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Archive for the ‘The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight’ Category

The Sun is Also a Star, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Michael L. Printz Award, by Nicola Yoon is a new spin on love at first sight, love in a day, etc. Natasha Kingsley is trying to save her family from deportation back to Jamaica. Daniel Jae Won Bae is on his way to get his haircut before his Yale admissions interview when fate intervenes. Seeing her from afar, he is intrigued by her, her huge afro, her absorption in the music she’s listening to through her big headphones.

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Shy, he can’t go up to her and introduce himself, but fate steps in again when he saves her from being hit by a car as she crosses the street. Daniel, the poet, has fallen in love. Natasha, the pragmatist and scientist, hasn’t come close.

But, events work themselves out and they spend the day together. Yoon not only tells their story, but also ancillary stories: the security guard at USCIS (U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service), the secretary for Natasha’s immigration lawyer, their parents and siblings. Chapters alternate between Daniel and Natasha, with asides about various people, theories, etc.

Yoon also explores the complicated Korean American family dynamics and Jamaican American family dynamics–the thought of greener pastures in America and the wish of immigrants that their children have a better life than they had.

Will Daniel go to Yale? Will Natasha stay in the United States? Will it require a parallel universe to keep these lovebirds together? The only way you’ll know is by reading The Sun is Also a Star.

For a similar, totally enjoyable book about love in a day, try Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

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OK, so I have to put my two cents in. Is The Sun is Also a Star award worthy or finalist worthy? I don’t know. It certainly was an enjoyable read. The characters suck you in and never let go. It does deal with complicated issues such as family dynamics, parents forcing careers on their children, deportation, love. Yet, despite this, I found the book to be light and fluffy. Since both the National Book Award and the Michael L. Printz Award are “literary” awards, I’m not sure The Sun is Also a Star fits the categories. If this was a popularity contest, by all means. So, you decide for yourself. Let me know your thought.

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Clare and Aiden have 12 hours before she departs for Dartmouth in HelloGoodbyeNew Hampshire and he jets to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. The question that so many teens face but hasn’t been written much about in YA literature is what do they do. Having been dating for 2 years Aiden is of the impression that long distance romances can work and there are so many folks who have married their high school sweethearts. Clare, on the other hand, thinks that they should break up now, while on an up streak, rather than wait until it fizzles out over time and seeing each other on college breaks becomes awkward. However, Aiden, always the joker, hasn’t been keen on discussing this subject.

So, on their last night together in the suburbs of Chicago, Clare the anal one and list maker in the relationship, has created a list of places of importance to their relationship that they must visit before leaving for separate coasts. Aiden, the unromantic one of the duo, isn’t quite sure what occurred at some of these spots but he’s going along with Clare.

In the 12 hours from 6 PM to 6 AM the next day, Clare and Aiden come to a decision. Along with this, readers get a glimpse of both Aiden’s and Clare’s parents, who play a major role in how the teens react to their situation. Additionally, they get to know their best friends, Scottie and Stella, who also impact their decision.

ComebackSeaspmHello, Goodbye and Everything in Between is a great title because the book is a 12 hour roller coaster of emotions. Should they? Shouldn’t they? Saying goodbye to friends and family is tough even if it isn’t permanent.

I’ve been a fan of Jennifer E. Smith from The Comeback Season, to StatisticalProbabilityThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight to Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between. While at the beginning of the book, it wasn’t my favorite, by the time I got to the end, it was high on the list (I think The Comeback Season will always be my favorite since it was my first (and her first) Smith book). You know what to expect with Smith. A great story. Great characters. A great ending. And possibly a teary eye at the end.

I’d put Jennifer E. Smith up there with Sarah Dessen, and new favorites Emery Lord and Morgan Matson.

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I found a list somewhere of books that take place in one day and thoughtTheBestYearOf YourPatheticLife that was intriguing. I remembered liking Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (actually I like all her books) so thought I’d follow the list a little and see what happens. The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando was the first book I read from the list.

Oyster Point’s high school’s senior class has a tradition, unsanctioned by the school. A week before school ends, there is The Hunt. It’s a scavenger hunt organized by the winner’s of the previous year’s Hunt. Mary, a good student, never any trouble, has decided that she’s going to enter, despite the fact that, if her mother found out, she’d be grounded for eternity.

Her team, made up of students on the fringe, included Mary’s long time friends, Winter who is her best girlfriend, Patrick her best boy friend and Dez, who everyone assumes is gay but nobody talks about it. There are two rounds: in order to qualify for Round 2, you need at least 1250 points in Round 1.

With Patrick driving them around town in his LeSabre, the quartet individually and together tackle some issues, the least of which is they will all be going off in different directions at the end of the summer.

Mary is angry because she didn’t get into Georgetown and Barbone, a ‘dumb jock’ did. He ‘stole’ her spot. In addition, Mary and Patrick her friend-date for the prom had an awkward situation there. Mary is crushing on Carson, who has a girlfriend, Jill, but rumor has it that it won’t be for long and she thinks he may like her. Hey, they spent a lot of time together on prom committee. Barbone and Dez have a, not altogether friendly, history.

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life started off a little slow but picked up in the middle and by the end I couldn’t wait to see what happened. The mechanics of the story were good-text messages of the Yeti (the trophy for the winner) advising them of various new items for the hunt, giving clues, etc. made the story that much more exciting. The emotions of the characters were real enough and anyone who remembers their high school years can relate to the need to remember those years as good ones.

While I liked the Smith book a lot better (she’s a more exciting writer), The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life was a pleasant, enjoyable read.

 

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