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Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday 15: My Favorite 15..."Love" Stories

Well, it is almost Valentine's Day. I think that the Valentine's candy, cards, and balloons have been in the stores since New Year's, but at least I have resisted the temptation to purchase far.

To try and get myself in the mood for this holiday of love, I thought that I would turn my "Friday 5" into a "Friday 15" and mention my Top 15 "Love" Stories for Teens. It should be noted that I do not consider myself a "gushy, romance, love story" kind of girl, but I had trouble cutting this list DOWN to 15 so I might have to start re-thinking my self-image.

 In no particular order...

Beastly by Alex Flinn. SO much more than just a twist on Beauty and the Beast. Flinn has spun a wonderful story from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster because of his behavior. Before he can return to his human form, he will have to find true love. And since I have been waiting FOREVER for the movie, I am glad that it will arrive in theaters soon!

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I am completely
willing to admit to a small crush on David Levithan. But that is not the reason I am recommending the book...honest! Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? The book promises a "love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own" and it does not disappoint!

Devoted by Dick Hoyt. This is the ultimate story of a father's love for, and complete devotion to, his child. I tear up just thinking about it. An amazing family, an amazing life, a truly powerful love story.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Do I even have to say anything about this classic? LOVE IT (and the movie, too)! Westley, a farm boy, goes off to seek his fortune shortly after declaring his love for Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in the world. But their relationship is put to the test when his ship is captured by pirates and she is summoned to become the bride of the prince.
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter. Smart girls who are spies? What could be better?! This is book #1 in the Gallagher Girls series, each book having a equally fun play-on-words title. As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from "normal teenage life" until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.

Matched by Ally Condie. I'll admit that this one kept ending up on the bottom of my "To Read" pile. Now that I have finished it, I'm not sure why. This is a great book, especially for fans of dystopian fiction (Hunger Games, etc.). Cassia has always had complete trust in the Society to make decisions for her, but when she is being paired with her ideal mate, a second face flashes on the screen, and Cassia begins to doubt
the Society's infallibility as she tries to decide which man she truly loves.

Street Love by Walter Dean Myers. What's that you say? Walter Dean Myers wrote a love story? Absolutely! Told in free verse, this story is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge.
When a fourteen-year-old baseball player catches mononucleosis, he discovers that keeping a journal and experimenting with poetry not only helps fill the time, it also helps him deal with life, love, and loss. Simple, yet wonderful. The sequel, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, is equally enjoyable!

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifest by Eric Luper. Looking for laugh-out-loud funny with your love story? Here's the book for you! After his girlfriend breaks up with him and he sees his father out with another woman, high school senior Seth Baumgartner, who has a summer job at the country club and is preparing for a father-son golf tournament, launches a podcast in which he explores the mysteries of love as only a teenage boy could.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I honestly cannot say enough about this wonderful book about love and loss, and trying to find love again. In the months after her sister dies, seventeen-year-old Lennie falls into a love triangle and discovers the strength to follow her dream of becoming a musician. There is so much in this book for readers to fall in love with.

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman. Another brilliant title by Mr. Korman! When teenage Vince Luca--whose family connections make dating difficult--finally finds a girl worth pursuing, her father turns out to be the FBI agent whose life's goal is to take out Vince's mob boss dad. If you want to really enjoy this book, listen to the audio which is read by Max know, "Vinnie" from Doogie Howser, MD. Terrific narration!

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt.
Again, not your "traditional" love story, but it is such a compelling story of a brother's love and wanting to fix someone who is clearly broken.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. You didn't think that I was going to pick 15 titles without having a Sarah Dessen book on the list, did you? Remy, a master at getting rid of boyfriends before any emotional attachments form, finds herself strangely unwilling to free herself from Dexter, a messy, disorganized, impulsive musician who she suspects she has come to love.

Thwonk! by Joan Bauer. This book should come with a warning label: "Be careful what you wish for..." A cupid doll comes to life and offers romantic assistance to  A.J., a teenage photographer suffering from unrequited love.

Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo. If you are into traditional, gushing love stories where boy meets girl and they all live happily ever after, this might not be the book for you. However, if you like survival, adventure, and a little edge to your love stories, I think you will see how Yancy's devotion to protect his beloved horse makes this a love story. Fifteen-year-old Yancy details his adventure in the wilderness after he decides to run away from home because he is scared of his older brother's threats. Yancy ends up staying on a ranch in the desert where he reflects on his relationships with his sibling, parents, and a girl from school.

On a side note, my 13-year-old son who really dislikes to read LOVED this book. He was equally surprised that his mom recommended a book with swear words in it...gotta love it!

 So, what are your favorite love stories? I'm sure I'm missing something good. Maybe next Friday, I'll make a list of the ones I had to delete to narrow it down to 15.

1 comment:

LaurieA-B said...

I adore Marsha Qualey's love stories and have introduced them to many students. Come in from the Cold, One Night, Just Like That. Intense, emotional, unforgettable.


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