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Friday, May 25, 2012

Books for Summer

Summer is my favorite part of the year. I'm pretty certain that unless you're a ski or snowboard enthusiast you'll agree with me; there's just something so wonderful about days so hot you sweat the moment you step outside, the smell of barbecue in the evenings, and laying around outside reading. I love books that embody the feeling of summer, so I thought I'd recommend my favorite summer reads.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

"Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it." - From Goodreads

My thoughts:
This book was so cute. It's a short read, just a bit over two hundred pages, and it's a pretty perfect way to spend an afternoon. I thought Hadley's relationship with her dad was very well done- the conclusion felt real and believable. And the romance with Oliver was adorable. I was smiling like a fool when I finished.

Because of Winn-Dixie

 "The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket--and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship--and forgiveness--can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm." - From Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Because of Winn-Dixie is one of those rare cases where I think the movie actually does the book justice. I love Opal's voice and how sweet she is as a character, and it's so much fun watching her make friends in a new town. This is a classic I revisit each summer.

Shadowed Summer

"Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.

Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?" - From Goodreads

My Thoguhts:
I love, love, love the voice and atmosphere of this one. It feels like summer - the heat, the humidity, the cicadas, the aimless feeling that comes when there's no school. The relationships between the characters is spot on for their age. This story is just so much fun to read.


"Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption."- From Amazon

My Thoughts:
Like Winn-Dixie, Holes is an amazing book that became an amazing movie. I love the absurdity of it, and how the absurdity is used to tell a story with a lot of truth. Also, while you're dying in the hot summer sun, it will make you appreciate the fact that you're not at Camp Green Lake digging holes.

What books would you add to this list?

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