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I'm so starry-eyed for this wise, romantic gem of a book. - Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
In this smart, heart-warming YA debut perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, two teens find love when their lives are uprooted for their parents' involvement in a NASA mission to Mars.
- ISBN-13: 9781547600144
- ISBN-10: 1547600144
- Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
- Publish Date: February 2020
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.97 pounds
- Page Count: 320
- Reading Level: Ages 13-UP
These are definitely kissing books
There’s plenty of love to be had in this trio of romantic books. Social media plays a key role in all three, facilitating flirting, turning up the tension and making the will-they-won’t-they even more thrilling. The hopeless (and hopeful) romantic will find much to savor.
High school senior Pepper Evans misses how things used to be. Not long ago, her family lived in Nashville, her parents’ marriage was intact, and the restaurant they founded, Big League Burger, hadn’t yet grown into a megachain. Now, in debut novelist Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute, Pepper’s sister is at college, her dad’s in Nashville, and she’s attending a fancy private school in New York City. When she’s not juggling AP classes, debate club and swim team—or fretting about her parents’ divorce—she’s co-writing a baking blog and being pestered by her CEO mom to handle BLB’s social media.
Meanwhile, Pepper’s classmate Jack Campbell has a lot on his plate, too. He works in his family’s popular East Village deli and feels pressured to someday take it over. But does he want to? He’s trying to figure it out when disaster strikes. BLB tweets about a sandwich that copies an item on his family’s deli menu, and Jack claps back, kicking off a snarky Twitter war that garners the attention of internet influencers and the media. As Pepper and Jack duke it out on Twitter, they’re also flirting on an anonymous messaging app—and getting closer in real life as well.
Lord creates delicious, funny suspense around whether the teens will finally reveal their identities and have a huge argument or, even better, a huge make-out sesh. Tweet Cute empathetically conveys the tension of feeling torn between pleasing one’s parents and planning an independent future. Lord’s characters are a likable, smart, diverse bunch, and readers will eagerly follow along as secrets explode and romance blooms online and IRL.
Yes No Maybe So
Fans of bestselling authors Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) and Aisha Saeed (Written in the Stars) will be thrilled to get their hands on their new joint effort, Yes No Maybe So, an earnest and engrossing of-the-political-moment story about Jamie and Maya, who were friends as children and reconnect a decade later when their moms volunteer them to canvass for a newbie Democratic state senate candidate.
Jamie is deeply self-conscious about his awkwardness and trying to tread lightly around his mom and sister’s feverish bat mitzvah planning. Maya is reeling from an emotional one-two punch: Her bestie has become distant as she prepares to leave for college, and her parents just began a trial separation—in the middle of Ramadan. She’s not thrilled about canvassing, but her mom dangles the promise of a car, so she dives in, joining Jamie and his quirky, civic-minded family as they try to bring change to their city of Atlanta, Georgia. As their interest in politics and policy grows into true activism, Jamie and Maya realize they’re becoming passionate about each other, too.
Albertalli and Saeed have created a lovely cross-cultural romance and a compassionate exploration of what’s worth fighting for, especially when the outcome is uncertain. It’s full of messages of hope, loving support and the empowerment that comes from pushing for change and taking action.
★ The Gravity of Us
Self-proclaimed space nerd Phil Stamper’s The Gravity of Us is so interesting and well crafted that it’s hard to believe it’s his first novel. He harkens back to mid-20th-century NASA, when astronauts were heroes and their seemingly perfect families served as living public-relations tools for the space program. As it turns out, things aren’t so different when it comes time for NASA’s Orpheus V mission to Mars.
Whiz-kid Cal Lewis, a savvy 17-year-old from New York City, is shocked when his commercial airline pilot dad announces he’s been selected for Orpheus, which means their family is moving to Houston . . . in three days. Cal is devastated to be leaving his best friend, his beloved city and perhaps his budding career. An entertainment network, Star Watch, has an exclusive contract to cover the mission, which means Cal, a well-known video journalist with half a million followers on the FlashFame app, will have to give up his BuzzFeed internship. Even worse, he may not be able to report anything anymore.
As his life changes at warp speed, the questions mount: Will Cal be able to survive hot, humid Houston? Will his parents ever stop arguing? How can he be a journalist without the internship and FlashFame? But isn’t it nice that the enchanting Leon, son of another astronaut, lives in Cal’s brand-new, astronaut family-packed neighborhood?
It’s thrilling to witness Cal using his social media savvy to find a way around barriers to his reporting and his happiness. Stamper shines a light on the vagaries of reality TV and a space program dependent on tenuous government funding, while giving a platform to the nonastronauts who are also passionate about space exploration—from soil scientists to the families swept up in this all-consuming career choice. Readers will root for Cal and Leon, their budding romance, their astronaut families and, of course, the prospect of life among the stars.