This is my kind of summer reading! Part historical fiction, part sci-fi, part what if, all adventure. Seven very different members of their school’s “Operation Skywatch” club will be forever changed after a mysterious light lands in the woods, if they are ever seen again.
The best sort of historical fiction, The Degenerates is a page-turning story that is true to its historical roots. Based on actual documents from a Massachussets institution for “idiotic and feeble-minded youths,” four girls explore whether they can count on each other in a world they have never been able to count on for anything.
Like the Latin Quarter of Paris, with its narrow, twisting streets, this is a book I got lost in. And to have a blend of three genres—realistic fiction, mystery, and historical fiction—gave it depth and complexity. Alice and Adalyn captured my heart and their alternating stories held me captive--I had to stay with them until their two tales merged at the end.
Trying to write down all the reasons why I love this book is hard when all my words dissolve into heart-eyes. A book set across one night, with a scavenger hunt, rivals-to-lovers romance, and 'don't judge a book by its cover' type of message is my new, oddly specific, bookish kryptonite. Rowan is a Jewish teen who loves reading and writing romance, but keeps her passion a secret. I immediately empathized with her insecurities and loved seeing how she began to overcome them. I knew I'd love this tory from the start and was not disappointed.
Nick Bell is a character who truly stole my heart from the beginning. He’s funny, awkward, and unapologetically obsessed with the vigilante superheroes called Extraordinaries. Nick’s plan to make himself extraordinary is every bit as cringy and flawed as one might expect, but you gotta love his determination. This is a heartwarming and hilarious story that celebrates the differences that make us who we are. I am more than ready to read a sequel!
Like a mansion with many rooms, this twisty thriller kept me peering into the many subplots that together build an eerie mystery. Taking place on the Hamptons, the familiar NYC/Long Island vibe made this book feel real and immediate, as if it was written for us. A missing teen, an unreliable confession, and an overly enthusiastic podcast host make this novel the best summer thriller.
To be transported back to 1750s Austria in this historical fantasy novel and witness the musical life of Nannerl and Wolfgang was oh-so-fascinating. But then to be allowed into their other world—the Kingdom of Back—was just so tantalizing. It had a secret that kept me reading through the night. For fans of fantasy, but also a must read for all creative people, whether you’re a musician, artist, or writer.
As a lifelong fantasy lover and someone studying to be a professional violinist, this book was a must-read! It’s obvious to me that Marie Lu is very familiar with both the technical and emotional aspects of studying music seriously, making Nannerl Mozart’s ambitions and fears intensely relatable. It’s been a while since I’ve felt such a kinship with a character. A truly wonderful read!
The current public conversation on Black Lives Matter is poignantly experienced in this pageturner. Tracy’s father is on death row and now her bother is on the run from a murder rap. Both men are innocent but the legacy of racism runs deep in our society. The heart of this book is Tracy’s unrelenting hope even as messy friendships and alliances shift. Johnson does a superb job of giving us a hopeful but not unrealistic ending; don’t miss her note at the end.
This unique and unconventional story follows Sarah in 1950's rural America as her father hires a dragon to work their farm. What follows next is dragon worshipers, FBI agents, multiple universes, and one big prophecy. It's a classic Patrick Ness book, a little weird but incredibly exciting. If you're not yet convinced, here is my favorite quote:
"I'm just a girl."
"It's tragic how well you have been taught to say that with sadness rather than triumph."
— Lindsay A.
Taking the reins from Isaac Asimov, Vlahos propels us forward to current day science while asking the sometimes humorous, sometimes painful questions that explore what it means to be truly human. An essential new addition to the sci-fi genre, a rare thought provoking page turner gem I highly recommend.
I can always count on a fast-paced thriller from James Patterson. Centered around Hawk, a gritty teen from the futuristic streets of the City of the Dead, there's non-stop action with witty dialogue, perfect for a summer days' read!
When her father King Sendoa dies under mysterious circumstances, 16-year-old Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given an ultimatum, marry Prince Reynard, who underestimates her at every turn, or lose her kingdom. But Amarande is not your typical princess. Raised a warrior, she is determined to fight, especially after her stable boy and true love, Luca, is kidnapped. This is a swashbuckling YA adventure and a feminist take on a classic story, inspired by The Princess Bride. But this time, the princess rides to the rescue.
Zimmerman’s view of a tenth grader’s perception of her body, with 30H breasts – named Maude and Mavis, is witty, sensitive, and universally understood by any adolescent who hasn’t felt comfortable in their own skin. Hiding behind intelligence, losing friends, forfeiting activities like sports are understood by everyone. Read how Greer learns to love herself while coming to understand how others’ cope with their insecurities. A gem!
A charming cozy mystery set on an English estate in the 1800's. Murder abounds but the clues don't add up. Distracted by a handsome Bow St. Runner who is meant to solve the case, Sophia has dreams of becoming a detective herself -- a most unsuitable idea! Sweet and fun.
Lou is introduced to British socialites spending the summer at the Cardew House on an island close to her home in Penlyn. Never anticipating she will become more than just close friends to Robert and Caitlin Cardew, Lou is exposed to excessive wealth, alcohol, and extravagant parties. But there are also relationships challenged by race, gender, and class. Can Lou remain close to her loving, supportive family and maintain her new relationships….or are they a world apart? A page turner with allusions to The Great Gatsby.
Using date ideas straight out of romantic comedies, Saoirse and Ruby create a montage-worthy summer romance with all the fun and none of the heartbreak…maybe. This book is everything for me! Saoirse’s sarcasm and stubbornness hooked me from the start and had me laughing out loud more than once. I picked this one for the romance, stayed for the laughs, and left having read a nearly perfect story that reminds us how difficult yet vital it is to find people you can trust with even your most guarded fears and insecurities.
This is an ESSENTIAL gift for any young woman in your life. This comprehensive collection of instructions, tools, and projects will save you from having to call your dad and asking him questions on how to fix anything. Not only is it a great reference guide, it has 15 profiles of Fearless Builder Women of all ages. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to make space on my bookshelf for this!
— Lindsay A.
This thrilling fantasy took me deep into an African city during their most important festival. Rich details of architecture, fabric, and song, play against the layered characters and twisting plot, as if told by the magical trickster Nyeni. Satisfying on its own, the next in this duology promises to be just as fantastic. A sparkling debut perfect for The Hunger Games and Children of Blood and Bone fans.
This poignant, free verse novel reads like a spoken word poetry conversation, while bringing the reader to the emotional scene of the Kent State massacre on May 4, 1970. Please, all readers young and beyond, take a stand, be a part of what you believe in. Educational and heartfelt, this book shines a light on how important it is to remember history as we forge ahead, into the future.