Friday, June 06, 2014

Summer Reading Recommendations

It's summer!

(I know summer doesn't officially start until June 21, but for me and any student I've ever known, summer starts the moment that bell rings on the last day of the school year.

For me, the best thing about summer is the reading. Yes, I do read all year round, but summer means beaches and pools and long, lazy afternoons spent with my favorite books. In my school years, I used to churn through the summer reading list by mid-June, and would spend the other two months scouring library shelves for my next adventure. (Now I navigate mountainous TBR piles that continue to grow and grow and grow...)

If you're like me and love books and book recommendations, I'm going to dedicate the next couple of weeks to highlighting some of the latest and greatest reads. As always, I'll start with books from my author friends, and we'll go from there.

by Erin McCahan.

Erin's in my Ohio YA author's group. (They have kindly allowed me to stay in the group even though I'm in Japan. We say "ohayo" here, too...) I had read--and laughed through--her earlier book, I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE, and couldn't wait for this one to hit the shelves. I was not disappointed. Here's the official blurb:

Can anyone be truly herself--or truly in love--in a language that's not her own?

Perfect for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, LOVE AND OTHER FOREIGN WORDS is equal parts comedy and coming of age -- a whip-smart, big-hearted, laugh-out-loud love story about sisters, friends, and what it means to love at all.

It earned a starred review from Publisher's Weekly that said (among other things): McCahan's sharp-witted first-person narrative will keep readers laughing.

Kirkus Reviews said: Josie's a rarity in teen literature, a genuine original.


Lisa's also in the OHYA group. She's the brilliant Shakespeare scholar who brought us OPHELIA. LOVE DISGUISED imagines Shakespeare's first muse as his first love. Here's the blurb:

Young Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever.

While in London to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, Will meets Long Meg, a tavern maid fleeing her own past as a thief. When Will is robbed by villains, Meg masquerades as Mack--an invented twin brother--to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. As Meg, does she love him? And who is she really fooling with her disguise?

A tale of love triangles, mistaken identities, and comic villainy, this lively drama could have sprung from Shakespeare's own pen.

Publisher's Weekly calls Lisa's writing "cheerful, lively, and full of historical and literary tidbits to delight Shakespeare fans..."

And Booklist calls Will and Meg's characters "distinctly-drawn, engaging protagonists journeying towards self-discovery."

FULL RIDE by Margaret Peterson-Haddix

I had the pleasure of reading early chapters of this book and was anxious to add it to my Margaret collection.  She's the master at giving us thrilling reads with unexpected turns. Here's the official blurb for this one:

Becca has plenty to hide and everything to lose--but with her future on the line, she's willing to risk it all. 

Becca's claim to fame is one she's been hiding from for the past three years: Her father is a notorious embezzler, and when he was caught, his excuse was, "How else is a guy like me supposed to put his kid through college?"

Three years after the trial and imprisonment that destroyed Becca's life, she and her mother have started over again and are living in a town where no one knows their secret. But as college--and its cost--looms large, Becca begins to wonder how they'll afford it. And how she can apply for financial aid without divulging her secret? A local scholarship opportunity seems like a dream come true, but as the application process commences, Becca uncovers a chain of secrets that could destroy everything she's worked so hard to build. But the truth could also lead her toward the future she's always dreamed of...

Booklist calls FULL-RIDE's premise "ingenious and well-realized."

School Library Journal says, "Readers... will grab on and enjoy the ride."

That should get ya'll going.  I'll be back soon with more recommendations.

Happy summer reading!