First up is OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu, which is a book I’ve been meaning to read for at least a couple of years, and I’m a little embarrassed that it’s taken me this long. It’s a young adult novel about a girl named Bea, who lives with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Bea is caught between two guys—the one who knows and understands her, and the one who doesn’t even know she exists. (Does it count as a “love triangle” if the girl caught in the middle has only ever met one of the guys?) I’ve read a bunch of reviews calling the book “raw,” “hopeful,” “intense,” “harrowing,” and “lovely,” and by this time next week, I expect it’ll be on my favorites list!
I’m also really excited about Genie in a Bottle, the latest book in the funny and fantastic Whatever After series, written by my pal Sarah Mlynowski. If there are younger kids in your life, or if you just want to entertain the inner kid who lives in you, then you should check out this series. In each book, ten-year-old Abby and her younger brother Jonah find themselves in a well-known fairy-tale, which they promptly mess up, and have to spend time fixing. This ninth book is about (you guessed it) Aladdin. I can’t wait to spend time with Abby and Jonah again!
And I just finished All We Have Left by Wendy Mills. Oooh, this book left me breathless! It’s the rare kind of novel that is both beautiful and important. It follows two sixteen-year-old girls, Jesse and Alia. Jesse is telling her story in the days leading up to September 11, 2016. And Alia’s story takes place exactly fifteen years earlier, on September 11, 2001, the fateful day we all know by heart, when the New York City skyline changed forever. Jesse lost her older brother on 9/11, when she was just a baby; and unbeknownst to her, while he was trying to escape the North Tower of the World Trade Center, he wasn’t alone. A high school student named Alia was with him. As Jesse learns more about what happened to her brother, she is forced to confront hard truths about her family, and the beliefs that have carried them through their grief for the past fifteen years. I loved this book, and I hope everyone I know reads it.