See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon (2022)
Barrett is hoping for a fresh start in college, but her first day is a disaster - and then Barrett finds herself reliving that same day, over and over again. She discovers that a fellow student, Miles, is trapped in the time loop with her, and the two begin to work together to figure a way out. I love a good time loop book, because they have so many opportunities and it's fun to see the same story approached in multiple ways. Do the characters have to fix something for someone else? Realize some hidden potential for growth in themselves? Or could it maybe really be just about the science? At first I was little leery of Barrett - she's so quick to sarcasm, almost to the point of being abrasive, that it was initially hard to like her. But as I got to know her, the layers revealed themselves. It seems inevitable that she and Miles would start to fall for each other, but it was also really sweet. At times funny, heartwarming, and even a little sad, this story is both a grand adventure and an intimate look at two teenagers hoping to change their future. 4 stars
Not Since Ewe by Susannah Nix (2022)
Thirty years ago, high schooler Tess became pregnant and eventually gave up the baby for adoption. Now, her daughter has come looking for her, which brings Tess back into contact with the boy who got her pregnant, Donal. Both want to put the past behind them and get along for Erin's sake, but will their complicated history prevent that? I really liked this book! It was so easy to read and the dialogue, especially the conversations between Tess and Donal, felt so realistic (although it was a little frustrating at times how quickly they resorted to arguing, and there's also the fact that some simple communication would have gone a long way, especially when they were younger). It was nice to have some slightly older protagonists in a romance and it also showcased two different lifestyles (Donal is divorced with two kids and Tess has never been married). I think Nix does a great job of exploring all the feelings, good and bad, involved in a situation most people probably wouldn't find themselves in - coming face-to-face with the baby you gave up for adoption, who is now a grown adult. I'm not generally a fan of second-chance romances, but there were so many unresolved issues and feelings that I was rooting for Tess and Donal, and I think you will, too! 4 stars
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