There are times of the year--reading paranormal stuff at Halloween, for instance--that I'm all about having the books I read express a mood. But the concept of 'Summer Reading' is something that has never fully clicked with me. While I can be totally cool with a book having a warm summery feel and I might want to read it, that's usually not a magnetic pull for me. I talked a little in my post yesterday about how certain themes can draw me in. Times of year, while they can add a fun spin, usually aren't the story-hook that's gonna bait this fish (me), I'm afraid.
That said, I do think that there are a few things that I look for when choosing a read for the situations I think 'Summer Reading' covers: trips to the beach, road trips, sitting at a picnic table by the lake for a barbecue...
1. A summer read shouldn't require too much analysis. It should be something that will suck you in from word go and hold your interest.
2. A summer read should not require tissues. Maybe this is just me, but I certainly don't want to be a weeping snotty mess with my parents, siblings, cousins or whoever sitting three feet away.
3. A summer read should leave you feeling good, because a good mood is spread just as easily as a bad one--it just has a better result.
With these criteria in mind, here are a few of the books I plan to read this summer, and a few that I would happily recommend:
Kat's Summer Reads:
Listing my own summer reads proved a bit of a pain, since that's not why I chose my books. Since I haven't read these yet, I can't totally vouch for them. But at least I tried. :D
by Lrah Rae Miller
Why?: Well first, it's about someone's summer vacation. Second, the topic at hand reminds me of my own teen years. And third, with a setup like this, I would definitely hope that some hilarity--as well as a nice romance--will ensue. It also has the perks of being a title that will bring up those memories I mentioned if I read it while going to visit some of my own gaming buddies. Can we say win-win? :D
by Cora Carmack
Why?: I just finished reading Losing It, and that book definitely had one of the characteristics I want when I pick a book up to be read out in the warm sunshine: it was a feel good story that was absolutely laugh-out-loud funny. I liked it so much that Faking It has made my summer reading list within 24 hours and, much like I did with The Vincent Brothers, I will likely bump it up on my reading list.
by Leigh Bardugo
Why?: Ever notice how big blockbuster action or super hero flicks always get summer releases? I think this is because the hotter weather makes us want to get out and do more stuff--making us crave things that are more high energy. For me, the book equivalent of that is a good fantasy novel. High fantasy or urban fantasy work totally fine here, and a paranormal romance can do the trick as well, if executed the right way. Of novels under these labels, my most anticipated read is definitely Siege and Storm!
Books Kat Recommends:
For some reason, coming up with recommendations for you guys was a ton easier then talking about how some of my choices reflect my views on the whole summer reading thing. Here you go. Enjoy!
by Colleen Houck
Why?: There are a couple things to know before deciding to bring Tiger's Curse on a picnic: (1) It is a large, heavy book. (2) The ending will possibly make you want to throw it into the lake. Don't! It's part of a series and that ending is worth it. Trust me. Now the good parts: Tiger's Curse as an absolutely fabulous romance, an interesting heroine and will take you on an epic adventure that is just begging for a lounge chair and a glass of lemonade. TIP: Have Tiger's Quest in easy reach. You won't want to stop reading!
by Marie Landry
Why?: Marie has a gift for creating places that feel both real and yet magical, and Angel Island is no exception. While it's true that Charlotte is dealing with a lot, and Marie totally nails her grief, the overall message of the book, and the presentation of that message, is uplifting and beautiful. Following Charlotte's summer on the island, complete with great growth of character and a sweet romance, seems like it should be a perfect fit to complement the summer plans of any lover of contemporary YA.
by Cora Carmack
Why?: I know I already raved about Losing It when I talked about Faking It. But seriously, people. This book was just so fab that I had to give it its own listing. Filled with interesting quirky characters, laugh out loud dialogue and narration and a perfect ending that left a big smile on my face, Losing It has everything I would want from a summer read and everything I love about contemporary romance. Also: If you have not tried a New Adult title yet, Losing It comes highly recommended.
by Robert Bevan
Why?: Do you like fantasy novels, table top gaming or old school RPGs? Do you want to laugh so hard that your pop, lemonade or beer will shoot out your nose? Are you cool with some bad language and crude humor? If you've said yes to all three, Critical Failures is absolutely not to be missed. Combining an authentic representation of a gaming group--in all its grossness and glory; a page turner of a plot and an ending you will not see coming, Robert Bevan's debut is not to be missed.
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Why?: The short version: Daemon Black. Oh, wait. You wanted the long version? :D Obsidian is well written, has witty dialogue, is extremely original and (totally repeating myself here) has one of the most I don't know whether to kiss you or kill you heroes (Daemon) that I have ever encountered. This is one of those books that I devoured in one sitting, so it should have no qualms holding interest. And the heroine, Katy, is pretty cool, too. (Book Blogging heroine FTW).
So there you have it. Summer Reading. :D Now it's your turn:
1. What does a Summer Read mean to you?
2. What book are you most anxious to flip open this summer?
3. What's your most recommended summer read?