Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven:
The memorable novel Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven, is a strong-minded story of perseverance in the face of bullying. The main character, Libby, is not like many other women; she is witty, fiery and lonely. And she is definitely done with being mocked for her body shape. Libby and her counterpart Jack take turns telling the reader about their lives. Both characters are dealing with their own issues throughout the story: Libby with her weight and Jack with the rare disorder prosopagnosia, a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces. This unlikely relationship is one to remember as their special circumstances allow the characters to strangely relate to one another. However, although I felt like the personal stories from each character’s point of view were great, the relationship between Jack and Libby felt rushed and unrealistic. I feel that every basic high school book is about a “loser” and a popular kid falling in love, and in real life, that is a little far fetched. Overall, the book was a quick and entertaining read with a heartwarming storyline.
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory:
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory is a romantic comedy highlighting heart, passion, and love. Maddie and Theo, the main characters of the book, take turns telling their version of the same story. Their relationship begins when their mutual friend asks them to aid her in planning her wedding. Maddie, based on previous experiences, believed that she hated Theo, but one night of hanging out and really getting to know each other changes her whole perspective. This fiery book with a strong female lead is great for a vacation read, as it has a light and airy theme that allows you to sit back and watch their love story unfold. The book can be a little raunchy, but the story is packed with witty banter that will have you laughing for days. Not only is this book amazing, but it is only the first in a three-book series. If you like quick, romantic reads that are easy to read and interesting, I definitely recommend this book.
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch:
Love and Gelato, by Jenna Evans Welch, is a coming of age romance novel that is lighthearted, yet serious and enjoyable. The protagonist, Lina, loses her mom to cancer. However, little did she know that her mom, before passing, planned for Lina to live in Italy with an old friend that Lina had never met. While in Italy, Lina begins to adapt to the new environment, meet new friends and learn some of her family’s darkest secrets.
This story moves at a quick pace and has some very unrealistic living standards portrayed in scenes with as rich kids living in big villas and throwing extravagant parties. It was difficult for me to relate to this book, as most teenagers do not get to live in large villas in Italy. Although the book is romantic, it is more focused on Lina’s growth as a person following her mother’s death, so don’t expect a lot of passion. If you have already read this book then I recommend the sequel, Love and Ireland.