This sweet, realistic tale of a girl’s first love proves that young romance fans don’t need vampires, werewolves or other assorted immortals to enjoy a book about love in their age group.
Chelsea has mixed feelings about spending the family vacation in her family’s pretty little cottage near the shore of Lake Michigan. Granly—her grandmother—passed away the previous winter, and Chelsea misses her. She sets off to find a book in the nearby little town and meets Josh, who works at the bookstore. Dalton’s sensitive writing makes it clear that both teens experience immediate attraction to one another, but their natural insecurity in their first romance makes each doubt that the other feels the same. Chelsea looks to her older, more experienced sisters for advice, while Josh simply yields to temptation and plants a sudden kiss on Chelsea. With their intentions declared, Chelsea takes a job as a waitress next door to Josh’s bookstore, where the drama continues. The completely believable and likable characters, the small town and its often-quirky inhabitants, the waitressing job and, especially, the up-and-down relationship between Chelsea and Josh come across with such realism that readers will recognize these characters as actual people like themselves. Drawn with keen emotional insight, this lovely little novel comes as a warm breeze in the current storm of paranormal romantic fiction.
It’s just good writing, and good writing always works. (Romance. 12 & up)