Dani is a Book & Wine Pairing Blogger from the mountains of West Virginia. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on while sipping on a glass of wine and snuggling with her fur-babies.

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REVIEWS! - TEEN ROMANCE
 
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Valentine’s Day was last month and I made sure to partake in all the romance reeds that I could get my hands on! If love is still in the air for you, then here are a few of the Teen Romances I read last month.

Just a heads-up: you’ll need a box of tissues, your gay best friend, your big-girl (or big-boy) pants ready to speak-up, and your iTunes subscription handy for this list of must reads!

📚Cheyanne Young’s The Last Wish of Sasha Cade (2018 YA Romance)
📚Erin Hahn’s You’d Be Mine (2019 YA Contemporary Romance)
📚Marci Lyn Curtis’ The Leading Edge of Now (2018 YA Romance & Realistic Fiction on Abuse)
📚Olivia Hinebaugh’s The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me (2019 YA LGBT Romance)

From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
—Dani


The Last Wish of Sasha Cade 

By Cheyanne Young

 
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Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Synopsis:

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world -- the best friend in the whole world -- has died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted.

And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife?

In fact, Sasha has planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Raquel, and when she follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha—and now Raquel—knows.

This boy, Elijah, might be just what Raquel needs to move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend’s final wish?

Purchase:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Google Play / IndieBound

Review:

Young Sasha Cade is dying and has one last wish: For her best-friend, Raquel, to keep Elijah a secret and for them to complete the scavenger hunt, that Sasha devised, together.

If you are looking for a tear jerker, then look no further! The Last Wish of Sasha Cade is the teenage version of the movie P.S. I Love You, where friendship and love will survive the biggest hardships, even death.

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade is real as it gets, and shows that the grown-up world isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Life comes with heartbreak and tragedy, but have no fear, life also comes with love and fortune. You just have to open your heart to both.

Get the box of tissues ready, because The Last Wish of Sasha Cade will have you reaching for them out of heartache and pure joy! I highly recommend to teens and adults alike.

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚📚


You’d Be Mine

By Erin Hahn

 
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Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things. 

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen. 

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Purchase:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Google Play / IndieBound

Review:

Young love is always great, add some Johnny and June Cash, a spunky girl and a jilted boy to the mix and you have a great romance! For anyone who reads You’d Be Mine, I highly recommend - especially if you don’t know and Johnny & June Cash songs - to keep your phone near by so you can play the many songs mentioned while reading this book. It will not only help you to understand the story on a deeper level, but it will also set the mood, and make you a Johnny & June fan! (I also recommend listening to Heidi Newfield’s song Johnny and June for any song downtime while reading. It, too, will set the mood! 😉)

But You’d Be Mine isn’t just a country music teen romance, it also deals with loss, death, and destruction, drug addiction, alcoholism, and (somewhat surprising) God. It teaches you to work hard, fight for what you believe in, and reminds you just how important family and belief is, all while making your heart ache for Clay and Annie.

Looking for a swoony read? Then You’d Be Mind is totally the book for you this week! I 100% fell in love with Clay and Annie, their music and their story, and I think you will, too!

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚📚


The Leading Edge of Now

By Marci Lyn Curtis

 
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Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Abuse

Synopsis:

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor. 

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever. 

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn't sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find --- and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most? 

Purchase:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / IndieBound

Review:

The Leading Edge of Now is not your typical romance, so if you’re looking for a swoon worthy read, this is not it, however, that doesn’t mean you should not read it, just be expecting a story that goes a bit deeper than the typical teen romance.

Grace’s story is one that unfortunately needs to be told. A story of a girl who is orphaned and who later comes out about the sexual abuse she endured and has lived with quietly for years. Sadly, too many girls so through this and are too scared to speak up about it. In Marci Lyn Curtis’ The Leading Edge of Now, you go through the struggle and mental wear-down that Grace goes through everyday of holding this secret in, and the relief she finally feels when she speaks up. It’s a powerful story with some very powerful messages that girls and boys alike should read and learn.

I don’t know if my review words can do this book justice, and so, instead, I’ll leave it with a couple of my favorite quotes - and lessons - from The Leading Edge of Now:

Because life is hard and it’s messy, but it deserves to be lived. And if you’re always turning away from it, you aren’t really living it. Living, really living, is standing on the very tip of the moment - right on the leading edge of now - no matter how heartbreaking or beautiful or terrible it might be.

I’m crying again, everything inside me ripping open and spilling out, the humiliation I’ve clutched so tightly the past couple of years, the anger I’ve stuffed into my rib cage, the fear that’s cleaved to my cells. God - fear of everything. Of living and dying, of loving and desertion, of friendship and loneliness. The stupid truth of it all is that day after day I’ve been trying to protect myself from things that have been out of my control. I’ve been worrying about getting hurt or getting sick or getting abandoned. But the fact is, people like me get raped every day. People like Dad die every day. People like Owen are involved in accidents that are out of their control every single day.

The world, with all its beauty and wonder and love, is a frightening place.

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚📚


The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me

By Olivia Hinebaugh

 
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Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT+, Sex Education

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke is the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she's been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita.

But then everything changes.

When Lacey sees first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls' restroom. But things with Theo become complicated quickly, and Lacey is soon not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but hers as well.

Purchase:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Google Play / IndieBound

Review:

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me is a very informative book without seeming educational. If you have a tween/teen (or are one) looking for answers about sex, then this is a great book to pick up to be informed, but not to an embarrassing degree. The Birds, the Bees… actually acknowledges the fact that most tweens/teen (and even some adults) are embarrassed about sex, and brings about the fact that it shouldn’t be embarrassing. Everyone should be comfortable with asking questions, finding out the correct answers to those questions, and having an education that supports all sexual lifestyles.

But The Birds, the Bees… isn’t just about sex. It’s about a group of wonderfully talented high school music students that are not only finding their way in the sexual world (identifying if they are heterosexual or a part of the LGBT+ community, and how to properly protect themselves), but also musically - Lacey, Evita, Theo and Alice form a band; where they want to go to college and want to do for a living. They grow apart and together as friends, band mates and partners. And they learn to stand-up for themselves and the education in which they are receiving.

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me is a very powerful book, teaching those who read it how to make judgement calls when it comes to their life. While those around you may not agree with your beliefs, you have to stand up for your rights, beliefs and health and do what is right for you. A great non-traditional romance read that everyone should read!

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚📚



Sorry, no wine pairing for these teen reads.


Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.



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