I buy books for a variety of reasons. They include legitimate excitement over the premise, fangirl adoration of the author's past work, recommendations from trusted friends, and/or a desire to support an author who decreases world suck.
In a fit of not-so-genius, I used an Amazon gift card to buy a ton of
books... about a week before ALA. In that order was Stephanie Perkins's Anna and the French Kiss. To be perfectly, perfectly honest? I ordered it because Stephanie was in the last two categories: several authors I respect had recommended Anna (for example: Kirsten, Tahereh, Deb, John Green), and although I don't know Stephanie, I do
know she's awesome, because she donated an awesome prize to the Help
Write Now auction.
But I was hesitant. I just don't do romance or chick lit or women's fiction or whatever it is we're calling it these days.
Or at least I thought I didn't.
Her book arrived right before I left for New Orleans. Meanwhile, the BFF had bought it for her niece, who looooooved it. So when I was at ALA, I made sure to get her a copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door (with major help from Sarah Enni, who was at the front of the ARC line). When I came home, I had a monster "to read" stack (see above), but I wanted to read Anna pretty quickly, so that I could read Lola before I passed it on.
Two nights later-- one book per evening-- I was a Stephanie Perkins fan in all four categories
The obvious word for these books is "cute." But not in a derogatory, "isn't that cute" kind of way-- I mean in a "I'm pretty sure my heart just exploded from how realistically romantic and awkward this is." Stephanie does a great job of capturing the seriousness of first love without making it FIRST LOVE IS ALL THERE IS OMG I DIE WITHOUT YOU.
(See, this is why I don't write book reviews. It's all capital letters and acronyms up in here.)
Anyway, if you've been on the fence, this is me pushing you to the blue-haired author side. Go buy Anna. Pre-order Lola. Add Isla to your TBR list. Prepare to crave French food, wish you could live in Lola's house, and swoon.
What's the best book you read this month? Head over to YA Highway and leave a link to your post in the comments!