This next set of mini reviews is reserved for young adult fiction!
Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest (★★★★)
Evie is the granddaughter of a famous actress, and she recently blew her acting dreams apart with one bad viral video. Ashamed and desperate to make it back to the center stage, Evie heads to Gigi’s and stumbles into Milo, a young musician Gigi has taken under her wing. Though Evie’s plans to convince Gigi to attend an award ceremony backfire, she and Milo spend a week together exploring NYC, learning what’s important in life, and discovering that media is a fickle friend.
This is Kristina Forest’s sophomore novel, and now I want to read her debut! The writing nailed the YA voice, the immediacy of everything was exhilarating and fun, Evie was deeply relatable despite her celebrity, and Milo was definitely swoon-worthy in a far less obvious way. I enjoyed every second of this. Most of all, I appreciated the openness and honesty between the characters, even though part of this narrative hinges on dishonesty. Not once did I want to bonk them on their heads and say “just TALK!”—so that was an immense relief. Evie’s growth and “I don’t have an answer but that’s okay” felt so right, too. You don’t need to have it all figured out yet!
If you’re in need of a feel-good read to put a smile on your face, look no further!
Recommended For You by Laura Silverman (★★★★★)
Shoshanna Greenberg is determined to be the best bookseller at Once Upon this holiday season. But her moms are fighting, her car keeps breaking down, and the new employee at work—Jake Kaplan—is her biggest competition. He’s cute, he’s Jewish, and even though he doesn’t read books he’s somehow hand-selling more books than Shoshanna! Game on. But as Shoshanna tries to fix everything falling apart around her, she soon discovers some things require time to mend, and others require a little more thoughtfulness.
I started for the holiday rush at a bookstore setting—holy heck was it all SO RIGHT, it made me remember my bookselling days!—and stayed for the big heart and big emotions. Shoshanna is so well-meaning and endearing, and even though she tends to knee-jerk react, it all comes from a place of compassion. There’s a lot to love about this book: employees as family, the diversity across the board (Jewish rep, LGBT+ rep, ability rep, poverty rep), a bookstore as a home, all the ways people can be called readers, the ways food connects to the heart, the true holiday spirit…Perfect, cute, fun holiday book for bookworms!