FICTION

Our Year in Love and Parties

HarperTeen. Oct. 2019. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062410238.
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Gr 9 Up–It’s been years since Erika and Tucker worked together at the Fun Cave arcade, years since that awful senior year Erika had to endure after an inappropriate video of her with someone else’s boyfriend made the rounds. She survived that year, and her freshman year of college, but feels like she is just going through the motions. After she and Tucker run into each other at an impromptu (slightly illegal) goodbye party for the Cave, the feelings they had for each other resurface. While there are sparks, nothing happens between them that night due to misunderstandings. Over the next year they run into each other again, grow closer, deal with family issues, have another misunderstanding, and then finally realize how much they care for one another, just as they have to part ways. The author nicely portrays these characters not as perfect, hip teens, but as complex, relatable individuals in whom many teens will see themselves reflected. The open ending of the novel feels realistic, yet may be disappointing for readers looking for an ending tied up neatly. There is sexual content, but it is not graphic, and is realistic for the ages of the characters.
VERDICT Contemporary romance readers will find much to enjoy in this novel of life, love, and the pursuit of one’s self.

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