A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen
"Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who's right in front of her?
Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.
Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest. Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously..."- summary from Amazon
Chen's latest novel is, of course, simply amazing. I am a huge fan of hers so I can be biased, but her books are really fantastic and I always enjoy reading a new one. The emotional and sexual tension between Shana and Quattro was written so well, and really dives into creating a real foundation for their relationship rather than just a physical attraction (though there is that too, of course).
I've also always liked Chen's focus on family dynamics too in each of her novels, which is not always seen in YA novels of late. In this, Shana's dad is told he is going blind and, as the reader, we get to see how this news affects everyone in the family personally and in their interactions with each other. And through this, Chen creates some incredible, relatable characters both in the family as well as the other travelers on the tour (I especially liked Grace), and Shana's best friend back home too.
Chen does a wonderful job too of letting the reader experience Machu Picchu through Shana's eyes as she goes through this transformative journey. There's a real sense of place with the hike and everything that happens with it.
Overall, another hit for Chen and I really urge you all to check her out. She's not an author that you hear a lot about, which really sucks because she is extremely talented and amazing. Buy all her books now! I command it!
FTC: Received signed ARC from author (thanks Justina!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.