My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Sarah Dessen is my gold standard for young adult realistic fiction and it’s very rare that a book that proclaims “perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen” actually is any good, but this one is a home run that I’ve read twice. Samantha Reed has watched the Garretts from her bedroom window for years. Her mom disapproves of their large, loud family, but Samantha wishes her quiet, uptight family was more like them. And then she meets Jase Garrett and she finds herself welcomed into that family she’s watched from a distance and she has to decide which family she’ll choose if it comes down to that.
Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen
Julia and Michael left behind hard childhoods in West Virginia and ended up wildly successully in D.C., with pretty much everything money could buy (thanks flavored water company that sells for a cool $70 million). Then Michael has a heart attack in a meeting and nearly dies. And when his life is saved, he decides his money means nothing to him and he wants to give it all away. Julia, who HASN’T just had a near-death experience isn’t on board but thanks to a prenuptial agreement signed before that flavored water made Michael millions, she has no say in the matter. Their relationship had already become more of a marriage of convenience, but now that the financial convenience is about to disappear, she’ll have to make a choice.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This book was a huge hit last summer and I spent several enjoyable days absorbed in this story about two Indian teenagers who were betrothed by their parents and now will meet for the first time at a summer coding camp in San Francisco before they begin college. Except Dimple’s parents never actually TOLD her about said betrothment and when Rishi shows up, expecting his future bride, she’s less than delighted by the revelation. (Menon also has a new book that just came out called From Twinkle, With Love that I just picked up a copy of).
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
When I was in London on Study Abroad, I found a battered copy of this on the library shelves and, as a break from all the Humanities texts I was reading, I stuck it in my bag to read on the Tube. And then I spent every Tube ride trying not to die of laughter in public. It’s still one of my favorite Sophie Kinsella books, about Emma who is a nervous flyer and when her flight turns extra turbulent, she spills all her secrets (about her job, her parents, her love life) to the stranger sitting next to her. Which is embarrassing enough, but when he shows up at the office the next day and turns out to be the CEO . . .