Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

Opening Line: They rode together up the hill. Blue of trees and sky outside, groan of brakes, a current between them.

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour Cover Nina LaCour writing adult fiction? Sign me up! I started reading Nina LaCour when I was still a teenager, and it’s nice to have her graduate to adult writing as I have graduated to adulthood. Holly Black recently did the same thing, as well as Leigh Bardugo, and it’s cool to see some of my favorite authors from my teenage years now writing fiction for adults. Which gives me even more reason to read them. Not to say I have given up on reading books about teenagers entirely. Some authors like Marie Lu and Rick Riordan I just have to keep reading no matter what, but sometimes it’s refreshing to see an author I’ve been reading since I was 13-14 write something with a different audience in mind.

Yerba Buena tells the story of Sara and Emilie, their lives both before and after they meet, and everything in between. There are plenty of minor characters who join them, and it was easy to get to know them. Sometimes in books I find it hard to get to know the minor characters, but in this book, I was able to remember and recall details about them whenever I needed to.


Nina LaCour
Nina Lacour, picture taken from the Hamline University website

This book was really good. Something about LaCour’s writing always reminds me of being wrapped up in a blanket on a cold day, and this was no exception. The stories of Emilie and Sara are woven together perfectly, with just enough backstory and build up that they feel like full fleshed out people before they even meet. Once they do, the story effortlessly continues with details about their lives both together and apart as the world around them continues to spin. Sara deals with family issues involving her father and younger brother, Spencer. Emilie has to emotionally let go of some things in order to move on and do what’s best for her.

My only real gripe with this book is that I was so much more interested in Sara’s story for the first 100 pages or so. I couldn’t get quite as into Emilie’s narrative and found myself counting pages until I was going to be back with Sara’s story. That being said, it didn’t actually make the story any less enjoyable, it was just sort of something that I noticed in the first third of the book. Sara’s story was just so compelling, that Emilie’s simply was unable to keep up. Still a wonderful read, and I definitely recommend it.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Review by Catherine Nevin

This book is available to Friend Memorial Library patrons.

Goodreads – Yerba Buena

Goodreads – Nina LaCour

Cover photo taken from