When planning our awesome Summer Reads week, we realized we’d already reviewed a bunch of books that are perfect for the beach. So here are some quick blurbs, plus links to the full reviews, of some awesome Summer Reads.
Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley
This is a graphic novel series I enjoyed. It’s an easy and fast read, but still fun. It focuses on Scott Pilgrim, a 20-something guy who doesn’t have his life figured out at all. When he falls for Ramona Flowers at pretty much first sight and things get even worse for the poor guy because she comes with 7 evil exes, who he must defeat before he can date Ramona. Set up like a video game, Scott navigates through the evil exes, dating Ramona and dealing with a slight stalker issue, all while trying to help his band get into good gigs. If you want to wait on reading these for a bit, Oni Press is coming out with reissued hardcovers for each volume, in color!, and each includes previously unpublished extras and bonus materials. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life (volume one) comes out in hardcover in August, but all the volumes are out right now in paperback if you don’t want to wait.
The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey series consists of four books and two novellas: The Iron King (#1), Winter’s Passage (#1.5), The Iron Daughter (#2), The Iron Queen (#3), Summer’s Crossing (#3.5), and The Iron Knight (#4). There is a book coming out in August, which will contain the two previously released novellas and a new one that takes place after The Iron Knight, as well as some bonus materials, but it’s not essential to wait for those if you don’t want to. The Iron Fey series focuses on Meghan, who finds herself dragged into the fey world and into the middle of a very long dispute between the Summer and Winter courts, all while trying to find her baby brother and at the same time trying not to be killed by… everything. They’re quick reads and kind of light. There is a “love triangle”, but I have a feeling if you read them all in a row, that won’t be an issue since one of the guys is clearly favored more than the other.
The Ghost the Goth series by Stacey Kade
The Ghost & the Goth series consists of three books: The Ghost the Goth, Queen of the Dead and Body Soul, which just came out last month. Told from switching POVs, they focus on Alona Dare, newly dead ghost, and Will Killian, the only one who can hear and see ghosts, including Alona. What I liked about this series is each book matured with the characters. The first one is light and easy going as Alona adjusts to being a ghost and Will adjusts to having Alona speak to him… and follow him around everywhere. (He’s not the most popular guy around their high school. Mainly from the seeing ghosts thing.) The second book gets a little darker as we find out about Will’s past and Alona gets into trouble. And the third book wraps everything up, but not in the way you’d think. I’ve always liked a good ghost story, and this one offered a surprising twist, which kept me reading until the end.
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
So, the story itself, while fantastic, doesn’t actually lend itself to being a Summer Read. It’s an historical fantasy with journeys across land and sea and family intrigue and romance and good and evil, and all the best things. But it’s a bit heavier than my usual choices for Summer Reading. That being said, I read the last book in the trilogy, Circle of Fire, while sitting on the beach. I decided not to go swimming that day because I had to read. When my friends came back from their sojourn into the ocean they asked about the kerfuffle behind me. I turned and saw an ambulance. It had pulled up, sirens blaring, and I hadn’t noticed a thing. The book was too engaging. If you haven’t started this series, you simply must.
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
This was the first book I read this year that I truly loved. Loved to bits and could not stop raving about it to everyone I spoke to. It’s angsty relationships and tear jerking ending (at least, for me. But I cry at everything) is the perfect thing to keep the drama in your life while school is out. Plus the characters were so easy to fall in love with and the writing just swept me away. The perfect summer retreat.
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
I loved everything about this book. It’s a hot Australian night (at least in my head it was hot) at the end of the school year and Lucy is determined to have an adventure with her two friends. And, boy, do they ever. It was the perfect Summer Read. The feeling of freedom that the characters are after, the grief and fear and regret they all have to deal with coupled with the idea that the rest of their lives is about to begin, it’s just perfect. They manage to pack a life time worth of adventures into one night and all discover intrinsic truths about themselves and their loved ones. There was not one thing I did not like about this book.