Nina LaCour Yerba BuenaYerba Buena by Nina LaCour is a beautiful and messy coming-of-age love story between two women who are trying to deal with their emotional baggage while they’re also trying to find themselves in the process.

Sara Foster was only sixteen years old when she ran away from home. She walked away from the people and places she thought she’d never leave and she left behind the open-hearted girl she used to be. More than a decade has passed and she lives in Los Angeles. Sara is a highly sought-after bartender because her unique cocktails are a work of art and she never allows anyone to get too close to her. On the other side of the city, Emilie Dubois is waiting for the grand moment when her life will change for the better. She really wants to be surrounded by beauty and have the close-knit community that her Creole grandparents created but she’s unable to commit to anything until she finds her purpose in life. Emilie decides to step outside of her comfort zone—she takes a part-time job arranging flowers at an upscale restaurant called Yerba Buena and she ventures into a romantic relationship with the married owner.

A simple twist of fate caused Emilie and Sara’s paths to cross at Yerba Buena—their connection is strong and undeniable. But their journey to love doesn’t run smoothly because the emotional scars they carry, and the hard decisions they have made, continue to tear them apart again and again.

Will Emilie and Sara follow their hearts so that they can have the love they truly deserve or will they allow their pasts and their deep-seated fears to lead them astray?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

It’s been ages since I’ve read a story that gave me all the feels and left me yearning for more. Yerba Buena is definitely one of those timeless stories that will break and heal your heart in equal measure. I love the fact that this story encourages readers to look within and ask themselves a few burning questions: Who am I? Where do I fit in with my family and friends? How do I find my place in the world?

I’m not ashamed to admit that I got really attached to Sara and Emilie because I could easily relate to some of their experiences and their relentless search for something more in life. This story is told from Sara and Emilie’s points of view and it was truly a gift to watch them grow as individuals while they did their best to come to terms with their pasts. Nina LaCour deserves the highest of fives for creating such an awesome and poignant story. I’m going to devour every book in her young adult backlist and I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Cons And Heads Up

This story contains moderate descriptions of drug addiction and overdose, child neglect, missing persons, death of loved ones and statutory rape.

The Conclusion

aprils favourite booksThere’s only one word that I’d use to describe Yerba Buena—Stunning! Once you turn the first page of this unforgettable coming-of-age romance, be prepared to be blown away by Nina LaCour’s brilliant writing! Yerba Buena is a character driven story that focuses on dysfunctional and strained family relationships, race, class, sexuality, trauma, loss, grief and new beginnings. This is the perfect novel for anyone who enjoys stories that will take them on emotional rollercoaster rides.

Excerpt from Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

“That’s where Jacob and Emilie sit in the mornings,” Megan said. “Let’s move to the back.”

A thrill coursed through her, to be recognized this way, to be mentioned by name even though most of the people there wouldn’t even know that the woman quietly arranging flowers was the one they were moving for.

Then a voice she didn’t recognize said, “We can go straight to the bar actually. I’ll go over everything there.”

Emilie turned toward her, but the stranger was already leading the others out of the main dining room. Emilie walked past them all a little later on her way to throw away the first batch of clipped stems and discarded branches. The woman—tall and slender with short blond hair, so attractive that Emilie blushed—stood alone behind the bar while the others watched her mix and pour. Some of them took notes.

When they filtered back into the dining room, the woman stopped next to Emilie.

“I’ve never seen ferns used this way,” she said. “They’re so strange with the peonies. Beautiful strange, I mean. I never would have thought of putting them together. Do you mind if I touch them?”

“Go ahead,” Emilie said.

“These were all over the place where I grew up.”

She watched the woman trace their edges, felt an overwhelming closeness, like this wasn’t about ferns at all, like she was touching Emilie instead. How intimate it was: The single fact about her life. The curve of her cheekbone, up close. The blond tips of her eyelashes. Tiny freckles across the bridge of her nose like the specks of pollen Emilie discovered on her clothing after work sometimes.

She turned to Emilie. “I’m Sara.”

Emilie felt her blush giving her away but managed to extend her hand. “I’m Emilie.” Sara’s shake was firm, her hand soft, but there was something else, too. Something in the way they fit together, palm against palm, that made Emilie not want to let go.

“Oh,” Sara said. “The Emilie who sits with Jacob.” They dropped each other’s hands.

She wanted to deny it but couldn’t. Wanted to say it wasn’t like that, didn’t mean anything, but what did it actually mean?

“It’s all right, I get it,” Sara said.

Emilie watched Sara say goodbye to the others. Saw her laughing with Megan about something, taking an envelope from Jacob. She breezed past her but then stopped at the door. “Nice to meet you, Emilie,” she said, lifting a hand to wave, and Emilie felt herself blush again, wanted Sara’s hand in hers again, caught sight of a cluster of tattoos on the inside of Sara’s forearm—words, she thought—and wished she knew what they said.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9781250810502

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Nina LaCour Online


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