Books You NEED to Read

I love reading. So much. And with summer coming to an end, I’m looking at my stack of books and I feel so accomplished looking at how many books I’ve read this summer.  Today I’m going to share some of my favorites with you- nothing is crazy difficult to read, since it is summer. I like the easier-to-read, YA fiction type books, and that’s what all of these are*.

*These are listed in no particular order

stephanie perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After

by Stephanie Perkins

These books are absolutely amazing. They’re all fairly quick reads, but I think a lot of that is thanks to how lovely the characters are. Stehpanie Perkins is somehow able to perfectly describe what it feels like to fall in love and the characters do it in such a realistic way that I can envision myself casually falling in love at a boarding school in Paris.

Anna and the French Kiss  is the first book in the series, as protagonist Anna Oliphant is shipped off to school in Paris to finish her senior year of high school (tragic). She ends up making a group of really good friends, including Etienne St. Clair, who she ultimately develops feelings for. The two become close friends and with a setting as romantic as Paris, it becomes harder and harder for the two to stay away from each other as St. Clair goes through major life changes and has to decide whether he’s ready for another with Anna.

Lola and the Boy Next Door is the sequel, and it’s still good, don’t get me wrong, but since it’s set in San Francisco with essentially a whole new set of characters, the magic of the first book just isn’t there for me.

Now Isla and the Happily Ever After somehow stole my heart just as much as, if not more than Anna and St. Clair did. The story starts in Manhattan, and Isla is just a young girl with a crush, an adorably child-like obsession with classmate Josh. The two befriend each other one night before the set back off to school in Paris, and the chips fall where they may. This book is heartbreaking and beautiful and I loved every page of it. Isla felt like such a relatable character, kind and smart and likable. I think all three books are great but this is far away my favorite.

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The Glass Sword

by Victoria Aveyard

I feel like the dystopian genre is becoming so tired and crowded, which is why I was surprised at how much the Red Queen caught my attention.  When the Hunger Games first came out, I was all over it, and wanted to read any and every dystopian book out there, which I think is what prompted me to pick this book up when I saw it at Barnes and Noble.  In this world, the haves and have-nots are separated by blood. Those with silver blood are regarded as gods with superhuman powers, while those with red blood are destined to serve.  Through happenstance, Mare Barrow, a Red, finds herself in a situation at the castle where she discovers she has inexplicable powers.  This book is captivating and compelling because the reader doesn’t know for sure who is on her side and who is trying to expose her biggest secrets. With two princes fighting for her attention, Mare doesn’t know who to trust, all she knows for certain is the only person she can trust is herself.

The Glass Sword is the sequel, where Mare has escaped the castle and is seeking out more Reds like her, with powers so they can overthrow the kingdom.  I don’t want to give too much away, but both books are absolutely enthralling and I can’t wait for the third book to come out so I can see how Mare’s story ends.

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The Bloodlines Series 

by Richelle Mead

I will not ever have enough positive things to say about this series, because I can say with absolute certainty that it is my favorite series ever. I have re-read these books so many times and I never get sick of them.

The Bloodlines series is a spin-off to the Vampire Academy series, which is next on this list of must-reads, but it follows alchemist Sydney Sage to Palm Springs where she has to care for a group of vampires in hiding.  Obviously things can’t go off without a hitch, and she ends up befriending this group of vampires, a species she’s been raised to detest and has sworn to regard as evil creatures of the night.

Throughout the series she and one of the vampires, Adrian Ivashkov develop a friendship as he becomes her partner in crime (so to speak) and Sydney begins to second-guess everything she’s been told her entire life.

It’s so hard to summarize 6 books without giving too much away, but trust me, these books are amazing. There is so much character progression and I fell in love with everyone. These books are super unpredictable and amazing.

vampire-academy

The Vampire Academy Series

by Richelle Mead

This is the series that came before Bloodlines, so after I re-read Bloodlines, I decided to come back to where it all began. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir guardian-in-training at St. Vladimir’s Vampire Academy, best friend to Moroi princess Vasilisa Dragomir.  Rose has sworn to protect her best friend and all Moroi from the looming undead vampires.  She is trained by her mentor, Dimitri Belikov, and the two develop an inescapable bond, which inevitably propel the series forward.

I found the Moroi/ Dhampir world really entertaining to delve into, and Richelle Mead does a phenomenal job at creating this hidden vampire world, with its own monarchy and royal class system, so much so that the shift from this series to Bloodlines is obvious, but it streamlines well.  Plus, if you like this series, there is the spin-off, which leaves you with 12 fantastic books to occupy your time.

fangirl

Fangirl

by Rainbow Rowell

Anyone going into their first year of college will inevitably find themselves relating to this book.  Protagonist Cather Avery and her twin sister Wren are starting their first year at college, and while Wren is excited to start a new life and fully delve into all that college has to offer, Cath is more reclusive and finds herself begging for the comfortable and familiar.  She unexpectedly befriends her roommate Reagan, who gets her out of her room enough, but also knows to leave Cath be with her writing and her fanfiction.

This book is endearing and relatable, Rainbow Rowell has a way of writing that was able to perfectly describe the characters’ feelings and convey them so I could empathize with their lives and problems.  I really recommend this to anyone, especially if you’re going into college and feel alone, because it helps you feel a little less alone.

hP

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

The highly-anticipated “eighth book.” Let me burst your bubble, this isn’t a classic J.K. Rowling book, this is a screenplay. It takes a while to immerse yourself in the writing style of a script, and every once in a while you’ll find yourself rolling your eyes at what Harry does or shaking your head at adult Ron’s utter stupidity, but at the end of the day, this isn’t a Harry Potter book. This is the story of his son Albus, and his best friend Scorpius Malfoy.  They attempt to change time in an attempt to bring back Cedric Diggory during the Triwizard Tournament that took place 20+ years prior.  This book probably won’t be what you’re expecting, but at the same time I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel like it is an adequate addition to the Harry Potter world.

 

I hope these recommendations sparked your interest, and even if it didn’t, I hope it at least spurred your desire to pick up your favorite book and give it another read! Let me know in the comments some book recommendations because as summer comes to an end I know I’m going to need my favorite hobby to keep me sane as the pressure of classes start to weigh me down.

 

xoxo,

Ashley

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