{Book Matchmaker} Rebeca Wants Books That Make Her Smile

We met Rebeca at the March meeting of Portland’s Forever Young Adult Book Club. (Come hang with us at The Kennedy School on April 21!) Rebeca is a voracious reader, so her request for some new reads is super-tough, because she’s read a lot of books—a lot. She’s in particular need of some books that make her feel good—nothing sad or depressing or violent or where everyone dies in the end. 

Here are her responses to our extremely scientific Book Matchmaker Questionnaire

YA or Adult: Surprise me!

Genres: Contemporary, Historical, Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Magical Realism

POV & Narrative Style: First Person, Third Person, Multiple POV, Epistolary, Graphic Novel or Graphic Elements, Present Tense, Past Tense, Male POV, Female POV, Unreliable Narrator

Swoon Factor: 5

Gross Out Factor: 4

Smut Factor: 5

Fluff Factor: 5

Favorite Books and/or Themes: “Fairy tales, unexpected moments, books that make me think, clever & smart writing, angst. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite writers and I also love books like Sherry Thomas’ Not Quite a Husband.”

Hated Tropes/Themes: “Please, nothing sad or disturbing and no non-fiction.”

We had to call in some expert advice on this one, since Rebeca has read everything. So our Twitter friend and soon-to-be published author Alanna Blackett (her first novella, Unsecure Connection—which sounds extremely badass is out later this month from Decadent) lent us a hand. 

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott is one of Alanna’s suggestions, and a favorite book of hers that Rebeca should really enjoy. The first in the Spiritwalker Trilogy, it combines epic fantasy, science and magic into a sophisticated tale of friendship. 

{Buy Cold Magic: Amazon | Barnes & NoblePowell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads} 

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh

Alanna also suspects that Rebeca would love historical romance author Mary Balogh, whose books are set in the Regency period. Alanna says that there is a lot of depth to the characters and that Balogh’s books are really good reads.

{Buy Mary Balogh’s books: Amazon | Barnes & NoblePowell’s}

{Add on Goodreads}

Laura recommended Shades of Milk & Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, as Rebeca’s a big Jane Austen fan. Described as “…exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer,” this book follows Jane and her sister Melody in a magical version of Regency England.

{Buy Shades of Milk & Honey: Amazon | Barnes & NoblePowell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I’m pretty sure every CEFS contributor has read and enjoyed this debut novel from Rainbow Rowell, which tells the story of an IT geek on the verge of Y2K who falls in love with a coworker because he’s told he has to spy on her emails. Attachments is, quite simply, charming and sweet and endearing. 

{Buy Attachments: Amazon | Barnes & NoblePowell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Texas Gothic (YA) is a favorite of Sandra, and I (Sarah) quite enjoyed it as well. This is magic sort of caper story with a sweet romance mixed in as well. The writing is snappy and the humor is fabulous. (Sadly, Tim Riggins does not make an appearance in this novel set in a Dillon-esque Texas town.)

{Buy Texas Gothic: Amazon | Barnes & NoblePowell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

Rebeca is a big Sarah Dessen fan (me too!) and it’s hard to find good “read-alikes” that capture that special Dessen something. But, Deb Caletti’s The Nature of Jade (YA) has a touch of that magic. This sweet YA has a lot to love, including a zoo, a houseboat and realistic teen angst—plus some quirky humor and a lovely coming of age story. 

{Buy the Nature of Jade: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall, which is actually a self-published book (though you wouldn’t know it), has received a ton of attention in the book blogger world and on Goodreads—and it is so, so, so deserved. This is an action-packed adventure featuring evil angels and a girl who’s really, really good at judo. This is one of those straight-up fun, unputdownable reads. (Hey, Susan Ee: We need the sequel soooooooon!)

{Buy Angelfall on Amazon: Kindle (only $1.99!) | Paperback B&N: Nook Book}

{Add it on Goodreads}

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

I’m not going to lie, Revolution starts out kind of sad (but no more so than some of the Sarah Dessen books). But, it’s got wonderful magical realist elements and is ultimately an uplifting story, and the setting (Paris) is fabulous. This is a favorite of Laura, Sandra and myself.

{Buy Revolution: Amazon | Barnes & NoblePowell’s}

{Add on Goodreads}

Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Shadow is a recommendation from Laura, who noticed that Rebeca had rated Ender’s Game quite highly. This is a parallel novel that brings clarity to a lot events in Ender’s Game, such as politics on Earth and the goings-on of Battle School.

{Buy Ender’s Shadow: Amazon | Powell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

Sarah Ockler’s Bittersweet is already a 2012 favorite of both Laura and I. This sweet (ha!) YA has a touch of everything: ice skating, cupcakes, small towns—and a Friday Night Lights reference, oh yeah! (We asked… Sarah Ockler and her editor are both big fans of the show.) If Rebeca’s worried this one will be sad like the brilliant 20 Boy Summer, never fear! This one is much more light=hearted. 

{Buy Bittersweet: Amazon | Barnes & NoblePowell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I could not believe I didn’t see any Stephanie Perkins on Rebeca’s Goodreads profile! Get thee to a bookstore and grab up the new Queen of YA Contemporary Romance’s delightful Anna and the French Kiss. Smiles are guaranteed. 

{Buy Anna and the French Kiss: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

 Love and LEftovers by Sarah Tregay

 Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay is a perfect gateway drug into a novels in verse obsession. This fabulous book (YA) tells the story of a girl from Idaho marooned in a New England vacation town with her mother and her subsequent return home. Beautiful writing and a wonderful story. 

{Buy Love & Leftovers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Powell’s}

{Add it on Goodreads}

There you have it—twelve books we guantee will put a smile on Rebeca’s face!
What did we miss? Do you have any favorite feel-good reads?

{Once again, big thanks to Alanna for her help on this one!}


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