Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, December 11, 2016

My Bad Boy Summer by Ann Herrick @ann_herrick #YA #Romance #Adolescence


Why do good girls fall for bad boys?

17-year-old Vija Skalbe wants to be an all-American girl—no matter how hard her parents try to impose their strict Latvian standards on her. She feels unsure of herself with one foot in each country.

Then Nolan, a folksinger, steals her heart at a coffeehouse. When Nolan stops at their table, it’s Vija’s friend, Caprice, who does all the talking. But it is Vija who gets his phone number—and later the back seat of his motorcycle. Soon she is cruising from one adventure to another, dizzy with joy, her new-found freedom and the excitement of being with the kind of guy who is a challenge.

However, when her father has a heart attack, Vija must take over running the family lawn-care business. She feels overwhelmed until sweet brainiac Joel volunteers to help. He shares the workload and lifts her spirits with his humor. But it is Nolan who fills her heart.

It doesn’t matter that Nolan wants everything his way. Or that he’s constantly eyeing other girls. Or that he can be pouty and punitive. Or that he says she’s seeing things all wrong. Until it does matter. But Vija’s in so deep. Will she deal with Nolan’s controlling tactics, or is she too far under his spell? Or will Nolan give up his bad boy ways for her?

About the Author:

Award-winning author Ann Herrick grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University. Her books have received the ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers Award, the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Award and EPPIE Young Adult Finalist Award.

The vast majority of Ann’s books are HFN (Happily For Now, with the possibility of Happily Ever After. The characters are in their teens, after all, so Ever After would be a *really* long time.) Two books have positive endings, but not the standard HFN or HEA, but with those possibilities if the reader reads very carefully between the lines at the end of the story.

She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart. Their daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed, and has given them their only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-rottweiller-beagle mix, and six grand-kitties. While Ann misses the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, she enjoys the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in Eugene, Oregon.


Maybe it’s because I candy-striped when I was in high school and had a patient my age in a body cast from a murder-cycle accident. Maybe it’s because I was terrified of my mother and of heights, so climbing out a bedroom window and running out to meet my friends wasn’t an option. Besides, there was nothing out there to break my fall from the second floor.

But all I could think about while I read this book was, “That girl needs to be grounded.” And, “Vija’s in an abusive relationship with that Nolan kid. She needs to get away from him. Why can’t she see how much Joel really cares about her?” Am I really that far over the hill? Although, at seventeen and even thirty I admit I was pretty desperate for affection and allowed myself to be used. So maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Vija.

The fact that I had such a visceral reaction to the characters shows how real they were. And I did keep reading. But Vija really should have been grounded. And I guess I am getting too old for YA books.

Author Website:
Heat Rating:  PG
Length:  151 Pages
Digital Price:  $2.99

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