cover image Eight Nights of Flirting

Eight Nights of Flirting

Hannah Reynolds. Razorbill, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-34975-5

Jewish high school junior Shira Barbanel’s plans to woo her crush go awry in this spirited Hanukkah rom-com, a standalone companion to Reynolds’s The Summer of Lost Letters. Shira and her extended family spend every Hanukkah at her grandfather’s sprawling Nantucket estate. This year, she plans to overcome her previous “disastrous attempts at romance” and win over 19-year-old Isaac Lehrer, intern to her media CEO great-uncle. When bad weather strands her overnight with neighbor Tyler Nelson—Shira’s former crush, “who would hook up with anyone, except for me”—she asks him for flirting lessons. He agrees, in exchange for three career-oriented meetings with her great-uncle. As the rest of her family arrives and the festivities commence, Tyler conducts the lessons, and Shira’s old feelings for him resurface. While Shira’s awkward demeanor can sometimes feel stiffly rendered, Reynolds expertly strips away Tyler’s generic playboy charm to uncover a love interest worth rooting for. Shira’s bighearted Jewish family is also distinctly—and hilariously—drawn, and the group’s traditions, which include ordering Chinese food on Christmas, combined with Shira and Tyler’s endearing enemies-to-lovers romance, makes for a cheerful holiday jaunt. Characters read as white. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tamar Rydzinski, Context Literary. (Oct.)