We can all agree that summer is pretty awesome. Even if you're a "grown up" who doesn't go to school anymore, summers are always that much sweeter than the rest of the year. And for Miamians, it can sometimes feel like summer all year round.
But summertime is also hurricane season in Miami, meaning we're subject to long stretches of time confined indoors, often without electricity. One way to fill that time is by picking up a book, and exercising your magical brain powers by reading. C'mon, you know you want to.
There's this crazy thing called "reading for pleasure;" it's quite enjoyable you should try it sometime. Like, now.
If the words "summer reading" remind you of long lists filled with foreign words like "Dickens," "Prejudice," and "Miserables," and the thought of doing schoolwork during a time that's meant to be filled with sun bathing and nap time make you cringe, fear not. We've compiled a list that you'll actually want to read.
So take your pick:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Living among us are evil monsters and demons, and it is the duty of a select gifted people called Shadowhunters to protect us mere mortals. So goes the premise of City of Bones. The first installment of Clare's The Mortal Instruments series introduces readers to the fantastical realm of the Shadowhunters through the novel's protagonist, Clary.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
With Rowling's first attempt at adult fiction, The Casual Vacancy tells the story of a very small, and very English town. In her usual detailed and imaginative manner, Rowling meshes together the lives of nosy neighbors in the town of Pagford. Old rivalries and grudges resurface as Pagford looks to fill a recent vacancy in the parish council.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Karou is a feisty teen with blue hair living on her own in Prague. Aside from her hair color, Karou's after school job makes her unique: she runs errands for a demon-like chimaera, who also happens to have raised her. Taylor manages to fuse together a romantic place like Prague with another world that once was equally romantic. Daughter of Smoke and Bone will keep you in suspense as you journey with Karou to uncover the truths of her past and discover who she really is. The adventure doesn't end here, so you should consider having the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, at the ready.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Oozing with social commentary, Uglies tells the story of a town that turns kids pretty. In Uglyville, when you turn 16, you undergo a complete head-to-toe operation to turn you into a pretty - but the operation doesn't only change the way you look, but the way you think. As Tally embarks on a dangerous journey to save her friend, she ends up finding herself and has to fight to keep from changing. Like any story about a 16-year-old girl, this isn't the only novel in the series; Pretties, Specials, and Extras come after Uglies.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future where society is divided into five factions - the honest, the selfless, the brave, the peaceful, and the intelligent - being anything more labels you as Divergent. Those who are Divergent, like Beatrice (Tris), are a threat because they embody various traits from various factions, and thus won't stand for oppression. Roth's first novel in the trilogy familiarizes readers with the factions, and vividly depicts Tris' transformation from meek to brave.
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Winner of the National Book Award, Smith's memoir reminisces on a time when flower power reigned in 1960-70s New York City. Smith recounts the story of her youth - complete with life-changing struggles and triumphs - and most notably her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Aside from offering a rare behind-the-scenes look into Smith's past, Just Kids will remind you to never lose sight of your wildest dreams.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
In the first installment of Bardugo's Grisha trilogy, readers are introduced to Alina Starkov: orphan and magic wielder. Alina discovers her once dormant powers, which then garners the attention of a mysterious group called the Darkling who want to train her to control her powers. With secrets hidden in every corner, Shadow and Bone will keep you turning page after page.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
An American Book Award winner, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an imaginative coming of age story between two young boys who seemingly have nothing in common, but who forge a wonderful friendship.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Kids and cancer are two tough subjects to tackle, especially when writing in the young adult genre. But Green tastefully combines both topics in The Fault in Our Stars. Hazel and Augustus are two teen cancer survivors, and by forging a friendship, they help each other keep surviving. Together they explore the fundamental elements of living: life, love, and death.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
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Hartman's debut novel has already toped the New York Times bestseller list and is a Morris Debut Award winner. Set in a fantasy world where dragons can take human form and blend into society, Seraphina is sure to delight your imagination. The story centers on a young musician, Seraphina, who is caught in between the humans and dragons and has to struggle to keep her dark secret hidden.
--Carolina del Busto