It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.
After I posted about Kieran Scott as one of my favorite contemporary YA authors, I had a bit of a conversation with her on Twitter about some of her older books that were my favorites as a teenager.
So today’s Throwback Thursday is dedicated to some of those books – in fact, a series that was a favourite as a teen: the Love Stories series!
Guys, these were just as addictive as Sweet Valleys when I was a teenager. I think they were also super popular in Asia, which is where I spent the summer before seventh grade, and grades eight to twelve. The English bookstores were often behind in Hong Kong, so while I waited for the next SVH book, I would pick up Love Stories books.
Like SVH, each month, there was a new book, but these were always stand-alones written by a different author, which I appreciated. Because I had to wait so long for a new release, having a complete romance story was great. There seemed to be a core group of authors for the books, including Elizabeth Craft, Kieran Scott, Cameron Dokey, Diane Schwemm…a lot of authors/editors who are still writing and working on fantastic YAs. I liked that they changed from book to book, because if I didn’t like one author, I wouldn’t pick up the next one by him/her.
I’m sure there are a lot of people who are probably thinking these are trash, but honestly, they’re not. These were the precursors to current contemporary YA – the romance, plotting and concepts are very similar – just in a smaller, 230-page, pocket paperback form. There are some real gems in this group. I’ve listed a few here:
Together Forever by Cameron Dokey – This was the first Love Stories book I read, and I think I picked it up based on the cheesy Valentine’s Day themed cover alone. That said, the Natalie-Dean relationship, fraught with it’s horoscope-themed perils, is pretty great.
Our Secret Love by Miranda Harry – Dana is awesome, an athlete who almost died when she was very young. Because of that, she lives life to the fullest – but recently, that includes secretly dating her brother’s best friend, Chris. Chris is usually a ten-girls-at-a-time kind of guy, but he’s pretty much fallen for Dana. Problem is, Brian, Dana’s brother, would freak out if he knew.
How Do I Tell by Kieran Scott – one of the cutest romances of the bunch, Vanessa and Russell become co-chairs of a student dance after Russell gets dumped by his girlfriend. Vanessa has a douchey boyfriend, and it’s pretty obvious (but still awesome) how this will all end. Also, this book has the cutest sidekick romance.
At First Sight by Elizabeth Chandler – this is a great Christmas romance. Basically, Allie is awesome but has a chip on her shoulder about her beautiful sisters. When she meets Ben, who is super-hot and used to be a basketball star, but has now changed into a more sensitive guy, sparks fly, but she feels like she can’t match up. Really, really sweet.
There are many, many more in this series, several written by these same authors. If you see these on the dollar shelf at a garage sale or used bookstore, pick ’em up! They’re a fantastic dose of cheesy-but-awesome YA romance – AND you get to read a little of what your favorite authors were probably writing back in the day.
Have you read Love Stories books before? Got favorites? Let me know in the comments!