. (On the bright side, anything is better than middle school.)
Although a slightly smaller portion of my reading material is contemporary, I have read enough YA books in the genre to state that there are very few books out there that actually depict high school realistically. Sort of contradicts their being designated as "realistic fiction," doesn't it?
To placate this nuisance, which has been bothering me for the longest time, I've decided to highlight the best novels I've come across that actually make an effort to be accurate in their manifestation of
hell high school. Granted, I could only find four, but that's mostly due to the fact that I've only recently began to broaden my horizons into this genre.
I read this recently and was unexpectedly entertained. Not only that, but the main character, Lainey, was actually involved in school! She was on the school soccer team, She had normal parents. She stressed about high school like any other senior would. It wasn't the best contemporary novel I've ever read, but hey, it was very realistic in terms of the life of a teen in her last year of high school.
2. This Song Will Save Your Life, by Leila Sales
All of Marchetta's novels adeptly handle the realities of high school--I mean obviously it's Melina freaking Marchetta. Looking for Alibrandi, though, is special in my heart as it was the first of the author's novels I had ever read. Moreover, this book specifically is probably the best at juggling high school, social life, and family life, and is quite truthful and accurate in its portrayal of life as a teenager.
4. Mythology, by Helen Boswell
Which high-school-accurate novels have you come across?