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Tag: summer

We Love a Good Summer Read

Summer is a fantastic time for reading. Even if you do not take a vacation out of town or have time off work, there is something about the season that lends itself to setting aside time for a few special books. I’ve mentioned before that planning my summer reading is an important process for me and I reached out to others who are equally enthusiastic. Today, four bloggers are sharing our plans for summer reading. Get your TBR lists ready because you’re bound to find something to look into here!

Dawn Abron
Dawn decided to go with a theme for her summer reading this year.

Dawn's Summer Reads

The Summer of Sequels

  • Ghostly Echos by William Ritter
  • The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Inquisition by Taran Matharu
  • Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Alicia Abdul
Alicia has arranged a collection of summer reads that range from newly-released short stories to centuries-old plays.

Alicia's Summer Reads

  • Broken Crowns by Lauren DeStefano
  • Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
  • The Crown by Kiera Cass
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (2015 Alex Award winner)
  • Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
  • Never Ever by Sara Saedi
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman
  • Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Thousand and One Nights
  • A few Shakespeare plays, including A Winter’s Tale
  • A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Summer Reading: Vacation Destination Books

Photo by flickr user george.bremer
Photo by flickr user george.bremer

It’s summertime! And if you’re anything like me, that means finding a spot to curl up with a cool breeze, a tall glass of something iced, and a stack of good books. Now, I don’t always match my reading to the season, but sometimes I like my books to feel like an extension of the atmosphere I’m experiencing, rather than an escape from it. Especially if I’m lucky enough to be on vacation (or happily anticipating one); sometimes I want to read all about other people having the same disruption to routine that vacations bring, living outside of their regular schedules. And sometimes, y’know, I just want to savor the season as much as possible: sun, sand, water, just-picked fruits and veggies – celebrate the many incarnations of a summer vacation with the following vacation-themed reading.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Destination: Private island estatewe_were_liars

This is the book that prompted  the whole list of summer destination-themed titles; I devoured it in a single sitting (with a pitcher of iced tea, natch) and upon finishing was, a) blown away by the plotting – avoid spoilers!- and b) immediately ready for absolutely everything in my life to be summer-themed, because the setting was so deliciously drawn. Cady, our protagonist, is returning to her family’s summer retreat on a private island after spending the last two years away. She is suffering from excruciating migraines and trying to reclaim the easy, uncomplicated rhythms of the vacations she shared with her cousins in summers past, but she’s hindered by memory loss. As the incomplete flashbacks of previous years on the island draw the mystery closer to the dormant truth, the pages go by faster and faster until the truly shocking finale.


this one summerThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Destination: Lakeside cottage

This is the first collaboration between cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki since 2008’s much-lauded Skim (a personal favorite and a 2009 Best Books for Young Adults top ten selection), and like that nuanced, thoughtful graphic novel, this nuanced, thoughtful graphic novel is equally beautiful, with pitch-perfect dialogue and a subdued palette awash in blues and purples. The fully-realized characters are visibly bubbling over with complex, rich emotions, their relationships displayed with all the hesitations and missteps of real life. The gorgeously rendered scenes are alive with all the details of small beach town life; the magnificence of plunging into the water on a warm day, the lazy delights of an afternoon indoors after too much sun, the importance of marshmallows at a bonfire. I swear I could hear the gulls while I read.


YA Recommendations for the Adult Skeptics in Your Life

by flickr user grenade
by flickr user grenade
With summer in full swing, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been attending my fair share of family barbecues, kids’ birthday parties, and other get-togethers. Aside from the usual commiserations over sunburns, bug bites, and other summertime hazards, the discussions usually turn to work.

While my close friends and family all know exactly what my job entails from listening to me enthuse endlessly over books and programs, I’m always amused at the reactions I get from those who are just learning that I’m a youth services librarian … and that I specialize in teen services. Aside from the general puzzled looks, I sometimes get the follow up question, “Does that mean you read kids’ books all day?”

Though most who ask this question seem excited and sometimes even a little envious until I confess that, no, that’s not part of my official job (sadly), there are a few who seem to view the idea with disdain. These are the adults to whom I then proceed to describe my job in enthusiastic detail, just before launching into a full-scale personalized book recommendation that I’m sure they were not at all prepared to accept. (Some days I truly love what I do!) I fully believe that no matter how skeptical someone may be about “kids’ books” that I can find a young adult book that will appeal to any adult reader. Sometimes, you just have to be a little sneaky about how you present the book to them!

Here are some example scenarios:


Mystery Reads for Summer

PoolsideI don’t know what it is about reading mysteries in the summertime, but it just seems right to me. I have always enjoyed sitting on a deck chair, poolside, and grabbing a good mystery out of my bag. I can smell the sun tan lotion and chlorine now…

One pleasant surprise, though, is when I crack the spine of my paperback and realize that the mystery I am reading is also set in the summer. It just makes it all the more enjoyable. If you’re looking for a good mystery set in the summertime for your poolside reading, check out these titles:

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Sun, Surf, and Love: Beach Reads

oceanSummer means throwing on a swim suit and hanging out at the beach or by the pool. I’ve always got at least two books in my beach bag. Summer is the perfect time to read something with a happily-ever-after ending. Here are a few of my favorite teen summer romances.

amy and rogerAmy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Amy’s life changes when her father dies in a car accident, her twin brother is committed to rehab, and her mother accepts a job across the country. Amy stays behind to finish up her junior year; she plans to drive to Connecticut. Her mother arranges for Roger, the son of a family friend, to take the trip with Amy. She’s also detailed a very strict itinerary. Before too long, Roger and Amy ditch the plan and do a little sight-seeing along the way.

The Au Pairs by Melissa de la Cruz (being reprinted this summer as Beach Lane)
Three girls from different backgrounds come together for the summer in the Hamptons as the au pairs for a super-rich family. Mara Walters wants to escape her life, Eliza Thompson wants to return to the Hamptons even though she’s no longer wealthy, and Jacqui Velasc wants to find the boy who broke her heart. Throughout the summer, drama wrecks havoc on their relationships.


All I Need to Know I Learned from YA Fiction: Summer Job Tips from Your Favorite Books

By now you’re probably tired of every adult in your life asking you what you’re doing this summer. You’ve gone around to your favorite stores two or three times and are finally coming to the stark realization that all the best mall jobs were snatched up some time in April by kids who have more job experience than you. And there’s no way you’re babysitting again. So it’s time to get serious and take some much-needed advice from the most trustworthy source around: young adult fiction.

If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Say you’re looking for fast cash the year before college and someone offers you $10,000 to help sail a boat from the Virgin Islands to New York City. What should you do? Just say no. The boat is clearly filled with drugs, and chances are you’ll end up in jail and won’t be lucky enough to turn yourself into a Newbery-Award-winning author later in life. —Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

Jobs that seem like the worst are sometimes the best. Not everyone has their pick of jobs, so sometimes you have to take what you can get, even if it sounds like pure misery—like working in a women’s clothing boutique run by your Barbie-esque new stepmother. But how do you know you don’t like designer jeans, the color pink, and the 9 o’clock dance party unless you at least try them? —Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

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Lighten Up! Hot Reads for Cold Days

Gray skies got you down? Indulge in a mental vacation with a book set in a sunny spot:

Death by Bikini by Linda GerberDeath by Bikini (2011 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults) by Linda Gerber

Aphra Connolly’s dad owns a secluded tropical island and a resort that caters to the rich and famous. Sounds sweet, but 16-year-old Aphra would like to be back in South Carolina with her friends. Most of all, she’d like to have her mother back; she disappeared four years ago.

Aphra is jolted out of her doldrums when she discovers the body of a rock star’s girlfriend on the beach. Cause of death: strangulation by bikini top. The crime coincides with the arrival of unexpected visitors who put Aphra’s dad on edge, including the Smith family and their cute son. When she investigates, Aphra is plunged into a high-voltage mystery in which no one is who he seems to be, and trusting the wrong person can be deadly. If you’d enjoy swimming near a coral reef or smelling tropical blooms at this time of year, pick up this fun suspense story.

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