Posts Tagged 'Romance'



The Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of pages: 262 p.

RAC book: Yes

Lane and Vivi feel that their other best friend, Isabelle, allows her loser boyfriend to walk all over her. When he cheats on her in a very public place they decide to act before she decides to take him back again. They start chatting with her online as a fake boyfriend. They set up the profile online and encourage Lane’s brother to chat with her so that it sounds like a boy. As you can imagine, craziness breaks out when Isabelle decides she wants to ask her mystery man to prom. Lane and Vivi have to scramble to find someone who can play their made up man.  Who they end up finding only causes more problems.

While this story has many predictable factors, there is also something sweet about the lengths these two girls will go to in order to protect their friend from someone they think intentionally hurts and uses her. The ending is a bit more complicated than expected based on the simplicity of the story thus far and packs a few unexpected twists. Girls who enjoy reading Meg Cabot books will be a fan of this one as well. The characters are well-developed and the ending is impossibly happy. Readers who like a little edge in their stories should avoid this one.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Genre: Fantasy

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 328 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Aislinn has a secret that only her grandmother knows and that is that she is able to see faeries. All of the women in her family have always been able to do this and so Aislinn was trained at a young age to pretend like she cannot see them, because if the faeires know they are seen they will torment the human who has that gift. Unfortunately, one day Aislinn notices that two faeries keep following her and becomes alarmed enough to tell her best friend, Seth. Seth tries to help her figure out what the faeries want and how to get them to leave, but of course the problem is much more complicated than they anticipate.

Keenan is the Summer King, but his power has been bound for many, many years. Unless he can fulfill his mission and find the girl destined to rule alongside him he will never get his power back and catastrophic things will happen to everyone in the world, faeries and mortals alike. Standing in his way,is his mother, Beira, who is the Winter Queen. She is a cunning and deceitful villain who will stop at nothing to win.

Fans of any fantasy series such as Twilight will enjoy this book. The plot is unique and original and contains a lot of mystery, action, and adventure. There are many rules in place that the characters have to abide by in order to win, which makes the plot complicated and unpredictable. So far it has already caught the attention of many students and I think will continue to pull in readers as word spreads. A must read for fantasy lovers.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Genre: Realistic Fiction/ Sports

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 274 p.

RAC Book: Yes

2008 Iowa Teen Award Winner

D.J. works constantly on her family’s dairy farm since her father hurt his hip. Her mother was forced to take an extra job in order to earn more money and her older brothers have not spoken to the family since Christmas. Running the farm, with some help from her little brother who doesn’t speak, has been difficult for D.J. because she feels like she just goes about her day doing what she is told.

One day, Brian, from the nearby rival of D.J.’s high school comes to work because his football coach feels he needs to get tougher. Things do not go well at first, but eventually D.J. starts training him for football. D.J.’s two older brothers were fabulous football players so she knows what it takes to succeed. As D.J. and Brian become closer it begins to get complicated as her best friend stops talking to her and she decides to try out for her own high school football team. In a place where everyone does what they are supposed to and never speaks up, D.J. decides she wants to do something different and begin saying what she feels.

This story asks many questions about communication, goals, responsibilities, and loyalty to family. D.J.’s family never spoke about anything they were feeling because they didn’t want to start fights, but that just meant they ended up not saying anything. As D.J. realized how unhappy she was always doing what she was supposed to and not what she wanted she decided to make some changes. Everyone must learn to balance responsibilities and desires and this book reminds us of the choices we make everyday that guide our lives. A well-written story that young adults will enjoy.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 433 p.

RAC Book: Yes

This story takes place in Manhattan in 1899. Although, it takes place a long time ago it is still relevant to many issues students deal with today such as dating, popularity, clothes, money, scandals, and friendship.

Elizabeth Holland is a very beautiful girl who comes from an elite family. Her and her sister, Diana, rule the social circles of the time. Elizabeth surprises herself by falling in love with the stable boy. She comes to terms with this, but must choose between being with him or saving her family from ruin. Diana finds herself attracted to Henry Schoonmaker, which causes a problem because he is engaged to someone very close to her. Plus, another major player in the social circuit, Penelope, has set her sights on Henry and will do anything to get him.

This story takes the reader inside the social circuits of 1899 Manhattan and does not disappoint with twists and scandals throughout the story. There were some aspects that seemed a bit predictable and superfluous, however. For example, there were some characters that did not seem to have a purpose. Also, the ending and what actually happens to the characters is left somewhat open ended and it is unrealistic that everything works out perfectly. There could still be a lot of deception and trickery brewing before these characters reach the end of their story.  Readers who enjoy Gossip Girl will be fans of this book.

The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  306

RAC Book:  Yes

Alice spends every summer at her family’s summer house on Fire Island hanging out with her older sister, Riley, and the next door neighbor boy, Paul.  Riley and Paul have been best friends since they were kids and Alice always tagged along.  Now that they are in their early twenties they decide to spend another summer there to try and recapture some of their youth.  Alice and Riley have not seen Paul for three years so both feel a little anxious, but for very different reasons.

After Riley contracts strep throat she accidentally forgets her medication on the beach and when she goes to retrieve it finds Alice and Paul in a compromising position.  As Alice and Paul become involved romantically they feel guilty leaving Riley behind.  Riley was always the leader when they were kids and in many ways has never changed while everyone else has grown up.   Due to the fact that Riley never found her strep throat pills, it develops into rheumatic heart disease.  Riley insists that Alice let her tell Paul about her condition herself, but neglects to do so for many months.  Since Alice has sworn not to tell Riley’s secret it drives a wedge between her and Paul.  Alice also gives up her plans for law school and stays home to help take care of Riley.

This is a story about sisters, family, friendship, and love.  However, many of the ways these characters go about showing their love makes the reader wonder if they really love each other at all.  Alice and Paul feel so bad about betraying Riley by getting romantically involved that they actually feel like they brought on Riley’s illness by not telling her.  Riley knows about their romance but doesn’t tell them because she doesn’t want to be left out if they make up.  Riley also fails to tell Paul about her disease even though she knows it’s the reason they broke up.  The motivations of the characters often seem unreasonable and selfish at times.  There are a lot of issues and emotions dealt with, just like many of Brashares books, but readers looking for another Traveling Pants series will be disappointed.  

 

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Genre:  Romance/Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  12 and up

# of Pages:  288

RAC Book:  Yes

Ellie, named after Elaine of Astolat, has just moved to the east coast with her parents.  Her parents are professors who have taken a year of sabbatical in order to write books.  Her dad is writing about a medieval sword and her mom is writing about Elaine of Astolat and the connections to King Arthur’s legend.  As Ellie starts at a new school she meets Will, who is the class president and all around a perfect guy.  Unfortunately, he has a girlfriend, Jennifer, so Ellie decides to forget any notions of romance.  When she finds out that Will’s best friend, Lance, is messing around with Jennifer, however, she must decide how to handle the situation.  Should she tell Will?  Should she protect Will?

Although this story seems like a typical teen romance, Cabot adds some mythical literary references, which will keep teens guessing.  The story of King Arthur has been told and retold for many years, but no one really knows the truth behind the legend.  Cabot’s story tries to enlighten her young readers and definitely adds a unique twist to the usual stories these readers enjoy.  The added mystery and action will be welcome to anyone who likes this type of tale and it is unlikely that anyone will guess how this story will end. 

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Genre:  Romance/Mystery

Age Level:  12 and up

# of pages:  236 p.

Other Books in the Series:  I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

RAC Book:  Yes

Cammie Morgan is on her way back to Gallagher Academy for the second semester of her sophomore year.  At the Gallagher Academy, Cammie is required to learn multiple languages, defensive strategies, and covert operations since it is a school for spies.  Unfortunately, Cammie is still nursing a broken heart from the first semester when she befriended a local boy and was told to end the relationship when it was found out by her superiors.

Cammie has more on her mind than just Josh, however, as she notices some changes around her school.  She knows there is something the headmistress, her mother, isn’t telling her but never in her wildest dreams imagines what it could be.  That is until the day that a group of young men from another spy school move into her school!  If that weren’t bad enough, one of them is the boy who foiled one of her covert operations assignments.  Now this boy, Zach, won’t leave her alone and Cammie isn’t sure what she thinks of him.  Does she trust him?  Is there something he isn’t telling her?  As the semester pushes on, Cammie and her friends must investigate many different possibilities for why the boys are there while passing their courses and attending mandatory events, like a big ball.  Can Cammie save her school from a possible breach of security?  Can she figure out who her allies and her enemies are?  Is she cut out to be a spy after all? 

For fans of the first book in this series, this book will be a hit.  The adventures of Cammie and her friends are interesting and unusual to say the least, but are all described in ways that seem plausible.  There is a lot of room left open for future books since we still do not know what is planned for Cammie in the future and which boy she will end up with.  A fun read with some romance, humor, and mystery.

 

 

I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader by Kieran Scott

Genre:   Realistic Fiction/Romance

Age Level:  12 and up

# of pages:  246

RAC Book:  Yes

Annisa is a new student at her high school and her first day does not begin well.  First, she discovers that she is literally the only brunette female in the entire school.  Second, she lives in a house that another girl’s family was evicted from for not paying taxes and she blames Annisa for some reason.  Third, she accidently breaks the nose of the most popular girl in school.  Later that night she also inadvertently witnesses two cheerleaders getting busted with alcohol, therefore removing them from the competition squad a mere two weeks before the big regional competition.

Still trying to fit in, Annisa decides to try out for one of the two open spots on the cheerleading team.  Even though several members of the team hate her for one reason or another she manages to get a spot.  Unfortunately, she makes a few mistakes and the rest of the squad starts to fall apart and everyone blames her.  She offers the suggestion of starting a prank war with the nearby school to work as a bonding activity.  The prank war lands her in more trouble than she could ever imagine.  Meanwhile, her neighbor, Daniel, is someone Annisa feels she could be very interested in but of course he is dating her most hated rival, Sage.  As time goes on, Sage shows her true colors and eventually loses Daniel.  The question is whether or not that means he is interested in Annisa.

This story is filled with ridiculous plots twists and the coincidences that teen movies are made of, but the voices of the characters are interesting and the plot moves at a good pace.  Some of the conflicts are worked out much too quickly, which is of course in time for the big cheerleading competition that is two weeks from Annisa’s first day of school.  The fast pace of the book is believable, however, because high school conflicts often start and end quickly.  Girls who like Meg Cabot books will enjoy this.

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Genre:  Romance, Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  15 and up

# of pages:  196

RAC Book:  Yes

Jane has had an obsession with Jane Austen or more specifically, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, for many years.  As she experienced one horrendous boyfriend after another in her life she began to dream of the perfect gentleman.  Her great Aunt saw this and in her will arranged for Jane to visit Pembrook Park, which is a place where people dress, talk, and live like they are in Jane Austen’s books.  Jane is unsure if this vacation was for her to get the fantasy out of her system or for her to embrace it.

Upon arriving at Pembrook Park Jane is fitted with clothes and taught the rules she is to follow during her stay.  As Jane interacts with other guests and actors playing parts she begins to have trouble deciding what is real and what is part of the fantasy.  She befriends a gardener as well as the difficult Mr. Nobley.  The idea is for all women to feel like they have lived the romance, which is why Jane struggles to choose which man she really likes as well as which one, if either, truly cares for her.

Austenland is a must read for fans of Jane Austen.  The story is unpredictable, but yet contains many Austen elements, which makes it a lot of fun for those of us who enjoy those types of stories.  Jane is not the only one who would love to live this fantasy and through this book we are all led through this time with a modern eye.  This book is for all those women who love Jane Austen, her stories, her romances, and most of all her men.


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