I've been listening to If I Stay during my commute and decided to check out the author Gayle Forman's blog. Delightfully, I discovered her April 20th post entitled YA Smackdown -- Team Contemporary http://www.gayleforman.com/blog/2011/04/20/ya-smackdown/
Thank you Gayle! First, for your gorgeous stories. And second, for throwing down the gauntlet for realistic teen fiction. The fascination with all things freakish and weird (vampires, ghouls, ghosts, angels, aliens, insert your mythical creature here) makes a lot of sense when taken in context. After all, the real world kinda sucks. A lot. At least, a lot of the time. And who doesn't want a hot boyfriend with superpowers? But there's room in there for some human lovers and human characters with very human issues, too.
(in the interest of full disclosure, my novel Undertow features a bit of both the human and the not-so-human -- more here: http://calliekingston.blogspot.com/p/undertow.html)