Sunkissed by Kasie West
Delacorte/Penguin Random House
Publication Date: May 5, 2021
Avery is spending the summer at a camping resort with her family, which isn’t quite the “adventure” her dad promised but does give her some much-needed space from drama at home. It also allows her to focus on discovering who she is and what she really wants, as opposed to what she thinks she’s supposed to want. Enter Brooks, the good-looking and slightly infuriating camp musician, who is also completely off-limits. They seem to have perfect chemistry, but Avery needs to remember that a relationship between the two of them would get Brooks fired, which would be devastating for him and his family.
West delivers another reliably swoony teen romance with this updated take on the film Dirty Dancing. The quick pace will encourage rapid page turning as the characters go from one funny or charming situation to the next. Music is a strong element throughout the story, as is Avery’s younger sister’s interest in creating short films to share online. The setting feels fresh, but the characters feel like familiar friends.
Give this to fans of sweet teen romance like Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, or To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han (the book or Netflix series).
–Sarah Sullivan, Methuen, MA
Other Nominated Titles
- Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick, Art By Juliana Moon (January 5, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the Title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.