Tag Archive | Greek American

L is for LOVE & OLIVES, by Jenna Evans Welch (YA book review)

book cover of Love & Olives, by Jenna Evans Welch. Published by Simon Schuster BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Ten days away from Seattle, that’s all,
her artist’s eyes setting up camera angles,
heart breaking because her dad will leave again…

White buildings reflecting sunlight, the sparkling blue Aegean Sea – the Greek island of Santorini has captivated visitors for centuries, but sixteen year old Liv doesn’t want to be impressed by its beauty.

Neither does she intend to quickly forgive her long-estranged father for suddenly interrupting her summer plans by bringing her here for a filming project about their mutual fascination – the lost city of Atlantis.

On a tight schedule, she and dad’s young cameraman Theo crisscross the island to filming locations – why is Dad sometimes a no-show?

Dad is utterly convinced that he can prove the site of Atlantis to the scientific community – what exactly is he trying to prove to Liv?

Sleeping in a hidden nook of Theo’s family bookstore, glorious sunsets, more questions than answers in the village her dad returned to after emigrating to America – how much can 10 days change?

Each chapter is headed by an item from Liv’s list of 26 things left behind by her dad, a list kept close at hand as she and Mom moved often, struggling until meeting now-stepdad James.

A story of journeying from home to learn about love, from the author of Love & Gelato (my review) and Love & Luck (review here).

Where do you need to go to make an old story into a new truth?

Book Info: Love & Olives / Jenna Evans Welch. Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2020. (author site) (publisher site) Review copy & cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Art school or her traveling family? Your Destination is on the Left, by Lauren Spieller (book review)

book cover of Your Destination is on the Left, by Lauren Spieller. Published by Simon Schuster BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Art school!
Real teachers instead of online videos,
real money her family doesn’t have,
really not surprised to be rejected…

Self-confidence is hard for Dessa, and when she freezes with sketchpad in hand, it will take something special to help her get it back.

Maybe not paint now, maybe she should try found art like her mentor, maybe…

How do you make a dream denied become merely dream deferred?

Book info: Your Destination is on the Left / Lauren Spieller. Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: The nomadic life that her parents chose was fun back when Dessa was twelve, but now the 17 year old wants more – art school, life with other students, a home without wheels.

Best-best-ever Cy sent in her portfolio for the internship she knew she wouldn’t get, and now she will be working all summer with her favorite living artist in New Mexico – as long as Fiona thinks Dess is “college-bound” instead of turned down by every art school she applied for.

The families who travel together across the US are sure she’ll rejoin them and Cy on the road once summer is over – can she squeeze her expanded views back into that tiny RV with her parents and little brother?

Staying with her Greek grandmother (in a house!) near Santa Fe, helping Fiona prepare for a big exhibition of her found art pieces, trying to get up the courage to break free with her own art…and tell the truth about art school – what a summer!

But after the internship and the gallery show and no art school for fall – are Cy’s traveling dreams big enough for both of them?

How to Be Brave, by E. Katherine Kottaras (book review) – live large is mom’s last request

book cover of How to Be Brave by E Katherine Kottaras published by St Martin Griffin Teen | recommended on BooksYALove.comA challenge from her late mom,
a best friend willing to do anything,
a chance for an epic senior year… and maybe love.

Meet Georgia (and snarky best pal Liss) in this excerpt, courtesy of the publisher – check out her Do Everything Be Brave List, then get the whole story of how she tackles the list, copes with heartbreak, and struggles with body image.

This isn’t one of those “my mom died and I will mope through life until someone else makes it worthwhile” stories. Georgia creates her own ups (and downs), although Liss and Evelyn are with her for many things.

I loved the way that Georgia would reframe negatives into possibilities (although not always with ease) and the winding routes that her thoughts took as time passed, too.

Don’t miss the interactive book trailer so you can help Georgia ‘be brave’ – http://howtobebravebook.com/

What’s on your Do Awesome Stuff list?

Book info: How to Be Brave / E. Katherine Kottaras.  St. Martins Press/ Griffin Teen, 2015. [author site]  [publisher site]  [interactive book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Inspired by her late mother’s letter, Georgia makes a list of daring things to do during her senior year, little realizing how much she and her friendships and her dreams will change along the way.

Her Greek-American father tries to keep their Chicago restaurant going despite his grief, and Georgia tries to break out of her shell by following Mom’s advice to “go do anything you like – in fact, do everything” with an I Want to Live Life list – including jump out of a plane, cut class (no, she never has), learn how to draw like Mom, ask him out…

So she and best friend Liss and new pal Evelyn start in the middle of the list and work their way around to tribal dancing (and maybe Georgia will ask Daniel out, some time).

But one ill-timed party fractures their friendship, and senior year’s zip turns to blah.

Is it worth doing the adventures on her list alone?
Can she ever get Liss back on her side?
Will she be brave enough to leave behind her mom’s artistic style?

Change is scary, but staying the same on-the-sidelines-of-life chubby girl is not an option for Georgia after Mom’s last request entreating her to learn How to Be Brave.
(One of 8,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)