Release date: April 21, 2015
Length: 336 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
In this first book of a captivating new series by bestselling author Susane Colasanti, three girls share a Manhattan apartment the summer before college begins. City Love captures the essence of summer love, self-discovery and sisterhood, a perfect fit for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Jennifer E. Smith.
This summer will change everything for Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna. Sadie is all about dreaming big and following her heart, hoping her soul mate is right around the corner. Darcy wants a summer of boy adventures with New York City as her playground. Rosanna is running from dark secrets of her past, desperate to reinvent herself. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.
Told from alternating points of view, City Love resonates with the moments when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once…in a way it will never be again.
This is the first YA romance I’ve read in years. When I was in high school, I used to read them all the time. Then I read The Hunger Games and started getting into dystopian, then sci-fi and fantasy and that’s where my reading interests have stayed for the past few years. But I will be receiving an ARC of the sequel to City Love, so I of course had to read this one. And I’m very glad I did.
Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are three roommates about to start college and what I really liked about them is that each of them has a distinct personality and a different outlook on love. Sadie believes in soul mates and is searching to find her true love. Darcy’s heart has been broken and so she wants to avoid commitment and hook up with guys instead. Rosanna doesn’t seem to have a very strong opinion on love. She’s more along the lines of “if it happens, it happens” but at the same time, she does have a traumatic history that makes it difficult for her to open to guys. I very much enjoyed seeing how their stories unfolded with these distinct personalities/views influencing how they approach dating and love.
I thought the stories were pretty unique and didn’t really pick up on any overdone cliches, but this is also the first romance I’ve read in years, so I’m probably not the best person to trust on that.
I liked all three of the girls, but I think Rosanna was the most relatable for me. There was definitely a lot that I couldn’t relate to (for example, her traumatic history), but there was so much that I could. Her family is poor and when she moves to college, she has no choice but to pay for things herself and make her own way. While I definitely haven’t faced the same level of poverty that she has, struggling with money is something that I feel like almost everyone can relate to at least somewhat. She also struggles a bit with missing her family, which is absolutely something that I could relate to.
I, of course, enjoyed seeing each of them navigate their love lives, but I also really liked the scenes between the three of them where you get to see them getting to know each other and becoming friends. I know it’s a romance story, but I do wish we had seen even just a tiny bit more of that. I think friendship is something that tends to be sooo under-appreciated in books.
Like I mentioned, I liked seeing their love stories too. Each of their stories are unique. Sadie meets someone who she clicks with right away, Darcy tries to push her feelings aside and just stay friends, and Rosanna tries to figure out whether this guy she’s met is the right kind of person for her to be with. What I really enjoyed about these was trying to figure out if the girls’ doubts about the guys were legitimate or not and whether the guys could be trusted. I found myself going back and forth about whether or not Austin (Sadie’s boyfriend) and D (or Donovan, the guy Rosanna is dating) could be trusted. It added a little extra to the story.
The one thing that annoyed me was that Colasanti tried to make the dialogue and language sound like the characters were young college kids, but at times ended up making them sound like middle schoolers. There was a lot of “slang” (I don’t know if I can even call it that) thrown in, like “adorkable” and “dorktastic” that drove me kind of crazy. I’m 21 years old and can safely say none of my friends talk like that. None of my friends have talked like that since I was around 13. She tried to make it sound kind of quirky, but to me it was just annoying.
Other than that, I did enjoy the story. I think I kind of expected the love stories of each girl to be similar, but Colasanti did a great job of incorporating three different POVs and having each story remain quite different. There were a lot of moments where I found myself smiling at the various cute scenes between the girls and their dates. Sadie and Darcy’s stories leave off with some pretty big cliffhangers that have me desperate for Lost in Love, the sequel, to come out (it’s being released this May). If you’re a fan of YA contemporary and romance, definitely give this a shot. It’s a pretty quick read that I think people will enjoy. And since you’ve got a couple of months until the sequel comes out, now is a great time to pick it up!
One last note: this story does mention sexual assault/child molestation so please be aware of this if you could be triggered by it!