I happened to read a few great stories this summer! Hands-down, my favorite was Neal Shusterman’s Scythe. Shusterman knows how to concoct a chilling premise and deliver with impeccable writing every single time. I guessed I would love this book, and I was right. My twelve-year-old son and I fought over this one and he was disappointed the second one isn’t out yet. If you liked the Unwind series, this is a natural segue.
I also really enjoyed The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer. I was absolutely riveted by all 518 pages. Incredible pacing and dialogue. Meyer has such a gift for committing to a story and loving her characters so completely that I can feel her obsession on my end.
Next would be Of Love and Legend by Vanessa Eccles. I loved this one! This is my favorite of Eccles’ work. I read this in an hour without moving from my seat on a night I felt grumpy and needed something to give a little hope and magic in my life. This did just that! I loved the descriptions of Arthur and especially Gwenivere’s backstory. The backwards rain was beautiful, and the readability of the prose, dialogue, and setting was just magic! If you like retellings with a twist, check this one out. Maybe if I’m lucky, Eccles will do one about Lancelot.
I also got to read an ARC of A Boyfriend For Graduation by Katie Coughran. It was a cute read–the perfect companion for me while I sweated it out on the elliptical. I loved the theme of weighing practicality with following your dreams and passions… even when you’ve failed at this before. Damon and Charlie’s conversations felt real and resemble the type of emotional intimacy that I think is important in building a relationship.
A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann had an AWESOME beginning. I loved the protagonist’s snarky voice. My sister suggested I read this one since a group of teens are exploring a palace that was built during the French Revolution and I have a novel set during that time period. I didn’t get to finish it before my sister had to take it back to the library, but I really enjoyed the premise and voice.
I also love the premise of A School For Unusual Girls. I’m still reading this one, and the protagonist seems to doubt herself a lot, but Kathleen Baldwin handles historical fiction like a champ. She knows what she’s doing.
And finally, I just cracked open And I Darken by Kiersten White last night and it’s amazing. I’m immediately pulled in by the Vlad Dracula’s home and the chilling voice and setting. I do wish the cover was a little more gender neutral because I think my son would love this one but I’m not sure he wants to haul it around school.