Tag Archives: Kari Parker

Guest Post – Oh, For The Love Of Stories


You may not know this about me, but I’m obsessed with books, YA books to be more specific. Of course, you don’t know that about me, I’ve forgotten to introduce myself, which probably says more about me than any introduction I could ever write. 

Hi. I’m Kari.  I blog over at “By Kari Parker”, no, I mean “Oh, For The Love Of Stories”.  I’m going through a name change, hence the confusion.  When I meet most people I pretty much pretend like we’re best friends because it makes intros less awkward (or maybe not).  Just ask Pam – first time we met we bonded over scandalous bus rides and weird Tinder encounters.  I’m also dictating this intro to Siri while trying to run and catch the subway, so sorry for any typos or strange autocorrect.  But also, you’re welcome for the laughs to follow (for autocorrect, I mean. I’m only think I’m that funny).

So as I was saying, I don’t know about you, but I associate summer with summer love, with falling head over heels in love and not pausing to second guess things, for better or for worse. And no one does that better than young adults. Now I know, most of you are probably mature, normal people who read adult books, but I’ve got 5 amazing reasons (in the form of 5 novels) you should let you inner 16 year old out these final days of summer and read a YA novel about the bliss of falling in love for the first time.  


 My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I’ve raved and raved about this novel on my blog and featured it in a giveaway because it is just that good. I can’t seem to shake this sweet story of Sam, a soon-to-be senior in high school, who has grown up looking over in awe at the Garretts, the huge family that seems to live such an exciting life next door. For years, she’s imagined what being a part of their word would be like and then one night, she’s thrust into the middle of it. My Life Next Door made me laugh, cry and fall in love with summer and all the possibilities the warm weather carries. It also made me want to be a Garrett. You can read me gushing about it all in this mini-review if you’re interested.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I loved this book just as much the third time I read it as I did the first time (I also reviewed it here). Anna and the French Kiss transports us to Paris where anything is possible, especially love. When Anna gets shipped off to boarding school in Paris, she thinks it’s going to miserable. But then she meets four friends, one of which is a super attractive boy with an adorable accent, and she begins to realize that maybe Paris could feel just as much like home. It’s a charming, feel good story, Perkins perfectly capturing what it’s like the fall in love.  

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Earlier this week, I breezed through this novel in less than 24 hours and then reviewed it hours later because it was just that good. Right as summer begins, Emily’s best friend Sloane disappears without a warning, leaving only a to-do list behind. Everything on the list are things that Emily would never do, but hoping that Sloane will be at the end of it all, Emily embarks on an adventure to complete all 13 things, meeting unlikely accomplices along the way. Since You’ve Been Gone is the perfect novel about defining friendship, falling in love and finding yourself all in the same magical summer.   

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen explores the the damage of a single phrase “I’m fine”, mostly uttered at times when the speaker is in fact not fine. Out of habit, Annabel Green says this all the time, insisting that she is okay although her world feels like it’s falling apart. When she meets Owen, a handsome loner with a penchant for telling truth, it makes her wonder if she can tell her own as well.  I read and reviewed Just Listen  almost 2 years ago and still think about it and what it really means to “stand in your own truth.”  

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

With a name like Rainbow, she can do no wrong. Eleanor and Park has gotten a reputation for being a sadder book, and while it is, it’s also extremely happy and can induce an extreme case of the fuzzies. It’s the story of two misfit teens who somehow find solace in one another and all kinds of awkward and so, so very cute scenes ensue. There are dark moments, but it’s an incredible story about love and how even teenage love can work miracles.  
All of these novels are unique in story, yet, they all remind me what it’s like to be young and impulsive and in love with the idea of love, almost as much as the actual falling. They all remind me that I may be an old lady, but I’m not so far removed that I don’t remember how wonderful it feels. I hope you find that these books make you feel the same way. Nostalgic, I mean, not old. I’m not a monster.