In the summer, maybe because of the heat, maybe because of vacation, a lot of readers are looking for fun romances to while away the days and hours. I was in that mood a few weeks ago, so I ransacked our collection and filled up, so if you are looking for just that kind of book, here are a few to check out:
My Life Next Door
by: Huntley Fitzpatrick
“When Samantha, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a wealthy, perfectionist Republican state senator, falls in love with the boy next door, whose family is large, boisterous, and just making ends meet, she discovers a different way to live, but when her mother is involved in a hit-and-run accident Sam must make some difficult choices.”
I was surprised by this book – mostly by how much fun I had reading it. I liked Sam’s struggle to find her voice, which she knows goes against her mother’s. Some of my favourite parts had to do with Sam and her best friend, who seem to be moving in different directions. There were elements of class-conflict that I wasn’t expecting and that I really appreciated. While the ending felt a bit rushed, I liked the whole reading experience.
What I Thought Was True
by: Huntley Fitzpatrick
“17-year-old Gwen Castle is a working-class girl determined to escape her small island town, but when rich-kid Cass Somers, with whom she has a complicated romantic history, shows up, she’s forced to reassess her feelings about her loving, complex family, her lifelong best friends, her wealthy employer, the place she lives, and the boy she can’t admit she loves.”
I really liked this one! I found Gwen compelling and relateable, and I kept hoping things would work out for her. While Cass wasn’t exactly my favourite leading gentleman, I thought Gwen’s insecurities and her difficulty trusting her rich crush were absolutely understandable. I also liked the secondary stories, although I think the friend tension was better in My Life Next Door. I picked up this book mostly because I was hoping the reading experience would remind me of Sarah Dessen (who has not come out with a new book this summer), and I wasn’t disappointed.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
by: Jenny Han
“Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent.”
This was a fun romantic comedy! Lara Jean tries to disguise her true crush (who received one of the letters) by pretending to be involved with a guy she has no interest in. He, in turn, is trying to make his ex jealous. Of course, she discovers that he isn’t exactly who she thought he was when they start spending more time together. The elements of romance are great, but so are the family relationships. Lara Jean’s mother passed away when she was very young, and her older sister has always taken on the most responsibility. Now that she is away at university, it’s Lara’s turn, and she struggles to fill her sister’s shoes. This was a book I devoured, and it was lots of fun.
The Geography of You and Me
by: Jennifer E. Smith
“Sparks fly when sixteen-year-old Lucy Patterson and seventeen-year-old Owen Buckley meet on an elevator rendered useless by a New York City blackout. Soon after, the two teenagers leave the city, but as they travel farther away from each other geographically, they stay connected emotionally, in this story set over the course of one year.”
I have read all of Jennifer E. Smith’s books, but I was never quite smitten with them. This was the first of her three books that really captured my interest the whole way through. I loved reading about Owen and Lucy and their respective adventures. This was a very fast read, and I was rooting for them the whole way through. I found both characters three-dimensional, so it was easier to care about their problems. Not only was the romance well-developed, but the secondary relationships were also good. I liked seeing Lucy struggle to bond with her somewhat distant parents, and I liked reading about Owen as he and his father try to find a new place to settle down.
Those are just a few of our newer summer romance titles, so give them a try next time you’re at the library.