By Amy Rosenbaum
Summer reading can be hit or miss. Sometimes, you’ll love the assigned books, and sometimes you’ll want to lie down in front of a running lawnmower before you read another page. Here at StudentAdvisor, we completely understand, so we’ve compiled our completely voluntary and totally awesome summer reading picks.
There’s something on this list for everyone, and it’s guaranteed to prevent any yard work-related accidents from summer reading despair:
If you love rocking heroines like Katniss from The Hunger Games …
… then check out Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore. Katsa is Graced with the ability to kill, and Fire is forever being hunted for being a Monster. Their survival is in their own hands, but certain things—politics, friendship, and love—are worth risking their lives for. You won’t want to put either book down.
Can’t get enough dystopian?
Try Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s set in a world wrecked by massive storms and floods caused by global warming. Or pick up Matched by Ally Condie, which is set in a world where every choice—from what you do, what you eat, and who you marry—is regulated by the government. Nailer and Cassia have their own separate journeys that pit them against everything they know, but you’ll love exploring their societies and thinking about all of the issues their authors raise.
Want to read some epic fantasy?
Open up The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a totally original adventure with a complex hero, a logical magic system, and not an elf in sight. This series will definitely keep you busy for a while, as this book is 662 pages and its sequel is 1008 pages. It’s worth every page.
Wish history wasn’t so boring?
Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief is not your average historical fiction. Set during World War Two, you see the war through the eyes of two German kids who grow up because of and in spite of the terrors around them. The writing style is engrossing, lyrical, and surprisingly humorous for the subject matter. This story will stick with you for a long time.
For lovers of Twilight…
If you haven’t already, crack open the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater for a new twist on the werewolf mythology. You’ll fall right into these books about love and heartbreak against all odds. Best of all, the prose is as beautiful as the story. With the third and final book coming out later this summer, there’s no better time to start reading about Grace and Sam.
How about some contemporary fiction?
If you’ve ever been confused by crushes or felt like a total outcast, look into Girl Parts by John M. Cusick or Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Girl Parts is a side-splittingly funny book about a jock, a loser, and a female companion robot who’s figuring out what it means to be human. Anna follows an American girl reluctantly shipped off to a French boarding school. There, she learns that navigating the line between love and friendship is way more complicated than learning a new language.
So, you like to read about zombies: Who doesn’t?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is chock full of living dead. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this completed trilogy speculates what would happen to humans if a virus, spread through saliva, turned people into “the Unconsecrated.” It’s spooky, heart-pounding action with just the right amount of romance.
Never dived into a graphic novel?
You’ll be blown away by Craig Thompson’s Blankets. This autobiographical account of growing up, finding love, losing it, and finding your way again has the most incredible artwork. Alternately realistic and surreal, the drawings add so much to the story, conveying emotion and making the pages go by incredibly fast. It’s a great introduction to the graphic novel genre.
Well, there you have it, StudentAdvisor’s Summer 2011 Reading List. If you want more great fiction recommendations be sure to check out Amy’s blog Simple Little Bookworm. Grab a book, hang out at the beach, and get your read on!