I’m so glad I’m able to make this post on time, since I completely lost internet yesterday and didn’t know when it would be back on! I have a hard time making TBR lists in general because as soon as reading starts to feel like a chore, I lose interest. The main way I make a TBR is by choosing a stack of books from my library holds or the books I own, and mood-reading my way through them. I’m also not great at reading seasonally, aside from somewhat keeping scary books and/or thrillers to read near Halloween. In the summer, I tend to read more because I have some time off work and one of my major projects is on break, giving me back most of my weekend time. On the one hand, I like to read YA and “beach read” type books in the summer because they go quickly, but on the other, I also sometimes tend to read longer books since I have the time to devote. I’m hoping to read all of these books at some point this summer!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
As much as I don’t read seasonally, this book seems to be the perfect summer read. It is a YA contemporary about a girl named Amelia, who works at an ice cream stand that was founded by a woman who opened it to help cheer up her friends while their boyfriends were away at war, and is getting ready for her first summer being in charge. When the founder of the ice cream stand passes away before Amelia has her first day, she is not sure what to do, until a young relative arrives with some changes in mind to help keep the business going. I need to be in the right mood to really get into a YA romance like this by this point, but I’m sure the warm weather will help! I really like the whole concept of the ice cream stand setting since that sounds like a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the reviews from several of the Goodreads reviewers that I follow haven’t been the best, so that’s not the most encouraging. It was lucky I found this book since I had a difficult reading challenge prompt that required the word “sweet,” “salty,” or “bitter” in the title, so this was a great fit.
2) Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
This is one of the books that I’m most looking forward to reading this year, and I’m already planning to take it with me on vacation. I read Uprooted in July two years ago, likely also while I was on vacation, so somehow it’s become an association in my mind that this would be a good book to bring with me. This book is a loose retelling of Rumplestiltskin, focusing on a girl named Miryem who has set out to collect the money owed to her father. When her grandfather lends her a pouch of silver, she brings it back full of gold, earning her the reputation of being able to change silver into gold. This sounds like a very interesting book, and I like retelling books in general, especially when they bring something a bit different to the story. Uprooted quickly became a favourite when I read it, so I’m really looking forward to reading another one of Naomi Novik’s books.
3) The Silent Patient by Alex Michelides
This is another book that I’m intending to bring with me on vacation, and I’m hoping to find a copy with the cover art shown here since it is much less creepy! I often end up bringing one or two thrillers with me on any vacation because they are usually so compelling and also fast to read. I’ve been seeing this book literally everywhere lately, and it sounds so interesting! It is about a woman named Alicia who shoots her husband Gabriel five times, and then stops speaking. Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist, is sure he can treat her and soon discovers that her silence goes much deeper than he though. I’ve seen quite a few thrillers in the past few years that deal with women who are refusing to speak, and about women who have injured or killed a husband or partner, so it definitely seems to be a trend. I’m a bit intrigued by the amount of hype this one as garnered so far, especially since this is a genre that I already tend to enjoy. I guess of all the books here, it is the least summer-themed, but I like to read thrillers in the summer because they are so fast-paced!
4) Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan and The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo
I’m cheating a bit by grouping these two together, but they are both YA contemporaries set at a theme park, so they both really say “summer” to me. Hot Dog Girl is about a girl named Lou who gets a job working as the dancing hot dog as a theme park, where her crush also works, and she also wants to set her best friend up with the perfect girl. The Truth About Happily Ever After is about a girl named Alyssa who works as Cinderella at her favourite theme park, but starts to realize that what should have been her idea of a fairy tale life is not what she expects. Both of these books sound like a lot of fun to read, and I’m very interested in seeing the theme park elements of the stories.
5) Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
This book is definitely more along the lines of an expected summer read, and I actually just bought a copy of it from Book Outlet which arrived yesterday! This book is a graphic novel from the author of Anya’s Ghost, which I love! It is a middle-grade graphic novel memoir of Vera Brosgol’s experiences as a Russian summer camp. I mentioned this book about a year ago as part of a post about summer-themed reads, so it’s definitely about time that I pick it up. I was very interested in this one because I loved Anya’s Ghost, and was very excited to read more by Vera Brosgol. I also thought it would be an interesting story to read about someone else’s experiences at summer camp, considering it was something I never really enjoyed myself. I only ever went to day camp, and even then, I didn’t like it very much. I’m very interested to see what a Russian summer camp would be like, and I hope to love this book as much as I loved Anya’s Ghost.
6) Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash
This is another one that I’ve earmarked for the summer because it is camp-themed, and it also happens to be a graphic memoir. This one is about Maggie Thrash coming to terms with her sexuality while at a camp for Christian girls. While at camp, she is soon drawn to a counselor named Erin and develops a crush, although she is surprised to find herself having feelings for a girl. I’ve had this book on my TBR for quite a while because it sounded pretty interesting, so this year’s reading challenges gave me the push to finally give it a try. I find in general that I prefer graphic memoirs over most other non-fiction, so hopefully this one will be interesting to me too. Even then, I still tend to prefer fiction over non-fiction as a whole, but I’m willing to branch out a bit, especially for a book that I’ve been meaning to try for so long. I chose this one for the summer specifically because it is set at a camp, so it seemed like a logical choice to read at some point this season.
7) Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
Geekerella is one of those books that feels like it’s been on my list forever, even though it hasn’t been. I’ve had it on my TBR for about two years now, which is arguably forever I guess, but it was the release of the second one that gave me a bit of a push to pick this one up. The two books are set in the same world, but as far as I know they are otherwise completely separate. Geekerella is about a girl named Elle who is obsessed with the sci-fi series Starfield, and joins a cosplay contest in hopes of winning an invitation to ExcelsiCon, to meet a new actor who is joining the reboot of the show. The Princess and the Fangirl is about Imogen, another Starfield fan, who wants to save her favourite character from being killed off, even though the actress, Jessica, wants to leave. Imogen and Jessica happen to look a lot alike, and a case of mistaken identity ends with them switching places to try and find the person responsible for leaking scripts for the show. Both books sound like they will be a lot of fun and quick to read, and I’m excited to give them a try.
8) From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
This was a relatively late addition to my reading challenges, but I think it will be a great summer read. I really enjoyed When Dimple Met Rishi, so I was excited to try something else by this author. This book is about a girl named Twinkle who is approached by another film geek, Sahil, to direct a movie for the Summer Festival. Twinkle dreams of becoming a director, and is also very excited to have the chance to get closer to Sahil’s twin, who is also her crush, Neil. When she starts getting mysterious e-mails, Twinkle is convinced they must be from Neil but starts to realize that working on the movie together has also made her develop feelings for Sahil too. While Dimple Met Rishi had its problems, I found it a lot of fun to read and it sounds like this book will be too. I didn’t even realize that it was based around a Summer Festival, so that makes it an even better fit for this summer.
9) Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
I have so many Christina Lauren books that I want to read, especially after how much I loved Autoboyography last year. This book is about two best friends, Josh and Hazel, who decide to start setting each other up on blind double-dates. With each date becoming a disaster, it starts to seem more and more likely that they are missing the obvious connection between them. This book does sound pretty predictable, but it also sounds like it can be very funny. I’m especially intrigued because I’ve seen several reviewers comment that they were disappointed in the ending (no spoilers please!), so I wonder if it’s a little less predictable than I’m assuming. It’s another book that seems perfect for summer to me because it seems so fluffy and fun. I really had to limit myself this year when it came to Christina Lauren books because there were so many that I wanted to try, but I didn’t want to burn myself out on them by reading too many too quickly. It looks like this will be a good place to start!
10) The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
I’m not sure if this would typically be considered a summer book, but I really want to read this one over the summer so I can prioritize the rest of The Mortal Instruments in September/October when I know I have some more time off since those books are huge! I have never read this series, but I have heard such great things about it for so long that I finally decided to give it a try. I think if I had to pick a season for this series, I would say fall or maybe even winter, but I decided to keep it to the summer when I had some time. I’m a tiny bit behind on some of the longer series I wanted to prioritize this year, so I’m using the summer to catch up. This book is set in 1878, and it focuses on Tessa Gray who is searching for her missing brother in London’s underworld, where she soon meets Will and Jem, both Shadowhunters who team up with her to fight against the secret Pandemonium Club and stop them from taking over the British Empire. The plot sounds a bit weird to me, but I’ve heard a lot about this series and especially the characters, so I’m very interested in trying it for myself.
I’m super curious about Hot Dog Girl myself.