Here’s the next installment in my Summer Read-Fest book list. The following books are all juvenile or young adult fiction books. All of these books were my favorites of the summer, but there were 4 books that simply “blew me away.” I’ve marked those 4 books with an asterisk.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, Brilliant use of visual storytelling, totally original, great story and plot.
The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler, You go Virginia! Way to figure out who you are, embrace it and love it!
*Dairy Queen: A Novel, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Loved it! Honest and original protagonist, I didn’t see where this story was going, but loved it.
The Off Season, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, A follow up to Dairy Queen, Not as good as the first, but still, a great read.
Skellig, by David Almond, Symbolic, beautiful read, tale of the fragility of life.
The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies, Did I just get a lesson in math, business and marketing? Fun story with a little dark streak.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by JK Rowling, Duh!
*Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson, Definitely worthy of it’s Newbery Award, excellent story, well written, great characters.
Kiki Strike in the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller, Smart, tough and kick-butt girl spies. Loved it.
Emma Jean Lazarus Fell out of a Tree, by Lauren Tarshis, Smart, borderline Asperger’s main character tries to help out classmates, well written and fun story.
*Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Surprised by how much I loved this book. Dark and sad, yet sarcastically funny and hopeful.
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, Cuh-REEPY good. I think I had dreams about long nailed hands scuttling about after reading this book.
His Dark Materials Trilogy, by Phillip Pullman, The Golden Compass was slow going at the beginning, but quickly sucked me in , The Subtle Knife was a great follow up and made me excited to read on. The Amber Spyglass was big and deep and sometimes confusing, but overall, very good.
Uglies, Pretties and Specials (trilogy), by Scott Westerfield, Great first book, be sure and have Pretties right next to you because when you finish Uglies you won’t be able to wait. Specials kind of took a turn, showed the future of cosmetic surgery, maybe? I wasn’t sure about the ending, but overall a great trilogy.
The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and River Secrets, by Shannon Hale, Goose Girl was a lovely and engaging story, kept me reading til the end, re-read parts. Really enjoyed Enna Burning, not exactly a sequel, but more of a lateral tale which still includes a little about characters in Goose Girl. River Secrets was fun, great character development and a few surprises.
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale, Wonderful tale, unpredictable in a good way.
*Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer, I think I just fell in love with a vampire! Twilight is far and away my favorite, Edward has lost his mystery by Eclipse and Bella has become a bit whiny, but I’m confident things will turn around by Breaking Dawn.
Life as we Knew it, by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Serious, interesting, heavy, frightening, thought provoking, I want to know more!