Summer Reading Recommendations

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Summer allows me to spend more time relaxing and, therefore, more time reading! Here are some books that go great in the summertime. 

1. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

There’s a movie out by the same name, but read the book first. It’s short, and it’s adorable. It’s about the changing relationship between a young girl and a young boy. They each narrate their side of the story as every chapter switches between whose perspective it is. In the beginning, Juli Baker falls head over heels for a boy who wants nothing to do with her, Bryce Loski. But as time goes on, things just sort of flip.

2. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Lindsey, we get it! You love this book! Move on! I’ve mentioned this book a dozen times on my blog (like in my My Favorite Books of All-Time post and my Ten Things I Can’t Live Without post). What can I say, this book is magnificent. It goes deeper than your average summer read, but because of its beautiful writing, it’s perfect for summer. It instills a feeling of liberation and femininity which is just how I want to feel come warm weather.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Unless you have to read this at a certain time for school, I recommend reading this during the summer. The story is set in the summer, first of all. The glistening parties and love story that takes place within F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glowing pages will have you wanting to spend your nights dressing up and going out or lounging in a bubble bath.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

If there ever was a perfect summer read, this would be it. I mean, this is the perfect book in general, but the setting- a private island off the coast of Massachusetts- screams summer. The book also only takes place during the summertime. The prose is poetic, the plot is compelling, and the twists are juicy. There’s a love story, a mystery, and some beautifully phrased lines. I cannot recommend this enough as it is my favorite book of all time (proven by its appearance in My Favorite Books of All-Time).

5. The Girls by Emma Cline

This story also takes place during the summertime. It’s Manson-esque as it follows a teenage girl’s discovery and participation in a cult. Initially attracted to the freedom and carelessness of the cult, the protagonist becomes enthralled in everything it has to offer. Mention freedom and carelessness, and I’m sold.

6. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

This one is a lot cheesier and simpler than We Were Liars, but it is by the same author. This is your nice beach read that won’t make you tear up. You’ll appreciate the friends you have since Ruby Oliver, the protagonist of the book, has very sucky friends. It’s about how Ruby Oliver ended up needing a “shrink” because, within ten days, she lost her boyfriend, lost her best friend, lost all her other friends, and had a panic attack. It’s your average funny story about the horrors of high school.

7. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

In my mind, if the story is set in the summer, it shall be read in the summer. I love the story of Lily Owen who runs away from her abusive father and into the arms of a group of African-American women. This one is a tear-jerker as the story has some twists and takes place is the segregated South. It’s all about female empowerment and self-forgiveness, which I am all about.

8. You Only Get Letters from Jail by Jodi Angel

I love this book because it has some incredible phrasing. It’s a collection of short stories from author Jodi Angel. The stories have nothing in common except the fact that they are told from male perspectives. The boys in these stories face disappointments and shortcomings which helps the reader sympathize, and therefore trust, people she or he might not have originally believed. I think no summer is complete without reading a collection of short stories, so here’s one I like.

9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

There’s a movie out on this one, too, but I still haven’t seen it. The book was pretty realistic and simple, which I enjoyed. It’s not your stereotypical, cheesy, fantastical story. It’s instead very authentic. Here’s just a boy who likes to make terrible movies and reconnects with a girl who has cancer.

10. Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen

Here’s a nonfiction one for you! What better way to prep a new school year then reading about how important it is to be yourself? This memoir depicts the experiment of teenager Maya Van Wagenen as she follows the advice laid out in a vintage popularity guide.

11. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

This is my favorite memoir ever, maybe even my favorite piece of nonfiction. I just found out that it is being made into a movie and coming out on August 11! Brie Larson is in it, and the trailer is so good. I think everyone needs to read this book before seeing the movie, so get a move on!

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