Hot Dutch Daydream

HarperTeen. Apr. 2023. 304p. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9780063160309.
Gr 7-10–Sage is driven. Her singular focus for the summer after high school is to attend a prestigious academic STEM conference in Berlin. In order to make this happen, she has agreed to serve as nanny for Dr. Reese, a preeminent researcher, working mother, and field expert. The summer takes on a whole new twist, however, when it is revealed that Dr. Reese’s older son Ryland, an aspiring artist and general free spirit, will be living at the house, too, and that Sage and Ryland are expressly forbidden from dating. Gauntlet down. It isn’t a handful of days before Sage and Ryland are constant companions, and soon sparks are flying. Ryland uses their time together to woo Sage with Amsterdam highlights including travel by tram, bicycling, a visit to a giant clog, and sampling a cone full of fries covered in mayonnaise. The romance is admittedly tame, focused predominantly on kissing and Ryland making personalized screen-printed T-shirts for Sage. Ryland is a great character who focuses on creating unique block prints featuring cats snuck into the corners of every image. He leans into his cat motif by leading Sage to cat-focused tourist attractions including KattenKabinet. Curious readers can lose more than a few moments exploring the virtual tour of this real-world facility or researching the works of Louis Wain. The novel is set in the Netherlands with presumably an all-white cast.
VERDICT Hand this to fans of Stephanie Perkins. A perfect summer romance.

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