Summer Book List 2K16

Reading over summer vacation used to be second nature to me. Now, as I'm in my second summer of my college career, I find myself devouring books like I used to before life began to stress me out.

Seriously, I feel like I should be applauded for the amount of words I've read so far this summer.

I wanted to put a post together to give you some suggestions of can't-put-them-down books. These are some serious page turners. Without further ado, here is my summer reading list in no particular order.

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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A Court of Thorns and Roses was reccomended to me by old roommate since I loved Maas' other books Thrown of Glass and the following sequels. I liked the fantasy world she had created in the novel, and I was promised the world building in this one would be different.

This was the second book that I read in full on my kindle. I devoured it. It was really a page turner for me, because this fantasy world that Maas creates was so rich and full, colorful and vibrant that I was so deeply sucked into it. 

I was lucky enough to meet Sarah at the Barnes and Nobles in The Grove before I even read either of these books, but I am so glad I went and got to hear her speak, because now I actually understand what she was talking about.

A Court of Thorns and Roses or ACOTAR as it is known by its fans by is about a young woman, Feyre gets taken by Fae King Tamlin. It's basically a Beauty and The Beast retelling in the beginning, but as the story progresses you will quickly realize that it is so much more than that. Sarah said at the event that this book holds a special place for her since it was the first one she wrote, and you can tell in the writing. It is clear and precise, with a lot of thought put into it.

There's adventure, magic, love, lust, violence and so much more. But, its a big hunking book, so make sure when you bring it to the beach you're prepared for its massiveness.

 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

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It should really come as no surprise that my next recommended book is the sequel to ACOTAR. This book is even bigger and better. There was not a moment of it that I didn't love. I can't say too much without giving spoilers, so my lips are sealed.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I'm sure you've heard of this book. I feel like everyone has heard of this book by now. And for good reason. It gave me a range of emotions.

and then I cried..

a lot.

For a long time I wanted to write a book about what it was like to live with depression and suicidal tendencies. I wanted to show what it was like to live with it instead of how people die from it. And this book. did. that. Better than I ever can. (Thanks, Jennifer, guess I'll just give up on writing my book now. geez.)

But really, this book is important because it talks about mental health issues in a downright accurate way that I haven't seen since reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which still remains, to me, one of the most accurate depictions of a panic attack.

All The Bright Places is a story about a boy named Finch and a girl named Violet. It's about depression and grief, because there is more than one way to be sad.

The thing I loved most about it though, was that it didn't make me feel more alone in the world. It didn't make me feel empty or sad by the ending. It made me feel like there was some level of understanding in the world that I had always neglected to see before.

Read it, and you'll know what I mean

 

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

This book totally knocked my socks off. Sorry to use the phrase that my Kindergarten teacher used every day, but it's true, and there isn't a more apropos phrase to use in this instance. I had heard of TWATD a while ago, but when someone told me the basic plot, I wasn't too intrigued. But, that was already a while ago, and I hadn't read Sabaa Tahir's masterful An Ember in the Ashes yet. After reading that, I was completely turned on to Middle Easter mythology.

And, I couldn't wait to pick this book up.

And, as soon as I started reading it, I couldn't stop. It was one of the few books in my life that I read while I was walking, looking like a complete lunatic, but also not caring at all because I was in a different world and that was what mattered.

Ahdieh's book is about Shahrzad, a teenager living in the land of Rey who has volunteered to marry Khalid, the king of kings who kills his wife after spending just one night with them. So, why would she volunteer to be the next to die? Because the wife before her was her best friend, and Shahrzad wants revenge. She'll do anything to live through the next morning.

And hot damn, does she. Seriously, she's kind of my hero. She's what I imagine a younger Olivia Pope to be like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books From The Past Year

Hey! This post is spoiler free!

Thanks, Han. Without further ado, here are the best books that I've read in the past year:

 

1. Eleanor and Park

I put off reading this book. In all honesty, really only because I was afraid it was going to be a bit like my book. It wasn't. I basically devoured this book within a week, which was fast for me as I was on Winter Break and all I wanted to do was binge The Mindy Project.

I can't help it. I'm obsessed.

As per usual (which you'll learn quite quickly if you come around here often) I was influenced by John Green to read this book. Seriously, I basically take all of my advice from him.

Yeah, that guy.

Anyways, the line that got me was this:

"Early in the novel, Park’s English teacher asks him why “Romeo and Juliet” has survived 400 years. With Eleanor looking on, Park says: “Because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?” After a moment, he adds, “Is that right?”

It is. “Eleanor & Park” reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book."

Eleanor and Park is a beautiful, contemporary novel about what its like to sacrifice as a young age when everyone else assumes that things are always easy. They aren't. It's a novel that will show teenagers what is often right in front of them, and it's a novel that will show parents their kids aren't joking when they say their life is really hard, and they're just trying to make it through.

2. Red Queen

 

Red Queen by Victioria Aveyard is a stunning debut. I'm not really one for fantasy books. I like Dystopian and Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction and basically anything with a love triangle. I like Harry Potter, and that's about as far as my love for fantasy went. 

But, I heard about this book. And I love proving myself wrong. This was one of those cases. I fell in love with this story so much that I pre-ordered the sequel before the cover or title was even released. 

In all fairness however, it did take me a while to get through the book because the beginning didn't capture me, but about 1/4 of the way through I was hooked and ended up ditching the Amsterdam city life on my vacation to finish the book in one sitting as the nearby Dutch cows mooed in their accents.

Needles to say, Aveyard captured me in this world that is almost entirely new with characters I completely fell in love with and ones that I quickly learned to hate.

3. Because You'll Never Meet Me

 

I immediately loved this book, though I have to admit it had little to do with the writing and a lot to do with the fantastic narrator who blessed my ears with his voice as I commuted to work 3 hours every day.

I read this of my summer of audiobooks, where I quickly learned that listening to James Bay over and over again would not get me through the Los Angeles traffic. (Though no one will ever replace Bay because he's Bae).

Anyways...I digress.

I found companionship in my long commutes through Audible. And this was my favorite one that I listened to that summer.

Its about two boys with completely different health situations, but because of those situations they are linked together and can never meet. Oli is allergic to electricity. Moritz has a pace maker. They would set each other off.

It's a beautiful story about two boys on complete opposite sides of the world trying to understand what it means to grow up, fall in love, and still be stuck in a body that betrays you at every turn. Even though it's probably not scientifically plausible, this book will give you major feels.

I promise.

 

Those aren't ALL the books that I read in the past year. Or listened to for that matter. But they are the ones that stuck out to me the most. 

And, seriously, this blog post would only be about one book if it hadn't been more than a year ago that I read it. And that book is We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (trust me, you'll be hearing a lot about that).

 

 you been warned.

you been warned.