I was looking for a theme that tied all these mini-reviews together and I realized all these books feature characters who have to travel to unknown places, overcome obstacles and come through the other side changed forever.…
Underlined | Contemporary | Release Date: 03/02/21
This YA Romance is from a new imprint called Underlined, a genre-focused collaboration between Delacorte and the Underlined teen writing community. The books are described as “highly-commercial and compulsively-readable” which is why I think this book hits the ground running. Within the first few pages, we are quickly introduced to all our characters, their backstories and then we dive into the plot as this group of New York City teens enter a short film competition.
Fifteen-year-old Emma has big ideas for the group’s short film, she loves romance and wants to make the queer rom-com of her dreams. That is until Sophia, her anti-romance frenemy objects, so they decide to split up their friend group and make two opposing films. Cue enemies-to-lovers.
I thought this was a great book for the younger YA set if they can handle the language. It’s very plotty and earnest but allows the teens to talk and act like actual teenagers. Desombre is a teacher and I feel like she narrowed in on what is important to teenagers. The romance between Emma and Sophia felt natural and they both have to put the work in for their HEA.
This cover confounds me because this book clearly takes place in an idealized New York City so why are there palm trees on the cover? Yes, the prize for winning is a trip to California but that is the only California reference.
Unrated| 336 pages | Roaring Brook Press| Contemporary | Release Date: 8/25/2020
Evie may come from Hollywood royalty but she’s about to become a breakout star on her own…until an internet scandal costs her everything. Evie has one last shot to reclaim stardom–but to seal the deal she’ll need her legendry grandmother’s permission to star in a remake of her classic film. The only problem? Her grandmother has runaway from home. Now Eve has to traverse New York City with the help of Milo, an upstart viral internet musician, to bring her grandmother home.
This a YA novel I’ll have to file under books I know teen me would have enjoyed. Mostly because this is an easy book to recommend with one of my teen favorites This Lullaby. I mean who doesn’t want more books featuring a protagonist with a celebrity family who finds themselves tangled up with a group of lovable goofy aspiring musicians?…
Unrated | 384 pages | Simon Pulse | Contemporary | Release Date: 2/18/2020
Of Curses and Kisses is an introspective slow cooker ( I saw this term on Twitter and I couldn’t wait to use it !) of a romance about Jaya, a reserved modern-day princess at St. Rosetta’s International Academy. She’s on a mission to take down a rival family’s heir, Grey Emmerson, for a slight against her sister. It’s a lofty goal, but Jaya discovers instead of being a fierce rival, Grey Emerson is a broody, introverted outcast.
We follow Jaya as she is entrenched in Rosemont drama, this book is genre-savvy and Emerson sees through Jaya’s start-a-fake-relationship-and-dump-him plan so the initial premise of the book is dropped pretty quickly. The book is a lot of Jaya and Emerson working through their emotions and coming to terms with who they want to be versus who their families expect them to be.