So this week, I've been all about the contemporary YA titles. There are a ton of titles that are getting a whole lot of press on YA blogs - Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, Anna and the French Kiss, and Amy & Roger's Epic Detour amoung others - but I'd thought I'd highlight a few that you might not have heard about!
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
It’s Dade’s last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a “boyfriend” who won’t publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade’s shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away.
Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet—and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he’s gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future.
“Fascinating and dreamy … The Vast Fields of Ordinary reads like the best kind of first novel — it’s packed with insights that might have been carried around for years, just waiting to come out.” – The New York Times Book Review
I'll be honest, I've read some terrible things about this book. But my inner literary snob is just desperate to read a YA book reviewed by the NYT Book Review. Not to mention the fact I'm a bit behind on my wish to read more LGBT YA!
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far... and almost doesn't make it back.
John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge - and over...
Oh my, does this book sound fantastic or what? A girl on the edge meets the guy who has to pull her off of it - rather an inverted Rules of Attraction but without the latino flavour. I've heard fabulous things about Jennifer Echlos and really really want this one!
Adios to My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer
Does a seventeen-year-old from Miami have what it takes to be the next big Latin superstar? And does she really want it?
As a talented singer-guitarist with a dream of going pro, Alegría Montero is getting fed up with the endless, boring parade of quinceañeras and other family party gigs. She's longing for something bigger. And Oye Mi Canto -- a new reality TV show that's searching for the next Latin superstar -- is definitely that. Ali figures she'll never make the cut, but auditioning seems like a good way to get her overprotective father to take her ambitions seriously.
To Ali's complete shock, she passes her audition. Next thing she knows, she's dealing with wardrobe fittings, cameras, reporters, vocal coaches, and websites designed by lovestruck fanboys. She's also dealing with jealousy, malice, and sabotage among the contestants, all of which has her wondering: Is it really time to shoot for the stars and try to win the whole competition, or is it time to say "Cut!" and become a normal teenager again?
Speaking of latino flavour, this book has it is spades! First off, didn't we all dream about becoming a pop superstar as a teen? That one day we'd wake up and be famous? Well, just imagine if that really happened - I don't think it'd be that much fun turning into Britney Spears!
This was Caridad's debut novel, published in 2006, and it won the Romance Writers of America’s 2007 RITA® for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance. Doesn't that sound like a book you should read?