Need a good read before summer? Look no further!
Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour
Don’t you love it when you finish a book so captivating and beautiful and lush and gorgeous and…and you discover the author has more books?
Yerba Buena is LaCour’s first foray into adult fiction. That’s all I knew about the author – at least until I finished the book and looked her up. I don’t read much young adult fiction, but I tell you what: I’m about to. Yes. Yerba Buena is that good. LaCour is the award-winning writer of several young adult novels – every one of which is now on my ‘to read’ list. But back to Yerba Buena.
Sara Foster and Emilie Dubois are each trying to transform a troubled past into something better.
Emilie is trying to decide what to do with her life. She’s spent 7 years in college and all she has to show for it are 5 (incomplete) majors – none of which have anything to do with the floral arranging job she ends up taking at a local restaurant. The restaurant is Yerba Buena – an elegant eatery with a very attractive – and very married – owner.
Emilie’s family used to be close, but her grandparents were the glue that kept the family together. When they’re gone, Emilie inherits the house and decides she’s going to bring it back to its former glory.
Sara grew up in a dysfunctional household where one parent was a drug dealer, the other an addict. Her mother finally gets clean, but not before wrecking her body; Sarah is 12 when her mom dies. With her mother gone, Sara’s friend Annie becomes everything to her. Everything. A few years after she loses her mother, though, Annie’s body is found floating in the river and Sara can’t stay in that place a minute longer. She and a friend, both teenagers, run away together toward a better future. Fast forward several years and Sara is one of the hottest bartenders in L.A, known for her hand-crafted infusions, syrups, shrubs, and cocktails she designs based on what can only be described as a kind of atmospheric chemistry. Her home base: Yerba Buena.
One morning, Emilie is at the restaurant, arranging the flowers for that evening. Sara happens to go in early for cocktail experiments. The two meet and the electricity is palpable.
This is in part a love story, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about connection, family, discovery, healing, transformation, and finding home.
Jaws by Peter Benchley
Ghosts by Dolly Aderton
They Called us Enemy by George Takei
I have many thoughts to honor Asian Pacific Heritage month.