Do you believe in fate? For Mikki and Crush, fate keeps intervening and intertwining their lives. Even before they meet in person, their paths cross twice and each time both Mikki and Crush are altered people. Cassia Leo’s story blends darkness, raw emotion and heart-breaking tragedy with the bright light of hope and love. The plot, told in both the present and flashbacks, was slightly implausible but instead of bothering me, it gave the whole story an ethereal quality. A trigger warning: this book deals with some heavy subjects like mental illness, suicide, and sexual assault.
Ruby Kaminski and Brett Pratt were living very different lives until that fateful day, June 18, 1992, when Flight 397 crashed in the ocean off Long Island and they both lost parents. Now they share a connection that no one but the two of them understands. As they write letters back and forth, they help each other heal and focus on the future instead of all the things they lost. This is book masterfully deals with love, pain, loss, hope, and dreams. It’s a heart-warming, character-driven story about two people on opposites side of the country can connect through shared pain and experience and the power of words. The excellent writing makes the plot feel all the more real and beautiful. I absolutely recommend Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost. Go read it!
Feeling like some summer love? Summer Days and Summer Nights is a book of twelve short stories written by some bestselling YA authors and edited by Stephanie Perkins. Each of the stories has their own flavor and tone but with a high level of imagination. I particularly enjoyed “The End of Love” by Nina LaCour, “A Thousand Ways This Could Go All Wrong” by Jennifer E. Smith and “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” by Lev Grossman. So grab your sunscreen and hit the beach with this fun compilation of summer stories.
Andie Walker always has a plan. Her plan for this summer was an academic pre-pre-med program at Johns Hopkins but when a political scandal involving her congressman father changes everything, Andie’s life suddenly veers off her carefully controlled course. She finds herself actually living with her dad for the first time in years, working as a dog walker, and flirting with a super cute boy named Clark, who just might break her usual three-week and done rule for dating. The Unexpected Everything makes it official. Morgan Matson has made it on my favorite authors list. After reading this, her fourth great book, in only a day, I am convinced that her YA novels are at least a couple steps above average. Her writing is superb and her characters linger more than most of the other YA books I have read. Case-in-point: Clark is definitely lingering. He’s nerdy and nervous and completely adorable. I especially liked the way that he challenged Andie and helped draw her out of her emotionally guarded comfort zone. If you are in the mood for feel-good yet heartfelt stories about summers, friendship, love, and ice cream, Morgan Matson’s books should definitely be at the top of the list.