Every year I create Summer Reading lists for all ages, Kindergarten through High School. You can find them by clicking here. Friends and family usually start asking for this list around the 1st of May, and typically I finish/publish it the first week of June. For each grade level, I try and "star" some of my absolute favorites, ones that I think either have wide appeal, are outstanding books not to be missed, or simply ones that left such a remarkable impact on me that I can't imagine not sharing them with you.
All summer long, my own friends have been asking for reading suggestions, so I thought that I would highlight the titles that I have been recommending to them. Plus, I thought it better that I highlight these titles all in one post rather than consecutive posts that all said the same things...
Could not put it down!
In LOVE with this book!
I was seriously worried about sounding like a broken record and/or gushing like a school girl.
It goes without saying that I always recommend "Code Name Verity" and "The Fault in our Stars" with the caveat that you can no longer be my friend if you haven't read those. However, these were books that I highlighted on last summer's lists, so you should already know that they are "Must Reads."
This summer's "you must read these if you still want to be my friend" titles include:
"The Moon & More" by Sarah Dessen. No really, I would be gushing like a school girl over this book (and every title by Ms. Dessen. Okay, let's be honest, I've been known to gush like a school girl in her presence. Don't believe me? Ask any of my library friends...there are pictures to prove it). There is just something about the way that she writes that draws you in and makes you feel so much a part of what is going on. The entire experience is so real and authentic. As one review put it best, "it's just not summer without Dessen." AMEN! What I most love about these books is that I share a love of the author with my now 24 year old niece. Oh no, "teen books" are not just for teens.
"This is What Happy Looks Like" by Jennifer E. Smith. Last summer it was the author's "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight." This year, it is this perfect summer read. The set-up for this book draws you in, and the characters keep you reading. The sense of place is also very strong and will make you feel like you are there.
"Winger" by Andrew Smith. Wow! is about all I can say about this book. Seriously, I don't even know how to describe it. Other than to say that I couldn't put it down, and at 438 pages, that is saying something. This is not a light summer beach read, but it also feels like just the right story to read. It's reminiscent of Dead Poet's Society, but also in a league of it's own. Humor, and heart, and a story that will stay with you long after you read it. I dare you not to fall in love with Ryan Dean West by the end. (A good title for boys or girls).
"Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I am seriously in LOVE with these characters. If you were looking for a new book to take the place of TFIOS (not that anything could), this is the book that you want. But it is so much more than just a "if you like this, read that" kind of book. I can't even describe it other than to say that my heart still feels the emotional ride I was on with this book. Unforgettable.