The Romantics

This charming YA novel (narrated by Love herself) plays out like a romantic comedy. Ironically, that's the genre most hated by movie buff and high school senior Gael Brennan, who is a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and Wes Anderson films.

According to Love, Gael is a Romantic, someone "who ruthlessly believes in Love in its finest form." Unfortunately, Gael's new girlfriend, Anika, does not. She's an Adventurer, defined as someone who "primarily seeks out a partner for life's adventures (and misadventures...)." Shortly after Gael professes his love to her, he arrives at school early to discover Anika liplocked with his best friend, Mason. Heartbroken, Gael punches Mason, quits band and generally mopes around, watching movies and eating snack-sized Snickers bars. When Gael is run down by Cara, a first-year college student on her bicycle, the accident leads to that "dreaded enemy of True Love since the dawn of freaking time," the Rebound. Meanwhile, Gael begins to realize that his sister's babysitter Sammy, despite her love of romantic comedies, is good company, and she's quickly becoming a friend he doesn't want to lose. (At least she likes Serpico.)

Throughout The Romantics, Love carries on a droll commentary about the nature of the human heart and Gael's relationships with friends, his little sister, his parents and possible girlfriends, all the while enlightening readers as to how she works her magic. Gael is a warm and sympathetic character, and this playful, entertaining take on love by Leah Konen (The Last Time We Were Us; The After Girls) should find plenty of ardent fans. --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI

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