Friday, October 9, 2015

2016 Preview (#2): Non-Contemporary YA Debuts I'm Excited About

Last week, I featured a list of 2016 YA contemporary debuts and I thought it would be fun to make a list of Non-Contemporary debuts as well. I will include historical fiction in this list instead of the contemporary list.

As a contemporary reader, I often find it a bit difficult to pick up something non-contemporary. But once in a while there come those books that I absolutely cannot miss. 2015 has been a quite contemporary heavy year for me, which is fine, but I do hope that 2016 introduces me to some non-contemporary reads by awesome debut authors.

Here is a list of things I look for for when reading non-contemporary books.

One of the problems I've had with picking up non-contemporary reads is their seriality. As you can see from this list, a lot of them are series. I have a tendency to start series but never finish them, so recently I have started to avoid them altogether. But all of these books on this list sound too awesome to pass and I am hoping I'll get my hands on them at some point in 2016.

So without further ado, here are the non-contemporary 2016 YA debuts that I am dying to read.

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman - To be honest, I don't think I've ever read a book about pirates, because I have never really been interested in pirates (I am in that minority that absolutely hates Pirates of the Caribbean movies). Ever since being introduced to the wonderful Captain Hook in OUAT, I've had a little special in my heart for pirates, and Blackhearts definitely sounds like a good that could fill that hole. I am somewhat familiar with the tale of Blackbeard and the idea of reading about Blackbeard as a young man before he was the feared Blackbeard sounds super interesting. This one seems to be a mix of historical romance and fantasy and I am definitely VERY VERY VERY excited to read this one. Also, Twitter excitement about this book seems to be connected to this guy, which definitely isn't a bad thing:

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig - a fantasy sweep from modern-day NYC to 19th century Hawaii? I was sold just hearing that, mostly because I love NYC and I've always been interested about Hawaii. Nix's father has a time-traveling ship and ever since she was born in Honolulu in 1868 she has traveled the world from Scandinavia to the land of One Thousand and One Nights and modern day New York. When Nix's father finds a map he has been looking for Nix realizes that his whole life can change if his father goes back in time to a place where Nix wasn't born yet. The synopsis promises fantasy, history, witty and fast-paced dialogue and adventures and it definitely has sold this book for me.

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor - Hope Walton suffers from crippling phobias and has never really fit into her father's perfect, cookie-cutter Southern family. After her mother dies in a natural disaster far away from home, Hope is sent to live with her aunt in the Scottish Highlands. There she learns that her mother is a part of secret league of time travelers and currently stuck in 12th century. In order to save her mother, Hope needs to join a group of time-jumpers and survive in the medieval world her mother is stuck in.

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas - This one, set during the Victorian Era in London, is described as a mix between Jane Austen and X-Men. Though I am not a huge X-Men fan, I do love superheroes in general, and the idea of superheroes and Jane Austen seems like something I cannot pass.

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto - Seventeen year old Westie lost her arm and her family to cannibals when she was a child and since then she has been living with an inventor called Nigel Butler. Despite her tough exterior and powerful mechanical arm created by his foster father, Westie cannot forget the horrors of her past. When a family of investors ready to invest in Nigel's creation shows up, Westie realizes that there are many similarities between their outlook and the outlook of those that killed her family. With the help of Alistair, Nigel's young assistant, Westie tries to prove the guilt of the investors while trying to avoid losing the family she has now.

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - I must admit that with this book, I was first attracted to the title and then to the absolutely beautiful cover, but plot-wise it does sound awesome as well! It's set in 1970s Alaska and it focuses on four very different lives that become entangled as the events of the novel unfold. There's Ruth who has a secret she knows she cannot hide forever; Dora who wonders whether she can ever really escape where she comes from; Alyce who is trying to reconcile her desire to dance; and Hank who decides it is saver to run away that stay home. The author, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, was born and raised in Alaska and worked many years fishing commercially, so I have high hopes about the realistic depictions of Alaska this book no doubt contains.

Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey -  Historical fiction and another novel that reminds me of Jane Austen. The main character Juliana is described as "not your average nineteenth-century young lady" who enjoys researching ladybugs much more than thinking about dresses, balls and marriage. When her father sends her to London for the season, she plans on secretly publishing her research rather than forming any attachments in the society. Then she meets Spencer Northman, a spy for the War Office, who is much more interested in working on his mission than looking for a wife. To help each other out, they pretend to fall for each other. Then, Spencer is tasked to observe Juliana's traveling companions and Juliana herself....

Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Release date: November 3, 2015 (published in UK as Night Owls on August 13, 2015)
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age group: YA
Pages: 304
Purchase the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

This book was BEYOND amazing. It was exactly the type of contemporary read that instantly catches my attention and makes my heart swell for a wonderful set of characters. A pleasure to read that definitely makes my top contemporaries of 2015 list.

Anatomical Shape of a Heart introduces the reader to Beatrix Adams. She is an artist, but rather than painting landscapes or portraits, she likes to paint cadavers. Determined to win an arts competition with a sizable scholarship, Beatrix knows that looking at old anatomical pictures won't be enough - she will have to find a way to draw from actual models. With her mother working as a nurse at the hospital, she knows about the Willed Body program and on her way to convince the doctor is charge to let her draw, she misses the last metro home and meets a guy who very quickly changes Beatrix's summer plans.

Jack is charming, funny and handsome. He also happens to be a graffiti artist, gaining attention in the media. Some see his work as art, some at vandalism. When Beatrix finds out about Jack's nightly activities, she is intrigued. Then she finds the real reason behind why Jack is doing what he is doing and cannot help but to fall deeper and deeper. Can you love someone you have never even kissed before? Beatrix is about to find that out.

Anatomical Shape of a Heart is funny and touching. I loved the exchanges between Beatrix and Jack. The way their relationship develops is perfectly paced, much like the whole novel in general. There is a tangible connection between the two and I couldn't help but gush about their cuteness. But this novel is much more than just a cutesy story. Both Beatrix and Jack come from families filled with drama and secrets - Beatrix has not seen her father for three years and she is not quite sure whether she even wants to while Jack is hiding something that could possibly ruin his father's career. Once the relationship between Beatrix and Jack starts to bloom, the family drama gets surfaced and they have to figure out how to deal with all the outside pressure to their relationship.

Beatrix is definitely my type of YA contemporary character. She is interesting, but not pretentious. She might not be the most popular girl around, but she is not really that much of an outcast either. The fact that this novel takes place during summer does not really introduce the reader to Beatrix in a high school setting, which I quite liked, because then this would have been a completely different novel. She is talented, funny and just enough sarcastic. She is not afraid to speak her mind, but she is not exactly a rebel either. In many ways, I was able to connect with her - she is not exactly a risk taker, but when it comes to her future, she is ready to bend some rules. She might not be the most outgoing person, but she is kind and never wants harm for anyone else. She is exactly the kind of girl I would love to have as my friend, which really made me feel for her and all the struggles she has to go through during this novel.

Jack might not sound like my kind of guy, but I really did fall in love with him while reading this book. He is quite into Buddhism and meditation and philosophical thinking, which I might have found a bit pretentious if Bennett would not have written it so well into the story. I feel like many times YA contemporaries try so hard to make the love interests somehow special that they end up kind of pretentious and flat. But Jack really is able to carry out all his interests in a way that did not annoy me but rather made me interested with him. He is such a good guy and he has this charming, witty character trait that always gets me. He is respectful and gentle and never pressures Beatrix. And what I really liked what the fact that in this novel Beatrix is actually the more "experienced" one and Jack is all right with that.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is a perfect blend of a family story and a love story. I loved the insights to the families of both Beatrix and Jack and it was interesting to see how Bennett was able to weave the stories of these two families together. As I mentioned before, the pacing of this story is impeccable and the writing flows in a way that makes it very difficult to put this novel down. If you love YA contemporary, you definitely should check this one out!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#36)

"Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!"

For more information, click here

For Review:

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt (January 12, 2016 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux)

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. 

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside. 

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

From Library:

Howl: a graphic novel by Allen Ginsberg & Eric Drooker

First published in 1956, Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" is a prophetic masterpiece—an epic raging against dehumanizing society that overcame censorship trials and obscenity charges to become one of the most widely read poems of the century. This annotated version of Ginsberg's classic is the poet's own re-creation of the revolutionary work's composition process—as well as a treasure trove of anecdotes, an intimate look at the poet's writing techniques, and a veritable social history of the 1950s.

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, October 2, 2015

2016 Preview (#1): Contemporary YA Debuts I Am Dying To Read

Though I love YA in general, contemporary YA has for years been my number 1 love! There's something so special about the way brilliant YA contemporaries are able to touch me and often teach me something new.

Because I love lists, I thought I would do a list of some of the things that I look for when reading YA contemporary.

Many of my favorite contemporary authors like Emery Lord and Morgan Matson are publishing new novels in 2016, but I thought I would dedicate this post to 2016 Contemporary Debuts I am dying to read.

Reading a debut novel is always an interesting experience, because often you have no idea what to expect. My experiences with debut novels, especially contemporary debuts, are mainly positive and I am ALWAYS willing to give a chance for new authors. I can just imagine how it feels for authors to see their debuts, their first "babies" hitting the shelves.

2015 has been an amazing year for me contemporary debut wise (SIMON AND THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA and MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, I am talking about you!) and my hopes for 2016 are high.

So without further ado, here are some of my most expected 2016 contemporary debuts.

Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider - This one sounds like a perfect summer read. Set in Hawaii, it's main character Sloane has to figure out her summer plans again when she learns a secret about her boyfriend and her best friend. Then a son of a hotel magnate shows up and becomes the perfect distraction from everything that's going on back home with her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro -  This one focuses on the great-great-grandson of John Watson and great-great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes - DO YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW MORE? Well, if you do, here you go... Once Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes meet, they instantly feel a tense feel energy between them that makes it seem like more than anything, they are destined to be rivals. When Jamie and Charlotte become framed for a crime at the school, they have to prove their innocence and the only people they can trust are each other. A Study in Charlotte is a first book in a trilogy.

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt - This one sounds like one of those books that will break my heart and make my cry and then hopefully put me together in the end. After Morgan's actions inadvertently play a role in a deadly tragedy, Morgan needs to learn to forgive - first someone who did something that seems impossible to forgive, and then herself. But Morgan finds it impossible to even leave her house, yet forgive someone else or herself. Then a new boy moves next door and reminds her of things that used to make her happy.

The Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin - I have a feeling this book will really make me think and open my eyes. I also feel like this one will make me very angry - not towards the main character Riley but towards those who do not understand Riley. This will probably be one of those empowering, touching reads that I love SO MUCH!

Serpent King by Jeff Zentner - I love books with a Southern setting (I have a weird obsession with the American South) so of course the fact that this one is set in rural Tennessee instantly caught my attention. I also think the fact that Dill, the main character of the novel, is from a deeply religious family - for me, this always adds an interesting aspect to a novel, mainly because I am not religious at all. So many aspects of the synopsis of this novel match with what I am looking for a YA contemporary and I really cannot wait to pick this one up!

After the Woods by Kim Savage - This one sounds INTENSE. I love friendship narratives and this seems like a friendship-gone-wrong narrative. I am not a big YA thriller reader (I still haven't found that perfect YA thriller that would turn me into a YA thriller fan) but I have a feeling this one might chance that.

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira - The actions of the main character of this book, mainly taking advice from her favorite books to aid her budding romance, sounds exactly like something I would have done as a teenager if I wasn't so socially anxious and that's pretty much the only thing I need to get excited about this book.

South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf - A love story of two girls in a Southern setting? YES PLEASE!

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw - "If Amy Schumer and Rainbow Rowell had a baby, she's be Anna Breslaw." EXCUSE ME, WHAT? GIVE ME THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. The main character is a fangirl, her best friend is a shy and cute bookworm and she has a pot-smoking, possibly insane elderly neighbor. I seriously feel like dancing just thinking about this book because it sounds exactly like something I will absolutely love from the bottom of my heart.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo - Another book with a Southern setting! This one tells the story of Amanda who moves to Tennessee and desperately tries to make new friends and fit in while hiding her secret: she used to be Andrew. Meredith Russo is a transgender woman, so I have a feeling this one will be very authentic and touching. From "If I Was Your Girl" is about a beautiful, intelligent, blonde transgender teen girl who forms a loving bond with a straight male high school football player. "

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith - Smith's debut focuses on Eden who's life changes after her brother's best friend rapes her. This novel is told in four parts - freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior years of high school - and reveals the trauma Eden has to go through while keeping what happened to her to herself. I am hoping this one will create in me thoughts similar to ones I had while reading All the Rage by Courtney Summers, which is no doubt one of the most powerful books I've read in 2015.

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin - This one is compared in the synopsis to Sarah Dessen, and it definitely seems to include many of the elements I connect with Sarah Dessen novels and other contemporaries I like. It includes a friendship-gone-wrong that could possibly become a romance, family narrative and a North Carolina setting, which is pretty much the recipe for a contemporary romance I could fall in love with.

I have been fortunate enough to already read a couple of 2016 debuts that I have absolutely loved and am dying to share with you.

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp - Marieke's debut took me completely by surprise. It's subject matter (school shooting) will most likely be controversial among readers, but what really impressed me was the clearly large amount of research that had gone into this. Balancing a story between multiple narrators is always tricky, but I think Nijkamp does exceptional job with that. This is Where it Ends is a very important book I am hoping will reach wide audiences and the appreciation it deserves

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry - This one is not EXACTLY a contempory read, but I simply had to include it on this list because in many ways, at least for me, it was more of a contemporary read than a fantasy read. Emily Henry's novel is so imaginative and well-written in addition to which it features an incredible set of characters. Henry's passion towards this novel is tangible from the pages - it is evident a LOT OF LOVE has been put towards this story and these characters. I have a feeling this one will make waves in 2016.

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake - I am not quite sure what I was expecting from this novel, but I can admit that I definitely did not imagine that I would love it as much as I did. It features amazing writing, witty dialogue, family drama, Shakespeare references and tangible chemistry between the characters. Also, the pacing of this novel is one of the best I've been in a while.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Wrap Up

Time goes by SO FAST! Summer is already far behind and tomorrow's the first day of October.
At the moment I am actually quite happy about the fact that time is running ahead fast, because at the end of October my mom comes to visit me and in November I get to go home to spend some time with my favorite furry friend, Veera. 

September wasn't the best possible reading month for me, though it started to look better towards the end of the month. I started my master's degree studies this month in a whole new city and it took me some time to get settled to a new rhythm, but I am starting to find a good balance between studying, reading and keeping up with all of the shows I watch. 

I hope September was a good month for you! It certainly was that for me.

Books I Read
The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry (5 million stars!!! This book was freaking awesome)
Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor (3/5 stars)
Man in the Dark by Paul Auster (3/5 stars)
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (5/5 stars)
Burning Bright by John Steinbeck (4/5 stars)
Future Perfect by Jen Larsen (4/5 stars)

Shows I Watched

So I finally finished watching Full House and I am now SUPER DUPER excited for Fuller House on Netflix.

I started watching Nashville and though I am not really binge-watching it, I do like to watch a couple of episodes once in a while. As a fan of country music it definitely feels like a good show for me.

To fill the sitcom void Full House left I started The Golden Girls and damn, that show is amazing!

From new shows, I've started watching Quantico and Grandfathered

This was a shorter update than normal, but I am in a middle of a really good book and I want to get back to reading it! 

I hope you all have a great start for October. 

Here's a little classic to get you in a Halloween mood.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#43) - Half in Love with Death by Emily Ross (December 16th 2015 by Merit Press)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
For more information click here

Half in Love with Death by Emily Ross

It's the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline's life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She's invisible to her parents, who can't stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister's older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline's desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her. 

Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess's disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we'll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again.

Inspired by the disturbing case of Charles Schmid, ‘the Pied Piper of Tucson’, Half in Love with Death is a heartfelt thriller that never lets up

"Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too."

"The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister's older boyfriend, who soother Caroline's desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her."

"California, the land of endless summer, among the runaways and flower children"

"And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again."

"Inspired by the disturbing case of Charles Schmid, 'the Pied Piper of Tuscon'"

What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (#46) - 10 Books To Read If You Like Sarah Dessen's Novels

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here

For me, Sarah Dessen is one of the queens of contemporary YA literature and honestly, YA literature in general. I read my first Sarah Dessen novel back in 2007 and she introduced me to this whole new genre of books that I had never really thought of become. Yes, I had read books targeted for young adults, but mostly by Finnish authors. Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever introduced me to a whole new world of books. As a result of it I found the YA section from Books-a-Million during my exchange year in United States and honestly, I can say that it has had a life changing effect on me. YA literature has become such a huge part of my life (as this blog proves), and I am forever grateful for that. 

This week, I will share with you ten titles that I think you might like if you have enjoyed the novels of Sarah Dessen. Some of these are well-known, some not, but what they all share is awesomeness!

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett - like many of Sarah Dessen's books, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is a perfect blend of a love story and a family story. The romance is realistic and heartwarming, the character chemistry is tangible and the writing is amazing! I had a very hard time putting this book down. 

Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel - The one thing I love the most about Sarah Dessen's novels are the way she writes family dynamics. Thought the romance found from Between Us and the Moon is interesting, I found the family dynamics, especially the relationships between the two sisters, Bean and Scarlett, extremely interesting to read about. Between Us and the Moon is quite a slow-burning read, but it impressed me with its character development, especially in relation to the main character Bean. To make one more Dessen connection, this is also set on a beach, like many of Dessen's novels are.

First & Then by Emma Mills - This wonderful contemporary read described as a mix of Friday Night Lights and Pride and Prejudice also includes a wonderful romance, incredible character development and self-discovery and interesting supporting characters like Foster, the main character's young cousin who suddenly moves in to live with her family and changes her perceptions about her life and her family.

How to Say I Love You Out Loud by K.A. Cozzo - I loved the complicated main character of this novel, Jordyn and the way some of the things she does made me question her actions and her motivations. I loved to read about the things Jordyn goes through and how she learns about her brother and his illness and the ways she can possibly help. There's also romance in here, and the chemistry between Jordyn and her love interest is palpable, but at the end of the day, this one is a story about a girl and her love for her brother.

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb - Like several of the books on the this list, this one also includes a great family component, this time a relationship between a daughter and a mother. I love my mother SO MUCH and I always loved to read about a mother-daughter relationships and how mothers and daughters can love each other despite differences in opinions. There's also an awesome friendship in this novel, another aspect I love about YA contemporary and Sarah Dessen's novels. 

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne - My excitement towards this book, which in its synopsis mentions both Sarah Dessen and Aaron Sorkin (the creator of my favorite drama ever, The West Wing) was insane! It definitely was one of my most expected novels of the year, and though it did not blow me away quite as much as I expected, I did love it! This one has a great main character, problematic family relations, a romance, friendships... It is also extremely well written, and the characterization and character development really took me by surprise. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the political setting and definitely wish that it comes more used in YA (IF THERE ARE ANY YA CONTEMPORARIES WITH POLITICAL SETTING THAT YOU KNOW OF, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!)

Magnolia by Kristi Cook - I am obsessed with the American South and this one was one of those books that fed my obsession. It is also one of those books that I happened to find just at the right time and once I started it, I could not put it down (I almost missed on Christmas dinner because of this book!). There's romance, family drama, witty dialogue and scenes that will definitely make you swoon! It is fast paced, entertaining and just a lot of fun to read. 

Saving June by Hannah Harrington - This tear-jerker of a book shares brilliant characterization and character journeys and relationships as well as well-established family drama/family dynamics with the works of Sarah Dessen. For me personally this book was kind of a meditative experience in the sense that though it brought up memories of my father's suicide, it helped me to understand by feelings a little better through being able to relate with someone, even if that someone was fictional. Saving June is a beautiful, well-written, extremely touching book that I wish more people would be aware of.

The Next Door Boys by Jolene Betty Perry - First of all, I want to mention that unlike Dessen's novels, this one has a religious aspect. But I also do want to mention that I did not know of it when I started reading this one. Those who know me, know that I am not religious AT ALL, and usually because of that I am turned off by books with a religious elements, but this one did not do it! I actually gave this 5 stars back in the day because I for me it was a great reading experience with realistic, fragile characters that have to cope with their problems and their pasts in order to go on. 

Echoes of Love by Rosie Rushton - It has been AGES since I read this one, but while browsing my bookshelf for titles to be included on this list, I thought I should mention it here. Echoes of Love is a YA contemporary retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion set in the British seaside. In it Anna Eliot is a daughter of a famous TV show host and Felix Wentworth is a young soldier who comes back from Afghanistan as a war hero. Drama, misunderstandings and romance follows as Felix comes back to his hometown after deployment and comes in contact with Anna after she once broke his heart. 

What other titles would you recommend for the fans of Sarah Dessen?
Did any of these catch your interest (I really hope so)?