Love stories inspired by classic lit take center stage in these two new comedic coming-of-age teen romances.
THE WIDE WORLD OF WEB DATING
Sixteen-year-old Emma Nash wallows in self-pity when Leon Naylor dumps her for another girl. Attempting to move on with her life, Emma shifts her private blog titled “MissH” (where she channels Miss Havisham from Great Expectations) from a place for her self-deprecating chatter to a site where she documents her chain of awkward social-media dating experiences. Complications arise when Emma begins to stalk Leon, her ex-boyfriend who ghosted her, online at the same time. As her online and real-life situations get out of hand, Emma seeks the advice of her two trusted friends, Steph and Faith, since she can’t rely on her habitually on-the-prowl mother. Amid a string of convoluted (and often hilarious) circumstances, it remains to be seen whether or not Emma can win back Leon’s affection.
Hormones and emotions run amok in this laugh-out-loud debut. Dating Disasters of Emma Nash is told in blog entries and is laced with Briticisms, teen angst and all things sarcastic, ironic and lewd. Author Chloe Seager includes a small but cosmopolitan and relatable cast to surround her white protagonist, Emma. The plot focuses on sexuality, but self-esteem and healthy relationship-building play equally important roles. A sidesplitting YA read with crossover appeal, this novel is a blast from the past for any older readers who remember obsessing to the max.
BETTER IN BOOKS
Romantic bookworm and sophomore Merrilee “Merri” Campbell is convinced that “boys are so much better in books” until she switches from an all-girls school to Hero High, an elite co-ed prep school. Although Hero High is a bit out of her caliber, Merri acclimates well to her new surroundings and makes friends fast. What she doesn’t expect is an accidental kiss from bad-boy junior Monroe Stratford that quickly throws them into a tumultuous Romeo and Juliet-style romance, but it fizzles just as quickly as it begins. The last thing Merri wants to read after breaking up with Monroe is another romantic tale. Ironically, Merri’s English teacher, Ms. Gregorie, assigns her Pride and Prejudice. While reading, Merri discovers parallels to her own life between the covers, and like Jane Austen’s Elizabeth, finds herself falling head over heels for the least likely person.
Author Tiffany Schmidt’s Bookish Boyfriends has many of the same romantic inklings and relatable characters as readers can find in Dating Disasters of Emma Nash, minus Emma’s teen angst and lewdness, and with the addition of a great cast of multicultural characters.