What story has defined your summer? Climbing mountains? Exploring an urban jungle? Maybe a new job complete with colorful characters? There’s something about this time of year that sets it apart from the rest – the days are longer, and with those hours come endless opportunities.
There are plenty of stories to behold in the pages of books as well. In case you’re still looking for some summer reading, here are some seasonally appropriate recommendations before we come back to school.
Ernest Hemingway’s That Dangerous Summer
“In this vivid account, Hemingway captures the exhausting pace and pressure of the season, the camaraderie and pride of the matadors, and the mortal drama as in fight after fight the rival matadors try to outdo each other with ever more daring performances. At the same time Hemingway offers an often complex and deeply personal self-portrait that reveals much about one of the twentieth century’s preeminent writers.”
Richard Cox’s The Boys of Summer
“In 1979, a massive tornado devastates the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, leaving scores dead, thousands homeless, and nine-year-old Todd Willis in a coma, fighting for his life.
Four years later, Todd awakens to a world that looks the same but feels different in a way he can’t quite grasp. For Todd, it’s a struggle to separate fact from fiction as he battles lingering hallucinations from his long sleep.
The new friends Todd makes in 1983 are fascinated with his experience and become mesmerized by his strange relationship with the world. Together the five boys come of age during a dark, fiery summer where they find first love, betrayal, and a secret so terrible they agree to never speak of it again.”
Sarah Dessen’s That Summer
“For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture…”
Sue Halpern’s new release Summer Hours at the Robbers Library
“For head librarian Kit, the public library in Riverton, New Hampshire, offers what she craves most: peace. Here, no one expects Kit to talk about the calamitous events that catapulted her out of what she thought was a settled, suburban life. She can simply submerge herself in her beloved books and try to forget her problems.
But that changes when fifteen-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary. The judge throws the book at Sunny—literally—assigning her to do community service at the library for the summer. Bright, curious, and eager to connect with someone other than her off-the-grid hippie parents, Sunny coaxes Kit out of her self-imposed isolation… As they come to terms with how their lives have unraveled, they also discover how they might knit them together again and finally reclaim their stories.”
Stephanie Perkins’ Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
“Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake… Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.”
Brian Sloan’s A Tale of Two Summers
“A ten-year best friendship is put to the test when Chuck and Hal spend their first summer apart falling for two questionable mates: a sexy Saudi songstress and a smokin’ hot French punk. As Chuck heads off to summer theater camp and Hal stays in their hometown, learning how to drive, they keep in touch via blogging, reporting to each other about their suddenly separate lives and often ridiculous romantic entanglements. As both their relationships take some unexpected turns, Hal and Chuck struggle to come to terms with their growing differences…”
Jen Malone’s Wanderlost
“Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.
Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.”
Jim Lynch’s The Highest Tide
“One moonlit night… Miles O’Malley sneaks out of his house and goes exploring on the tidal flats of Puget Sound. When he discovers a rare giant squid, he instantly becomes a local phenomenon shadowed by people curious as to whether this speed-reading, Rachel Carson obsessed teenager is just an observant boy or an unlikely prophet. But Miles is really just a kid on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting away from him.”
Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer
“Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.”
Michel Rabagliati’s Paul Has a Summer Job
“Paul Has a Summer Job continues the story of Paul, a Quebecois teenager in the 1970s, as he experiences the first conflicts of responsibility with his desire to be free. Paul is outraged that he is forced to stop his high school art training. But he’s been asked to put art aside because his other grades are so terribly low. Defiant, he quits school and anticipates a summer of leisure. But instead Paul follows the path of so many Quebecois teenagers: he lands a job as a counselor at one of the many summer camps in the mountains outside the city. There he finds himself guiding a motley band of kids, misfits and troublemakers, much like himself.”
Check out Goodreads.com to find more good books!