Sarah Dessen Book Club

If you can’t get enough of Sarah Dessen, her newest book The Moon and More comes out on June first. Get warmed up for the new release by making this summer all about Sarah Dessen. If you buy three or more Sarah Dessen books at Hooray for Books! before July 30th you will be entered into a raffle to win a $10 gift certificate. Any Sarah Dessen book is eligible, just ask a bookseller for the Penguin punch card. The drawing will be held at our Sarah Dessen Book Club Event on July 30th from 6:30-7:30. You’ll have a chance to discuss your favorite Sarah Dessen books, and participate in activities and receive other Sarah Dessen goodies.

My favorite Sarah Dessen book is The Truth About Forever. Macy’s life is structured and predictable. When her boyfriend leaves for Brain Camp all summer long, her summer looks like it will be long, studious, and boring. Then she takes a job at Wish catering, and her wacky coworkers, including a gorgeous guy name Wes, show Macy that predicatbility and perfection isn’t the only way to be happy. This books got it all: romance, fantastic friends, summer job drama, a believable protagonist, and plenty of humor.

Swing by the store to pick up one of Sarah’s many books, and let us know your favorites. 

Happy Summer Reading,

Erin

The Moon and MoreSarah Dessen; Viking; $19.99

The Truth About Forever; Sarah Dessen; Puffin; $9.99

This Book Makes Me Happy :)

Are you looking for the perfect summer book? A light romance that is fast-paced AND well-written? This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith is the perfect escape. Fans of Sarah Dessen’s books, or Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty will fall hard for this romance.

When teen celebrity Graham Larkin accidentally emails Ellie O’Neill about his pet pig, the two of them start a chain of emails and eventually become friends. Graham falls for Ellie so he manages to renegotiate the location of his newest film to Ellie’s hometown: a small resort town on the Maine Coast

Discovering her online crush is a movie star is actually quite complicated. Can they manage to avoid the paparazzi, keep Ellie’s family secret out of the news, and just get over the awkwardness of teenage dating?

Despite its over-the-top premise, the emotions and relationships are realistic, including complicated, but supportive, relationships with parents and friends. Younger readers, and even adults, will enjoy this clean read. The characters are witty, the romance is satisfying, and the setting is gorgeous. This is What Happy Looks Like is my favorite YA romance this year.

-Erin

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith; Hachette; $17.99

A Perfect Winter Read

tragedypaper

Looking for the perfect young adult novel to curl up with while it’s freezing outside? Try The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban.

Duncan returns to Irving School for his senior year, hoping to avoid discussing, or even thinking about, his role in the tragic event the winter before. But the previous tenant of his room, an albino named Tim, has graduated and left a stack of CDs for Duncan. The recordings not only reveal the details behind the tragedy, they narrate a secret romance between Tim and the most popular girl in school.

Duncan just wants to forget what happened last year, but as he becomes caught up in Tim’s story, he realizes it is influencing his own. Told in alternating perspectives, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling mystery that evokes the boarding school environment of The Disreputable History of Frank Landau Banks. Laban’s debut novel will keep the reader on edge as the tragedy looms closer and closer.

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban; Knopf; $17.99; Ages 12 and up

Realistic Fiction Picks for Guys

Need a book for a teenage boy? Maybe he’s a reluctant reader, or just a guy who doesn’t like fantasy or dystopia? Look no further. These three books are each unique, realistic, and well-written reads for guys. All three offer compelling looks at functioning families, and particularly the relationship between brothers and/or friends, but these aren’t sentimental books. Instead they are well-paced, high-interest reads.

Under the Bridge by Michael Harmon

Tate and his crew dominate the skating scene in Spokane, where they hang out at the skatepark under the bridge. But they live close to the seedier elements of the city, and there are things under the bridge even more dangerous than their stunts. When Tate’s younger brother, Indy, gets caught up with a ruthless drug dealer, Tate is determined to save him, their crew, and their family. The skating scenes steal the show here, but the well-drawn characters and compelling family dynamics make this a thought-provoking read.

Pieces by Chris Lynch

When Eric’s brother dies in an accident, the family donates his organs. A year later, still grieving and unsure what to do with the rest of his life, Eric decides to meet the donor recipients. The novel is short, but not too sweet. The memorable cast of quirky characters, a likable flawed protagonist, and lots of dry humor, make this grief novel a great read.

Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian

Tom has everything a high school senior could want: he’s a soccer star, he dates the hottest girl in school, and is ranked third in his class. When his small Maine town becomes a secondary settlement for Somalian refugees, Tom’s world shifts. With some new Somalian players his team has a chance to make the playoffs, but not everyone is pleased with the influx of refugees. Tom finds himself in the midst of cultural clashes and racial tension. A thoughtful realistic portrait of a guy trying to make sense of the world around him.

Under the Bridge by Michael Harmon; Knopf; $16.99

Pieces by Chris Lynch; Simon & Shuster; $16.99

Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian; Knopf; $16.99

November’s YA Book Club Pick

We know adults read young adult books too. For those of you who love to read YA, join us for our YA book club at 6:30 p.m. on November 27th. We’ll be discussing Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, a new YA gothic romance.

Kami Glass is impetuous, quirky, and determined to uncover the truth at any cost. This is a dangerous combination in a town like Sorry-in-the-Vale where an abandoned aristocratic Lynburn mansion looms on the hill and dark secrets lurk in the woods.

But Kami has a secret of her own: a voice in her head, Jared, who she’s been able to communicate with her entire life. The Lynburns return to Sorry-in-the-Vale and dark and strange things begin happening. And Kami learns that the voice in her head actually belongs to an actual boy, a dangerous one.

This modern-day gothic romance is quirky, funny, and dark. It’s a page-turning beginning to a compelling new series.

-Erin

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan; Random House; $18.99

Amanda loves Peaches!

Amanda loves peaches. Peaches to eat, peaches to read about. Summer is the perfect time to do both! Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson is an excellent middle-of-summer book to read in-between summer reading selections for school.

The story of three girls placed at a failing peach orchard in Georgia to work for the summer just screams hot, humid weather and juicy peach deliciousness. Birdie is the slightly overweight daughter of the orchard owner, very insecure and very lonely in her Georgia peach world. Since her mother ran off, a lot of the orchard responsibility has been placed on Birdie and she takes her job very seriously.

Leeda is Birdie’s rich and spoiled cousin and she opts to spend the summer at the orchard instead of planning her sister’s wedding. Leeda is incredibly jealous of her sister and wants nothing to do with making plans and knows she isn’t exactly wanted around the peach house either.

Murphy is the resident bad girl. She is sentenced by the town judge to work at the orchard as community service for petty crimes she continuously commits. She has great attitude and adds some excellent dramatic flair to the story.

Though putting distance between themselves at first, the girls grow closer as the summer moves on and find they actually have quite a bit in common. They work together through boyfriend problems, family dramas, and the doubt that the peach orchard will survive. This was a lovely and refreshing book, with believable friendships. I wanted to be friends with these girls!

This is the first in a series, so if you love it, follow it up with The Secrets of Peaches and Love and Peaches. Make sure you have a bowl of fresh PEACHES to eat while you read. Yum!

Great for fans of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares or those that love books by Sarah Dessen.

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson; $8.99; HarperTeen; Ages 14+

Awesome Teen Author Panel!

We’ve been so lucky to have a steady stream of YA Authors dropping by the store to share their books with all of you and next week we have 4 more! Come join us at 3:30 on June 30th and welcome Elizabeth Scott, Alethea Kontis, Diana Peterfreund, and Brigid Kemmerer to Hooray for Books!

Elizabeth Scott introduces her latest book, Miracle, the story of a young girl who is the only survivor of a plane crash. Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. But the truth is, she doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back.  Miracle, Simon Pulse, $16.99

Diana Peterfreund’s book, For Darkness Shows the Stars, features 18-year-old Elliot North, a girl who chose family over love four years ago, refusing to run away from the caste system she grew up in, as the servant, Kai, wanted her to. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.  For Darkness Shows the Stars, Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, $16.99

Alethea Kontis’ foray into the young adult world is Enchanted. It isn’t easy beign the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog, the two become friends and the friendship deepens into something magical. Sunday’s love transforms the frog into a prince!

A lovely retelling of “The Frog Prince.”  Enchanted, Harcourt Children’s Books, $16.99


Brigid Kemmerer has written Storm, a fast-paced story with lots of thrills and will definitely have you turning the pages faster and faster!

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys — the ones she doesn’t want. Then she saves Chris from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water– just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. Storm, Kensington Publishing, $9.95

Come join us as the authors talk about their latest books, answer questions, and sign your copies.