Book List: xxx’s and ooo’s

flower_heartIt’s that time of the year again – that time when teddy bears show up with red pillowy hearts clasped to their chests and red roses triple in price. Valentine’s Day.

In honour of this day –  a day in which Christian martyrs were honoured (many centuries past), courtly love was celebrated, and now a day for lovers (and chocolate) – here are some lovely reads to keep your heart fluttering.

Fault in Our Staers

The Fault in our Stars – John Green (2012)

Can any book compete with the bountiful feelings spilling out of readers for this book?  Two cancer stricken teens in love and full of philosophical and snarky conversation?  The answer is pretty simple, no.

Green has demonstrated real growth as a writer, as well as a firm handle on his trademark humour.

Liz’s review can be read here.

Penguin

annaandthefrenchlkissAnna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins (2011)

Voted most likely to make you want to pucker up to the nearest charmer with a gap in his teeth, Anna and the French Kiss is a delight.  You’ll fall in love with both Anna and the boy as they become friends and get to know each other – no instant love connection here.

Anna and the French Kiss takes the impossibility of an imagined connection and the pain of pining for someone who belongs for another, jumbles then all up and adds a foreign language.

Better yet, it all takes place in Paris.

And there’s macarons.  Delish.

Penguin

mandragoraMandragora – David McRobbie (1994)

While this tale could largely be aligned with history (based on Victoria’s naval history in the Warrnambool area) and paranormal (mandrake before the Potterfication), there is a lovely touch of romance.

While the present day characters of Adam and Catriona are strong, independent and crushing on one another – it’s the couple of the past that makes me a little weepy.  The story of Margaret and Jamie is interlinked with the present characters, a shipwreck, mandrake dolls and some possession which makes for a rollicking read.

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Going Too FarGoing Too Far – Jennifer Echols (2009)

While tFioS might be the go to in YA cancer stories, this one can loosely link in – any more and I spoil the unfurling of the story.

Meg is a complex, strong, contradictory protagonist with boatloads of humour, snark and moxie. She’s tortured, yet exuberant. All her characteristics, her dialogue, her motivations and her decisions are all clear to understand and as such you are just plain sucked into her interplay with John After.

It’s steamy.  But it is also about two people connecting on a personal basis – there are no misunderstandings due to the power of love at first sight.  The dialogue moves at a cracking pace and you will love Meg and John.

MTV Books / Simon & Schuster

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The Perfect You – Elizabeth Scott

This title has been making the rounds of the CYL office.  It’s romantic fluff at its best.

It’s fun and cute and all kinds of lovely.  Elizabeth Scott has a varied writing career in that she’s travailed every genre within the YA ranks.  But her romance titles (specifically this one and the edgier Love You Hate You Miss You) are the kind of books you want to tuck under your pillow.

Kate’s dad has an illogical fondness for vitamins that ruined her family, her best friend has dumped her in favour of popularity and she cannot stop bickering with infuriating Will.  Bless.

Simon & Schuster

graffiti_moon

Graffiti Moon – Cath Crowley (2010)

One night in Melbourne.  Romantic huh?  Toss in a combie fan, some unrealistic expectations and a bloody nose and you have Graffiti Moon.  Lucy has fallen in love with a graffiti artist, feeling she understands him through his art.  If anything this book is a smart exploration of envisioned romance versus the real deal.

A tale with a healthy sense of humour, endearing characters and a rotation of character perspectives, you won’t regret reading this homegrown favourite.

Also, a good piece of advice is to NEVER throw eggs at your girlfriend.  Ever.

PanMacmillian

good_oil

Good Oil – Laura Buzo (2011)

It’s an universal tale – falling in love with the older, more experienced, mostly unreachable individual that makes your heart thud and your dreams unwieldy.  Woolworths may not be the most romantic of backdrops to this insight into first love but it sure is realistic.

The story alternates between Amelia and Chris’ perspectives.  There’s a honest connection, many misunderstandings and growth that make this a great read looking at first love and how it is rarely a happily ever after fairytale.

Allen and Unwin

What other YA titles make you warm and fuzzy?

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COMMENTS (1)

  1. narmstrong says:

    I agree heartily with all of the above. It’s pretty much my Valentine Day book list.

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