Ramona Blue and How to Make a Wish are two summery romances I read this year that are both super memorable. The authors both did such a great job of developing a small town setting that felt so real, chock full of interesting and unique secondary characters who go through a lot of development of their own. While each character’s experience is totally different, throughout the course of the novel each one realizes that they are actually bi-sexual instead of the orientation they began the novel with.
In Ramona Blue, 17-year-old Ramona thinks she has the rest of her life pretty figured out: stay in tiny Eulogy, Mississippi and help her pregnant 19-year-old sister Hattie with the baby and continue working her two part time jobs. She’s coming off a bittersweet end to a romance with a girl who was just in town for the summer, and has been proudly lesbian for a while. So when her childhood friend Freddie moves back to town, the last thing she expects is to develop feelings for him. Ramona Blue does a great job of exploring the fluid spectrum that is sexuality while also featuring excellent family relationships and friendships. Basically, it’s the total package of YA novels and it’s one of the best I’ve ever read. If you haven’t finished this one yet, GET ON IT OKAY.
How to Make a Wish was written by Ashley Herring Blake, who also wrote Suffer Love. This story features another girl, Grace, who feels trapped by her flaky mother and desperately wants to feel like a normal girl with a normal family. She’s a talented pianist who dreams of moving to NYC for music school, and is spending her summer focusing on preparing for her impending audition. Life is interrupted when her mother spontaneously decides that they are going to be moving in with her new boyfriend (and his son….who just so happens to be Grace’s ex-boyfriend…AWKWARD). Then Grace meets Eva, a new girl who is dealing with her own deep-rooted grief, and is swept into a world of midnight adventures and more-than-friends feelings that Grace hasn’t experienced before. The romance in this book is GREAT and I really loved watching these two fall for each other.
Both novels absolutely swept me up into their worlds of small-town coastal living and tight circles of friends who would do anything for you, imperfect families, and a romance that catches you by surprise. If you have read either of these books, I definitely think you will like the other as well!