From the Publisher
" A contemporary romance-with-a-conscience...Stone writes it with confidence and style." - Kirkus
"The story handles challenging subjects like sex, drunk driving, and faith after tragedy in a sensitive and age-appropriate way without veering into melodrama...just what readers need. " - School Library Journal
"Fans of the romance genre will enjoy the classic miscommunications, the emotional pushing and pulling, the "will she?" and "won't he?" of the destined-to-be-in-love." - VOYA Magazine
""The tension between remorse and a desire for closure successfully propels the narrative... the intensity of the couple's sexual relationship and the dramatic experiences they have faced will attract teens."" - Booklist
"Boys Like You is an achingly raw book. Nate and Monroe are both in a great deal of emotional pain...they come off the page as real, living, breathing teens dealing with impossible circumstances. I was glued to my Kindle until I finished. This book will appeal to fans of John Green, and any reader who enjoys realistic fiction with emotional depth.
" - Sunk Treasure
"Juliana Stone pulls the reader into a heartbreaking storyline about two teens who have had to experience loss and the startling realization that one mistake can snowball with fatal results. BOYS LIKE YOU is a story that is emotional in its' presentation, traumatic in its' content, and passionate in its' ideals" - The Reading Cafe
"Boys Like You is such a sweet and moving story of hope, self-forgiveness, and stepping out of the dark. A fantastic YA debut!" - Once Upon a Bookcase
"Oh the swoons, there are great romance scenes with some heavy kisses. Loved it!.... As an adult reader I appreciated the nostalgia of young love, sneaking out at night, hot summers, and the adventure of discovering someone new for the first time." - Becoming Books
"Novel lovers will completely enjoy "Boys Like You" by Juliana Stone, the story of a girl with a guilty broken heart and a boy with a different sort of painful burden, and how they find each other to help mend the ache. " - Bookworm Sez
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Jennifer M. Miskec
It is the beginning of a hot Louisiana summer on her grandmother’s plantation when Monroe Blackwell meets Nathan Everets. While neither is looking for loveNathan has a girlfriend, in factthe two cannot deny their instant connection. The problem is, both are in mourning, Monroe for her little brother who died from an asthma attack, and Nathan for a car accident that he caused and left his best friend in a coma. Guilt and sadness make it difficult for Monroe to get out of bed or brush her hair in the morning, and Nathan has given up playing music to punish himself for what he took away from his best friend and band mate. It does not take too long for the two to fall for each other, though, offering understanding and redemption along the way. As is expected with teen romance, Monroe and Nathan are beautiful people with tragic flaws. Their beauty and guilt, it seems, are enough to bring them together. Fans of the romance genre will enjoy the classic miscommunications, the emotional pushing and pulling, the “will she?” and “won’t he?” of the destined-to-be-in-love. Readers of Miranda Kenneally (Stealing Parker [Sourcebooks, 2012], Catching Jordan [Sourcebooks, 2011]), Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty [Simon & Schuster, 2009]), and Susane Colasanti (So Much Closer [Penguin, 2011]) will enjoy Stone. Reviewer: Jennifer M. Miskec; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Nathan and Monroe are both attractive, well-adjusted teens with involved families and all the right friends. Their story begins some months after they are each knocked out of their pleasant lives through direct involvement in separate tragedies. Monroe's parents send her from New York to Louisiana hoping that a summer with her grandmother will pull her out of her malaise. Nathan spends the summer working for his contractor uncle at the home of Monroe's grandmother. When they meet, they can't ignore the spark between them, despite their private grief. Over the summer they fall in love and help each other come to terms with their pasts. Chapters alternate their first-person perspectives. This works nicely, allowing readers to observe their growing attraction. Unfortunately, other aspects of the characters are not as well developed. The story handles challenging subjects like sex, drunk driving, and faith after tragedy in a sensitive and age-appropriate way without veering into melodrama. The ending is a bit too happy, but that might be just what readers need after going through this emotional wringer.—Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK
A contemporary romance-with-a-conscience presents three teens who have erred but are worthy of redemption. Hot girl from out of town; hunky, vulnerable hero; alcohol-troubled ex-girlfriend; conflict and regrets…there's nothing wrong—and a good deal that is right—with the romance formula when it's handled this well. Emotionally damaged and painfully remote, New York teen Monroe is spending her summer in Louisiana with her wise and loving gram. There to heal after an initially unspecified tragedy, Monroe quickly meets local kindred-tortured-soul Nathan ("the pain that I saw there let me know I wasn't the only one…who hated herself"). Their tragic tales emerge in alternating chapters; Nathan must deal with catastrophe or its fallout daily and faces it head-on, while Monroe circles around her pain. In their world, thoughtful, caring friends and a wise grandmother are better than therapists, and despite Monroe's assertion that Nathan is not her type, hot days, Southern swimming holes, steamy nights and boozy teen parties out in "the bush" prove her wrong. Conveniently naïve parents and Gram's upfront insistence on birth control create space for tender, consensual, responsible intimacy. Several layers of complexity (grief, guilt, the search for healing) nudge this toward the general fiction category even as it maintains familiar characteristics of the standard romance. The as-happy-as-it-could-be-under-the-circumstances ending will definitely satisfy, and Stone writes it with confidence and style. (Romance. 14-18)
Read an Excerpt
My gram told me once when I was eleven that I could do anything. She'd been very matter of fact as she poured us each an iced tea on a steamy afternoon.
It was the kind of afternoon when the air sizzled and stuck to the insides of your clothes. The kind of afternoon that made your skin clammy and your muscles lazy. I remember that the birds were quiet but the locusts chimed like mini buzz saws.
Funny, the things that you remember, and the things that you can't forget no matter how hard you try.
On that particular afternoon, we'd sat on her front porch in the rain, Gram's hyacinths bent over from the weight of the water, her two cats Mimi and Roger curled at our feet. I'm sure I wore some trendy New York outfit that was totally inappropriate for Louisiana in August, and Gram Blackwell was dressed in what she liked to call "genteel southern attire," which basically meant cotton instead of linen or silk.
We settled back in our chairs and chatted about the soccer team. I told her how much I wanted to make first string, and she told me that anything was possible as long as I applied myself. Of course I believed her with all the enthusiasm an eleven-year-old who has never been hurt or disappointed feels.
Why wouldn't I? This was Gram, and she was never wrong.
I tried my hardest and made the team.
But that was before Malcolm. Before the awful year that had just passed. That was before I learned that my charmed life could bleed. That pain could become an everyday kind of thing, and that happiness was just a word that didn't mean anything.
And now, at the ripe old age of sixteen and a half, I don't know what I believe in anymore, and I don't know if I'll ever be fixed.
It's not like I haven't tried.
I went to private therapy. I went to group counseling. I read the books that I was supposed to read, did the relaxation exercises that I thought were stupid, and took the meds that they gave me.
In fact, I loved how those little blue pills made me feel nothing-which isn't very different from the way I feel most of the time-but medicated nothing is so much better than the real, hard nothing I had been living with.
I suppose it's why they weaned me off them. "Addict" wasn't exactly a label my mom wanted to add to the impressive list of everything else that was wrong with me.
My point is...I did it all. I tried.
It's just hard to succeed at something when you don't really care, and as much as I want to get better for my parents, I can't make myself care. Not even for them. My therapist says I need to care for myself first.
And therein lies the problem. The catch-22. I just don't care anymore. Not really.
Yet there are moments where, if I try real hard, I can close my eyes and smell the rain. Not just any rain, mind you, but that rain. From that long-ago afternoon.
"Monroe, I'm heading to town in a few minutes. Do you want to come along?"
I turned as Gram walked into the kitchen. It was nearly noon and I had been sitting at the table for about an hour, trying to decide if I was going to eat the bowl of pears she'd put out for me earlier or if I was going to put them back in the fridge.
I liked pears. I liked them a lot. I just wasn't all that hungry.
"Uh, I think I'll stick around here, if that's okay with you."
Gram put her purse on the table, and I pretended not to notice how her eyes lingered on my hair. I'd pulled it back in a ponytail yesterday-or maybe it was the day before-because I couldn't be bothered with it. I'm pretty sure I hadn't brushed it since.
She pointed to the bowl in front of me and raised her eyebrows, waiting half a second before grabbing it and setting it on the counter. She pulled plastic wrap from the drawer and covered the pears before putting them back in the fridge.
Gram turned and leaned against the counter, and for a moment, we stared at each other in silence.
I'd arrived a week earlier and we hadn't had a real chat yet-the one that I sensed was coming-and my stomach churned at the thought.
Gram's long hair was swept up in a clip at the back of her head, the silver strands glistening in the sunlight that poured in from the window above the sink. She wore pink lipstick, a casual cream skirt-cut to an inch above her knee-a moss-green blouse, and low open-toe heels to finish off the outfit. Pearls were in her ears, and the matching pendant lay at her neck. A classy choice that was totally Gram.
She was beautiful.
My gram had turned sixty last year and still carried that simple elegance that set her apart from a lot of women. She'd been a real hottie in her day, and though my mother said I was her spitting image, I didn't see it. But then I suppose beauty is more about your state of mind, and since mine was all dark and gloomy, that's what I saw when I looked in the mirror.
"All right," she said after a while and glanced at the clock above the stove. "I have someone coming by the house anyway, and I'll need you to show him where the job is."
Great. I thought of my bed and the nap I'd planned.
"Who is it?"
I didn't really care, but I could at least be polite and ask.
"I've engaged the services of a local contractor for some repairs and maintenance around the plantation. Today the fence around the family crypt and burial plot will be painted."
Gram's ancestors had lived in Louisiana for generations and this place-Oak Run Plantation-had been in the family for just as long. Years ago, Gram's father had turned the family home into a successful bed and breakfast/museum, which Gram had inherited, because according to my father, Gram's brother, Uncle Jack, was a no-good drunk who couldn't find his own butt if he needed to.
My grandmother even stayed on after her husband died, but instead of living in the big house, she moved into what used to be the carriage house. And that's where I'm staying this summer.
Everyone-which would be my parents and my best friend Kate-was hoping the hot Louisiana summer and laid-back atmosphere would somehow fix me. They think that the city and the memories are too much, and I don't have the heart to tell them that the memories will never leave. That much I've learned.
So location doesn't really matter, but I was glad to be away from my mother and her large, expressive, puppy-dog eyes. She looks at me a lot when she thinks I won't notice, and every time she does, I feel like the biggest failure on the planet.
I don't know how to react to her anymore-do I pretend I'm better to make her pain go away? Do I ignore her? Do I tell her to get out of my face?
And my father, God, he's the total opposite. He acts as if everything is normal. As if the last year and a half never happened-as if each one of us is whole-and that makes me angry. And kinda sad.
Gram grabbed her purse, bent low, and gave me a hug. "I love you, Monroe."
"I know," I whispered.
She grabbed her keys and paused. "Barbecue sound good for supper?"
I shrugged. "Sure."
"All right then." She moved toward the door but paused, her hand on the ivory handle. "He'll be here in an hour. Why don't you brush your hair?"
"Okay," I answered, though I'm pretty sure we both knew it wasn't likely to happen.