Thursday, May 17, 2012
First: Congratulations to the GoodReads/IBBA winners! And thank you so much to everyone who voted for us, rooted for us, and helped us spread the word. We always knew we were underdogs, but hey, you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket, right? ;)

Second: Summer is almost upon us, and with it, high temps, short shorts, and NO SCHOOL!!!!!

(Unless of course you're going to summer school. Or you have parents like mine who signed you up for a bunch of optional, educational “camps,” which they seriously think are just as fun as real camps where people canoe and hike and make s'mores. Seriously? I never had a single free summer as a kid. NOT ONE. Not that I'm bitter or anything...*)

ANYWAY. Regardless of what your plans for the summer are, you may be looking for some good books to read. Books that won't remind you about science lab, gym class, or cramming for exams. Books that don't have to be analyzed in a five-paragraph essay. Books that will put you in that "last bell of the day, last day of the semester," "freedom at last, hallelujah, freedom at last!" frame of mind. Here are a couple suggestions:

Graffiti MoonGRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.

Okay, a few things that summary doesn't tell you:

  • The book is AWESOME.
  • The book is told in alternating point of views -- Lucy and Ed, with a few poems (of the non-flowery variety) sprinkled in the mix.
  • The book is AWESOME.
  • The book is set in Australia, over a mere 24 hour timeframe.
  • The book revolves around 6 friends -- 3 girls and 3 guys (including Lucy and Ed) -- and does a great job exploring relationships, mentors, parents, art, poetry, a potential heist, and more!
  • Have I mentioned that the book is AWESOME?

Seriously, GRAFFITI MOON is one of those books that I really wish more people would read, because it's so well-written and authentic and fun and meaningful. Also, Ed is probably in my Top 3 YA Guys (along with Cricket from LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR and Eldric from CHIME).

Twenty Boy SummerTWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler

According to Anna’s best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie -- she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

From the title you'd think that this was going to be just a beachy teen rom-com. And there IS that aspect of it. But much more significantly, there is the tender young love between Anna and Matt -- as well as the tragic ghost of that love after Matt dies in an accident.

And Anna isn't the only one who doesn't know how to deal with her grief for him. Frankie and her parents are adrift, holding onto their loss like a life preserver because it feels like the only piece of Matt they have left. Maybe a couple weeks in the Bay Area really can lead them all back to themselves... But you can bet it won't happen the way they expect.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER isn't a gripping page-turner, but the writing is both lyrical and visual, smoothly pulling you along. The characters are well-drawn (particularly Anna, Frankie, Jayne and Matt) and you can't help rooting for them all to be happy.

So, those are our recommendations for summer reading. Got any for us?


*Okay, confession: I actually liked the optional, educational "camps." Yep, I'm a nerd. Loud and proud.


chihuahuazero said...

And my mom is a staff member at this art center that have great performance and visual arts camps during the summer. -high five-

Aw...I was hoping this post had a "male protagonist" theme. Darn you, misleading headline. -shakes fist in air-

Jennifer said...

LOL. The headline made me laugh :D Thanks for the recommendations! I've been wanting to get my hands on Graffiti Moon (as well as a lot of other Australian YA.)

Rebecca Christiansen said...

I just finished Graffiti Moon a couple days ago. Really, really, really good. REALLY good.

Alissa said...

Already read Twenty Boy Summer and loved it. So I guess that means I'll have to try Graffiti Moon!

Glad you made this post. I've been feeling like a good summer read, since my summer just recently started. Been reading too many depressing books. And textbooks. Need something fun and uplifting. :]

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Since I played in a competitive band where most of the competitions were in the summer, I feel your pain. Of course, we had a blast on those trips, so I guess that makes up for it...

I love summer books. The brain candy that makes the hard reading of the rest of the year possible! Some great recs--I really need to check out Graffiti Moon.

Happy almost summer! (We're done in NINE days!!)

Donna Gambale said...

I loved Twenty Boy Summer, so I'll definitely have to check out Graffiti Moon! For summery reads, I also love Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty and Lauren Myracle's Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks --- both also have much more depth and authenticity than their covers/titles hint to.

Margot Wood said...

I ADORED Graffiti Moon. The writing was superb and the characters were so authentic, especially Ed. He is DEFINITELY my summer book boyfriend.

Kristan said...

Glad you guys enjoyed the post/recommendations!

Haha, sorry to disappoint. I mean, I DID talk about Ed...

Thanks for the reccos! We keep meaning to check out Jenny Han's stuff.

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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