Jessica is a middle school English teacher who lives in Southern California with her husband and their two tiny dogs. She’s working on her Master’s Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University, and her big love is contemporary YA romance. Jessica spends all of her free money on concerts, constantly tries to prove that blondes have more fun, and is pretty much always on the internet. Co-written with Chelsie Hill from Sundance Channel’s reality TV show Push Girls, Jessica’s debut novel PUSH GIRL published on June 3, 2014 from St. Martin’s Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books. IN REAL LIFE, a story about online friendship and love, comes out in 2015.
By Emery Lord
This book has four of the best things in the world, all tied up into one beautifully written package: music + travel + best friends + romance = the perfect YA novel. I fell in love with this book on the first page, when I met its tough-as-nails on the outside, soft-hearted on the inside narrator Reagan. She comes off as prickly, but only because of the things she’s been through. It’s awesome to take this summer journey with her (figuratively and literally…she’s traveling around the country with her famous singer BFF on tour) as she shows how fiercely loyal she is to her friends and what happens when she meets an amazing (and totally swoon-worthy singer/songwriter) guy to help break down her walls. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I hugged this book long and hard when I finished it.
Ages 12-17 | Publisher: Walker Childrens | April 15, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0802736109
By Megan McCafferty
If you haven’t met Jessica Darling, it’s not too late to get acquainted! This series follows Jessica Notso-Darling from high school to college to post-college life and shows a realistic picture of what it’s like to grow up and turn into the woman you’re supposed to become. It’s hard for me to choose what I love the most about this series…is it Megan McCafferty’s amazing voice? Her non-stop wit coupled with insight into life and the process of maturity? Line after line after line that literally makes me laugh out loud? Or is it the sexy, mysterious, and ridiculously frustrating yet completely irresistible Marcus Flutie? Yes, Marcus Flutie has a LOT to do with it. This is a series that has been out for a while, but I think YA readers would be doing themselves a disservice by skipping over it. It’s classic YA, and one that any fan of contemp YA romance will fall in love with.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: Broadway Books
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of time travel, so when I heard about this time travel romance between a girl in 1995 (which happens to be when I was in high school) and a boy from present day, I knew it was going to be right up my alley. This book was everything I’d hoped it would be and more! Time travel can be tough to pull off, but never once did I question the rules of the universe here, I was just lost in Anna and Bennett’s love story. There’s a sequel, too, written in Bennett’s POV that answers questions from the first book and wraps up this story in such a satisfying way. I wish I could travel back in time and read it again for the first time.
Ages 12-18 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | Sept. 3, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-1423159773
By Sarah Rees Brennan
I don’t know what made me pick up this book, because paranormal isn’t usually my jam. But it’s like it somehow knew how much I would love it and jumped right into my hands, leaving me no choice but to be completely charmed. There’s a heavy paranormal element to this book (and its sequels – the final installment comes out in September) — sorcerers, magic, and the like. But at its heart is the unique and intense relationship between Kami and Jared, who have grown up not knowing each other in person, but able to hear each other’s thoughts. When these two finally meet, and realize the other is an actual person and not just a delusion, crazy things start happening in their tiny town. There’s a twisty, turny plot and some amazing voice and humor, but, oh, Kami and Jared. These two break my heart and sew it back together again every time I think of them. I’m so excited and so scared for the final book in this trilogy.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Ember | Sept. 10, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0375871030
By Melissa Landers
When valedictorian Cara is chosen to host intergalactic exchange student Aelyx, she never expects to fall for the alien visitor. But, of course, she does, and crazy antics ensue. Melissa Landers also writes adult romance (under the name Macy Beckett), so you know that the romance in her YA is going to sizzle. Honestly, there is one of the hottest kissing scenes ever in this book! But Alienated also covers the topics of prejudice and hatred and mob mentality and has some pretty biting social commentary along with that kissing. The best thing, though, is that it is really, really funny. Witty one-liners abound in this story of forbidden love, and I’m desperate for the sequel so I can find out how these two crazy kids are going to make it work.
Ages 12-18 | Publisher:Disney-Hyperion | Feb. 4, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1423170280
Learn more about Jessica Love and Chelsie Hill, visit: www.jessicalove.net and www.chelsiehill.com
By Chelsie hill & Jessica Love
An inspiring, real, and fresh young adult novel about how life can change in an instant by Chelsie Hill, one of the stars Sundance Channel’s series “Push Girls.”
Kara is a high school junior who’s loving life. She’s popular, has a great group of friends and an amazing boyfriend, and she’s a shoe-in for homecoming queen. Even though her parents can’t stop fighting and her ex-boyfriend can’t seem to leave her alone, Kara won’t let anything get in the way of her perfect year. It’s Friday night, and Kara arrives at a party, upset after hearing her parents having another one of their awful fights, and sees another girl with her hands all over her boyfriend. Furious, Kara leaves to take a drive, and, as she’s crossing an intersection, a car comes out of nowhere and slams into the driver’s side of Kara’s car.
When Kara wakes up, she has no memory of the night before. Where is she? Why are her parents crying? And, most importantly — why can’t she feel her legs? As Kara is forced to adjust to her new life as a paralyzed teen, where her friends aren’t who they seemed to be and her once-adoring boyfriend is mysteriously absent, she starts to realize that what matters in life isn’t what happens to you — it’s the choices you make and the people you love.
Co-written by “Push Girls” star Chelsie Hill, whose real life inspired Kara’s experience, this uplifting novel takes young readers from tragedy to triumph with an unforgettable and unique heroine.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin | June 3, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1250045911