Summer Reading! A delightful and not-so-guilty-pleasure. Treat yourself by toting these new YA books with you to the lakeside, the beach, the mountains, your cozy reading nook at home, or wherever you are carving out time for your summer reading. We loved them! The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton A 2015 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist Sixteen-year-old Ava is in most ways a normal teenager. Of course, there is the little matter of those wings she was born with. . . Her quest to understand her peculiar bird-like wings takes her back two generations to view the world through the eyes of her grandmother Emilienne and her mother Vivianne. They both suffer broken hearts; will their suffering play out for Ava as well? The elements of magical realism that Walton creates are the perfect vehicle for exploring the nature of love–both loving and being loved. Read this book–then talk with your friends about it!
The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley Flashback to the grunge scene in the early 1990’s. A move from Chicago to Ireland (Bray to be exact) uproots our young heroine, Maggie, when her mother marries her latest boyfriend and Maggie is transplanted. But it isn’t so far from her beloved music; she makes a journey to Rome to hear Nirvana in concert. A realistic and close-up view of the trials of adolescence, meeting quirky and intriguing people from different cultures, falling in love, and finding your own voice. Unforgettable travelogue romance–and of course, rock music. Did I mention it’s a (multiple) award-winner? ALA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Chicago Weekly Best Books of 2014 A Michael L. Printz Honor Award Winner Winner, 2014 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 Finalist, William C. Morris Award
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson A 2014 Cybil Award Finalist A 2015 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Book Jude and Noah are fraternal twins, a girl and boy who grow up close as siblings can be, and sharing their passions for artistic expression. We learn of their close relationship, and also their estrangement through alternating chapters told from each twin’s perspective. The fascinating aspect of it is the two timelines; Noah’s chapters taking place when they are 13 and Jude’s when they are 16. Truly, art and wonder fill each page as the twins grapple with grief, romance, rivalry, and friendship. My favorite book I’ve read all year (Ruth here). If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?