Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
“I know you miss him. But Joy, Zan didn’t die.”
(Smith, Emily Wing. Back When You Were Easier to Love [uncorrected galley]. New York: Dutton, 2011.)
Joy’s boyfriend Zan is gone and things just aren’t the same without him. She and Zan’s ex-best friend Noah take a road trip to find Zan and get some closure, which for Joy means winning him back.
I really loved this book. It was a fun, clean read with a fabulous voice. And I think I really enjoyed reading a book with a main character who is a Mormon growing up in Mormon Utah. The culture is really a world all its own, and Emily Wing Smith did a great job at painting that picture. Another thing I enjoyed about that aspect was that the Mormonism wasn’t the key focus of the story. It was just the setting. Joy’s beliefs reflected the fact that she was Mormon (like she plans on waiting until marriage to have sex), but it wasn’t beating me over the head the whole time. It wasn’t preachy.
Another thing that was well done in this book is that it captured the “woe is me, my boyfriend is gone and I miss him” teenage thing without being too annoying or obnoxious.
This was a fun chick lit book, and I totally recommend it. Finally one of us Mormon YA authors writing about a Mormon main character in mainstream fiction. And Emily Wing Smith does it perfectly.
*news about back when you were easier to love*
Agent: Michael Bourret from Dystel & Goderich
A Page from Emily Wing Smith’s Book: She does a fabulous job writing a character who has religious morals/beliefs that are a part of the character but that don’t come off sounding preachy.