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Stuff for the Teen Age

Summer is for Lovers


As the temperature and humidity outside reaches ridiculous levels, my reading taste gravitates towards romance. Stories full of love that burns brightest during hot summer days and moonlit filled nights. Where there is a feeling of rediscovery and endless possiblities. As if summer would never end and autumn would never creep in. Close your eyes. Listen to the roar of ocean waves as they crash onto the sandy beach, feel the hot sun on your skin and get the knotty sick feeling in your stomach when you glimpse them out of the corner of your eye or the heart stopping, breathless moment when they smile at you and say, "Hi". Experience the vicarious thrill of a summer love with the following books:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

This book makes me sigh just thinking about it. It is one of the best YA novels period. It is also one of the most beautiful romances I have ever read. Macy is broken and still grieving after the traumatic death of her father. Her plans for the summer are quiet ones: work at the library and study for SATs. Then she gets a job with a fun-loving catering crew and meets the handsome, brooding, truth-telling Wes. He is exactly the kind of boy to turn Macy's world upside down and inside out. As one colleague says of their romance, "Sa-Woon!".

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Remy is the queen of the date and dump. As soon as a boy she is dating even begins to get serious she says "so long!". She meets Dex at the reception of her mother's fourth wedding. Dex is a guitar player in the band. He's is the perfect summer boy for Remy. He's cute, funny, disorganized and in no way is he a serious relationship kind of guy. Remy won't have to feel guilty at the inevitable end or will she? Could Dex finally be the boy that gets under Remy's skin?

Other Sarah Dessen summer romances: Along For the Ride, That Summer, Someone Like You and Keeping the Moon.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

15 year old Isobel (a.k.a Belly) has been going to Cousins Beach every summer for as long as she can remember. And every year she is the tag-a-long kid sister to her older brother Steven and the two other boys who share the house, Jeremiah and Conrad. That all changes when she turns up looking older, different and definitely not like a kid sister. Conrad is the older brother, charming, sexy, moody and Belly has loved him for years. Belly loves Jeremiah too but it's different with him. With Jeremiah there's always easygoing laughter and with Conrad it's butterflies in the stomach. Torn between two brothers, Belly is about to have a summer that changes everything. Read the heart melting sequel when you finish: It's Not Summer Without You.

Girlfriend Material by Melissa Kantor

Forced to change her summer plans by her mother, Kate ends up vacationing in the Cape Cod house of some wealthy family friends. Their glamorous daughter Sarah is less than thrilled by the arrangement and Kate's summer seems ruined. Then she meets Sarah's cute, witty friend Adam and slowly Kate is brought into their group of friends. When their breezy flirting gets complicated, Kate has to ask herself is this just a summer fling or something more?

Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald

Environmental activist and vegetarian Jenna has big summer plans for her New Jersey community but that all changes when she gets a chance to experience nature close-up in rural Canada. Now it's off to the wilderness to explore things she's only seen and read about in books such as moose, fishing, rock climbing, kayacking and the all important plaid-wearing boys. Luckily, she has two to choose from, the hot but hostile Reeve and the hot but definitely more friendly, Ethan.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

Quinn and her sisters embark on a karmic journey, to return the items or "souvenirs" that their womanizing father stole from his ex-wives and ex-girlfriends. Quinn first meets Jake at her half-sister's house. It is the middle of the night and Quinn has gotten up to use the bathroom and so has Jake, only he is naked and peeing. Now wide awake, Quinn notices everything about him including his amazing tattoos. Not just a romance, Secret about the nature of love, family and sisterhood and it delivers plenty of good advice about boys,"If a guy seems to need saving, walk away and call the Coast Guard.” Another summer romance by Deb Caletti: Honey Baby Sweetheart.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Anna and her best friend Frankie are about to embark on the "Absolutley Best Summer Ever" while staying in the California beach town of Zanzibar Bay. Frankie even has a plan for them to meet twenty boys over the summer. This is all a way for them to move on from the devastating death, a year earlier, of Frankie's brother and Anna's best friend, Matt. However, Anna has a secret. In the weeks before Matt died, they became romantically involved but fearing her reaction they kept it from Frankie. Anna really wants to help Frankie have a great summer, she even wants to move on from Matt herself but how can she meet a boy when she is still in love with a ghost?

Now go sit under a lovely beach umbrella somewhere or in an air conditioned room and get reading!


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The opinion of a non-romance fan

While I generally avoid romances like the plague, I did read The Summer I Turned Pretty. I really liked it, or, to clarify, I really liked MOST of it. In my opinion this was a great book except for the last chapter, in which our heroine makes THE WORST DECISION EVER! Hmmm ... I haven't actually read the sequel yet. Does the second book involve her coming to her senses and realizing her mistake? Because THEN I would like it!

I can't answer that properly

I can't answer that properly without giving lots away. Suffice to say she realizes that there is more to a relationship than attraction. Plus, the other brother proves to be a good kisser as well. good enough for ya?

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