By Clarissa Cruz
Updated September 29, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s an intriguing premise: What if your very first love was the one you’ve been destined for all along? Lisa Jewell’s charming protagonists are late-blooming hunk Vince and pretty Goth Joy, who meet as teens on a forced holiday with their respective parents. They fall madly in love, only to be forced apart by a misunderstanding. The pair embark on separate lives, falling in and out of relationships along the way, but what makes their story much more than a cutesy chick-lit tale is Jewell’s realistic, often dark portrayal of modern love. The story in Vince & Joy, populated with well-drawn characters, is ridiculously readable, too.

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