Emmy grapples with the death of her first love, a potential new boyfriend, and her mom’s diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
This companion to Love, Lucas (2015) follows Emmy, Lucas’ childhood friend and secret love. Though they never actually dated, the pair confessed their love a week before Lucas died. Unsurprisingly, a mere four weeks later, Emmy is unwilling to give handsome, hazel-eyed Cole a chance at romance. Emmy spends lots of time rebuffing Cole’s attempts at friendship and romance, especially when she’s further devastated by her mother’s diagnosis. Mountain biking becomes her outlet, and conveniently, Cole—a sponsored rider himself—uses this shared interest to encourage Emmy to become more emotionally available. Also helping push romance is Emmy’s best friend, Kelsie, who reminds Emmy, “It’s okay to move on. He’d [Lucas] want that.” It may be sage advice, but considering Lucas died only four weeks earlier, expecting her to be ready for new love feels awfully premature. But what is youth if not resilient? A few weeks later Cole has managed to gently persuade Emmy to leave behind her fear of loss, and the two are happily dating. And then catastrophe strikes, ramping the melodrama level up even further. Luckily for Emmy (and readers), a quick epilogue provides easy resolutions. The cast appears to be a largely white one.
Best for fans of three-hanky weepers. (Romance. 12-16)