It’s the second Monday of the school year, and I am already beat. This past week has been nothing but go, go, go for me, and instead of entering this week refreshed, I am dragging myself forward at the speed of a turtle. I can already tell this week is going to require some serious caffeine and determination.
AND some serious bookage (is that even a word? If it isn’t, I think it should be.). You guys. I am ashamed to say it, but my reading life is looking a bit dismal at the moment. My days are filled with boiling classrooms, stiflingly hot rayon shirts (darn my habit of not actually reading the fabric before buying online), and middle schoolers. I need to get back into the habit of reading for fun instead of reading as a chore. Feel free to drop any and all reading suggestions below – I’m always up for a new adventure!
This week, I read This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. This was my first taste of graphic novels, and I must say, I am impressed. Wow – who knew pictures could enhance a story line so much? The story showed depth and explored real questions teens have. Readers follow the lives of Alice and Windy, two city girls who spend their summers beachside in Awago. Awago Beach has always served as a refuge of sorts for Alice, but this summer is different. Between Dunc, the boy harboring a secret that could potentially change his life forever, and her parents’ fighting, Alice’s summer is nothing like the past. The most heartwarming part of this novel is Alice and Wendy’s friendship. Through thick and thin the girls have each other to lean on, which is refreshing. This graphic novel doesn’t shy away from tough subjects, including (but certainly not limited to) depression, miscarriage, teen pregnancy, gender stereotyping, and the ever-uncomfortable teen years. With beautiful illustrations and a solid plot line, this is a graphic novel I would recommend to anyone looking to crack into a new book.
I also finished up Huntley Fitzgerald’s YA novel What I Thought Was True this week. If you consider yourself to be a fan of happy endings and YA love, this is a book for you. Gwen Castle wants two things: to escape the life she was born into and to forget what happened with Cassidy Somers, the dreamboat transfer. As Gwen grapples with her version of the past and Cassidy’s constant presence as an out-of-place yard boy on the island, she struggles to define reality and escape what she believes to be the biggest mistake of her life. Can she let go and move on? Or will she be stuck in the past, refusing to acknowledge that a future is there for her to take? First love, summer, and swoon-worthy moments fill the pages of this novel. This is one of my favorite summer reads of 2017.