School’s out! *cue groan* Just kidding. I love summer. Well, and my daughter’s a little too young yet to worry about school schedules anyway, so it’s just another day for me. 😉
Even so, I thought it would be fun to compile a reading list for the summer. Seems like it’s the common trend, right? Parents want their kids to keep up on reading, adults want to have a book at hand for the long road trips or lazy days out in the sun (wait, what’s that, right??). Well if you’re looking for your next summer read and you need some recommendations, check out this list! I’ve compiled my own reading list for the summer, pulling from various genres. There’s something for everyone here!
Book One in The Karini and Lamek Chronicles, this book is a must for every kid and young at heart. It presents as a light-hearted fantasy, while still focusing on emphasizing core values like family, love, and friendship. It even highlights the importance of looking beyond the appearance, with one of the main characters showing up as some strange (some call it grotesque; the poor guy gets teased horribly) unnatural creature. Despite his odd looks, he is one of the most lovable characters in the entire series. I recently finished the second book and will be moving on to the third shortly. This series is simple and easy for kids, with no alarming scenes for parents to worry about – in fact, the author notes that her main motivation for writing it was to give her kids a clean fantasy that they could enjoy, one that she didn’t have to worry about what appeared between the pages! The writing style is simple and easy to follow, perfect for young readers. My kid sister, who is an avid reader, literally read the book in just one day!
Here’s one for you adults. It’s marketed for women, but any man who has daughters or a wife or really, any female in his life, will do well to read it. The author pulls no punches here – she gets straight to the point in talking about sex, modesty (hint: it’s not a dress code), relationships, pornography, and pretty much anything else Christian women ought to know. It’s the kind of thing our parents should have brought up, but were too shy to mention. Emily Dixon certainly doesn’t get any points for being discreet here – but it’s all in a good, matter-of-fact, sit-down-and-talk with you sort of way. She’s open and frank, and some parts may even make you blush, but she does it in a way that makes you feel comfortable. None of it is for shock value, even if some parts do contain a significant shock factor. The information she discusses is gleaned from years of research, study, and even experience. It’s the kind of information she wishes someone had had the nerve to discuss with her years ago, before she found out on her own. I’m only partway through, but I’m already loving what she has to say.
This one is actually a sequel, but I’ve already read it, so this one’s next on my list. Check out my review for Toxic, the first book in this series. The series is fantasy, but where Cynthia Willow’s is about fairies and dragons, this one involves magic and sword fights. It’s also meant for an older audience – around adolescent age. Still definitely clean, but with deeper themes and mature concepts. It also delves into questions of faith, trust, growing up, loss, and friendship even with those who are different from you. I enjoyed the first book and look forward to getting this next one.
Technically, I’ve already read this one. But even so, it deserves mentioning. In this dystopian world, science has advanced enough to manufacture fully functional persons – clones, of sorts. They are the “grunts” of society – not even human. They are the servants, the disposable soldiers, the emotional robots of the human world. It’s a perfect system – until one escapes, and lives to challenge it. But, as the book blurb itself questions – “How can he take a stand against an industry that denies his personhood when he himself doubts his humanity?” This book closely examines humanity at its core, at what makes a person – what makes them unique, real. Someone with a soul. Are these “manufactured persons” really any different from the rest of humanity?
I’ll probably be adding to this list as the summer goes on, but with as little time as I have to read these days, this list will keep me busy for a while! Grab some lemonade (or iced coffee!), stretch out while the kids are busy running through the sprinkler, and try out some of these awesome reads!