I interrupt the SNORT contest for a few Summer Reading Thing reviews.
Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
I love Janette Rallison. Her books are clever funny, with clean romance that I'm not embarrassed to let me teenagers read. (Not that I have any teenagers anymore, but Janette's been writing for a few years.)
In this book, Annika's little brother has cancer—and a boy-crush on Teen Robin Hood. His wish is that he could meet him, and Annika sets out to make that happen—by stalking the actor who plays that role.
Janette's usual humor shows up in this book, even though it deals with a serious, and often sad, topic. There were places where I laughed out loud at Annika's antics. The romance was sweet and clean with just a bit of kissing. I give it 4 stars.
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
Abby is a senior in high school, with her life all lined up. Then she meets Dante—and her world turns upside down. He's cute, mysterious, and odd things happen when he's around.
This is a paranormal romance—meaning that it mixes fantasy and reality into the love story and that one or more of the characters have paranormal powers/strengths. Immediate comparisons with Twilight come to mind. Dante is not quite as compelling as Edward, however, he's got more depth. His goodness comes from his character, and not simply from the fact that he doesn't eat people. (But he wouldn't because this is not a vampire story, and he's not a vampire.)
Abby is much more likeable than Bella, and she's not an idiot. She doesn't just change her entire life because she meets a cute guy. Abby has brains, and although not perfect, she tries to be a good person.
The love story is also more believable than Twilight's. It's based on shared experiences, communication, and you can see why Abby and Dante would like each other. Also, he doesn't watch her while she sleeps, nor does she keep trying to seduce him.
That said, if you liked Twilight, you'll probably like this one as well. The action is good. There are good guys and bad guys (really bad guys). It's intense and thrilling. And the ending sets up a great sequel. I loved this book. I give it 4.5 stars.