With summer comes lazy, hot evenings. And with lazy, hot evenings, comes books. Lots of books. I didn’t read a crazy amount this summer, but I did read enough to pick a few favorites. And boy are these favorites worth the read.
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
The Talisman is a story about a 12-year-old boy named Jack who takes off on a cross-country trip to save his dying mother. There is magic, werewolves, doppelgangers, and way more. It’s a great romp.
A combination of high fantasy and gritty freeway underpass vibes. You really feel like you’re right there with Jack, trying to tackle the impossible feat of traveling from New Hampshire to California on foot. Even though the book says it’s the “ultimate experience in terror,” I wouldn’t classify it as horror. I’d call it fantasy with some scary elements, maybe a bit of an Outlast 2 vibe in places.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
It’s the future. Human medicine has evolved to the point that people are immortal. But that doesn’t mean the earth’s ecosystem can handle an endlessly increasing population.
Society’s answer to this problem is scythes: a group of people who are tasked with keeping the population thinned out by killing a certain number of people a year. The book follows two teenagers who are chosen to be apprentices to a scythe.
I wasn’t sure what to think of this book at first. I didn’t really care about the main characters, and I was fairly certain I would be able to predict the end. But eventually, I really started caring.
I found myself laughing out loud (seriously) or gasping, alone in my room. It’s a thoroughly engaging story and has some fantastic twists.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Hands down, best book I read this summer.
I had been waffling back and forth about whether to read this book or not. I love Rainbow Rowell’s other books like Carry On and Fangirl, but the description of Eleanor and Park made it seem standard and kind of boring. It’s a high school love story between a boy and girl. Okay.
But then I started reading it, and oh my gosh. It is anything but standard. The characters in this book are so exciting and lovable (or hateable, depending on who you’re talking about). The story is told masterfully, humorously, tragically. I felt so many things while reading this book and I was so sad when it ended. These characters will stay with me for the rest of my life.
My Current “To Be Read” Pile
My TBR pile is never ending, but here are the newest additions to the horde.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
I found this book at my favorite local used bookstore. It’s about the owner of a bookstore on a houseboat who uses books to improve the lives of the people he meets. It sounds thoroughly heartwarming and a lot of fun.
The Hidden Oracle, Book 1 of The Trials of Apollo Series by Rick Riordan
I have a love-hate relationship with Rick Riordan’s books that definitely leans more towards love. His writing style irritates me sometimes, but his characters, stories, and the masterful level of adventure in his books keep me coming back for more.
The Hidden Oracle is the first book of a new series. Zeus sends Apollo to earth as a mortal to teach him a lesson.
I’m really excited for this book. I’m a sucker for stories about gods who have to maneuver their way through human society. Thor, anyone?
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
This is another book I picked up second-hand. I’ve never read this series before, but I’ve always been curious about it. It’s the book series that inspired the vampire drama, True Blood.
It’s the second book, but as is my habit, good or bad, I picked it up instead of holding out for the first one. Will it be good? I don’t know. But it looked cute, funny, and has vampires. What more do you need?
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Doctor Sleep is the sequel to one of my favorite books of all time, The Shining. It’s about Danny Torrence as an adult, and the intriguing paranormal situations he gets in because of his gift.
I’ve heard nothing but glowing praise for this book, which is great. Even if it was bad, I probably would have enjoyed it, just because I get to read more about little Danny.
I’ve also been picking my way through Stephen King’s nonfiction writing advice book/memoir, On Writing. He has some of the best writing advice I’ve ever heard. And he has the gall to say he’s not qualified to give advice to writers.
The Empty Grave, Lockwood & Co. Book 5 by Jonathan Stroud
I am seriously hyperventilating about this book. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know what a fan I am of Jonathan Stroud. Ever since I read his Bartimaeus trilogy, he has been in my trinity of favorite authors. This is the fifth book in his series about a teenage group of ghost hunters in London. Spooky and funny, in true Stroud fashion.
This book is super new, having hit the shelves just last month. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ve been waiting so patiently.
So that’s been my summer in books. What about you? Did you read anything this summer that blew your mind?