Skip to content

Contemporary

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

From the title, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, we already know this isn’t going to end well. However, the cover is misleading. We’re met with bright, springy pastels and Laura Dean and Freddy embracing each other. We are made to believe that Laura Dean and Freddy could possibly work it out, so why does Laura Dean keep dumping Freddy? According to author Mariko Tamaki, she “always liked the idea of an ex-ex-girlfriend story, about the girl that got away and then shows up a week later with a smile like nothing happened,” and her relationships when she was younger “weren’t fairy-tale girl-meets-girl, girl-finds-true-love-type things. They were a mess.” (https://www.latimes.com

And we all know how messy teenage love can be—especially the break ups. Even if you haven’t been broken up with repeatedly by the same person, a breakup is a breakup, and you can’t help but obsess over that person you still love who doesn’t seem to love you anymore. And no one understands this better than Freddy, Laura Dean’s now ex-girlfriend.

Read More »Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante

Review by Abigail Lee

Motherhood is a minefield in The Lost Daughter, Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel originally written in Italian. The book was adapted into a Netflix movie in late 2021, which has brought a new wave of readers to the story. Ferrante has perfected how to explore the friction between the self and social convention, and The Lost Daughter feels like a perfect distillation of the second-wave feminist themes that populate her many works. 

The Lost Daughter is about an educated woman who, originally hailing from the poorer Naples, has ascended to the middle class of northern Italy. Leda is a 47-year-old empty nester who finds that after her two daughters leave home, she suddenly feels an unburdened liberation. She decides to take a summer vacation on the Ionian coast, and all goes well until one day, a rowdy Neapolitan family arrives at the beach. They remind her of her own family: “Every question sounded on their lips like an order barely disguised by a false good humor.” Leda notices a woman who stands out from that group, a beautiful young mother named Nina who plays with her daughter Elena. 

Read More »The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante

Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

When I first saw Lindsey Roth Culli’s young adult novel, Say Yes Summer, I figured it was going to be something akin to Shonda Rhimes’ memoir, The Year of Yes, which encourages you to say “yes” to opportunity when it comes knocking. I could tell that Say Yes Summer would be predictable, but in a good way—sometimes you just want to read a feel-good, summer-y novel. And, I’m happy to report that Say Yes Summer is a book you should say “yes” to. It’s an excellent summer read that takes you back to high school without actually having to go back to high school.

Camia Rhodes

Say Yes Summer centers around Rachel Walls, a girl who’s spent her entire life striving to achieve three goals: getting straight A’s, getting into the college of her dream, and getting an academic scholarship. In pursuit of these goals, she’s spent her whole high school existence saying “no” to everything: no dances, no parties, no boys, no anything fun. We meet Rachel on the night of her graduation and follow along as she celebrates this achievement by spending the summer before college, saying “yes” to everything that comes her way…including unexpected romance. 

Read More »Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

The Boyfriend Project and The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon

Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project felt like home to me. We’ve all been there. No matter how smart or how successful we women get, we somehow have all dated a two- timer. And for what? Just so we can say that we have a man? This book will definitely make you want to have a night out or in with just your girlfriends.

Camia Rhodes

Read More »The Boyfriend Project and The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon