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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.
Arranged (Arranged, #1) - Sara Wolf Oh. My. God. I did not expect the last third of this book to put me through such an emotional wringer! I'm so stressed out now!I thought this was a really great example of a new adult book that actually offers a deeper look into the college experience and all the difficulties that come along with it. Like Rose, the heroine of Arranged, I had a scholarship in college and worried about burdening my parents financially, so I was really able to identify with her. Rose was a great portrayal of a character who feels responsible for her family's happiness, so much so that she puts it ahead of her own--I think this is a common feeling for young women, but I haven't seen it explored in too many books. This was also an interesting parallel between Rose and love-interest Lee: on the surface, Lee seems to be a self-interested playboy, but the more we learn about him, the more clear it becomes that he too puts others ahead of himself and doesn't really feel like he deserves his own happiness.Aside from a few snippets in Lee's point of view, the story is told almost entirely from Rose's viewpoint, and I actually really liked that. I liked getting to see just little hints of Lee's depth and sadness along with Rose. I think there's a lot more to learn about Lee and the experiences he and Rose shared as children, and I am very eager to read the next installment of this story!