Author Crush: Romance Edition!
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert (TN COL) is a timely novel about finding love in tough times and unlikely places. Marva has been helping to register voters all year and can’t wait to do her part and cast her own vote too. In helping people vote, she crosses paths with Duke, who was turned away at his polling place, so over the course of the day, the pair go from voting place to voting place to find where Duke can go to vote and learn more and more about each other on the way. This down to earth story is an exploration of race, privilege, family dynamics, and love. Somehow Brandy Colbert manages all that without losing sight of the importance of the character relationships and plot. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read this year!
Are you a fan of K-pop? Check out Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (TN GOO), in which a K-pop star, Lucky, falls for one of the paparazzi sneaking into her hotel to snap pictures of her. Despite being on total security lockdown, all Lucky wants is to go out for a hamburger and act like a normal teenager for once. It’s really not that dangerous, is it? But when she’s sneaking out of the hotel, she runs into Jack, who’s doing just the opposite and trying to sneak in, but he plays it cool and pretends not to know who she is. Together, they head into Hong Kong and end up making more of a connection than either of them expects. It’s a really light, fun rom com that will definitely keep you reading - especially if you dream of one day marrying (or being) a K-pop star.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson (TN JOH) is probably the best teen book I’ve read this year! It’s about Liz, who’s in her senior year and on her way to Pennington University, where her mother graduated from. She’s at the top of her class with great grades, extracurriculars, and an acceptance letter in hand, about to make her dreams come true, but when her scholarship falls through, she has no idea how she can afford to even take one class. She’s ready to do whatever it takes to go to college, but can she really compete with the other girls vying for the Prom Queen scholarship? With a sweet and unexpected romance, great characters, and a timely exploration of culture and privilege, this feel-good story will definitely have you rooting for Liz the whole way through!
My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma (TN SHA) is a delightful read about film student Winnie, who adores Bollywood movies and is determined to get into NYU film school. She believes that she was prophesied to be with Raj, a fellow movie buff, but when he finds another girlfriend, Winnie is totally lost. They were meant to be together, so how could he just find someone else? On top of that, he takes over the film festival that was supposed to be her ticket to NYU. Now totally adrift, Winnie has to decide what destiny means to her and make her own way into the unknown and maybe find romance along the way.
The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen (TN SHI) is based on the author’s popular podcast called The Bright Sessions and is the first in a planned trilogy. It tells the story of Caleb, a handsome football star as well as an Atypical, someone with extra abilities. His power is empathy - not only does he feel others’ emotions, but he can be overwhelmed by them, losing himself in the feelings of others. When Caleb meets his classmate Adam, who is depressed and self-harms, the two become inseparable, but Caleb isn’t sure if what he’s feeling for Adam are his own feelings or if it’s Adam’s emotions influencing him and when more secrets are revealed, the two struggle to be there for each other while still untangling their own feelings.