On another edition of Breaking the Spine’s awesome meme, we’re talking about two novels full of misunderstandings, extraordinary circumstances, and really adorable couples:
In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith’s new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names.
Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything; Graham doesn’t know the major secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.
When the location for the shoot of Graham’s new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie’s mom want her to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?
Discovering Jennifer E. Smith’s books this year was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. She’s responsible for the resurgence of contemporary YA in my reading pile, and if this new book is anything like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I’m going to end up a complete and total fangirl for her work. (Not that it hasn’t already happened.) Her characters are charming and flawed without being melodramatic, and the narration is always uniquely spun. Did I mention I’m dying to read this novel?
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of the three young adult novels: The Comeback Season, You Are Here, and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City.
This Is What Happy Looks Like will be released on April 2, 2013.
Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.
Unless it isn’t.
Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.
Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind.
Neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…
I bought Tw0-Way Street on a whim in May 2010, and I put off reading it for about a month. The first time I read it was while waiting for a flight to start boarding. That was followed by weekly rereading for about six weeks, because I just could not get enough of Courtney and Jordan.
With this companion novel, Lauren Barnholdt is bringing back everything I loved about Two-Way Street and I cannot wait.
Lauren Barnholdt is the author of the teen novels The Thing About the Truth, Sometimes It Happens, One Night That Changes Everything, Two-Way Street, and Watch Me. She is also the author of the middle-grade novels The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Four Truths and a Lie, Rules for Secret-Keeping, and Fake Me a Match. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Pre-order Right of Way from Amazon [link forthcoming] | Book Depository | Chapters [link forthcoming]
Right of Way will be released on July 9, 2013.