Summer is My Favorite Time for YA Romances – Part 1

Posted July 29, 2015 in Review / 4 Comments


Summer is synonymous with young love, at least in my book, or BOOKS in this case!  While I was on “hiatus” (or blog-be-broke time out), I read a veritable plethora of young adult romances that screamed “Summertime” to me!  So in the spirit of getting these reviews done and out, I’m doing double duty.   And since I was on such a summer-lovin’ kick, there will be more of these posts.




Summer is My Favorite Time for YA Romances – Part 1

The Summer After You and Me

by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks, Fire on May 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

AmazonBarnes&Noble Goodreads
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?


The Summer After You and Me is a good, solid four stars in my opinion. This was a super quick read for me (or am I getting faster?) that I read in one day, which is unusual for me. And yes, Virginia, there IS a love triangle but don’t be turned away by that. All ends well (again, just my opinion here) and so totally the way I would have wanted it written.

I loved the story, too, not only b/c she took the time to write a “love letter” to the NJ shoreline that was ravaged by superstorm Sandy, but b/c of little elements she captured accurately, like surfing.  As a transplanted West Coast surfer, she had me yearning to duck dive my way out to the line up. And yes, I am aware that I just wrote the longest run on sentence – it’s part of my charm.

The story starts on Memorial Day weekend, literally the start of the summer after superstorm Sandy tore up New Jersey.  The entire Jersey shore is coping with loss, change, and starting over.  Lucy is coping with seeing her next door neighbor, Connor, after over six months.  As the reader, we’re given tiny clues that something happened between Lucy and Connor the previous summer.  We just don’t know what it was; whether it was good or bad.  We do know Lucy just can’t get Connor out of her mind, despite his girlfriend and her boyfriend.

I think this is a romance a lot of people are either loving or hating.  I see it as typical teenagers trying to make sense of the chaotic world around them.  I always take into consideration the maturity level of the characters.  I know in my mind that life is not perfect; that all love stories are NOT rosy, perfect, and without flaws.   I definitely loved the reality of the character’s flaws in this story.  And then I remember, this isn’t real, this is just a book.  It’s entertainment for a day or two.

For Connor and Lucy, what started out as possibly a fairy tale romance went completely south due to the meddling of family and friends.  In the end, are your friends more important than YOU or do you follow what you know in your gut is real and can make you happy?  Do you take that leap?

Or does everything fall where it should have always been?  Hmmm, chicken, egg, or the journey?  Deep thought of the day, peeps.  Again, it is just a book 🙂


About Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Jennifer Doktorski

In addition to writing for teens, I’m a freelance writer who has written articles and essays for national publications including, Cosmopolitan. I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer even though I often referred to my college major in English as “PreLaw” because it held the promise that I might actually find work someday.

As it turns out, I did find work. My first paid writing gig was as an editorial assistant for the North Jersey Herald & News, where, in addition to developing a life-long passion for coffee and news, I wrote obituaries for eight months. I’ve also worked as a speech writer, bank teller, ghostwriter, bookkeeper in a lampshade factory, pet shop clerk, and music zine editor.




Summer is My Favorite Time for YA Romances – Part 1

The Start of Me and You

by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury on March 31st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: ARC

I received this book for free from Baker & Taylor in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

AmazonBarnes&Noble Goodreads
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?


Ahhhhh, The Start of Me and You…  I think this will be one of my favorite books of the year.  I love nerds!!!  I mean, who doesn’t love a girl who isn’t quite comfortable in her skin, who is still trying to figure out her role in life and who she wants to be. I think that’s why I LOVE YA.  It takes me back to a time when I was trying to figure who I wanted to be.  The many YA books on the shelves let me “try on” so many different personalities, if only for 300 pages or so.  Paige is a character I could have lived in for months!

Ms. Lord perfectly captured the awkwardness of high school crushes, love, and loss.  Paige had just started dating her first boyfriend, Kyle, when he drowned.  So for the next year, she was known as the girl whose boyfriend had died.  To break out of that stigma, Paige set out to change-up her routine.  She decided she was going to go after her long time crush, Ryan.  And she was going to join a school club.  It’s at this club that she gets to know Max, Ryan’s cousin, who has just moved to the area.  Can Max be her “in” with Ryan?  Or is Max becoming something else?  Hmmmm…

Happy happy, joy, joy.  This book is just full of happiness, quirkiness, a little bit of tension, some “oh no!”, and a whole lot of friendship.  Seriously, this story is virtually an angst-free zone.  This is just straight forward GOOD young adult literature.  I passed this ARC all over our library and made sure the YA librarian had a copy ordered.

My only thing was that this is a bit of a longer book that I’m used to reading. But oh my gosh, I freaking read this book in a matter of days – so unusual for me and longer books. I was intimidated by the size of the ARC but I am so glad I picked it up because DAMN, this was a sweet love story!  I was even teary eyed for about 10 pages at the end.  Which I read multiple times.

I wish I could read the ending again right now but sadly, the ARC is floating around the library system.  sigh  I just want to be Paige for a while again….


About Emery Lord

Emery Lord

Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes that make you feel combustibly alive and also more awkward than you thought was possible. If you're not sure how to pronounce Emery, try slurring the name "Emily," and that will get you really close.

She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with her BFF/husband, a closet full of dresses, and lots of books. If karaoke-ing in grocery store aisles or guzzling coffee while impulse shopping were illegal, Emery would be writing her overemotional YA books from jail. Also, she makes up words sometimes. Like combustibly.






About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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4 responses to “Summer is My Favorite Time for YA Romances – Part 1

    • K

      You’re just too jaded, my friend (ha!) I need my bubble gum, cotton candy, and love, love, love!!! Where else can I work in a quote from Ren and Stimpy?

  1. Hahaha blog-be-broke break. Well, I’m glad the blog-be-back mode is in full effect. Yeah Emery’s book is excellent for YA readers. Definitely one I’d feel comfortable giving to all ages knowing they’ll get something out of it. I didn’t even try to request the first book since, you know, the publisher hates me. lol. No, but seriously, it does sound like another great YA.
    Christy recently posted…Just Thinking … How I Read A Series

    • K

      I have no clue why I get their emails…. really, I don’t!! At least there’s a club for you guys. You saw someone else in our group has the same nemesis, right?