Fantasy vs. Contemporary: Which is the “Better” Genre to Read???

In YA, you either like fantasy or contemporary better.

There’s no “I like both equally!”. You will always love one more than the other. Even just a little bit.

It’s okay, little mangoes??? You’ll survive this startling realization. But to help out with the shock, I’m also bringing to your attention this tiny little question:

Which genre is “better”?

Not “which genre do you like better?”. Which genre IS better??? Because we truly need to know which one is more beneficial to us as mangoes crazy bookworms human beings.

This discussion was inspired by a debate we had in our Language Arts class. I actually liked this because IT TALKED ABOUT MY FAVORITE THING. (Aka books.) We were talking about which one was more beneficial to tiny little children.

Of course, I am not a tiny little child (I think) so I have adapted this to better fit our wonderful selves.

(PS: To save you from confusion, when I say “pros” I mean how the genre benefits you. And when I say “cons”, I mean how the genre fails you like chocolate with nuts in them fails you. HONESTLY. YOU’RE RUINING THE CHOCOLATE???)

Image result for chocolate with nuts



  • Escape to a whole new world. Sometimes life just SUCKS, so why wouldn’t we want to escape it and enter a whole new BETTER world?
  • Can relay messages in an indirect, less confrontational way. In a lot of contemporaries, you see social issues. But in fantasy, you can ALSO do this, but even better: in a secret, sly way! It’s an underlying message! Isn’t that so cool!
  • Full of MAGIC and POWERS and POSSIBILITIES. Fantasy allows us to imagine, and it has SOOO many aspects of the world that we DON’T have.
Image result for magic wand gif
Me too, Harry, me too.
  • Allows us to see the world differently. Because a certain fantasy world is SOOO different from our own (or is it???), we can experiment with different ways of seeing the world. LET’S BE OPEN-MINDED YO.


  • A little TOO fantastical. You MAAAAAY or may not get TOO immersed in this fantasy world.
  • Makes us expect more from our world. What??? You mean we DON’T have Hogwarts and Camp Halfblood and Narnia* and the Middle Earth**???
  • Probably something else. But I forgot.

*I admit it. I haven’t read these books yet.
**I also haven’t read these yet??? #FakeFan




  • #Relatable. With books set in the real world, we can find characters that we see ourselves in, that we can relate to.
  • Addresses issues quite directly. The first thing that pops up in my head is The Hate U Give (even though I haven’t read it yet *sobs*). It talks about racism, and it talks about it in such a way that we just HAVE to care.
  • Helps us feel like we’re not alone. We can read novels about people who are facing the same problems as us, and that helps us feel like we have a friend. (Because honestly, does anyone have friends outside of book characters???)

Image result for you're not alone gif

  • Makes us feel grounded. When we’re reading, we’re often like, “WOWOWOW ALL THIS AND ALL THAT #OVERWHELMED.” In contemporary, it’s still like that, just… toned down.


  • May not allow us to imagine. Reality has its limits—which means contemporaries do too. As readers, this can limit our opemindedness, and as writers, this can limit our creativity.
  • Sometimes a little too close to home. Sometimes we relate a little TOO much to contemporaries, which can lead us to bad memories. (Like triggers.) No this totally can’t happen in fantasy too.


So, which one is REALLY the “better genre”?

For me, it is fantasy. NO BRAINER. But I’ve recently come to realize that contemporary is actually… AWESOME??? *gasp*

Image result for big gasp gif
IT’S SO CUTE. *cries*

I never used to like realistic fiction, because I thought: “Well if it’s going to be school drama I’ll just go to school and listen to the gossip. #smart”

I thought: “This is boring—I already know what happens in this world??? LET’S EXPLORE* SOME FANTASY WORLD.”

But lately I’ve been reading a lot of contemporaries (TOO MUCH) and I’m enjoying them! There’s something about hearing the real-life problems of other people that I can relate to. Or an issue I CAN’T relate to, but it’s in MY world. Which makes it lowkey relatable.


What I realized *gasp*

But after reading a lot of contemporaries, I REALLY MISSED fantasy??? I don’t know how to explain it—I just NEEDED something that wasn’t in this world. Something fantastical and magical and OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Hahahaha get it I’m so punny aren’t I.

There’s something about a whole different world that appeals to me. I don’t know if it’s because I want to escape my boring life, or if it’s just to explore something new, but fantasy just draws me in.

But that’s why I LIKE fantasy. Why do I think it’s better???

I don’t know. I’m biased.

(That was an A+ explanation, do net deny it.)

But seriously, I think I feel like I experience the world too much sometimes, and just need to ESCAPE. Escape to some place where problems like mine don’t exist, and the impossible does. I like imagining things I guess. And pretending things are real. What am I saying. Of course dragons are real???

HULU tv hulu once upon a time dragon GIF

But again, fiction books are ALL FICTION; some are just closer to reality than others.

This is just MY opinion, of course, and basically ALLLLL genres of books can be “beneficial” to you. Because 1) you get to read books 2) PRETTY COVERS OMG, and 3) books are just amazing okay???

*Did anyone else read this as “explode”??? Or just me? Probably just me honestly. JOIN ME IN EXPLODING FANTASY WORLDS. *pew pew pew*

shall we chat

discussion time!!! fantasy or contemporary: which do you LIKE better? which one do you think is more BENEFICIAL? why? any other genres you think might be beneficial? AND AREN’T CHOCOLATE WITH NUTS IN THEM DESPICABLE??? let’s have a comment discussion!

sign off 2.0

235 thoughts on “Fantasy vs. Contemporary: Which is the “Better” Genre to Read???

    Excuse my rudeness. Great post, May!! I agree though, sometimes I feel that my fantasy addiction makes me too much of a dreamer and less happy with real life. I don’t know, it’s weird!! But I still love it, maybe a little too much.
    I don’t like contemporary because I don’t see the point in reading about high school, which is what it’s mainly about! Also, I hated high school and I didn’t have a lot of the experiences there most people have, so I don’t relate at all!! xD. But I do love a fluffy romance every once in a while.
    psst. I like chocolate with nuts. Yes, i know, I’m terrible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. FANTASY IS AMAZING! And yes, there’s something about the dreamer aspect that I like (even though I may dream TOO much haha!).

      Oh yes, that was my point of view too! But then I read about mental illness, and LGBT+ characters, and because they’re so different (though they shouldn’t be!), it was refreshing to read.



  2. YAAAAAS MAY! The thing I probably love most about fantasy is that it helps me escape reality for some time! I love being so immersed in a fantasy world and reading about all these powerful and kickass characters going on adventures and well, KICKING ASS, it’s awesome!

    But I also love me some contemporaries because like you said they’re #relatable and I need that sometimes?

    BUT TRUE I CAN NEVER JUST READ CONTEMPORARIES MY HEART IS ALWAYS ACHING FOR SOME FANTASY AFTER A WHILE! But at the same time I can’t read too many fantasy books because then it’s just fantasy OVERLOAD! What I like to do is read fantasy, contemporary, fantasy, contemporary etc if possible!

    Fantastic post, my dear May! 💜

    (PS. That being said, I still prefer Fantasy, always and forever XD)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I read to escape reality, and reality’s a LITTLE too close in contemporaries. XD FANTASY WORLDS ARE SO AMAZING OMG.

      Contemporaries are super relatable and I love that!

      Yeah, I think I need to have a balance lf genres! No matter which one I read, I’ll get a little overwhelmed. But I’m super bad at balance. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually really agree with all the pros and cons of the two genres that you mentioned, but I’d probably choose fantasy too. Up until very recently (when I decided that I wanted to diversify my reading), I was reading mostly fantasy, and very little contemporary. But when I realized that fantasy is largely very monoracial, heteronormative and cisgendered, I decided to drift more towards contemporary. But even then, I miss fantasy so much! All the time! I drop everything and pick up a fantasy book, that’ll help me immerse myself in someone else’s imagination. And I do really appreciate the fantasies that tackle issues indirectly, because they so often can depict scenarios that we don’t already have bias for, you know? Sorry for the ramble (I’m good at that), but ultimately – wonderful post! 🙂

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ohhhh, love this post! I go through phases. Sometimes I like contemporary more, sometimes I like fantasy more – but I guess I would say that fantasy is my favorite. Contemporary does touch more on the realistic issues but I just love my magic, fictional worlds, and maybe dragons haha


  5. NO I CANNOT STAND THE CONFRONTATION. ITS TOO MUCH. I want to say SO BADLY that I lie on the middle line but someone stated that was simply not possible and here is me lying in a pool of undecisiveness but I’m going to go with *queue dramatic music* FANTASY. OKAY I SAID IT. I SAID IT. (and now I’m petting my contemporary books in apology but hey, I can’t stop this love – oh my the guilt is actually killing my insides) its just, I have to do it! And YES to it making me expect too much. *SIGHS* IF ONLY.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, May!!!

    I’ve given this topic a lot of thought as well, and in the end, I think I agree with you! Fantasy is so good for building imagination and dreams and belief in the impossible. Contemporary can be so depressingly real and gloomy and too close to home, somehow.

    It bothers me a bit that fantasy is so… escapist??? So I think we need to be careful to use fantasy as a lens to see our world through… not a way to escape from our world. Because it’s good to face your problems instead of hiding or running away!!!

    In the end, as long as we are LEARNING something from the books we read and really dissecting them and why we love them so much, I think we’re good!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, contemporary is definitely close to home! And I agree — fantasy can be a little TOO fantastical and escapist. We definitely have to use fantasy to perceive the world differently instead of running away from our problems, like you said.


  7. Hi!
    Nice post! I’m making posts about scientific explanations behinde everyday appearance and recently I’ve made post about sleep so if you have time and will please go and check it out! If you like it please follow me, I follow you.
    Thank you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I, like you, prefer fantasy. But also, since the last year or so I’ve started reading more contemporary stuff and that’s been great too because the issues characters have are more relatable than they are in fantasy (well I mean, maybe you are in danger of being killed by an evil witch but I for one am not). I love both, but fantasy wins by a little.

    Liked by 1 person

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