Tag Archives: summer

YA Book Review- The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Here’s a romance review from guest reviewer, Sophia!

“The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler is not what it sounds like- even though one of the four Hernandez sisters, Lourdes, was dumped by one of the Vargas brothers during her Prom night and another Vargas called off a wedding with Mari Hernandez within a few weeks of each other. Years have passed and then it is Jude Hernandez’s turn to start up a relationship with Johnny, the youngest of the Vargas heart-breakers. This only happens because Johnny is fixing up a very old motorcycle for her dad in the Hernandez’s garage. This means that Johnny has the whole summer to prove to Jude that he is the same or everything incomparable to his older brothers. Along the way, Jude learns to accept her father’s genetically transferable disease and Johnny learns to let go of his loss. Were Jude’s older sisters really wrong about the Vargas family?”

book of broken

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YA Book Review- The Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

Life for Jersey girl Rory McShane has always been pretty simple: work to pay the bills, study to get in to a good college, and keep mom from ruining their lives with her silly boyfriends. However, the summer before senior year she decides to help out her aunt who works for a very wealthy family at their beach-side mansion in the Hamptons. Rory’s job is to be an “errand girl” in exchange for room and board. She hopes it will be a nice change of pace from her boring Jersey town- but there’s no way she could predict the terrible temper of the family’s youngest daughter Isabel, or how fast she falls head-over-heels for the youngest son, Connor. Before Rory knows it, she’s facing the Hampton’s social scene and trying to figure out whether she’s an employee of this house or a guest- and is she totally imagining that Connor might be interested in her the same way?

This is a great summertime read! Joanna Philbin writes a really fun story here, which bounces back and forth between the perspectives of confused and spoiled Isabel Rule and down-to-earth Rory McShane. There is a mysterious subplot that keeps the book from being too fluffy, and the romances are beautifully written. Give this to any fan of contemporary teen romances!

Rules of summer

YA Book Review- September Girls by Bennett Madison

On an island where regular people go to spend their summer vacations, there lives an ever-growing group of gorgeous and mysterious blonde Girls. They have no family, and no history, and each one only stays for a few years. They are not interested in most men, but there is a certain type of boy that they are all always looking for. Sam is one of those boys. His father’s eccentric idea to quit work and drag Sam and his brother to the beach for the summer has brought Sam to this place of Girls. He immediately does not trust the fact that they are desperate for him, an average high school boy, but they easily overlook his star-athlete frat-boy brother. When one of the Girls connects with him at a party, he starts to investigate the mystery behind them. Slowly he begins to unfold a story of  imprisonment, heartbreak, and magic.

First, a warning: this book is for older readers, as it includes mature language and situations. This story is so vividly told that you will feel as if you are walking the hazy shoreline right next to Sam every day. The mystery surrounding the Girls is rooted in an old and classic fairytale, but told from the perspective of the innocent mortal who gets caught in the middle of an ancient curse. Sam starts out as a typical high school guys who is influenced by his simple-minded friends, but comes through at the end a completely changed and emotionally complex character. This is not your standard fairy-tale retelling, but it is a good one and a good coming-of-age tale as well.

September Girls

YA Book Review- Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman

Jake Garrett is the new kid in town, and he’s taken Fitzgerald High by storm. The school year has barely started and he’s already a star football player who throws the craziest house parties anyone has ever seen. But who is he, where did he come from, and why is he bending over backwards to spend time with the quarterback’s girlfriend? Told from the perspective of high-schooler Rick, readers look on as Jake makes a huge impact on the town and things quickly spiral out of control.

This story is a re-write of the classic novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The author, famous for his sports-centric novels, takes a story originally set in the age of flappers and spins it to fit in a modern-day suburban high school. He takes great care to change things to fit the new setting, while keeping true to the elements of the original tale. Grab this up if you like new versions of old classics, high school drama, and football stories.

Jake Reinvented

YA Book Review- The Complete History of Why I Hate Her by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Getting a summer job at a resort in Maine might not seem like anything out of the ordinary for a teen, but for Nola it is a chance to live her own life for a little while. Her little sister, Song, has been battling cancer for a long time and Nola has forgotten what life was like before she (happily) spent all of her time helping her family. Almost as soon as she arrives at the resort, she is befriended by the exciting and addicting Carly. The two become attached at the hip and it seems like it will be the best summer Nola has ever had…that is, until Carly starts showing her manipulative side. Soon Nola can’t seem to do or say anything with Carly using it to her own advantage, and the friendship becomes  toxic.

Pick this up if you like summer stories, complicated friendships, or books from the perspective of a sibling to a cancer patient.