The covers link to The Tattered Cover (to promote indie bookstores a bit) in case you'd like more info. Because I had no time to post yesterday, I'll post two (well, three, with the tie) today, seven and a tie-for-six:
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, by Erin McCahan
Why did I love this? Oh, so many reasons. First, I love the romance. It's definitely a sweep-you-off-your-feet quality. But what sets this book apart from all the other romances out there is what's going on beneath the surface. When Bron meets and falls for the perfect guy, it's not only him but his family she adores. And this is because of all the things she doesn't like about her own life -- mostly her mom (who has a great ability to avoid anything and everything she doesn't want to face) and her stepdad (who, in Bron's eyes, has betrayed her). As the story unfolds and Bron and Jared get closer to a permanent relationship (after he proposes), Bron begins to realize that painting a new family picture over the one she doesn't like won't necessarily change her unhappiness with the old picture. Things come to a head one night, and Bron finally faces her fears and confronts both her mom and her stepdad -- with very surprising results. In the end, Bron begins to discover who she really is (on her own). (Um, that was pretty much the story summary.)
I recommend this to every teenage girl who dreams of falling in love and being part of a couple -- it's just so well done.
And the tie for book six:
Heist Society, by Ally Carter
Why do I love this? Interestingly, when I first started it, I put it down after a few pages. After a couple of weeks, I decided I'd try again, and that time, I pushed through until the story caught me -- which only took a few more pages than I'd read the first time (go figure) -- and I really liked it. What I love about Carter's writing is the surface 'fun' story with the more serious undertones. I really enjoy books which have multiple levels which contrast.
The story: Katarina's dad has been framed (according to Katarina) for a theft he didn't commit, and it's up to Katarina to prove him innocent -- which means she has to pull off a similar job with her group of thieves.
I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys thriller-type stories, especially those who like the interplay of characters throughout.
Only the Good Spy Young, by Ally Carter
Why do I love this? Again, Carter's ability to combine both interpersonal drama and a fun plot is so strong. This is the fourth book in the Gallagher Girls series, and I liked it the best (so far) -- but I say that each time I read a new book in this group! I like Cammie, and I like her friends (and her on-and-off boyfriend) -- and I really enjoy not only the situations they continually find themselves in, but also the ever deepening mystery surrounding Cammie's mom, her dead father, and their teacher (Joe).
The story: Cammie has learned that the 'bad' spies were headed up by Joe (her favorite teacher) -- and suddenly, she finds herself caught between two groups. Cammie doesn't know what to do or who to trust, but her friends continue to stand by her and do what they can to help.
Again, I'd recommend this to everyone who loves adventure and fun combined with great interplay.