We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg (Point)
Elizabeth Eulberg has been hit or miss for me in the past, so I'm really glad to say that I totally loved We Can Work It Out.
We're reintroduced to the characters of The Lonely Hearts Club, and we see how Penny Lane is now trying to adjust to the popularity of the club, while also respecting her burgeoning relationship with Ryan.
Eulberg brillantly and hilariously shows how the romance between Penny and Ryan isn't just puppy love. It's also indicative of how a perosn defines themselve in the greater high school social sphere, something that's also reflected in the other Lonely Hearts Club romances too.
With funny dialogue and sparkling friendships, other readers will also undoubtedly love this book from beginning to end.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Point
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
Elizabeth Eulberg was born and raised in Wisconsin before heading off to college in Syracuse and making a career in the New York City book biz. She is the author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB, PROM AND PREJUDICE, TAKE A BOW, and REVENGE OF THE GIRL WITH THE GREAT PERSONALITY. You can find her on the Web at www.elizabetheulberg.com.
99 Days by Katie Cotugno (Balzer + Bray)
I had mixed feelings about Katie Cotugno's debut novel How to Love, last year. However, I was so impressed with her writing, I made a mental note to check out whatever she wrote next.
99 Days is her sophomore novel, and Cotugno doesn't disappoint. She writes a compelling story of relationships and attraction, and how main character Molly has a complex, complicated past with two very different brothers.
Though some readers may be turned off by Molly's history of cheating in the novel (and her mother's equally ill-informed decision to write about it), I actually loved this about her. This book really emphasizes that people are prone to doing ill-informed things, and that no one is perfect.
The only question is whether a person can learn from their mistakes, and Katie perfectly explores this question throughout the novel.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Format read: E-ARC via Publisher
Katie Cotugno is a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in Mississippi Review, Apalachee Review, Iowa Review, and Argestes, among other literary magazines, as well as on Nerve.com. Her first novel was How to Love. She lives in Boston with her husband, Tom. You can visit Katie online at www.katiecotugno.com.
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Balzer + Bray)
I've been almost reluctant to review Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, because how do you review a book that you just absolutely adored?
(And is also universally loved, at that? Nothing you can say will be enough!)
So let me just say, Becky Albertalli has written a charming, funny realistic romance that everyone will love. Simon brillantly, hilariously navigates first love for the first time, with the type of honesty and sincerity that will make you fall in love with him, and Becky's writing.
Get this book now. You won't regret it.
Published April 7th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Format read: ARC via publisher
Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as coleader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. She now lives in Atlanta. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is her first novel. You can visit Becky online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.