What books are on your reading list this Summer? Share your recommendations and most anticipated 2018 releases in the comments! Here are some of my favourite books to read by the beach. They are all easy reads that transport you to another place – perfect for when it’s too hot to set foot outside!
Dear bloggers and book lovers, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I know this time of year can be both relaxing and stressful, so I hope you are practicing good self-care. One of my favourite things about the holiday season is reflecting on the books I’ve read. I covered YA + junior fiction and adult fiction + nonfiction in two separate posts, since I simply had too many favourites this year!
TITLE: When Dimple Met Rishi
AUTHOR: Sandhya Menon
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2017
GENRE: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance
PAGE COUNT: 380
When Dimple Met Rishi is a light-hearted rom-com for anyone who’s ever questioned what they want from life. This book excellently portrays the dilemmas “new adults” face when leaving the nest, and explores generational relationships when cultural traditions are at stake. We even get a fab feminist protagonist to lead the way on this adventure. Continue reading
TITLE: Not If I See You First
AUTHOR: Eric Lindstrom
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Children’s
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2015
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT: 310
At the heart of Not If I See You First is a powerful message about disability, disbanding blindness stereotypes I didn’t even realise I believed. While I loved this representation, our fierce front woman, Parker Grant, is not the best developed character. Despite having some fantastic themes with plenty of potential, this book was hit and miss for me. Continue reading
TITLE: Salt to the Sea
AUTHOR: Ruth Sepetys
PUBLISHER: Philomel Books
RELEASE DATE: February 2, 2016
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
PAGE COUNT: 393
I tend to avoid the historical fiction genre because it’s never really gripped me in the past. However, Salt to the Sea is distinct from other historical novels I’ve read, using conventions of contemporary YA fiction such as fast pace and multiple first person points of view. With none of the verbosity and foot-dragging I used to associate with historical fiction, it is an engrossing quick read.
TITLE: If I Was Your Girl
AUTHOR: Meredith Russo
PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2016
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, LGBTQIA
PAGE COUNT: 280
If I Was Your Girl is a high school romance from the perspective of a transgender girl. While the writing and plot are forgettable, this novel is necessary because it gives young adult readers of any and all gender identities the chance to read trans experiences in relatable contexts. Besides the universal struggles of fitting in and finding true friends, If I Was Your Girl portrays a trans girl being the subject of romantic attention—going a long way to affirm that trans teens are equally deserving of prom proposals and a magical first kiss.
More Happy Than Not (2015) and History Is All You Left Me (2017) by gay YA author, Adam Silvera, are a perfect pair. Featuring realistic gay protagonists, they confront themes crucial to older YA readers including identity, sexuality, love, and loss. Silvera’s representation of mental illness is unflinchingly honest and raw. I may not be able to bid you “happy reading”, but I hope you will find Silvera’s writing as powerful as I did.
TITLE: This is Shyness
SERIES: This is Shyness #1
AUTHOR: Leanne Hall
RELEASE DATE: August 2, 2010
GENRE: Young Adult, Magical Realism
PAGE COUNT: 272
In the magical realist town of Shyness where the sun never rises, strangers Wolfboy and Wildgirl share a dangerous night of self-discovery and unexpected kinship. While Shyness is a vivid and interesting setting for this YA adventure story, I struggled to connect to the characters or the sense of stakes.
Wolfboy is a Shyness local. Wildgirl is on a mission to forget. When their eyes meet across the room at the Diabetic Hotel, they join forces and decide to see where the night takes them. As their backstories gradually unravel, their bond deepens, and the adventure heats up. Continue reading
TITLE: American Born Chinese
AUTHOR: Gene Luan Yang
PUBLISHER: First Second
RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2006
GENRE: Junior Graphic Novel
PAGE COUNT: 240
Fusing mythology with a contemporary coming of age story, American Born Chinese confronts Asian stereotypes and cultural alienation. These topics may sound heavy, but Yang weaves his story around these themes effortlessly, like a present-day Aesop’s fable while remaining fresh and fun.
Jin Wang is the only Chinese American at his new school. When the new kid from Taiwan tries to befriend him, Jin is scared that being seen with a FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) will destroy his chances of fitting in. Meanwhile, cool all-American teen Danny is scared his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee will ruin his rep with his popular crush. Continue reading
TITLE: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
AUTHOR: Becky Albertalli
RELEASE DATE: April 7, 2015
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, LGBTQIA
PAGE COUNT: 320
With surprising heart, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda teaches that everyone’s journey is valid and private. I grew invested in characters who represented many aspects of my teen experience, and taught me empathy for experiences beyond my own.
Until recently, Simon’s secret was safe with his online pen-pal, Blue. But when his classmate blackmails him with screenshots revealing he’s gay, falling in love with Blue over email gets a whole lot more complicated.