Some of the greatest joys in life come from blending two awesome things into one even MORE awesome thing—peanut butter and chocolate, Arnold Palmers, high-low dresses (at a certain point in fashion history….). So we shouldn’t be surprised that the same holds true for book genres! Whether you’re primarily a fan of contemporary novels or you scoff at anything that isn’t fantasy, we urge you to open your minds and hearts to the possibility that the fantasy/contemporary blend might just be the next, unexpected reading love of your life. Need some more convincing? Here are 9 books that prove that blending reality and fantasy is always the way to go.
A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
An epic fantasy world combines with modern day-Toronto in this Falling Kingdoms spin-off series. It’s a side of Mytica that you’ve never seen before—but with all of high-stakes drama and magic you know and love from the original series.
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Emily Henry’s debut novel is unlike anything you’ve read before—strange and beautiful; funny and poignant. If you love contemporary novels, you’ll be won over by the richly portrayed Friday Night Lights-esque southern setting of this novel. If fantasy is your thing, you’ll be breathless at the time travel and parallel worlds. If you’re a human with a pulse, you’ll fall in love with the romance. Something for everyone!
Triple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz
Twin witch sisters spending a summer in the Hamptons—need we say more? This book is pure candy and the perfect treat to kick off your summer reading.
Iceling by Sasha Stephenson
The perfect book for any vintage X-Files fans out there. Iceling is about the bond between Lorna and her adoptive sister, Callie—who lacks all ability to speak or understand human language. It’s up to Lorna to protect her sister—even as she begins to discover that there’s much more to Callie’s origin story than she could have ever imagined.
Iceling comes out 12/13—find out more!
Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar
Twin Peaks meets Stars Hallow in this totally fresh take on paranormal suspense. The main character Aspen has the ability to reach into other people and take their memories, emotions, personality traits—anything. This unique magic system combined with real, thought-provoking questions about power, free will, and good intentions will leave you itching to discuss with someone.
Never Ever by Sara Saedi
For those who want their fantasy/contemporary blend with a little more “fairy tale,” this modern Peter Pan re-telling has your name written all over it. Never Ever is a completely unique take on the classic fairy tale, complete with love, danger, suspense and Neverland (a mysterious island off the coast of New York City).
The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
We can’t talk about contemporary/fantasy blends without talking about the Bloodlines series, obvi. This spin-off from The Vampire Academy series has a part-human, part-vampire setting with super high stakes and super hot romance.
The Rebel Belle series by Rachel Hawkins
This insanely fun and funny series starts out with Southern belle Harper Price discovering her destiny involves a bit more than just becoming Homecoming Queen. She basically has to save the world—NBD. The book is a perfect mixture of high school drama, humor, romance and a kick-ass heroine.
Between Worlds by Skip Brittenham
Some of the most classic fantasy/contemporary combos are those that feature characters who start out in our world and somehow wind up in fantastical new world (Narnia, anyone?) Between Worlds is a nod to that classic set-up and features two teens who stumble into a totally fantastical—and epically dangerous—new world. They have to figure out how to become the heroes they’ve always dreamed of being or risk never returning to their own world again.
Looking for straight up fantasy? Try these 11 fantasy books to make your summer more magical!
Or are you looking for a classic contemporary? Try these 9 romances guaranteed to seduce you!