Dessen’s books always take place across the summer. It’s a time for change, and for Macy she’s learning to lose control and enjoy spontaneity of life. The chaotic times at Wish Catering, not to mention the artistic Wes’s hopeful, sobering presence, show there is more to life than putting on the perfect face.
I wish I knew of a pair of pants that fit four differently sized girls, because then maybe I could have the awesome adventures and stories Brashares explores with Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget. The four girls split for vacations over the summer, and promise to keep in touch by mailing the pants back and forth and writing about the adventures they had while wearing them.
Matson’s title alone is perfection. “Epic Detour”? You know you’re bound to have fun on this road trip adventure. Amy’s mother relocates from California to Connecticut, and instructs Amy to bring the rest of the stuff in the car and drive across the country. Amy isn’t alone -- her mother’s friend’s son Roger accompanies her. The story is not a simple one though, as Amy wants to hide something in her past from Roger and her mother. Hop in the car and discover that secret.
Any John Green fan would love Paper Towns. Quentin admires Margo, but after a night of wild adventures, Quentin realizes there is something quite mysterious about her. Fun fact: John Green came up with Paper Towns by looking at maps and little towns at crossroads. In reality, some of those towns do not exist, hence the title. Neat, eh?
Are you a John Green fan but want to read in a girl’s perspective? Maureen Johnson, at your service. Prepare yourself for thirteen envelopes with instructions. First, spend the $1000 provided for a plane ticket. Second, go to the flat indicated in London. Third, find the starving artist. Fourth, travel to Scotland…and follow the rest of the adventure. If I were offered $1000 to buy a ticket for an adventure like that, I’d hop on a plane in five minutes!
Interested in something a little more deep in your adventure? Jerk, California is just the ticket. Follow Sam’s cross-country quest to discover his family history and inherited Tourette’s Syndrome. Live in the shoes of someone whose life is vastly different from your own, and yet so entirely relatable with its heartbreaking humanity.
Anyone who knows me in person knows that I could go on and on and on (and on…and on…) about “The Stat Prob of <3 @ First Sight” -- my somewhat shortened version of the original mouthful of a fantastic title. Seriously, this book is my dream life. Who doesn’t want to meet a cute British boy at an airport -- and then continuously run into him in London across 24 hours? Sigh. Read it. The pacing and characterization and growth and all forms of love in this piece is absolutely outstanding.
IF FANTASY ADVENTURES IN SWELTERING CITIES OR HAZY SOUTHERN TOWNS IS YOUR GLASS OF ICED TEA, TRY…
If you haven’t seen or heard the hype around the first Mortal Instruments movie, you’re living under a rock. And it’s time to get out. Because Cassandra Clare shaped YA fantasy, she proved you can have series after series of works that’s modern and edgy and contemporary and perfect. She deserves run-on sentences of praise! Meet Clary and Jace, Simon and Izzy, and Alec and Magnus as they search for the Mortal Cup in an attempt to bring the end to a Nazi-like destruction of the
Shadowhunter and human world.
Head south to Gatlin, South Carolina, for a magical experience. Lena is a Caster, a witch, and she has the ability to change the weather -- though she’s not quite sure how to control it, exactly. The fun part is that the story is told through a boy’s perspective. Ethan observes Lena, and they both want what the other has: Lena craves normality, Ethan wants individuality. But they both know that one thing stands in the way of Lena’s future: whether she will be claimed as a Light Caster and stay with her family, or a Dark Caster, wherein she’ll leave her home and her personality will completely change. A true Southern Gothic fantasy, and the first of a great series.
What if Beauty and the Beast is more your type? Beastly is a modern retelling of the fairy tale, only not through the girl’s eyes. Kyle, the Beast, will tell you every little bit of his misfortune, and how he goes about finding a way to break the curse.
Curley’s intense, time-traveling novel is the perfect fantasy adventure for any history buff. Ethan and Isabel travel through time to prevent the Order of Chaos from altering history and gaining power in the present. A plot twist around every corner, this is guaranteed to be an enjoyable read.
FORGET FANTASY, YOU JUST WANT ACTION AND ADVENTURE. YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT…
Some teens may think of school as a kind of prison. In Variant, it is. The students are constantly watched, Big Brother style with cameras everywhere and wire fences surrounding the property. Breaking the rules means death, but Benson quickly learns that following the rules is just as dangerous. He has to fight and escape to survive.
Nine seemingly-human people are hiding themselves amongst humans across the globe in I Am Number Four . If found, they will be killed. Numbers One, Two, and Three were found and killed. Four is next, and he tries to blend in without revealing any of his super-hero powers. Will he get to return to his home, Loric? Or will he be captured?
Where Things Come Back is a parallel story about one boy’s summer before his senior year and a missionary in Africa. Cullen’s normally boring town is put on the map when a neighbor rediscovers a species of woodpecker thought to be extinct. The town is flooded with media, but no one notices when Cullen’s brother goes missing. Meanwhile, the missionary in Africa has doubts in his faith, and attempts to find faith and miracles in everything to restore it. These seem like two unrelated stories, but just you wait -- they merge in unexpected ways!
YOU FINALLY HAVE TIME TO READ BOOKS WITH MEANING. THE CHARACTERS IN THESE BOOKS WILL TOUCH YOUR HEART…
Every time I think of CeeCee, I think of lazy Savannah afternoons, white fences, iced sweet tea, and slow, humid days. I think of the times CeeCee would visit her great-aunt’s friends and help out in their efforts to restore the historical homes in Georgia. Funny, heartbreaking, touching, and every bit Female Power, I treasure this book with my whole being. Read it.
Millay’s book has a similar effect. An emotionally fragile former piano prodigy meets a lonely , quiet boy who has lost everything. Two teenagers with dark pasts form strong relationship brighter than anything you could imagine, reaching into your heart and gripping it tight. So well written it puts you into a trance, this book is a must read for anyone who claims YA cannot be literary.
A big thank you and shout out to Abby Berger, Christie Crockett, Sam Dittmer, Melody Ekstrom, Amanda Foster, Cassie Justice, Hayleigh Kanzler, Amber Midgett, Martha Nobles, Cara Ringle, David Rodgers, Jaime Schwender, Josh Scott, Liz Sidley, and Hannah Walcher for their help! What are YOU looking forward to reading this summer?