04 Jun 2009

YA Summer Reading List

I never attended a school that offered a summer reading list.

(That is probably the nerdiest thing to be upset about. Ever.)

So if you’re into young adult lit, here are my summer-y suggestions for you!

(Sorry if it’s a little girly… I couldn’t help myself!)

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

If you haven’t met Remy and Dexter yet, now is the perfect time. My all-time favorite Dessen book, takes place over the last summer before college, where everything could stay the same for hard-headed Remy, or everything could change. I love this book.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

This book is everything you need in a good summer read – plucky narrator, unique setting, a tiny bit of romance (not TOO much) and football. This book will surprise you… but in a good way. I’m holding my breath until book #3 comes out in October!

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

May, Brooks, and Palmer are three sisters divided by their father’s death. Doesn’t sound like much of a fun, summer read, but I promise you, these three sisters will get under your skin. They are three grieving sisters, yes, but Johnson’s wit keeps things strangely fun, and there are enough hijinks and feel-good moments to lift the gray cloud a little.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Liz is dead. Yet ANOTHER great, fluffy summer read, Jessica! But wait, wait, wait. This isn’t The Lovely Bones, beyond the grave narration. Liz is escorted from our world to the next, an alternate-universe where you age down from where you started, until reaching zero and starting anew in the Real World. As Liz navigates this new landscape, and learns to let go of the world she left behind, this book really is an escape from reality. And what more do we want from a good, summer book than that?

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

What’s more summer-y than a road trip with your best friend? Colin Singleton is an 18-year-old child prodigy who can’t keep a girlfriend – all of whom have been named Katherine – and when Katherine XIX dumps him after graduation, he has nothing left to do than hit the road with his hilarious best friend, Hassan. The two boys end up in Gutshot, Tennessee, where they go on all sorts of goofy adventures (interviewing crotchety old factory workers, pig hunting, exploring creepy caves) while Colin tries to form a mathematical equation that can predict how long relationships will last before they even begin. It’s 2 parts silly, 1 part serious, and 3 parts hot-sticky-summer-hilarious-fun.

Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn

San Francisco isn’t the warm and sultry California-Dreamin’ city that exudes summer, but Cyd Charisse’s life does exude Vacation. She’s been kicked out of her boarding school, for one, and her new boyfriend, Shrimp, is a diligent surfer, and her romantic, adventurous attitude makes her whole life seem like something entirely out of the ordinary. A treat. I preferred this book on audio.

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares

What book list would be complete without this series? I don’t need to summarize the plot – four friends, one pair of pants, yadda-yadda-yadda – but I will say if you haven’t read the series, think they are too cutesy or commerical, definitely give them a shot. They have a surprising amount of depth, and the settings are the epitome of summer. This book will take you to North Carolina, to Baja California Summer Camp, to a wretched summer job, and beautiful Greece. Best accompanied by the movie versions, imho.

Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

I double-dare you to read this book and not laugh really loudly in an embarrassing place. Which is why the beach is a great place for this book. The sound of crashing waves will cover them up nicely. This is not a book of particular substance, but of utmost hilarity, and amusing British slang. To this day, I occasionally announce that I have to visit The Piddly-Diddly department when I have to… well… you know.

Anyone have any suggestions for my summer reading list? When I’m not to busy re-reading those guys, that is 🙂

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