It really feels like summer these days--the sun is out, the ice cream man made his maiden voyage down my street, and, thanks to the summer reading recommendations below, my stack of books by the porch swing grows ever higher... As promised, here are the books that more of my (and hopefully your) favorite YA authors--Lauren Oliver, Christopher Paolini, and James Dashner--suggest you add to your must-read stack for the lovely long days of summer. You can see all of the YA author summer reading recommendations here.
Her Delirium trilogy wrapped up earlier this year, but we won't have to wait too long for more: a new YA novel, Panic, comes out in March 2014.
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman When I was in high school, I was obsessed with a little, unknown series that dropped a book every summer...known as Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling. Since then, I've associated poolside reading with awesome fantasy epics, preferably ones featuring magicians. This series is intricate, complex, and completely captivating.
- The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor What did I say about fantasy epics and summertime? This book stunned me, both because of the expertness of its prose and its absolute insane imaginativeness. Stolen teeth, resurrection, and an ancient war between angels and demons? Yes, please
- Ask the Passengers by A.S. King A quietly extraordinary book, the pages are filled with the kind of subdued longing that summertime is all about.
- Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green This is a scary book about an idyllic beachside town and a lot of deep, dark secrets. . .plus one game of Truth or Dare gone terribly awry. Take advantage of a relaxed summertime schedule to stay up late and finish it in one go
Can you believe it's been 10 years since Eragon was published!?
- The Empire Trilogy (this is the link to the first book) by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts A great, fun fantasy epic with a female main character. One of the best pieces of work from either Feist or Wurts, and one of my personal favorites. The story tracks a young woman, Mara, as she rises from a convent novitiate to ruler of the entire land. Highly recommended.
- Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg I love this book because it perfectly captures what it feels like to be an outsider in society. Smilla pays a price for walking the path less traveled, but she also gains much from it as well. Plus, the story is eerie and evocative and altogether ... different. It’s not what it first appears to be. A++
- The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin:
An allegory with magic and talking animals, The Book of the Dun Cow reads like a story handed down from some ancient age. Very few books manage to capture the strangeness and the emotions of our dreams, but for me, this one did. It’s bright and brilliant and has some of the most epic fights in literature.
- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson:
My favorite epic fantasy series at the moment. Big doesn’t even begin to describe it. And yet the writing is clean, clear, and always to the point. Sanderson has created an imaginary world that’s worked out so well, it feels almost like science fiction. It’s filled with interesting characters too. Awesome stuff. Make sure to pick up the hardcover as it’s illustrated, a rarity for a book this size.
- The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (link is for Book 1): I read this series faster than anything I've read in a long time. Full of suspense and twists, and just plain clever.
- Case File 13 by J. Scott Savage (series): This appealed to the side of me that will always love the quirky, whimsical wonders of middle grade. Hilarious and scary at the same time.
- NOS4A2: A Novel by Joe Hill: For those who like the darker side of things. I loved every page of this book.
- Dune by Frank Herbert: I'll never forget the summer I read this book as a teenager. There's just something fascinating and disturbing about this timeless science fiction tale.