Empress of the World
Author: Sara Ryan
Pub: 2001; Speak
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic, LGBT
Know what would be really cool? If I could go back say twenty years and head out to a summer camp for gifted kids. Oh yeah, I could sign up for cool seminars on archeology, classical music theory, and other -ologies or theories. Which already makes this an uber cool book because that's exactly where it takes place.
Nicola ends up at Siegal Institute's Gifted program over the summer to explore her interest in archeology. She ends up making some friends while there, a pretty cool geeky group actually. One new friend is Battle, this gorgeous North Carolinian who has major hidden issues.
And then there's summer love. Unexpected summer love. (But I probably led you to the the unexpected part, huh?) Nicola and Battle end up realizing that they are into each other more than friends. This happens to be a first for them, since neither has had a girlfriend before.
I really dug this book. Not only did the characters remind me of the good ole WB18 days of Dawson's Creek and Gilmore Girls, but the interactions were so right on real. I loved how Nicola questions her feelings toward Battle and it wasn't just a quick "oh yeah, I'm into her" realization. She has this moment where she thinks back to who else she's liked, realizes that it's been both boys and girls, and viola we have an ALMOST bisexual character in YA lit. (I've only seen a bisexual character in Brent Hartinger's books).
Plus there's not any HUGE I will love you forever moment when summer comes to an end. Yay for Honest and Delivery.
There's a sequel out and I have it on my PBS wishlist. Fingers crossed.