Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Susan lies on couch, reads YA novels

I've been home with a cold for the past two days, with little energy for anything beyond reading. It seemed a perfect time to indulge my taste for the occasional YA novel, like the two I've read over the past two days.

Perfect Chemistry (Simone Elkeles, 2008) is basically an updated take on Romeo & Juliet or West Side Story, only with a lower body count and a more optimistic ending. Rich girl Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to work together after their chemistry teacher assigns partners in alphabetical order. It's a compelling read, and I enjoyed it with the caveats that Brittany and Alex both sounded a bit too adult for their age, and maybe the epilogue was a bit too tidy an ending.

Forever Princess (Meg Cabot, 2009) is the tenth and final volume in the Princess Diaries series. Cabot again performs the neat trick of combining pure wish fulfillment fantasy (e.g. Mia's 18th birthday party on the Genovian royal yacht with the Obamas and the Clintons, among famous others, in attendance) with an emotionally realistic coming-of-age story. The ending can't be called surprising, but it was satisfying, which is far more important, IMHO.

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