Here are some books that we have read over the summer that we enjoyed and thought that you might like too, in these final days of summer in September!
High School Readers (ages 14+)
by Tammar Stein $8.99
This is the story of Arden, a nineteen/twenty year old whose father died when she was a young teen, and whose mother is a nurse in the US army, deployed in Iraq. Arden is an army brat who has never lived in one place for very long. She has lived around the world, and is well travelled. Her family has a home in Sardinia that her Mum has decided will be sold. Arden has said that she will go there to close up the house and get it ready for the new owners. She is en route to Germany, and meets three college girls that become friends with her on the plane. They are headed for Paris for their first trip abroad (they are Texans), and Arden agrees to travel with them for a bit in Paris, to take her mind off her Mum and the dangerous situation she lives in.
The story follows the travels of the four girls, explores the feelings that Arden has for a good male friend at home, and reveals the thoughts and feelings of a young woman who is trying to find what family, friendship, love and support really is. “High Dive” is a nice and short armchair travel read. Enjoy the descriptions of Paris, Florence, and Sardinia.
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald $9.00
From the author of “Sophomore Switch” comes a summer read about a 17 year old girl named Jenna.
Jenna is a city girl who is a budding environmental activist, a vegetarian who eats free trade and free range foods, and is part of the ‘Green Teen’ club at her school. Her parents have an idea to send her to Florida for the summer to stay with her grandmother and mother while her grandmother recovers from a hip injury, and her father is in Europe on business. These plans run counter to those of Jenna and her best friend Olivia, who plan to continue their environmental activism, and fight for right in the world. Then Olivia suggests that Jenna stay with her godmother in the wilderness of British Columbia, Canada. Before you know it Jenna is on a plane then a Greyhound bus to a small town in the Rocky Mountains. Here she meets her godmother’s sullen stepdaughter, Fiona, makes some new friends, falls for a local boy, and finds out that you cannot live in this world without trying to see things from another’s point of view, and compromising with others, rather than only seeing things from one hard-line point of view. It is a summer of change for Jenna, and will she be ready for it?
Swim the Fly
by Don Calame $11.00
This is the story of three fifteen year old friends, Matt, Sean, and Coop, who have been best friends since elementary school. Summer vacation has begun, and, according to tradition, the boys set themselves a goal for the summer. Over the years, they have biked fifteen miles to skinny dip in a lake, have collected one thousand golf balls from a nearby golf course, and each one has found a Playboy magazine for the others to look at. This year, for no particular reason, the goal is to see a real naked girl.
The three boys also swim on a local swim team, and this year there is a new team member: a very attractive girl named Kelly who is a champion backstroke swimmer. Matt is smitten with Kelly at first sight and dreams of being her boyfriend. When the team’s butterfly champion has an accident and cannot swim the 100 yard butterfly race, only Matt steps up to take his place – - all in an effort to impress Kelly, as he cannot swim the butterfly to save himself. What follows is a journey of self-discovery, of hanging out with your friends, learning what you like about yourself and others, and the freedom that comes from being yourself, and living by your principles – - things that you weren’t really sure that you had. An entertaining read for boys, and for girls too, with some funny dialogue sure to appeal to young adult readers.
Mature Readers (ages 16+)
The Miles Between
by Mary E. Pearson $9.99
Destiny Faraday, Des for short, is a 17 year old student at Hedgebrook boarding school. She has bounced from one boarding school to another since she was seven years old, hasn’t visited her family in that time, or been visited by them. She feels abandoned, left behind, and is afraid to make friends with anyone for fear of losing those connections too. She almost lives her life on the fringe of what goes on, observing everyone and everything rather than joining in. On October 19th, Des has had enough of lumps in her oatmeal, cancelled visits, and other letdowns in life. She seizes an opportunity that presents itself to jump in a car, its engine left running, and with three of her fellow students, heads off on a day trip that will change all of their lives forever.
A great read, where you feel and witness the emerging friendships between Des, and her three friends, Seth, Mira, and Aidan. You will be left wondering until the end what secrets Des is keeping.
My Name is Memory
by Anne Brashares $17.50
Lucy and Daniel. Two souls connected through time. A love that survives through all time, that can be remembered through each life that they live. Daniel has “the memory”, and can remember people that he has known and loved through the centuries, in each life that he has lived. One in a million each century is born with this rare ability. Lucy feel that she knows Daniel, and has done for a long time. She has flashes of recollection of moments in her past lives that she does not understand or recognise. She just knows instinctively that Daniel is for her, and she for him. Lucy soon comes to understand that every time they meet, their love always ends in tragedy. Follow Lucy and Daniel through time and different incarnations, from North Africa in the year 541, to Crete in 899, England in 1918, and Virginia in 2006. Can they discover and understand why this keeps happening so that they can change the ending and be united forever? From the author of the successful series beginning with “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”.