We're well into July, and for most countries in the northern hemisphere summer is well and truly underway! If you're planning on going away during the summer holidays, or just lazing around the house, what better way to entertain yourself than read a book? It's ideal for the beach, as unlike any electronics you don't have to worry about keeping it charged up or getting sand in it. But now you're convinced yourself to leave the iPad at home, you might be wondering what book to choose, and so today I'm presenting my three top perfect books for summer.
Summers of the Sisterhood: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
This book, the first in a series of four, represents to me the epitome of a summer read. It follows the lives of four girls, Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget, who have been best friends their entire lives and usually spend every moment of their summer together. But this year is the first time they have separate plans, and when Tibby buys a pair of jeans in a second-hand shop, they have the idea of sharing them throughout the holidays, and sending them on to the next friend when they feel the time is right. The 'pants' travel all over the world, and witness encounters of first love, family problems, and illness, in a one-of-a-kind tale of friendship which is quirky, emotional and above all, memorable. I love these books because they embody summer to a T. I just wish my summers were anything like as idyllic as the ones described in the books!
Moving Times Trilogy: Bloom of Youth
Set in the late 1950s, this trilogy is one of my favourite finds of recent years. When I stumbled across it on Amazon a year or so ago, I was somewhat dubious, but after devouring the first, promptly ordered all three and loved them to bits. There's something so special about these books, I almost didn't want to post about them here because I love them so much! Anyway, they are centered around two girls, Ruth and Mary, who struggle with the chaos of their parents' attempt to run a holiday home for children in their rambling country house. Over the course of the books, Ruth and Mary grow up quite a lot, turning from schoolgirls into young women of the world as they experience more and more of life. What I love so much about these books, apart from the wonderful post-war England setting, is the sheer disregard for telling the story in chronological order - the reader is thrown about in the chaos that is Ruth and Mary's life, seeing it often retrospectively from different points in time.
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Sun, a road trip, and a dash of wanderlust - this is definitely one of my top reads for summer! Amy Curry is moving from California to Connecticut, and her mother has asked her to drive the family car across the country. But since father died in a car accident, in which Amy was behind the wheel, she has been terrified of driving. Roger, a family friend who also needs to make the trip, volunteers to drive, and together they cross the States in a road trip destined to change Amy's life. This book is far more than your average YA contemporary novel - it deals with overwhelming grief as much as it does with love, in what is, in my opinion, the perfect balance of light-heartedness and depth.
I hope these brief reviews have sparked you interest, and that you might even read one of these books. I would recommend all three of these for ages 12-13 and up. Please let me know in the comments if you've read, enjoyed, or even just heard of any of these!