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A Little Summer Lovin’

Ah, Summer. There is something about summer that makes me want to read some summer flings. While during the rest of the year I am drawn towards dark and edgy, there is something about the summer sun shining brightly that makes me want to pick up those books with light, airy covers that suggest we can all have our own summer love story. So here are 10 titles whose covers suggest these might be some great summer reads. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any meat in between the covers. Also, I haven’t read some of these yet (I add notes!), their covers just speak to me and whisper: we would make a great summer beach reads display.

The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder

“Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.” – from the publisher (Scholastic Point, July, 9780545646017)

Things You Should Know:
There is some poetry in this book.
My God-daughter, a Tween and avid reader, is a HUGE Lisa Schroeder fan and highly recommends them all. All of them.

#Scandal by Sarah Ockler

“Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.” – from the Publisher (Simon Pulse, June,
9781481401241)

Things You Should Know:
Our MC is an online video gamer who loves to shred zombies. And she’s a girl. I love this.
Also, Ockler is a very dependable author that I enjoy so I am looking forward to this one.

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-way Street and Sometimes It Happens.” – from the publisher (Simon Pulse, July, 9781442434639)

Things You Should Know:
I have started this and am enjoying it.

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

“Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there’s a wedding chapel to save.” – from the publisher (Bloomsbury, May, 9781599907888)

Things You Should Know:
I enjoyed Leavitt’s previous title Going Vintage very much and am looking forward to this.

The Superlatives: Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

“Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.” – from the publisher (Simon Pulse, May, 9781442474451)

Things You Should Know:
Fun series are always a great go to.
Echols is another author I recommend.

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

“A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers.” – from the publisher (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, May, 9780374382674) 

Things You Should Know:
This is Peter Pan based.
It gets lost some along the way and has some very mixed reviews, but it is an interesting concept and definitely has that summer vibe.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

“What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.” – from the publisher (Simon and Schuster, April, 9781442426702)

Things You Should Know:
This book is a really great read. It was recently nominated as a Best Fiction for Young Adult title
This is the first book, there is at least one more to come.
This is one of the few titles I have received that really has any diversity.

How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark

Find out what happens when you fall for your best friend’s worst enemy in this timeless and hilarious story of a forbidden first love and forever friendship.” – from the publisher (HarperTeen, May,
9780062264510)

Things You Should Know:
Clark has crafted a couple of other really great beach read favorites so this should be a good one.

The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

“Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook. Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.” – from the publisher (HarperTeen, April, 9780062252289)

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti

Endings and beginnings sit so close to each other that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which is which.

Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.

Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town at Tessa’s grandmother’s.” – from the publisher (Simon Pulse, April, 9781442450004)

Things You Should Know:
Caletti writes amazing and beautiful love stories and you should read them all. 

And don’t forget Morgan Matson! Great summer reads. 

Take 5: R is for Revenge

Earlier today I reviewed The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine. In this book, there is a nice little revenge subplot. It reminded me that I wanted to finish up this post about books that have revenge themes. So here are 5 more YA titles that deal with revenge. We all want a little revenge at some time in our life.

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Publisher’s Description:
What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy’s Side Effects May Vary is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality

Karen’s Thoughts:
This is a really well written book where a lot of interesting things happen, including some very good character development and issues.  The idea of getting revenge on those who have wronged you as part of your bucket list was very interesting. And then – Alice goes in to remission and has to face the consequences of what she has done. SEMV is also very interesting because it explores the concept of the very angry young woman. There are lots of great Angry Young Men books – including Reality Boy by A. S. King – and it was interesting to explore the psyche of the angry young woman, especially when it is done in such a well developed way. You may not like Alice (though I actually did), but her story is compelling. You can read my complete review here.

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Publisher’s Description:

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds.

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong.

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate.

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person–her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he’s going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

Karen’s Thoughts:
I loved the setting of this story and the way that Han and Vivian weave some paranormal elements into this tale of revenge. It’s the first book in a series, Fire with Fire is the second. As revenge stories go, this is highly entertaining and has a lot of dynamic relationships and tension. Very enjoyable and definitely recommended. I am looking forward to the next book in the series Ashes to Ashes, which comes out in September. 

Marie Antionette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Publisher’s Description:
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.

Karen’s Thoughts:

Ghosts often want revenge and I love a good ghost story. And this one is more fascinating to me because the ghost is Marie Antoinette. I liked the ghost story aspect of the story but didn’t love other elements. But teen readers looking for a fun ghost story won’t be disappointed. 

The List by Siobhan Vivian

Publisher’s Description:
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction — and the price that’s paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn’t matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, “pretty” and “ugly.” And it’s also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two

Karen’s Thoughts:

This is a really well done look at the high school pecking order. I highly recommend it. If I am remembering correctly, Vivian based it in part on some true events that were covered in the news. Told from alternating points of view, The List will remind anyone out of high school why they never want to go back. And teens who are trying to run the gauntlet that is high school right now will definitely identify and want to discuss. This is a must read.


Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

Publisher’s Description:
From international phenomenon Cornelia Funke, the bestselling author of Reckless and Inkheart.

Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure…

Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there’s just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted?

Karen’s Thoughts:
More vengeful ghosts! Technically, this book is MG lit. I checked it out but haven’t read it yet, oops. Publisher’s Weekly said, “Despite the book’s length, the story moves quickly, filled with daring midnight expeditions and close calls with death.” (Publisher’s Weekly 3/19/2012).

Now it’s your turn to share: What are your favorite revenge stories? Please leave a comment and let others know. We’re all looking for a good revenge story to read.