The Romantics

336p. ebook available. Abrams/Amulet. Nov. 2016. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781419721939.
Gr 8 Up—Gael Brennan is a 17-year-old high school senior in Chapel Hill, NC. He plays the sax in marching band, loves Alfred Hitchcock and Wes Anderson films, and is a smart, well-behaved kid. So why do bad things keep happening to him? The summer before his senior year, his parents separate. Almost two months into the school year, his girlfriend breaks up with him (in a horrible way). This novel follows Gael (a romantic at heart) and his quest to find love as he lives through this trying time. Or, more aptly, this is Love's quest to lead Gael into brighter times ahead. Konen cleverly personifies Love as a lighthearted and empathetic narrator. The remaining characters—Gael, his friends, his sister, and his parents—are all perfectly imperfect, creating relatable and enjoyable scenes in this slice-of-life novel.
VERDICT A jaunty, entertaining work that will reach a broad range of readers, with a feel-good cast of characters teens can root for. A general purchase for most YA collections.

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