Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Perfect Summer Series for Teens

Sunrise was at 6:16 am, sunset will be at 8:07 pm.

It's still summer!  Cool mornings, hot afternoons, breezy evenings.  The sun is the most amazing orange as it sets so much earlier than last week, the color most likely the reaction to smoke and fire, barbecue or forest.  There are blue jays and bluebirds, chickadees and robins, ducking in and out of the fountain out back, bumblebees, and once I saw 8 honeybees at the same time, in the lavender out front.  I love hearing the neighbor's ducks as the sun goes down, a low rolling quack quack quack as they settle.  Today we seal the deck.  Again.

I just finished three books, a little series, that feature teens who go to a high school in France, The School of America in Paris, by Stephanie Perkins.  It was a lot of fun to read all three of them at once, following one couple and their troubles and love, and then the next book, a new couple and their relationship and cameos of the other students we came to love in the other books. 

I'm glad I got to read them one after the other as my memory can truly suck after a year (or two) between books and I can't remember who's who after that long.  You are so lucky to be able to read them all at once, too, now that they are available side by side on the shelf of your bookstore.

The series is based in Paris, can you get more romantic than that? and each of the books focuses on a particular pair of friends who eventually become more than.  Being in Paris, far from home, family, and other friends, our heroes are cut loose from all things familiar which allows them to reinvent themselves, test new waters, and fall in love as if in free fall.  The city is as big a character as the humans in the story and is a wonderful foil for all the romance, mean girls, and break-ups that happen in a relationship.

These books aren't simple: they are packed with crushes, break-ups, breakdowns, studying, sex (yes, sex), detentions, odd friends, mean people, good people...They seem realistic (from the point of view someone who has never been to Paris, gone to a private school or the Olympics - the sports Olympics, not the mountain range - but who has fallen in love) and the emotion throughout is certainly true to anyone who has loved or been hurt in love.  I really liked these books and I think any of you who like YA Lit or who have a 14 year-old, this series will be a perfect end of summer read.

All are published by Dutton, are for ages 14 and up, the paperbacks (Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door) are 9.99, and Isla and the Happily Ever After is $17.99.  All are available now and you can get them at your local bookshop.  If you don't have a local bookshop, call me at Eagle Harbor (206-842-5332) and we will ship them to you!  

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