Akemi: The Boy in Black (2016)
15 year old Akemi Rose has signed a contract with Amira's doctor, John William, that prohibits him from killing her for a certain period of time. As the deadline draws nearer he scrambles to find a way to save her. However, the contract also states he is forbidden from revealing to her his identity.
Picture Us (2017)
Len, a lazy gamer eager to graduate and get high school over with makes an agreement with the infamous September Lemmons to let her be his wing-woman. After getting brutally rejected Len and September go on a "super fun adventure" and quickly realize there's no point in chasing their ungodly hot crushes when they have each other. However, there's something September isn't telling Len . . .
PRAISE FOR PICTURE US
A REFRESHING, UNFLINCHING TAKE ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN
Although this is a romance, it does not have all of the romantic tropes and cliches that I so adamantly steer clear of. Instead, this teenage romance is a breath of fresh air in the sense that it deals honestly with serious issues and never talks down to its characters or its audience. The characters are easy to root for and lovable. If you are looking for a romance with heart and characters who deal with their own humanity more than blind infatuation, pick up this book!
SULTRY AND SUSPENSEFUL
I have absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. The author has perfectly mastered the sexual and romantic tension that keeps the reader in a state of suspense. Not only that, but it was a brilliant comedic ride through the majority of it. I don't usually enjoy romance novels (I opt for more tragic and dark entertainments), but the interactions between the characters were so undeniably charming that I couldn't help but stick through it to the end. This book is the definition of a page turner. Anyone with a fondness for romance, enjoys quirky and pun-tastic charcters, or is for something sultry and suspenseful, please, look no further.
I LOVED THE JOURNEY I TOOK WITH LEN AND SEPTEMBER
Janejira Damron creates a relatable story through the book Picture Us. The book is seen entirely from Len's perspective. Len is a teenage boy who is new to the area and local high school. He quickly becomes friends with September, a vibrant young girl whose art speaks volumes. September agrees to be Len's wing-woman and aid him in starting a relationship with the girl he has a crush on. When both Len and September are rejected by who they think they love, they go on an adventure that teaches them that sometimes you don’t have to go looking for love because it's been next to you the whole time.
Picture Us created an immersive experience for me as a reader. The depth of descriptive writing the author used created a story that was easy to visualize and enjoy. Because of this, I felt like I was seeing and feeling the characters just as the author intended. I also did not feel like I had to work to visualize anything occurring in the book because the descriptions were easy to visualize, making the book much more enjoyable to read.
I most liked the multiple themes used within the book and how applicable they are to the teenagers and young adults this book was written for. Len and September immerse readers into themes like depression, anxiety, and sexuality. I enjoyed the book as a romance novel but thought the addition of these relevant themes made the book more realistic. Janejira Damron’s ability to shed light on tough subjects like depression and sexuality gives the reader a safe place to explore and learn these topics. Readers can enjoy a great novel while learning from the experiences the characters have. Learning about these topics is helpful to others going through similar situations by showing them that they are not alone. It is also beneficial for people who are not going through these situations because they can be a better support system for their friends and family members who may be feeling that way.
I found this book to contain an excellent balance between being insightful and an enjoyable read. The easy flow of the book made it clear the author edited thoroughly to create a polished story. I enjoyed this book a lot and can not find anything I disliked about the book. It would have been interesting to hear from September’s perspective, but it would not be necessary to fully understand the book. I could easily see an opportunity for a sequel that would continue Len and September’s story, although the book finishes nicely and does not require a sequel.
I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because of the excellent emotional journey it took me on. The themes are current and could be beneficial to a lot of people. I would recommend this book to young adults and teenagers because this age range is the ones dealing with these issues the most. The book does contain a moderate amount of language and minor violence but would be appropriate for teenage and young adult audiences. I loved the journey I took with Len and September and would enjoy taking another by Janejira Damron. Picture Us is full of hot topics and young romance that I think many people would enjoy reading.