13 of My Favorite YA Reads: Warm Weather Edition
I've been reading YA since the days when my mall still had a B. Dalton. In fact, it still makes up about 60% of what I read right now. So in honor of #IReadYA week, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite books to break out when the days grow longer and the numbers on the thermometer start rising.
- •Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (@sarahdessen)Sarah's work is as synonymous with warm weather as flip flops, beach trips, and sparklers on the 4th of July. At least they are in my world, and this one in particular showcases her ability to capture the magic of summer so fully that it'll leave you wishing you could book your own trip to the beach town of Colby, N.C. (Well, it does for me anyway.)
- •City Love by Susane ColasantiThis tale about a dreamer, a free-spirit, and a wounded heart looking to reinvent itself and the Manhattan summer they spend together might have hints of Jenny Han and Jennifer E. Smith but the voice that ties them and their journeys of love, self-discovery, and sisterhood together is distinctly Susane Colasanti. (I would've made a picture quote for this one but I've seemed to have misplaced my copy.)
- •The Diviners by Libba BrayI admit that this tale of the supernatural in Prohibition era New York isn't one you're going to find sitting amongst the sea of pastel-colored covers in your local bookstore's display of fun spring/summer reads, but it's one I picked up one scorcher of a day last July when it was too hot to do anything but read and didn't put back down again until I'd turned the very last page.
- •The Forbidden Wish by Jessica KhouryThis lush retelling of the Aladdin folk tale is a perfect read for a day spent at the beach, the pool, or even just sitting inside with the air conditioner on high. (It also happens to be one of my favorites I've read so far this year.)
- •Just One Day/Just One Year/Just One Night by Gayle FormanGayle Forman proves yet again why she's the master at punching her readers right in the FEELS with this tale of Allyson, Willem, and a day spent in Paris that'll end up changing them both forever.
- •Lovestruck Summer by Melissa C. WalkerI think it's downright tragic that Melissa C. Walker's name doesn't come up more often in the conversation about great YA authors because the lady is seriously fabulous. As for this entry on the list, I like to explain it as the bookish equivalent of going to a music festival and spending the day laughing, singing, and dancing with your best friends while watching your favorite bands play. (Again, I would've made a picture quote but I can't find my copy at the moment.)
- •Meant to Be by Lauren MorrillHow do I love thee? Let me count the ways... Okay, so maybe I won't take it quite *that* far- 500 character limit and all- but I will say that my love for this story about fate and just how far it can carry us is so deep that it not only earned it a place on this list, but also on one I wrote waaaaay back in December. And cool news, y'all! You can actually follow Lauren here on The List App under her username, @laurenmorrill.
- •The Moon and More by Sarah DessenOne of the biggest complaints I hear about TMaM is that it's not the classic Dessen of The Truth About Forever, & you know what? Those people are right-it's not classic Dessen, but that's because Sarah has taken all those elements we so love about her novels & given them a fresh new look in this exploration of love, growing up, & what it's like to be permanent in a place where everything else is so temporary. Seriously, if Saint Anything is her point of evolution then this is where it began.
- •Open Road Summer by Emery LordYes, this had a romance that left me with a *major* case of the swoons, but it's the true-to-life friendship between Reagan and Dee that won it a space on the bookshelf in my heart.
- •Since You've Been Gone by Morgan MatsonI admit that this one took me longer than normal to read, but that was mostly because I purposely stretched it out in order to savor it just a little. bit. longer. In fact, I fell so madly in love with Emily and her journey to complete the list of tasks left behind by her missing best friend that it may have even inspired me to make a list or two of my own.
- •The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann BrasharesI'll concede that the idea of a magical pair of pants that fits a group of friends with four very different body types is the kind of thing that only happens in the pages of a book but it doesn't change the fact that this is still a really lovely read about growth, change, and the bonds that hold us together when everything else seems to falls apart.
- •The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithAlthough I chose to include this story about the beginning of possibilities, the truth is that picking a bad Jennifer E. Smith novel is like picking a bad flavor of ice cream in that it's basically impossible to do. (And for the love of all things bright and wonderful, can somebody *please* take one of her books and turn it into a movie already?? Ditto for a true adaptation of a Sarah Dessen novel.)
- •The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée AhdiehWhat can I say? I'm still as deeply in love with this vibrant retelling of One Thousand and One Night as I was when I read it last May. And good news! You don't have to wait on the sequel, The Rose and The Dagger because it's out NOW.