True, summer is a lot of fun in the sun, staying up late, sleeping in, and lazing around, but it is also the time when many people pick up a novel or two to devour while traveling, sitting on the beach or getting in their required summer reading. While I will be playing the unending game of catch-up with books I already have and taking part in a couple of book challenges, I also plan on reading twenty books published in 2016. For the remainder of May, each Monday (starting today!) I will post five of the books that I want to read this summer. (All descriptions are from Goodreads.)
- Breakfast with Neruda by Laura Moe
(Published May 16, 2016 by Merit Press)
Michael Flynn is just trying to get through his community service after he made the dumb decision to try to blow up his friend’s car with fireworks–the same friend who stole Michael’s girl. Being expelled and losing his best buddy and his girlfriend are the least of his problems: Michael has learned to hide everything, from his sick hoarder mother to the fact that he’s stuck living in a 1982 Ford LTD station wagon he calls the Blue Whale. Then one day, during mandatory community service, he meets Shelly, a girl with a past, who’s also special enough to unmask Michael’s deepest secrets. Can he manage to be worthy of her love, a guy living in a car, unable to return to his chaotic and fit-to-be-condemned home? Shelly won’t give up, and tries to peel back the layers of garbage and pain to reveal Michael’s immense heart.
- The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
(Published January 26, 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers)
London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?
- The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes
(Published May 10, 2016 by HarperTeen)
Willa Parker, 646th and least popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life.Did she choose this new life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and it’s only the strength of her name that got Willa accepted in the first place.
But Willa has no intentions of fitting in at Pembroke. She’s not staying long, she decides. Not at this school—and not on this planet. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit.
When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel her spinning right out of her grasp.
In Willa’s secret heart, all she’s ever wanted is to belong. But if Remy, the girl who gave her this world, is slip-sliding away, is Willa meant to follow her down?
Andrea Portes’s incandescent, heartfelt novel explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.
- The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
(Published March 15, 2016 by Philomel Books)
Cassie O’Malley has been trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically—since birth. It’s been two and a half years since Cassie’s mother dumped her in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, Cassie is finally able to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.But freedom is a poor match against a lifetime of psychological damage. As Cassie plumbs the depths of her new surroundings, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is real? And more important, whose life must she save?
A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.
- The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
(Published March 29, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before Annabeth was killed in a car accident.Enter Geoff, Quinn’s best friend who insists it’s time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—a hot one—and falls hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.