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Stephanie Parent, Reader and Writer

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.
Four Summers - Nyrae Dawn I didn't realize how much I needed to read a book like Four Summers, until I started it! I have been reading a lot of NA and older YA--this is likely because most of the popular YA titles right now seem to have an older tone to them--and Four Summers reminded me why I love real, pure YA. I love reading books about the characters' firsts--first love, first kisses, first struggles, first heartbreaks. And Four Summers absolutely delivered. I loved that Nyrae Dawn allowed her characters to be real teenagers: young, confused, vulnerable and innocent. Descriptions like the characters' fingers brushing, "like little fairy wings are brushing my skin", might not work in an older YA, but they felt so right and poignant in the first section of this novel. Since the book does take place over four consecutive summers, the characters do get older, but both protagonists are still very much works in progress when the book ends. The characters' emotions throughout the entire book rang very true, developing gradually over time to reflect the passing years and the characters' maturation. This was my first read by Nyrae Dawn, and it definitely won't be my last!