I don’t get to read a lot during the school year—at least not nearly as much as I would like. Between writing and making sure I don’t completely suck at my job in edumacation, I often spend the months of August to May just building up lists and piles of books and dreaming of the day I can finally read them.
But SUMMER. Summer is when the reading happens! And this summer, my husband and I are taking our dream vacation to northern Italy—which means lots of time to read on planes and trains and on balconies overlooking piazzas. (Not that I've built this trip up in my mind or anything.)
I like to be organized, so I’ve already begun planning my summer reading, just to ensure that I allot this precious time to books I’ve been wanting to read but haven’t yet been able to. Yup, there’s totally going to be a folder on my Kindle titled FOR SUMMER 2015. (And before you start judging, YES I read on a Kindle. Who wants to haul 16 pounds worth of books across an ocean? My back wouldn’t thank me for that. Learn to take advantage of technology, people.)
So! Here’s the YA side of my summer reading list. Do me a favor and ask me in August how many of these I actually finished; I need to be held accountable for things. And if you get a chance, weigh in and share your own summer reading list!
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
AHHH!!! Brian Katcher has a new book out!!
Katcher’s basically an auto-buy for me. I’ve been saving Ana and Zak for this summer because plane rides are long and annoying, and I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to forget I’m on a plan while I’m reading this book. Katcher’s humor and character-building should be the perfect distraction from my husband whining about the fact that his legs don’t fit into planes anymore. (In his defense, they don’t. Apparently you have to be under five feet to fly comfortably now.)
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
DID YOU READ SHADOW AND BONE (THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIES) YET AND IF NOT HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE GET ON THAT RIGHT NOW.
That is all.
Seriously. I ended up staying up all night reading Shadow and Bone because…well, I think that one explains itself. Just do yourself a favor and dive into this series with me.
Love Spell by Mia Kerick
This book just came out, but I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. I love reading books that explore the complexity of gender identity, and this one looks like it’s going to do that through the lens of some fantastically fun characters and great comedy. Exactly what I need to distract me during airport layovers!
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Books in verse make me happy, and Jacqueline Woodson makes me happy, so there’s basically no way this one won’t be a winner. Also, this just won the National Book Award. So there’s that.
Spinner by Michael Bowler
This one’s written by Michael Bowler, who writes this prose that sort of just pulls me into a book…as such, I can’t wait for this read to come out on August 5th. But here’s the catch: it’s horror, and I do not do well with horror. It took me, like, six tries to finish watching Silence of the Lambs. Here’s what’s likely to happen: I’m going to start reading this, get sucked in, and then have to stop reading it eight times or so—basically whenever I begin having panic attacks. But I also won’t be able to stop reading, so I’ll get there eventually.
It’s good to step out of your comfort zone sometimes.
As long as I never run into Anthony Hopkins in real life.
Slaying Isidore’s Dragons by C. Kennedy
Sometimes you just need to have a good cry. Since I essentially sobbed from the beginning to end of Kennedy’s Omorphi, it’s a good bet that my tear ducts are going to get a generous workout during this one. I fell completely in love with the characters in Omorphi and then had my heart run over every single time they had their hearts run over.
Good thing that’s basically why I read books.
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
I swore off the dystopia/utopia genre after an unfortunate binge a few years ago, but I think I’m finally ready to come back. The first few pages of this book completely sucked me in, so I’m sure this will be a can’t-stop-reading book within a few more pages. I love DeStefano’s writing style: she captures description beautifully, and her world building shows such meticulous attention to craft.
Stand-Off by Andrew Smith
Technically this comes out in September, not the summer…but I had to put it on the list because I am so freaking excited that Andrew Smith finally wrote a sequel to Winger, one of my favorite books of all time. There’s going to be RyanDean, and rugby, and probably the same heartbreaking and hilarious prose and left me simultaneously crying and laughing all through Winger.
September 8th, do hurry. Oh, except that’s the end of summer. So maybe find a way to hurry and not hurry at the same time.