May 3, 2016 Young Adult debuts

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out.

"An emotional roller-coaster ride worth taking."
-- School Library Journal starred review

My review: A lovely, thoughtful exploration of family and grief and growing up, all wrapped up in a bit ball of timey-wimey physics weirdness. Don't worry if the physics doesn't make sense to you. Just let it wash over you and focus on the characters, because that's what the story is really about.

The heart and soul of the story is Gottie, who is clever and smart and also hurting in so many different ways. I adore all of her relationships--her complicated family that hasn't quite figured out how to go on living in the aftermath of their grandfather's death, her friendships that are drifting and changing, her childhood best friend who returns, her teacher who sees that physics and math are something that engages her when little else does. 

And I adore how she thinks about connections to people, about love in all its forms, both fleeting and lasting. The setting of a quiet English town during one strange summer is also really lovely and full of memorable images.

It's a beautiful, interesting book with wonderful characters. Definitely recommended! 

Sam Bennett falls for Hadley St. Clair before he knows her last name. When Sam finds out she is that St. Clair, daughter of the man who destroyed Sam’s family, he has a choice: follow his heart or tell the truth about the scandal that links their families. Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.

"Shifting between Sam and Hadley’s points of view—with anger and disillusionment viscerally apparent in each of their voices—debut author Blake puts the teens in a near-impossible situation, adeptly showing how Sam and Hadley can be more adult in handling the complications of romance than all four of their parents."
-- Publisher's Weekly

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she'd be spending at her mom's home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there's no reason Sloane shouldn't enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn't always play by the rules, she knows he's the perfect distraction from everything that's so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn't nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane's carefree summer might not be as easy to come by as she'd hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.

"Schneider’s debut asks readers to consider how and where to draw the line between forgivable and inexcusable transgressions in those we love."
-- Kirkus reviews
"Through Sloane and everyone who orbits her, Schneider examines betrayal from many angles, as well as the myriad ways that people hurt one another and how one teenager moves forward to see new romance and hope in her future."
-- Publisher's Weekly

My review: I admit readily that I wasn't expecting to love this book. I thought I might like it pretty well, because it's about Hawaii and I adore Hawaii, but it's not my usual genre, not my usual style, so that's as far as my expectations go... And there's a lesson in here about making assumptions based on genre and style, or something, because I was so wrong, and I'm an idiot, and this book is REALLY GREAT.

The book description (cheating boyfriend, betraying best friend, hot new dude) are really just the bare-bones premise of what this book is about. There's so much more going on here--complicated, imperfect people families dealing with change and difficulties, really smart insights about trust and resentment and what forgiveness means, who is responsible for how people move on after trust has been betrayed. Sloane is a fantastic character--she's far from perfect, and her hurt is felt deeply, and her reactions honest and true. 

It's a thoughtful, emotionally complex book--all taking place in a stunning Hawaiian setting. Definitely recommended, and I am looking forward to whatever Erin Schneider writes next.

Sixteen-year-old Tal is a Wanderer—a grifter whose life is built around the sound of wheels on the road, the customs of her camp, and the artful scams that keep her fed. With her brother, Wen, by her side, it's the only life she's ever known. It's the only one she's ever needed.

Then in a sleepy Southern town, the queen of cons picks the wrong mark when she meets Spencer Sway—the clean-cut Socially Secured boy who ends up hustling her instead of the other way around. For the first time, she sees a reason to stay. As her obligations to the camp begin to feel like a prison sentence, the pull to leave tradition behind has never been so strong.

But the Wanderers live by signs, and all the signs all say that Tal and Spencer will end only in heartache and disaster. Is a chance at freedom worth almost certain destruction?

"The strength of this debut novel is in the tantalizing development of character and setting as the story unfolds and Tal seeks her path in life."
-- Kirkus reviews

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend, Cloudy, is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot out of character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again.

Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.