14. Shannen Crane Camp, Chasing June (Whitney finalist, YA)
Chasing June is the sequel to Camp's Finding June, featuring June Laurie, a budding actress with a set of funny, quirky friends. This one picks up two years after the previous book, as June and her boyfriend/best friend Joseph are heading north to Utah, to start university life at Brigham Young University. While there were lots of fun elements to the story (bizarre roommates, college life, a swoony new love interest), I struggled a little with this book. My overall sense was that while things were hard for June--she doesn't get along with her roommates, she and Joseph can't seem to communicate with each other and she's lonely--things never get *too* hard. Her roommate issues clear up fairly quickly, and there are new cute boy distractions to keep her from obsessing too long and too hard about issues with Joseph. I think, though, that what really got me here was a minor side-plot, where one of the characters (unnamed here to avoid spoilers) develops some eating disorder(ish) behaviors. I recognize that Camp was probably trying to drive home a message for young readers about the importance of loving themselves and their bodies as they are without relying on the opinions of strangers, but I found myself really bothered by how this part of the plot unfolded. Like some of the other plotlines, when resolution came, it came quickly and permanently--and it seems to me that eating disorders can be a serious enough issue that their resolutions are neither quick nor always permanent.
My opinion is probably a minority as most other reviewers seem to really love this story--and it's true that June is cute and fun and there's a lot of teenage wish fulfillment in the story that will appeal to many readers.