So Much Closer

Follow your heart...no matter where it takes you.

Scott Abrams is the love of Brooke’s life. He just doesn’t know it yet. So when his family moves to New York City the summer before senior year, Brooke decides to take a chance and move in with her estranged father in NYC. This is her last chance to prove to Scott that they’re meant to be together.

But the city is full of surprises that Brooke never expected. Ever since a painful family trauma, she’s been closed off to her parents, to her friends, and even to herself. Now, inspired by the thrilling energy of the bustling and creative city around her, Brooke begins to discover a side of herself she never knew existed. And as she finds out, in the city that never sleeps, love can appear around any corner...

So Much Closer, by Susane Colasanti

Ordering

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Blurbs

Colasanti fans will love this. A fun exploration of a city and a teen’s dreams.

Colasanti has once again formulated a teen romance that feels realistic, which will make this novel a hit with readers.

Readers will fall in love with Brooke's New York City.

Reviews
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Colasanti was a high-school science teacher for 10 years before embarking on such popular novels as When It Happens (2006), Waiting for You (2009), and Something Like Fate (2010). Perhaps this accounts for the ease with which she captures teen language and behavior. Her latest is a bouncy, captivating example of the teenage romantic comedy. The fact that there’s a troubling backstory (heroine Brooke is a still-traumatized survivor of parental divorce) adds to the credibility of Brooke’s emotions and gives extra zest to her first-person narrative. The novel follows Brooke as she moves from South Jersey to a challenging high school in Brooklyn to be near her crush—who tells her, in their only conversation before school ends, that he is moving to Manhattan. Brooke’s hobby of origami is an enchanting metaphor throughout for her working with what’s at hand and coming up with something original. Colasanti fans, as well as those of Sarah Dessen and Lauren Barnholdt, will love this. A fun exploration of a city and a teen’s dreams.

Brooke, 17, is dissatisfied. Her relationship with her mother is strained, she is smart but feels no motivation to succeed in school, and she pines for a boy with whom she has never even spoken. When she discovers that Scott is moving to New York City, to the same neighborhood as her estranged father, Brooke decides that a change in her own life is also necessary. What follows is the bittersweet tale of her transformation from a suburban Jersey girl whose life is defined by her infatuation into a New Yorker who has new friends, plans for her future, and a better relationship with both of her parents. While not everything works out exactly as she had hoped, and not everything is fully resolved by the close of the book, Brooke’s story ends happily and with love. Parallels to Sarah Dessen are inevitable, but the narrative voice Colasanti has created is thoughtful and likable in its own way. The protagonist is enviably pretty, intelligent, brave, and, because of her workaholic father, has the freedom and money to run around New York City. But she is also self-deprecating and flawed. Colasanti has once again formulated a teen romance that feels realistic, which will make this novel a hit with readers.

Readers will fall in love with Brooke's New York City.

For fans of Sarah Dessen looking for an atypical romance and an authentic teen voice.

Readers who are floundering a bit in terms of what they want to do, who they want to be, and whom they want to be with will find their quandaries reflected in Brooke’s dilemmas. There is an avid readership for the wish-fulfillment of reinvention, and the authenticity of the perfect-fantasy-turned-not-so-perfect-reality will surely resonate.

Colasanti’s Manhattan is a teenager’s paradise, with late-night rendezvous at sandwich shops, rooftop hideaways and low parental involvement. The contrast between Brooke’s dull New Jersey town and life in the big city will resonate with teens craving a change.

This is my favorite Susane Colasanti novel, hands down, no contest. I have adored all four of her previous novels. She is one of my favorite authors. I also think she is probably the most inspiring person I have ever met. Her inspiration and passion comes through in everything. You can feel her energy when you meet her in person, you can feel it when you read her blog, and especially in her novels. You can just feel it.

So Much Closer swept me away from the first chapter. I could not put it down. Brooke's story captivated me. I connected with her. I haven't connected to a character on a level this intense in a very, very long time. Every page that I read there would be a quote, or several, and I would think "she is practically speaking to my soul!" I loved the passion for the New York City. I feel that same passion for that place. I remember being seven years old the first time I visited New York. I was walking with my mom on a street in Greenwich Village; I looked up at her and simply stated, "I belong here." My love for New York City has never died and with each visit I fall more in love with it. I can't imagine the energy and pure excitement I would feel, just like Brooke did, by just living there. Susane is the perfect person to write about the vibrancy of New York because she feels the energy, too.

I admire Brooke for her bold choices and following her dreams. Brooke changed me. I have pretty much always been ambitious, but after reading Brooke's story, I want to be more so. I want to be more everything. Every single day I want to work on achieving my dream. I want to focus on the things I KNOW I am meant to become and meant to do. I needed this inspiration. I needed the characters in this novel.

I was smitten with John from his first appearance. He made me smile, laugh, he pulled on my heart strings. His shirts were amazing. I know my friend Tricia and I will be making replicas of his shirts for our own wear. John was amazing. Sadie is just plain fabulous. 'Nuff said. Warm fuzzies? Totally brill. They would make me completely happy. Scott was written perfectly. The relationships were true and real. This novel has easily become one of my all time favorites. I actually want to read it all over again right this second.

This novel was flawless. From the breathtaking front cover featuring the High Line to every word written beautifully inside to the fun stripes on the spine. Flawless. This novel was flawless.

I would also love to try a hand at origami. I've always thought it was interesting. Brooke and Susane have inspired me in so many different ways. Beautiful. Truly beautiful.

Brooke has had a crush on Scott Abrams forever, but he barely knows she exists. When she finally gets up the courage to tell him how she feels, she's shocked to discover that his family is moving from their New Jersey suburb to New York City. Brooke is devastated—until she comes up with the perfect solution. She'll move in with her dad, who lives in the city, for senior year and track Scott down. And her plan works perfectly—she's practically Scott's neighbor in New York—until she discovers that Scott has wasted no time in getting himself a girlfriend in their new neighborhood. But luckily for Brooke, the city is packed with opportunities and she's not about to give up on having the year of her life.

So Much Closer is a fun, romantic, and endearing novel with a terrific setting. Colasanti describes New York vividly, with an eye for the unexpected details that really make the Brooke's neighborhood come to life with energy, and invites the reader right in. Brooke is a very dynamic narrator, and her narrative is very fun, relatable, and authentic. She's naturally smart and talented, but she's never been pushed to do well or pursue academic goals, which is frustrating to those around her. She's full of contempt for the school systems she has been through, but when she gets to the city, becomes friends with John (a cute guy who is driven but struggles academically), is pushed by good teachers, and inspired by her environment, she begins to grow and realize her foolishness in wasting her talents. This is a great coming-of-age story as Brooke not only finds Scott and figures out what it's like to get what you want and discover that maybe it’s not all that you had hoped, but as she also deals with her parents' divorce and her feelings about it and finds her passion in life.So Much Closer is an unexpected, funny, and real novel that is charged with energy and life. Once again, Colasanti doesn't disappoint.

Susane's fifth novel is a funny, relatable, daring book about a girl who does whatever it takes to get what she wants. I was already in love with the book after reading the first chapter, but after the third, I knew I was in heaven. I related to Brooke in so many different ways, it was exhilarating. We have similar home lives, outlooks on life, and even similar dreams to chase after. In my review of Susane's fourth novel, Something Like Fate, I said that the book made me want to change my life. While that was true, So Much Closer has motivated me in even more ways.

The story is fast paced, with many well-rounded characters. I loved how different John was, especially his awesome shirts. He has such an interesting outlook on life and a huge love for his city, New York. I loved every scene he was in.

I truly cannot think of a single thing in this book that I did not enjoy, and that is usually a hard thing to say! I think I might even go read it again...

Brooke has loved Scott for years, but it isn't until the end of their junior year that she gets up the courage to tell him. This is going to be it—they'll have the entire summer together and then senior year as well—except before she gets the chance to make it all happen, she finds out that Scott is moving to New York City. The combination of always having dreamt of one day living in the city and knowing deep down that her and Scott were meant to be together drives Brooke to a radical decision—to drop life as she knows it and go live in the city with a father she has refused to talk to since she was a child. Despite the obstacles piled up against her, Brooke is determined to make her dreams come true. So when she gets everything she's always wanted, she doesn't understand why it doesn't seem to be enough. But she's going to learn that sometimes, you don't know what it is you truly want until it finds its way to you.

loved this book. Brooke is a fantastic character, someone who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it. In the first chapter alone I knew that she was the kind of person I could see myself wanting to be friends with and it made the book that much greater to read. But even better, she also had flaws which made her an incredibly well rounded and believable character throughout. The summary, which admittedly had me slightly concerned (the line about her following him to the city inspired a double-take), is in reality about SO much more. Anyone who has read Susane's other books won't be surprised by this—she has a way of writing stories that seem to focus around finding true love but always include so many other things, primarily finding yourself and who you'd like to become. In So Much Closer, Brooke finds out a lot about herself, about her relationships with family and friends, and about what she's really looking for out of life. She meets a few wonderful people along the way who help to open her eyes and are there to remind her to always look up. There were just so many parts throughout the entire book, lines and quotes and passages, that had me going "yes, this is what it's about." I loved that. I loved the fact that I wanted to highlight all these little things so I'd be able to go back later (although I obviously couldn't do that since it would be defacing the book—sigh). I guess that means that I'll just have to go back and read it again. Honestly, I can't wait.

Brooke knows that Scott is the ONE for her…he just doesn’t know it yet. So when he moves from their suburban town to New York City, she follows him. Living with a father she hasn’t spoken to in six years and starting at a new school are hard, but things get even worse when she learns that he already has a girlfriend. In So Much Closer, Brooke discovers a new side of herself that will draw readers in to her and the magic that is this novel.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary YA novels, which delivered exactly what I expected from them. However, with Susane Colasanti‘s new novel, So Much Closer, readers will get a whole lot more than they expect if my opinion means anything. With a premise that has the main character dropping everything in her life to follow a boy who barely knows her, perhaps you expect that Brooke isn’t a strong female role model. I worried about this possibility too, but once I started reading this novel, I felt a lot differently about her and immediately became a fan of Colasanti’s writing.

As a character, there are a bunch of things about Brooke Greene with which I identified and appreciated. First, she has an inner confidence that I think a lot of teen girls lack, especially when it comes to guys. I mean, how many girls are prepared to tell their crush of two years that they’re meant to be together? In addition to her confidence, I am a big fan of her voice (who wouldn’t enjoy a teen who helps set up for a school event in an effort to be ironic?). Moreover, Brooke is one of the few angry/somewhat angsty teens that worked for me, perhaps because these feelings built up over the course of the novel, so it was easier for me to sympathize with them than it has been in the past. Finally, I loved that Colasanti created Brooke as a really intelligent teen because she’s one of the few YA characters written from this perspective that I’ve ever read.

As can be expected, Brooke isn’t the only character in this novel, and she most certainly isn’t the only one readers will grow to love. Two of the secondary characters who you’ll like most are Sadie and John. Sadie wears cat’s eye-shaped glasses, encourages Brooke to become a peer tutor, and teaches her about warm fuzzies and random acts of kindness. John makes Brooke laugh and helps her explore New York City. And of course, NYC is a character all its own, one that Brooke has always loved from afar and wanted to know better. Living there during her senior year of high school, the city helps her grow as a person just as much as her new friends do.

In addition to great characters and understanding of the teen voice, readers will appreciate Colasanti’s postmodern allusions to and inside jokes about pop culture. Between Scott and Brooke, The Office is a TV show that unites them…once Brooke has a weekend marathon that is…and permits several inside jokes that the audience may or may not understand. Next, John’s enthusiasm for the movie Office Space creates some ironic humor for those readers who have seen it. Both of these examples–and others–demonstrate Colasanti’s belief that culture creates and solidifies social bonds. At the same time, however, they help to solidify the bonds between the novel’s characters and readers, who may have to have their own weekend long marathons or are already familiar with these references.

Whether you love character and setting-driven novels or are a fan of pop culture, So Much Closer will open you up to a whole new world of YA possibilities and make you want to get so much closer to the rest of Susane Colasanti’s oeuvre.

I've always wanted to read one of Susane Colasanti books, but never seemed to get around to actually reading one of them. All the stories sounded fantastic and finally I picked up one of her books. It sat on my bookcase for a bit, but once I picked So Much Closer up and started to read it I could not stop. So Much Closer was all it took for me to love Susane Colasanti's writing. Now I know for sure I will be reading every single one of her books with no hesitation.

Where do I even begin to tell you how beautiful this book is? So Much Closer is about a girl named Brooke who seriously believes she is in love with Scott Abrams and that they are meant to be together. She has this feeling she calls The Knowing and The Knowing has never been wrong before so why would it be wrong now? The only problem is they never actually had a conversation and um he's moving to New York City. Bad luck eh?

The moment I started this book I loved the main character Brooke. Brooke is a really well developed character who you learn as you read doesn't trust people well and she has her reasons. She doesn't really give a crap about school or her grades which you learn why towards the middle of the book. There is a lot to Brooke you don't realize. She's a bit cynical from the start, but as she learns to trust certain people and realizes there's more to life than just Scott Abrams she becomes this amazing person who sees the world differently.

Scott Abrams is the guy of Brooke's dreams. She is madly in love with him and in some ways I could understand why. The more Scott is around the more you like him. He's cute and all but he wasn't really an amazing character. And once certain things between him and Brooke occur he kind of just falls flat as a character, which in all honesty was perfect because it leads up to an amazing ending and amazing things for Brooke. Not that Scott is a bad character because he's not I like him he's just not one of those characters who you learn a who lot about personally. And to be honest Scott got pushed aside because of John who had my heart the moment he was introduced. I mean how could you even think about Scott when such a guy like John was around?

John, oh John. This guy was defiantly my favorite character aside from Brooke herself. He has so much energy and he just blurts out the truth all the time and I love him. He is a huge part in the reason why Brooke finally sees certain things clearly and she becomes just a better person because of him. Any time John was around in the book I would always smile because his dialogue is the best. I did feel sorry for him while I read in some moments because of him not being able to keep his thoughts collected and the fact he works so hard to try and do so good, but his disease prevents him from being able to achieve what he can. John is a smart guy you really start realize the more you read about him. I loved reading as Brooke really started to see John for who he was because I was seeing the same thing along with her.

John wasn't the only character to really transform Brooke from who she was when we first meet her. Sadie who at first you have to wonder if she will be that annoying character actually turns out to be the awesome person you wish could be a friend of yours. At first Brooke finds Sadie seriously annoying and way to persistent, but then once she actually lets her guard down and hangs out with Sadie the two become inseparable. I loved it when Brooke would realize that even though she has a hard time trusting people there are still some people out in the world that you can let in completely 100% and trust.

I wasn't sure how I would like this book to be totally honest. I'd never read anything by Susane Colasanti before so I was just going off the lovely cover and interesting summary. I regret not reading this book sooner that's for sure or any book by Susane Colasanti for that matter. I loved this book and could not put it down. I had to keep reading until the very last page. I really wish I had another book by this author that I could read right now because I fell in love with the way she wrote and described everything so vividly. I felt as if I was in New York City seeing and admiring everything that Brooke was. This book was just beautiful and even though the reason Brooke goes to New York in the first place is for a boy she ends up right where she is supposed to be finding her path in life and true friends that will have her back for a lifetime. So don't go into this book just thinking its all about romance, because its not. It's about self discovery and learning to trust people, to trust yourself to achieve all that you can.

So Much Closer was a really beautiful story that started and ended with perfection. You will love reading about Brooke and her journey in New York City. I know I loved it and So Much Closer is getting 5 out of 5 stars from me. If you have this book sitting on your bookcase read it. If you don't own this book yet go and out and buy it now. This is a book that needs to be read. I can't wait to pick up another book from Susane Colasanti.

Sometimes Brooke just knows things, partly thanks to her excellent memory. But sometimes she just knows for reasons that have nothing to do with that.

That’s the way it is with Scott Abrams. Brooke is certain that they are meant to be together. The only problem is Scott doesn’t know it yet. And also that he doesn’t really know Brooke. His moving away to New York City the summer before senior year doesn’t really help either.

It’s risky and kind of crazy, but Brooke knows that this is her chance. She can follow him, she can tell him they’re meant to be together. It’s her last chance. It has to work.

New York isn’t what Brooke expected and neither is Scott Abrams or any of the people she meets at her new school. Brooke moved to New York City for Scott Abrams. Will she wind up staying for herself?

So Much Closer is Colasanti’s fifth novel and her own personal ode to the city that never sleeps.

This is a story about a girl who pinned all of her hopes on a boy and has to figure out what to do when that boy might not be the right one. It’s a story about New York City. It’s a story about finding out that the things you want aren’t always the best for you.

There are a lot of romances out there and a lot of books about New York City. Colasanti looks at both with fresh eyes to create a story that is as vibrant and as vivid as its setting. So Much Closer is a splendid book filled with quirky characters, an evocative story, and writing that is funny, sharp and absorbing.

Videos

Here’s the So Much Closer book trailer! I love the building stripes and that one sparkly blinking light…

In this video, I discuss my inspiration for So Much Closer.

Playlist

Enjoy on Spotify.

1. "Empire State of Mind Part II" - Alicia Keys
Some readers have told me that So Much Closer feels like a love letter to New York City. I totally agree! And "Empire State of Mind Part II" is a powerful love song to NYC. Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty. No place in the world that can compare. This song makes me happy every time I hear it. It expresses how amazing the energy is here, how tons of artists come here to turn their dreams into reality, how there's this feeling that anything is possible. New York has the power to transform your life into the one you've been searching for, which is exactly what Brooke discovers after she makes New York her new home. There's nothing you can't do. Now you're in New York. Preach it, Alicia.

2. "Second Chance" - Shinedown 
Brooke's decision to move away right before senior year is controversial. It seems like Scott is the reason she moves at first. But she later realizes that he was just a catalyst. Brooke's mom would never understand her real reason for leaving. Her dad is surprised that she wants to live with him after not even seeing him for so long. Despite no one understanding her decision to rip her life apart, Brooke knows that it's the right choice. She has to leave everything behind to finally discover the person she's going to become.

3. "Better Than Me" - Hinder 
It breaks my heart when people who love each other can't be together. Or when people who want to be together have baggage that becomes too heavy to carry. Or like in So Much Closer, when one person thinks they're not good enough for the other. Scott is really conflicted about being with Brooke. He loves the way she sees him, but he doesn't feel like he can live up to her expectations. Trying to be the person she adores is too much pressure. Scott could relate to this song about feeling like you're not good enough.

4. "Break Me Out" - The Rescues 
"Break Me Out" inspires you to explore life beyond the confines of your comfort zone. It's easy to become so wrapped up in routine that you don't realize how much you're missing. When you feel beyond stuck in your life, when you need to create a new reality before the old one suffocates you, this song inspires. So Much Closer is about taking taking that kind of huge risk, even when it's scary, because you know there's something better on the other side.

5. "Strange Currencies" - R.E.M. 
Back in college, there was a boy I was obsessed with. I thought that if I could only find the right words to tell him how I felt, he would realize we were meant to be together. That's just how Brooke feels about Scott. And how John feels about Brooke.

6. "Train in the Distance" - Paul Simon 
Train tracks have always symbolized endless possibility to me. The idea of getting on a train and discovering exciting places inspired teenage me. There are so many places to explore, so many places you can make your new home. There is an inifnite amount of happiness in the universe. Go out and find yours.

7. "The City Lights" - Umbrellas 
There's just something about city lights. I've always loved them - their bright colors, their calming glow, their bokeh effect all blurry in the background. Growing up in the country, there weren't many lights around. City lights are yet another thing I appreciate about living in New York City.

8. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey 
This was my anthem in high school. Books and shows and music saved me. But what saved me even more was the hope that I would one day be living my ideal life. I held on to that hope and refused to let go, even when it felt like I wouldn’t survive. Whenever I felt like this life thing was just too hard, I'd play "Don't Stop Believin'" and instantly feel better. This song helped me believe that things would get better one day. It still makes me happy every time I hear it. And I'm thrilled that Glee did a cover of it for a new generation of friendly neighbors to enjoy!

9. "Skyway Bridge" - Melissa McClelland 
I adore you. I want to follow you.

10. "Hey There Delilah" - Plain White T's 
This song takes me right back to when I moved from Philadelphia to New York for grad school. My first apartment was the approximate size of a postage stamp. The building was a converted women's hotel and my kitchen was a former closet. You had to twist your arm around to get the water jug out of the refrigerator because the refrigerator door wouldn't open all the way. That place was ridiculously overpriced, but I didn't care. I lived in Chelsea and walked to NYU. I was surrounded by everything I'd been imagining for so long. The excitement of starting my new life was a kind of energy I lived on.

11. "Baker Street" - Gerry Rafferty 
New York City has had an intense pull on me ever since I discovered Late Night with David Letterman when I was 12. But I didn't make a definite plan to live here right away. New York felt like a fantasy world. Like this unattainable dream that would always be impossible for me to achieve. Those times in high school when it felt like my real life would never start, "Baker Street" helped me keep hope alive. When you wake up it’s a new morning. The sun is shining it’s a new morning. You’re going, you’re going home.

12. "Angeles" - Elliott Smith 
"Angeles" evokes a strong sense of wanting something so badly you'll do anything to make it happen. Reinvention. Renewal. Chasing the dream. Taking a chance. Risking it all. All your secret wishes could right now be coming true.

13. "A Heart in New York" - Simon & Garfunkel, The Concert in Central Park
The ultimate love song to New York City.

Tour

On the So Much Closer blog tour, I shared ten New York City places and things from the book. If you're planning to visit, you might want to check some of them out!

Day 1 - Alley of Books

Day 2 - Mundie Moms

Day 3 - Green Bean Teen Queen

Day 4 - The Story Siren

Day 5 - Frenetic Reader

Day 6 - The Book Scout

Day 7 - The Book Girl Reviews

Day 8 - The Compulsive Reader

Day 9 - Pop Culture Junkie

Day 10 - The Truth About Books

Excerpts

The Susane Colasanti Sampler includes the first four chapters of So Much Closer.

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