As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge YA chick lit fan, but I really enjoyed Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins (another author I met at SCBWI!). This novel is about a teenage girl from California named Jazz (short for Jasmine–she is half Indian) and her summer vacation at an orphanage in India. Jazz’s mother was adopted at a very young age from the orphanage by American parents and wants to go back to find out more about her roots. Jazz is initially reluctant to travel to India because she has to leave behind her best-friend/crush Steve, but she eventually comes around. The story is sweet and the main character is likable from the get-go. The author does a great job of showing India from an American teenager’s perspective (having gone to India myself as an American teenager). The ending was a little too optimistic to be believable but at least it was a happy one (phew!), which is almost essential in these kinds of books. I would highly recommend this as a fun summer read.