Monday, July 20, 2015

The Perfect Fun, Light Reads for Summer

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Summer reading is so fun, isn't it? For me, it's the time of year to pick up every fun, outlandish, silly, dreamy title I've come across, settle into my favorite spot on my backyard swing, and read in the morning sunlight while my kids ride their bikes and play in the yard around me. Or it's the time to lay in bed at night, fan on high, messy hair up in a high ponytail, sweating glass of ice water on the night stand, and read something light and whimsical.

Doesn't that just make you want to drop everything and pick up a book and a pretty bookmark? Sighhh, all the heart eyes!

And I know I've said it before - YA fiction is my guilty pleasure. The intensity and emotion in the relationships, the time travel experience of remembering a simpler time we all took too seriously - the best! This Summer, I dedicated my reading to YA Romances, and I have enjoyed it SO. MUCH! Here's a shortlist of some great books to pick up on your way to the beach, or a picnic in the park:

YA Romances for Summer

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
This sounds a lot more scandalous than it is, but even with the level of deep emotion and sexual themes, I wished (and made it so in my head) that the main characters were at least a year older. But even with that little hiccup, the stories in this book are so, so dreamy and exciting. Overall, it's an incredibly interesting coming of age story, both with managing friendships and boys as you grow. Most of the story takes place on and around a beach, making this a great beach or vacation read.

Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
I love really unrealistic story-lines from time to time, as long as they make the details believable. This book started out really cheesy, but the longer I read, the more I liked it. It's about a girl, who seems to be the only girl in town who isn't obsessed with celebrity (of course), who talks about her experiences while a movie is being filmed in her small town. She gets mixed up with the start of the movie (imagine that), and the story is at times both exciting and frustrating. But if you need a fun, light read? This one is the best of the bunch for that.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
This one was probably my FAVORITE - it was so, so good. There was an arc in the plot I wasn't fond of - it was way too soap opera for my taste (and that's saying something, since I grew up on soap operas). But the situation between the main character and her love interest was PERFECT. And the boy was just a dreamy, perfect description of what you could hope for in a first love. Their relationship was so, so good. I loved it so much.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Okay, much of this book was too slow-going. Either the author is just too long-winded, or the main character is too cerebral, or both, but pages went by chewing on a single thought. Hilariously, there was even a point where the main character pointed out that she was putting too much thought into answering a question. But the storyline - a teenage girl setting out to complete a Summer bucket list left behind by her best friend who suddenly disappeared at the start of what was supposed to be their best Summer ever - was so, so fun. And the relationships she talked about along the way were super fun. This was a really great book - I wasted away much of my days reading it! Also, try reading this book without singing the Kelly Clarkson song every time you pick it up - I dare you ;)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
I haven't finished reading this one yet, but so far it has a really fun storyline. The main character is on a Summer concert tour with her best friend - a country music icon - and she speaks of their friendship before her friends' stardom, and now in the thick of it, as well as the relationships and hardships they have along the way. I can't wait to see where this one leads!

The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
This is the last book I have on my Summer list, and clearly, since we're only in mid-July, I flew through my list a little too quickly! I have this ready to be picked up from the library, so I haven't started it yet, but it has a similar dreamy plot to that of Catch A Falling Star in that one of the characters has a Summer relationship with a boy they suspect is a movie star that's concealing his identity. It's cheesy, but I'm looking forward to it!

Worth mentioning - I intended to save a couple books for the Fall that I already devoured while I was waiting for library books to come in. They are To All the Boys I've Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. SO good! They were didn't-want-to-put-them-down books.

I already having a growing list for what I'm going to read this Fall, and I just got a new YA newsletter in my inbox that I have yet to pour over, so I'll let you know if I find anything else that's worth the silly indulgence! ;)

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