To All the Boys I've Loved Before meets Morgan Matson in this effervescent romance about childhood best friends reconnecting that's full of sunny days, warm nights, first kisses, and mended hearts.
Luisa (Lou) Patterson grew up across the street from Sam Alvarez in the small, quirky town of Port Coral. They used to be inseparable—spending every holiday together, shooting silly YouTube videos, and rescuing stray cats. But then middle school happened, including the most disastrous (and embarrassing) serenade ever, and Lou and Sam haven't talked in the four years since. Sam is now the golden boy with plenty of friends, while Lou is an introverted romantic who's happy playing video games and writing fan fiction. But it's also the summer before their senior year, and life is knocking on Lou's door.
With her older sister having given up a scholarship to Princeton to have a baby and work at the local botanica, all of their mother's expectations are now riding on Lou's shoulders. She's retaking her SAT's, signed up for way too many AP classes, and her sights set on colleges with fancy names like Duke and Vanderbilt. But when she finds the bucket list she and Sam wrote together as kids, before Sam's father was diagnosed with cancer, she's shocked to see that she hasn't accomplished any of the goals she'd set for herself. Go to a party? Nope. Pull the greatest prank of all time? Still no. Learn how to be a really good kisser? Definitely not.
Torn between the future that her mother, sister, and younger self planned for her, Lou sets out to finish the list, and in a stroke of destiny or fate, Sam decides to tag along. Still trying to stay afloat amid the grief of losing his father, Sam himself is staring down a future that feels all too close, and is coming far too fast. But with the bucket list to guide them, Sam and Lou might just be able to find a way through the future, and also a way back to each other.
About the Author
Nina Moreno is a YA writer whose prose is somewhere between Southern fiction and a telenovela. She graduated from the University of Florida and writes about Latinas chasing their dreams, falling in love, and navigating life in the hyphen. She lives by a swamp outside of Orlando where she enjoys listening to carefully curated playlists, hunting through thrift stores, drinking too much Cuban coffee, and walking into the sea every chance she gets. She is the author of Don't Date Rosa Santos and Our Way Back to Always.
Praise for Our Way Back to Always:
"Thoughtful, vibrant and full of warmth, Our Way Back to Always hit me right in the solar plexus of feels. I cried for Sam, cheered for Lou and swooned endlessly as these former best friends found their way back to each other in a new and lovely way. I could spend all my life in Port Coral and never want for anything more."—Erin Hahn, author of You’d Be Mine and Never Saw You Coming
"I loved returning to Port Coral and getting swept away by Lou and Sam’s sweet love story about second chances and new beginnings. I’m forever a fan of Nina Moreno’s work."—Kristina Forest, author of I Wanna Be Where You Are and Now That I've Found You
"Come for the perfectly messy beach town romance, stay for the healing of generational trauma, the profound exploration of growing while grieving, and a lovable underdog victory that will have you straight up cheering out loud. No one does the intersection of swooning and sobbing like Nina Moreno."—Tehlor Kay Mejia, author of We Set the Dark on Fire
"My heart swelled when I read this story. Both main characters' struggles and their growth throughout was realistic and poignant, and you will be hooked from the start with the story. Featuring complicated family issues, as well as exploring love and friendship as a teen, you will be blown away by Nina's book, especially if you love yourself a great contemporary read full of a lot of emotional elements."—Aurora Dominguez, contributing writer at Book Riot and Frolic young adult expert
"This beautiful novel will show readers that there are many different paths one’s life can take, if only we remember to appreciate every moment. YA romance fans will not want to miss this one."—Booklist, starred review
"The friends-to-lovers story is comfortably familiar and absolutely enjoyable. A coming-of-age story with a good balance of humor and romance."—Kirkus Reviews
"This warm romance showcases teens working on their mental health in an emotionally realistic way.... A comforting, feel-good read, with an endlessly hopeful message of being true to yourself."—SLJ
Praise for Don't Date Rosa Santos: "Full of complex family relationships, a diverse community, and plenty of swoonworthy moments, fans of rom-coms won't be able to put this one down."—Kirkus Reviews
"This beautifully written first novel tells a story of finding your place. Moreno paints a lush picture of what a crush can feel like when more than a potential break-up seems to darken your meet-cute. Rosa is a compelling protagonist whose unique voice--smart and funny, but also warm--is refreshing in the YA landscape. Don't Date Rosa Santos is the perfect read for those searching for answers about their world and about themselves."—Booklist
"Interwoven into Rosa's energetic story are rich, often humorous descriptions of the goings-on in her lively, intergenerational, multicultural community (which is monitored and documented by Insta-addicted viejitos), the mystical practices and herbal lore of her abuela, and the pressures put on children of immigrants."—BCCB
"A love song to family, diaspora, and to girls on the verge of discovering who they want to be."—Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost
"Don't Date Rosa Santos blends two cultures brilliantly, seamlessly, and humorously. Rosa is a relatable American teenager guaranteed to make you smile."—Gloria Chao, author of American Panda
"Maybe you shouldn't date Rosa Santos, but you should definitely read this book. This enchanting novel will sweep you up like the sea." —Stephanie Kate Strohm, author of Prince in Disguise and Love à la Mode
"The delicate aroma of fresh-baked pastry combined with the heady intoxication of sea winds infiltrate the pages of this romantic debut novel. Pa'lante."—Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
"A lyrical and enchanting story about love, loss, the sea, and sassy grandmothers. Nina Moreno writes beautifully, pulling you into the story so wholly that you can almost feel the sea breeze as you read."—Adi Alsaid, author of Let's Get Lost
"A refreshing new voice, Nina Moreno takes on the sometimes complicated relationship between daughters and their mothers with such heartwarming and magical touches that readers will fall in love with and root for Rosa. A beautiful story that will stay with you long after you reach the end!"—Lilliam Rivera, award-winning author of The Education of Margot Sanchez
"In Don't Date Rosa Santos, I saw my own experience laid bare."—Bustle