Non-required Summer Reading

Summer has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, and although I hate the heat, one thing I always love about summer is digging into a good book after a refreshing ocean dip. Whether you’re a beach bum like me, or looking for something to read poolside, at the park, on vacation, or soaking in the AC, here are some fun YA reads to keep you company.

Elizabeth Chandler‘s Dark Secrets series
Consisting of five books, each story revolves around a teenage girl knee deep in spooky happenings during summer vacation. They’re essentially vaguely paranormal murder mysteries, with a touch of romance thrown in. Even though the girls experience grief, danger, and other issues, the stories don’t feel heavy. It’s very easy to get caught up in the suspense, and I don’t think I correctly guessed the truth for any of the stories. A fun series for those looking for thriller-lite tales!

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Not set during summer, but this is the kind of book I would enjoy reading after a swim. Ceony Twill is our main character here, and she’s learning how to do paper magic. In this world, magicians can choose the bond to and be able to manipulate materials, such as metal, glass, rubber, and paper. Ceony had her heart set on metal, but as fate has it, she falls into an apprenticeship with Emery Thane, an eccentric paper magician. The quiet, unassuming nature of paper magic, or Folding, is so charming, you’ll be wishing you could Fold by the end of the book. It’s not all just Ceony playing with paper, though. There’s also some action, with very high stakes. Great for those who daydream about living in a cottage far away from society, possibly with a nearby meadow to frolick in.

Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman
Sitting at about 100 pages, this is definitely the quickest and summery-est read on my list. The story is simple: two best friends help a mermaid stranded in a derelict beach club find love. I couldn’t care less about the romance, which is the typical fairy tale love-at-first-sight deal, but I was so on board with Hailey and Claire’s friendship. Claire’s set to move away at the end of the summer, so helping Aquamarine is the girls’ way of making the summer last. Hoffman does an amazing job capturing that end of summer feeling, when the days are so hot and long, but you want them to last forever anyway.