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Riveted Summer Reads: Summer of Love

June 5, 2017
The Riveted Team
YA Fiction Is Our Addiction

Happy Monday!

Mondays are tough but today is about to get a lot better because we’ve got fun news: it’s the first week of our Riveted Summer and we’re starting off with the SUMMER OF LOVE! ICYMI, for Riveted Summer, every two weeks from June through August, we’ll be focusing on a new theme, and what better theme to start off with than love?!

For our first Summer of Love title, we’re featuring an extended excerpt of none other than Sandya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi! From all the buzz and all of the requests we’ve received over the last few months, we KNOW When Dimple Met Rishi is a book you guys have been wanting to read and we’re excited to finally be featuring it here on Riveted! The story of two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage, When Dimple Met Rishi is sort of like what would happen if you were to mix Bollywood with When Harry Met Sally. It’s the perfect romantic comedy for today’s readers, hitting all the tropes you’d expect from a rom-com but in a way that’s fresh and unique, layering in themes of identity and family along with the cultural diversity so many readers have been looking for. Bonus: our When Dimple Met Rishi dual sweepstakes is running until 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, 6/7, so enter now while you still can for a chance to win a Dimple or Rishi prize pack!

Next, we’ve got In a Perfect World from Trish Doller! Set against the backdrop of Cairo, Egypt, In a Perfect World is a hopeful and heartbreaking novel about the barriers we tear down for the people we love most. Caroline Kelly’s got her summer all figured out…until her mother gets hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo and she finds herself spending her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from everything she’s ever known. Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But what she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege. This story will have you rooting for Caroline and Adam’s swoon-worthy romance the whole way through!

Then, we hope you’ll enjoy Tash Hearts Tolstoy from Kathryn Ormsbee, a quirky teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top! Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight after she gets a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers. And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual. Tash Hearts Tolstoy is a GREAT teen read, Tash is a strong female protagonist and her humorous snark is relatable and compelling. Plus, sexuality as an adolescent can be such an amorphous thing, or simply something you know for yourself and don’t have the vocabulary to explain to others, and Kathryn Ormsbee captures this experience perfectly.

Moving right along, we’ve got three featured full reads for our Summer of Love that we know YOU’RE going to love! First, we’ve featured excerpts of Jenna Evans Welch’s bestselling debut novel Love & Gelato in the past but for the first time, we’re pleased to feature it as a full read! With a little bit of mystery, an exotic location, and not one but two cute boys,  Love & Gelato is a perfect Riveted Summer read! Lina’s only in Tuscany to fill her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father, she’d much rather get back home…until she’s given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy and suddenly, Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long.

Then, we’ve bringing back a Riveted favorite: Amy Alward’s The Potion Diaries! As a member of one of the few remaining families known for their talent in potion making, Samantha is summoned to the royal court for a secret mission: Princess Evelyn has taken an illegal potion, a love potion, and it’s gone terribly wrong. She’s determined to find an antidote to cure her friend; the trouble is, Princess Evelyn originally created the potion to make her best friend, Zain, fall in love with her. Zain and his family are synthetic potion makers, rivals to Samantha’s family both in life and in the hunt to find the cure for the potion. But despite their family rivalry, Samantha finds herself running into Zain often…and sparks are flying. Even if Samantha cures the Princess, what will Evelyn do when she finds out Zain and Samantha might be falling for each other?

And our final Summer of Love read is….Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe! The critically acclaimed novel about a friendship between two boys and the love between fathers and sons is the perfect way to cap off our Summer of Love reads! Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

We hope you enjoy our Summer of Love reads! Wait…do you NOT want to read about love?! Well, if that’s the case, you’re in luck because last week’s reads will be available until June 12! There’s Changeling, the first book in legendary author Philippa Gregory’s foray into YA, the Order of Darkness series; Thomas E. Sniegoski’s Savage, the “unpredictable” (VOYA) and “fast-paced” (School Library Journal) thriller about a small island where are freak storm has turned every animal into a savage beast; Terra Elan McVoy’s The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, a sweet (and sexy) read about three sisters and one life-changing summer; and Tom Lombardi’s My Summer on Earth, a humorous and cool debut novel about a sixteen-year-old alien learning what it’s like to be human.

Find out more about our Summer of Love reads:

When Dimple Met Rishiby Sandhya Menon

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

In a Perfect Worldby Trish Doller

From critically acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a gorgeous, hopeful, and heartbreaking novel, set in Cairo, Egypt, about the barriers we tear down for the people and places we love most.

Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.

But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.

With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But when she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.

Tash Hearts Tolstoyby Kathryn Ormsbee

From the author of Lucky Few comes a quirky teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top!

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr gifs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual. Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

Love & Gelatoby Jenna Evans Welch

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

The Potion Diariesby Amy Alward

Samantha may be falling for the beloved of the princess she is sent to save in this start to a “charming and humorous” (Kirkus Reviews) romantic trilogy.

“Inventive, romantic, and downright delightful.” —Sarah J. Mass, author of Throne of Glass

When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. Oops. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.

Enter Samantha Kemi—an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam’s family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they’ve fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? And just how close is she willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing enemy, in the meantime.

Just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news.

No big deal, then.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Saenz

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Changelingby Philippa Gregory

Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of this first in a four-book teen series from the #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl.

The year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom and travel to the very frontier of good and evil.

Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and driven to accuse her.

Forced to face the greatest fears of the dark ages—witchcraft, werewolves, madness—Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

Savageby Thomas E. Sniegoski

Sidney and her friends must race to find the origin of a storm that has hit their small island home—turning every animal into savage weapons—in this suspenseful thriller from New York Times bestselling author, Thomas E. Sniegoski.

The future is looking bright for Sidney Moore as she as she gets ready to leave the small island of Benediction behind for one of Boston’s top veterinary schools. Only a few small bumps in the road to navigate before she can go—her father’s recovery from a debilitating stroke, and her own guilt for ending her relationship with her high school sweetheart. But she’s always been strong willed, and she’s not about to let anything stop her from achieving her goals.

Now a storm is bearing down on Benediction, a hurricane that will bring devastating winds and rain, rising tides...and something else. Something deadly; something that will transform all the things that creep, crawl, and flutter into instruments of terror and death.

The future is looking bright for Sidney Moore…if only she can survive the storm.

The Summer of Firsts and Lastsby Terra Elan McVoy

Three sisters. One life-changing summer.

Calla loves summer because summer means Duncan. They’ve been best friends for years, but Calla has never worked up the nerve to tell him how she really feels. This summer, the summer before college, is Calla’s last chance.

Violet isn’t much of a rule breaker in real life. But this isn’t real life, this is summer, and Violet is determined to make the most of it. Besides, a little sneaking out never hurt anyone. And sneaking out with James is 100% worth the risk...even though James is completely off-limits.

Daisy has never been the sister that boys notice, but when sparks fly with Joel at the first bonfire of summer, it seems so easy and right. So why is being his girlfriend so complicated?

My Summer on Earthby Tom Lombardi

Sixteen, perfect body, tons of money, and doesn't eat....What's so alien about that?

Say hello to Clint. He's an alien disguised as a human -- and a fairly outspoken, foulmouthed alien at that. He's got an important mission to complete, but like a typical teenager, Clint gets a bit distracted when he gets here. This distraction's name is Zoë, and Clint has an overwhelming urge to experience earthling love with her, if he could just figure out how.

But if Clint doesn't focus and complete his mission, it could spell disaster for his people. And what teenager wants that on his conscience? Young love, a crappy job, and absolutely clueless -- sounds like a typical summer on Earth.