Two contemporary novels that I recently read, Like Mandarin and Other Words for Love, have really affected me and shook me to my core. I have never related to anybody more than flawed characters like Grace and Ari. Both of these characters were ordinary, yet extremely unique. I was really able to relate to their experiences because what teenage girl doesn't? Both Ari and Grace had insecurities deeply rooted into their personalities...much like us. And Ari, with her normal life, underwent the daily, everyday scenarios that we go through. We have a lot of similarities with characters from the contemporary genre; we experience what they experience, we have the same problems (romantic, familial, etc.), we have similar insecurities, and we have all been Ari or Grace one time or another in our lives. We live their lives.
That's not to say that paranormal books are really horrible, I love them! It's just that the concepts in these books get a little overdone; first it was the vampires, then the werewolves, then the angels and/or demons. There are some paranormal novels though, like Clarity, A Touch Mortal, The Body Finder, or Angelfire, in which we really relate to the characters...not the paranormal aspect of it, but the aspects and experiences they feel in normalcy. For me, the paranormal genre is mostly just contemporary added with the mystical elements. You're able to empathize with the character, but not completely. You can't fully appreciate and relate to what they're going through.
So, ultimately, I like contemporary YA better than paranormal YA...of course, there are a few exceptions.