Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Romance Novels: YA Style

In honor of Valentine’s Day our February meeting found Hollywood Schmoozers reading and analyzing Young Adult romance novels. Below, a few Hollywood Writers share their thoughts

Our next meeting is Thursday, March 26th at the Fairfax Public Library, 161 South Gardner St.  LA 90036. Gardner is just off West Third Street -- between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues. There’s a Seven-Eleven on the corner of south Gardner and Third, turn there.  Start time is 6:30 pm, meeting ends at 7:45pm.

Bonnie Berry LaMon: “Author Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park is set in the 1980’s. I believe it resonates with adults as well as teens, because it captures the magic of a first love. Eleanor and Park are very different people, and each has a difficult home life.  At first, they don’t even like each other but as they grow in friendship, they feel that special magic—the first stirrings of love. Told in alternating viewpoints, like Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, the reader has a complete picture of all the complications and issues Eleanor and Park face, even when they themselves can’t identify their problems and are unable to solve them.”

Sarah Kapp: “My Name is Memory by Anne Brashares tells an adventurous, unique love story that transcends time. Daniel remembers his many past lives from all over the world and the girl he has loved throughout his lives. In present time, Daniel recognizes his past love, now named Lucy, at the high school they both attend. Scenes from their varied and tumultuous past incarnations are interwoven with their present chance at love, along with the evil force that seems to always force them apart.”        

Carolina Nalasco: "Romance is not the only thing that draws me to romance novels. I like to read the ones that blend in a bigger, more pressing problem than simply two people meeting, breaking up and meeting again.  In Black City,  author Elizabeth Richards, ties political unrest into the romance, thus upping the ante for the protagonists. While some may  consider it a typical romance a la Twilight,  the built in political tension, along with the romance, makes for a gripping read."

Annie Calhoun: "Author Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard is a YA romance novel that explores different kinds of love. There is the romance potter Min has with the clay. This relationship, between artist and material, is fraught with quarrels and the pursuit of perfection. Then there’s the maternal love Min feel for Tree Ear. The author goes on to unveil a friendship kind of love, between Crane Man and Tree Ear.  This book is not the typical Valentine’s Day selection, but after I put it down I felt as though I was brimming over with love, which is, I think, the point of a romance!"

Jean Perry: "I like to come to a book raw and innocent; unknowing and unsuspecting. I read neither back copy, nor front flap. It’s the first few sentences I’m looking for. The connection must be instant and must promise a strong lead character. So when I read the first sentence of April Lindner’s Jane, and behold, I was Jane, was in her body, saw as she saw and felt as she felt, I was sold. Lindner drives the plot bus all the way to the climax and satisfying ending with Jane guiding the reader, providing that invisible netting that unifies a book. Jane’s relationship with her rock star employer put me inside a romance strewn with hard times, and a hard boiled lover, who is at once disgusting, yet redeemable."

--Jean Perry, Co-coordinator, Hollywood Schmooze 
--Deborah Fletcher Blum, Co-coordinator Hollywood Schmooze


  1. I love the books you have selected here...and there are so many more too. I would add the wonderful Nigerian novel I am reading now called: AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It also talks about blogging and how people really can create conversations through blogs!

  2. Did I mention, I also love the wonderful photos of our great schmooze members!!