Sometimes it’s not about the politics, the strategy, the mechanical prowess. Sometimes it’s about a book that keeps you propelled forward, flipping pages, and giggling incessantly. This Labor Day I found myself without a care in the world and a beautiful sun in the sky. All I want is to sit down and read something light, fluffy, and a little wonderful out in the mild summer sun. Just in case you want to join me, here are five books I’ve read in one big gulp.
1) Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
I’ve seen this popping up in bookstores lately, so I thought I would highlight it. This is a girl’s throw away wonderful summer read at it’s best. It’s classic high school angst. Alex, the main man, is Cutie McCute. The dialogue made me laugh aloud, groan, and lunch-room-with-my-girlfriends-giggle. The best friend, Paco, is freaking hilarious.
Probably the best part is that mixed up with all this traditional young adult goodness is a healthy dose of racial tension. Don’t read this book to bust some stereotypes, that’s for sure. But that’s not why we like it, is it? Read this in one go and you’ll love it. Then maybe immediately pick up the sequel. I know I did.
2) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
If you’re a YA fan and haven’t heard of/read this book yet, you’ve probably been living under a rock. There’s a lot of hype over this and while I don’t think it’s all deserving, I really enjoyed the read all the same. It was cute and I ate it up. It has everything you could want in a quick YA novel – cute boy, cute girl, no parent supervision, and Paris. Done and done. You get to read about the main character dealing with the typical areas of boy trouble in Paris, boy trouble at home, Daddy issues, but you also get some neat dynamics of culture shock, of growing up away from your best friend, and how that can change everything without you even realizing it.
Sure, there are some parts that are a little hard to swallow -making friends instantly, flawless men with a jealous streak, lack of communication between friends – but that’s why this book is so good read quickly. The faster you read this, the better it is. The problems, especially with their families, are real and heartwarming. The characters are graciously mature and immature. It’s perfect for a summer day.
3) The Tightrope Walker by Dorothy GIlman
This isn’t the kind of book most people would think to put on this kind of list, but it works perfectly. This is a story about a young woman finding herself just as much as it is a mystery novel. This is one of those books that’s a blast to devour. The protagonist is amazing. She’s so incredibly believable and interesting in of herself; she comes across as a real human being that you want to learn more about. But Gilman doesn’t overload you with personality, she intricately intertwines the story, the mystery, and the characters effortlessly for one truly exceptional read.
I’ve re-read this book multiple times and it just keeps getting better. I honestly don’t think there’s a better heroine out there than Amelia Jones. Take this outside with you to the backyard with a lounge chair and don’t forget your sunscreen – you’ll need to re-apply because you won’t want to come inside until you’ve finished this book.
4) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Sometimes you just need some straight up young adult chick lit to read. When that’s the case, go ahead and pick this one up, because it’s darn good.
I’ve always struggled with these kinds of stories – you already know it, basically. You have a girl, she’s pretty (but doesn’t think she is) and all around good, super easy to relate to. She meets a boy that is, of course, gorgeous, one that every other girl is ga-ga for, but somehow, someway, he’s interested in the main star. You know what’s going to happen a mile away… but it’s still worth the read.
Well, first off, Macy, the main character, while she has all those predictable aspects, she’s also refreshingly clever. The conflicts that arise in this book aren’t just a result of teenage angst. It’s genuine and believable and as a reader decidedly older than the “young adult” category myself, still very helpful in putting life into some perspective.
Also, the supporting cast is fun and funny and heart-breakingly sweet. It’s a perfect page turner that will leave you feeling great with some good memories to boot.
5) Summer in the City by Robyn Sisman
This is a stretch to consider this book “Young Adult” but it has the fun, flirty feel we’re looking for in a read. My only qualm with the book was that I wasn’t ready for it to end. This book took me completely by surprise. I bought it because the back described it as being lighthearted and funny and, frankly, it has a gorgeous cover. I couldn’t be more pleased with my purchase. Sisman has a great wit and I understood the characters instantly. They were dynamic – as the characters interacted with each other, they grew, changed. Even though the plot line was predictable, it was still unique and well developed. Obviously, if you are looking for the the next great American novel you’re not going to find it here, but if you want well-written entertainment I highly recommend Summer in the City. I found myself unwilling to put it down; this novel was truly engaging and the perfect summer read.