There's a new titles in the Twisted Lit series, this one a fresh take on Romeo and Juliet with a little food thrown in. It is fun, flirty and an enjoyable read. It would make a fun addition to our various food fiction lists: Sweet Reads, more Sweet Reads and Mouth Watering Reads.
Publisher's Annotation: Since before they were born, Gigi and Roman's families had two rules: make the best Italian food in Chicago and don't speak to each other. When Gigi and Roman are teenagers, although Gigi resents the Montes' last vicious prank that threatens her family's livelihood, she can't help falling for Roman, who's as good a boy as his family (in her eyes) is bad. The two decide to uncover the truth of the war that began back in the summer of 1933, before violence can destroy their own future. Alternating between past and present in the tradition of Nicholas Sparks' THE NOTEBOOK, the story is a tender, funny, edgy romance. In this retelling of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, new love tries once again to triumph over old grudges.
Anyone But You is the third in the Twisted Lit Series which includes Tempestuous and Exposure. You can visit the Twisted Lit Tumblr for more information.
Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie
Tagline: Runaway April is in a race against time - five miles in the sky
Backcover Copy: Fourteen-year-old April May Manning spent her life on airplanes with her flight attendant parents. When her father dies in a crash, April's mom marries a pilot who turns out to be an abusive jerk, and gets Mom confined to a psychiatric hospital. So April takes off, literally, living on airplanes, using her mother's flight benefits, relying on the flight crews who know she's been shuttling between divorcing parents for a year. Then, there's a hijacking, but why is April's "dad" on board? April flees to the cargo hold with another unaccompanied minor she's met before, and they fight to thwart the hijackers, faking a fire, making weapons from things they find in luggage. At last, locked in the cockpit with a wounded police officer, the boy, and his service dog, April tries to remember everything her parents said to do in a crisis above the clouds. But she knows it won't be enough.
The back cover copy reads like a really unbelievable Hollywood blockbuster movie: abductors, plane hijacking, bombs. To be honest, it is absurd - but it is a lot of fun. It's like a female teen MacGyver, and just like MG April has personality plus and you'll find yourself rooting for her. Booklist says it's "a fun read that combines believable characters and an outrageous situation and manages to make it all work." (Booklist, 12/01/2013). I can see teen readers really enjoying this title and, once again, it presents some cool scenarios that we don't often see in YA lit, making this a fresh read.
No Surrender Soldier by Christine Kohler
Tagline: A young man, an old soldier, and a fight to survive.
Back cover copy: It's 1972 on the island of Guam when Kiko finds an old Japanese soldier hiding out near his house. Although he wasn't even born during World War II, now his soldier brother is missing in Vietnam and he's learned that his mom was rapes as a teen - by a Japanese soldier. On the verge of manhood, Kiko suddenly sees this man as his personal, mortal enemy. Why do you do to a mortal enemy? There is only one answer.
This historical fiction tale is haunting and challenging. Told in alternating chapters, we hear from both Kiko and Seto, the found Japanese soldier who feels unworthy since he failed to commit suicide. Kirkus called this "an unusual, resonant debut" (11/15/2013). It powerfully tells a story that is not often told in young adult literature.
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Merit Press sent me copies of these books in exchange for an honest review.