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Summer Reading For FUN

Caroline Albacete '17, Editor-in-Chief

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We all spend time reading books for school over the summer. Admittedly it’s somewhat painful – being forced to read a book, no matter how great it is, hardly makes reading said book enjoyable. But reading shouldn’t be painful, so if you’re looking for something to read over the summer that isn’t required reading, here are some recommendations that are sure to appeal to a broad audience of readers, and hopefully save your enthusiasm for reading. So when you’re sitting at the beach, staring out at the ocean, bored to tears by the same view day in and day out, take a look at these, and instantly travel to a more exciting location.

 

Contemporary

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Now is the perfect time to read this novel, because the author recently announced he will be writing a sequel! Aristotle and Dante is a book about two teens with unusual names growing up and growing closer together, figuring out the world around them as they figure out who they themselves are meant to be. It’s instantly relatable to any high schooler who has felt left out or unimportant, who can’t understand how they are supposed to maintain friendships.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

If it’s a contemporary novel, it’s probably set in high school, and Simon does not disappoint. It’s funny, witty, and heartfelt, the tale of a boy trying to find his secret pen pal while in the midst of preparing for the school’s production of Oliver. Relatable is an overused adjective, but in this case, extremely applicable.

 

Classics

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

It might be long-winded and a little hard to get through at times, but  Monte Cristo, at it’s heart is a tale of revenge, piracy, and inexplicable good fortune. Edmond Dantes is the very archetype of a hero, and all in all, Monte Cristo  is just an entertaining read. Plus, it’ll impress your teachers.

The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer

Greek epics are poetic and amusing. When you put everything the heroes do into perspective, it’s really just ridiculous and dramatic, so don’t take them too seriously. But they’re a lot of fun and beautifully written, the tales of Achilles and Odysseus, the Trojan War and the long journey home. If you can, pick an epic up and imagine what those poor heroes suffered.

 

Fantasy

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

A convict, a gambler, a scientist, a spy, a heartbreaker, and a thief come together for the heist of a lifetime. The characters are incredible and likable, jumping right off the first page. The fantasy world the novel is set in is amazing and almost realistic; certainly well-planned out and easy to visualize. The sequel, Crooked Kingdom, came out his past fall, so the story doesn’t end on the last page.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Set in an Middle East inspired world, Rebel of the Sands features crazy hijinks and an amusing lead, ready to take on the world and fight anyone who tries to stop her. The story leaps from magic to modernism to long hikes across a desert from chapter to chapter, and at no point is it easy to put down.

 

Sci-Fi

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

The movie came out a few years ago, but like most adaptations, it doesn’t come anywhere close to the novel. The characters in Ender’s Game are intricate and complex, and the tough situations they’re put into, especially considering how young they’re meant to be, are heart-pounding. Ender’s Game is a page-turner from start to finish.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

It’s a universe in which the bad guys and the good guys are constantly being confused – you don’t know, even at the end, which is which. The tale is told through alternating perspectives – the current time frame. In which Eli and Victor are enemies, and the past, in which Eli and victor were best friends and enthusiastic scientists. It’s an interesting glimpse into what the world could be like if superpowers were very real and very unstable.

 

Nonfiction

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

This is the biography that’s been on the tip of everybody’s tongue since Hamilton: An American Musical premiered on Broadway. It’s a little dense at times, but a very interesting review of an extraordinary man’s life.

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

This is a story of a young girl living in Cambodia under the rule of Khmer Rouge, a time in which 2 million Cambodians died and children were forced to become soldiers in a war they did not understand. The book is told in first person, the author’s tale of heartbreak. It’s a very dark and sad book, but well worth the read.

 

 

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

It’s a whirlwind of a tale, describing the life of a man who becomes entangled with old gods brought to the US by faithful immigrants from across the world. These gods, the man discovers, are being supplanted by American gods – technology, materialism, etc. The clever details hide the fact that it’s a metaphor for capitalism, but it’s obvious looking back. The writing style is very straightforward and highly entertaining – you won’t even realize you’re being tricked into reading something almost schoolworthy (if it weren’t for the language).

With a list like this one in your hands, and maybe a few other titles you’ve had your eyes on, this summer will hopefully be a perfect oasis for your literary imagination.

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Summer Reading For FUN