A sweet summer romance with two funny, compelling protagonists.

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THE BOOKWORM CRUSH

This YA spinoff of Roberts’ (The Replacement Crush, 2016, etc.) previous novel follows a timid bookworm and a hunky surfer.

Amy McIntyre is determined to win a social media contest that will garner her a personal interview with Lucinda Amorrato, a bestselling romance author who is beloved by many but hasn’t toured in years. Unfortunately, Amy’s first stunt, a public “yarn-bombing” replicating her favorite book cover, attracts the attention of the Shady Cove police, who bust the teenager for breaking curfew. Enter Toff Nichols—champion surfer, known player, and soon-to-be stepbrother of Amy’s best friend, Vivian Galdi (the heroine of The Replacement Crush). He happens to catch Amy in the act and pretends to be her boyfriend to get her out of trouble. Soon Toff offers to coach Amy, upping her self-confidence to gain more likes and shares and get the attention of Amorrato’s publisher, which is running the contest. When a photograph of Toff and Amy goes viral and romance fans start “shipping” them (a fandom term describing two characters who should get together), she begins to see real relationship potential in the boy she once thought was out of her league. Meanwhile, Toff starts to appreciate Amy’s penchant for sparkly hair ornaments, enthusiasm for reading, and fiery spirit that matches her wild red hair. But after the two engage in more than one make-out session, they have to face reality: Can a surfer who doesn’t read and a romance-novel fanatic really make it work? Roberts has the teen voice down pat: Both of the appealing protagonists are devoted to their respective passions but also deal with deeper issues (Amy’s pastry chef father is now unemployed, and Toff’s surfer dad is about to marry Vivian’s mother). Amy’s knowledge of romance novels and her excitement for the contest are both contagious, and her friends Vivian and Dallas are close by and ready to help her achieve her goal. This engaging love story with a strong cast will make even the most jaded reader hope for a happily-ever-after.

A sweet summer romance with two funny, compelling protagonists.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-707-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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A familiar but heartfelt romance for easygoing readers.

ADORKABLE

In O’Gorman’s YA debut, two best friends try to fool people into thinking that they’re in love—and then discover a new facet of their relationship.

Sally Spitz is a frizzy-haired 17-year-old girl with a charming zeal for three things: Harry Potter (she’s a Gryffindor), Star Wars, and getting into Duke University. During her senior year of high school, she goes on a slew of miserable dates, set up by her mother and her own second-best–friend–turned-matchmaker, Lillian Hooker. Sally refuses to admit to anyone that she’s actually head over Converses in love with her longtime best friend, a boy named Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent, aka “Becks.” After a particularly awkward date, Sally devises a plan to end Lillian’s matchmaking attempts; specifically, she plans to hire someone to act as her fake boyfriend, or “F.B.F.” But before Sally can put her plan into action, a rumor circulates that Sally and Becks are already dating. Becks agrees to act as Sally’s F.B.F. in exchange for a box of Goobers and Sally’s doing his calculus homework for a month. Later, as they hold hands in the hall and “practice” make-out sessions in Becks’ bedroom, their friendship heads into unfamiliar territory. Over the course of this novel, O’Gorman presents an inviting and enjoyable account of lifelong friendship transforming into young love. Though the author’s reliance on familiar tropes may be comforting to a casual reader, it may frustrate those who may be looking for a more substantial and less predictable plot. A number of ancillary characters lack very much complexity, and the story, overall, would have benefited from an added twist or two. Even so, however, this remains a largely engaging and often endearing debut. 

A familiar but heartfelt romance for easygoing readers.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-759-7

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2020

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LYDDIE

Abandoned by their mother, whose mental stability has been crumbling since her husband went west, Lyddie and her brother Charlie manage alone through a Vermont winter. But in the spring of 1844, without consulting them, the mother apprentices Charlie to a miller and hires Lyddie out to a tavern, where she is little better than a slave. Still, Lyddie is strong and indomitable, and the cook is friendly even if the mistress is cold and stern; Lyddie manages well enough until a run-in with the mistress sends her south to work in the mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, thus earning a better wage (in a vain hope of saving the family farm), making friends among the other girls enduring the long hours and dangerous conditions, and expanding her understanding of loyalty, generosity, and injustice (she already knows more than most people ever learn about perseverance). Knowing only her own troubled family, Lyddie is unusually reserved, even for a New Englander, With her usual discernment and consummate skill, Paterson depicts her gradually turning toward the warmth of others' kindnesses—Betsy reads Oliver Twist aloud and suggests the ultimate goal of Oberlin College; Diana teaches Lyddie to cope in the mill, setting an example that Lyddie later follows with an Irish girl who is even more naive than she had been; Quaker neighbors offer help and solace that Lyddie at first rejects out of hand. Deftly plotted and rich in incident, a well-researched picture of the period—and a memorable portrait of an untutored but intelligent young woman making her way against fierce odds.

Pub Date: March 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-525-67338-5

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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