Time for another round of reviews, this time with a focus on my recent Young Adult reads – let’s go!
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich was a Book of the Month pick for me, and has been getting press for being an inventive LGBT young adult novel. I dug the premise… teens are groomed to be “love interests” – supporting players who get close to people who have been determined to be important to the future (think presidents and scientists, etc). But… where one love interest wins the heart of their target, their competitor is not so fortunate. Even though I loved the premise, I thought the love story actually fell flat and didn’t feel as passionate or committed or angsty as it could/should. It felt like it was trying to be too many things, and the world-building fell flat for me. I’m all for LGBT lit for teens, but I’m not sure this is the best around, in my very humble opinion.
The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster had been hooked when Lancaster herself talked about it during ALA and I snagged an advanced copy – this is her first foray into young adult lit, and into such a serious topic. A well-to-do Chicago suburb appears to have it all…except for that high rate of successful students committing suicide-by-train. Thought-provoking, at times hard to read, and well-intentioned, I really liked this, and think it will be absolutely discussion-worthy for teens and adults. (Release date: October 10th)
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon has been the buzzy young adult book this summer, and why not? It’s adorable! Dimple is smart, sassy and has her heart set on a geeked out summer camp… what she is not set on is the arranged marriage to Rishi that is on the horizon. A surprise meeting, a thrown Starbucks, and a lot of water under the bridge later, will these two fall for each other anyway? Cute, cute, CUTE!
I also read Textrovert by Lindsey Summers (cute, fast, former Wattpad novel), as well as Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, which was quirky, unique, and total love letter to folks caught up in a fandom of any kind.