As the summer comes to an end, we’re spending every waking minute with our favorite books. Here are some of the stories we’re squeezing in while the sun is still shining and the beach still calling. And to help you end your summer right, we want to share them with you.
Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi
Wildly different sisters Jayne and June Baek have been avoiding each other for years. Then June is diagnosed with cancer and finds herself reaching out to her estranged little sister for support. Through screaming fights, calculated jabs and laugh-out-loud moments, we watch their relationship evolve into something resembling sisterhood. Emotional and multilayered, Yolk is a heartfelt story about the messy, complicated power of family in the face of the unknown.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
You likely read this one yourself as a teen and you probably forgot how relatable it is. The teenage years are difficult. It the time where we learn who we are and how to function as that person. Fifteen-year-old Charlie is a high school freshman reeling from the suicide of his middle school best friend and the death of his Aunt Helen. The story follows Charlie and his new friendship with Patrick and Patrick’s step-sister Sam. There are themes of death, sexuality, mental health, and substance abuse. Basically, this teen novel gets real and has stayed there for over 20 years.
Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
#1 bestselling author Stephenie Meyer makes a triumphant return to the world of Twilight with this highly anticipated companion: the iconic love story of Bella and Edward told from the vampire’s point of view.
When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.
This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
This classic book follows a rivalry between two teenage/young adult gangs in the 1960s. A major source of their conflict is socioeconomic differences. The two gangs are referred to as the greasers, the poor gang, while the other gang is the socs. This is a great summer read for today’s teens because the themes are timeless. Teenagers think they’re adults and cause adult problems for themselves.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
This lighthearted tale follows 16-year-old Lara Jean, a hopeless romantic who has been writing love letters to her five crushes and storing them safely in a beloved hatbox from her late mother – or so she thought. Things get complicated when Lara Jean learns the letters, meant for her eyes only, were suddenly mailed to the recipients. Yep – ouch. If that’s not bad enough, Lara Jean also gets wrapped up in a complicated love triangle involving her sister and her sister’s ex-boyfriend. You’ll definitely want to read this one, which explores themes of sisterhood, family, love, and loyalty, before the film adaptation is released on Netflix this August.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
An addictive must-read mystery with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.
Everyone in Fairview knows the story.
Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.
But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?
Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.
Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It by Kerry Winfrey
This novel follows Jolie, a young girl struggling with self-esteem and other unpleasant symptoms from a visible underbite. While preparing to go under the knife to correct it, though, Jolie becomes overcome with fear of dying during the procedure. So, she and her friends construct a “Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It (Which Is Super Unlikely But Still, It Could Happen)” list of things to conquer before her operation. Adventure, romance, and laughs ensue.
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez
Fantasy, family secrets, and forbidden romance, oh my! Inspired by the legendary tale of Tristan and Eseult, this novel tells the story of Princess Eseult’s lady-in-waiting, Branwen — and explores what happens when true love further complicates the already rocky seas of warring kingdoms. Years after the murder of her parents, Branwen unwittingly saves her enemy’s life. In the time that ensues, Branwen finds herself all-at-once at the center of her own love story and a painful conflict between her mission to fight for good and the people she cherishes most.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman is going to school for the first time. He hasn’t been before because he was born with multiple facial deformities and has undergone many surgeries. Auggie’s face is disfigured and he is of course naturally worried about fitting in at school. This novel is the best summer read for teenagers. Wonder is full of heart, empathy, and multiple perspectives of the same situation. It’s an eye-opening read that makes you laugh and cry.
Mean Girls by Micol Ostow
You know the story–or do you?
Cady Heron grew up home-schooled in Africa with scientist parents as her teachers, monkeys as her classmates and the African plains as her playground. But when her family moves to the suburbs of Illinois, she finds herself a stranger in a strange land: high school. With no prior research to guide her, Cady’s forced to figure out North Shore High all on her own. Suddenly she finds herself sucked into Girl World as a new member of the social elite dubbed “The Plastics.” Cady discovers that unlike the wild, Girl World doesn’t have any rules–especially when you maybe, possibly, okay definitely, have a giant crush on their ruthless leader’s ex-boyfriend. Turns out, life in high school might be even more brutal than a showdown on the Savannah.
Based on the screenplay by Tina Fey, this retelling of the cult classic film includes tons of extra, never-before-seen bonus content
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…. But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… and she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Girls Like Us by Randi Pink
Set in the summer of 1972, this moving YA historical novel is narrated by teen girls from different backgrounds with one thing in common: Each girl is dealing with pregnancy.
Four teenage girls. Four different stories. What they all have in common is that they’re dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
In rural Georgia, Izella is wise beyond her years, but burdened with the responsibility of her older sister, Ola, who has found out she’s pregnant. Their young neighbor, Missippi, is also pregnant, but doesn’t fully understand the extent of her predicament. When her father sends her to Chicago to give birth, she meets the final narrator, Susan, who is white and the daughter of an anti-choice senator.
Randi Pink masterfully weaves four lives into a larger story – as timely as ever – about a woman’s right to choose her future.