Thursday, July 9, 2015

Reading on a Theme: They Meet Again

This Reading on a Theme was a lot of fun to put together. I completed these books in true Reading on a Theme fashion, reading one right after another. Besides featuring reunited characters, they are all books about older YA characters who are getting ready for college (and, of course, One & Only is New Adult and takes place in a college setting).

I was in the mood for some great contemporary YA, and these books did not disappoint. If you've been hearing all sorts of wonderful things about Emmy & Oliver and Extraordinary Means, I am here to tell you that you have not been deceived.

Ella and Matt:
The Night We Said Yes has a great premise. Exactly a year after Matt and Ella met and six months after Matt left, he returns and the two run into each other at a party. The book then tells the story in alternating chapters of the night Matt and Ella met and the night they met again. So, I was a little disappointed with this book. It think it had a lot of potential, and I loved the idea of telling the two stories simultaneously, but, in practice, it became rather repetitive and dull. I did like Ella's friends quite a lot. And Lauren Gibaldi definitely struck gold in the cover department. I love the silhouettes and the handwritten script. The Night We Said Yes is out June 16th, 2015. Review copy from Edelweiss. 

Tess and Dylan:
Tess McMann met Dylan at a summer science program, and well, the chemistry was instantaneous. Then, she walked away. Two years later, Tess transfers to Canton, and there's Dylan, in her same program, as attractive and kind as before. But now Dylan has a girlfriend, and she's Tess's sister. The sister who doesn't know Tess even exists. The sister who doesn't know her father has a second family. Being with Dylan means breaking all the rules. I love Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series, and it's so fun to see her writing about college students again (Viv Daniels is Diana's New Adult/ Romance pseudonym.) I love how Tess and Dylan are such serious science students. They are definitely a couple to cheer for.

Emmy and Oliver:
When he was seven Oliver was kidnapped by his father. Now, ten years later, he's back. Robin Benway's new novel, starring neighbors and childhood best friends, deals with serious issues. Oliver's kidnapping impacted all of the characters in the book profoundly. Oliver, especially has a lot to deal with, but Benway navigates his complicated feelings so well. And despite all the serious stuff, this book is funny. I love Emmy's sense of humor, and her interactions with her parents are particularly great. The romance between Emmy and Oliver is sweet and honest, and, for a reader, nothing is more satisfying. Emmy & Oliver is out June 23rd, 2015, and I think it will be the big YA contemporary of the summer. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Molly and Gabe ... and Patrick:
Molly's tangled romance with two brothers, Patrick and Gabe, had her fleeing to boarding school where she hid from the boys and the family she'd hurt. Now she's back, and she has to survive 99 days in a hometown that's turned against her. Worst of all, she has to face Gabe and Patrick all over again. I really liked Katie Cotugno's messy book, and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to Molly's situation and the mistakes she makes. Beyond the romance, I enjoyed Molly's business mind and was happy to see her have some success in other areas of her life. I so appreciated the book's true-to-life ending. Also, did you see Epic Reads' hilarious, Signs You're Living with a YA Parent? That's this book. To a T. 99 Days was out April 21st, 2015. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Sadie and Lane:
Extraordinary Means is extraordinarily beautiful, and one of my favorites of the year, so far. The book is set in an alternate reality with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. At Latham House, a sanatorium for teenagers, Lane and Sadie, who first met at summer camp when they were thirteen, meet again. This book is about their group of friends, who are paradoxically vibrant and full-of-life even as they are dying. With an intriguing setting and fantastic writing, Robyn Schneider presents issues of living and dying, disease, contagion, love in face of tragedy, and deep friendship so well, but, most of all, she tells a compelling story about beautiful characters. Extraordinary Means was out May 26th, 2015. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Have you read any of these books? What are your favorite books about reunited characters?

 All reviews by JoLee.

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