YA Summer Reading List!

Summer has begun for you YA Savvy Readers! Since I’m stuck in the office, here’s a few books I want you to go read on a beach for me, okay? Great.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

Co-written by three amazing authors, My Lady Jane is a unique and hilarious story. Hand, Ashton & Meadows have rewritten the history of Lady Jane Grey who back in the day was the Queen of England for nine days before they removed her head. Yep, that’s right. It’s the heartwarming and slightly absurd humour, reminiscent of The Princess Bride, which makes this such a delightfully funny read.

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

This isn’t the Wonderland we all know and love…this is a fierce political game of a newly crowned Queen. In the same theme of rewriting history, Oakes has rewritten a classic fairytale with a darker twist. This action packed tail is a heart pounding page turner that will pull you away from that sandy spot on the beach and straight down the rabbit hole!

The Season of You and Me by Robin Constantine

Cassidy has just had her heart broken. Brian has tragically ended up in a wheelchair. Both characters are looking to change their lives while working as camp counsellors. Neither of them expected to fall in love.

Just as a side note: I’m currently very jealous of that couple on the cover.

A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel

Fans of Sarah Dessen will love this captivating tale of a young girl who suffers a nearly-fatal lighting strike – and loses all her memories from the past year. This is a tale of exciting high school drama and startling second chances; a perfect summer/beach read.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Prepare to fall in love with the amazing character that is Simon Spier. Sixteen years old and not yet out of the closet, Simon is now faced with being blackmailed about his online budding romance with an adorable guy he’s never met. As many of you know, high school can be a cruel place, and Becky Albertalli has hit the nail on the head with this captivating coming of age story.

Sing by Vivi Green

The leading lady in this novel and myself are kindred spirits I think, given that she decides to escape her real life by spending her summer at the beach. Heartbroken and devastated, Lily has decided to focus on her music and forget about guys, at least until she meets a cute local boy. This light hearted romance will be tough to put down…just don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen.

I hope all you lovely readers have a happy summer vacation filled with sand, sun and stories.




Follow me on Twitter @jodiekeene

March Break Reading Recommendations

Just because the kids are on March Break, it doesn’t mean they have to stop reading! Here are HarperClassroom’s 5 favourite March Break recommendations that all have fantastic activities for extra fun! Continue reading

50 Book Pledge Featured Read: Glass Sword

GlassSwordThe Red Queen series is not one of absolutes. As a result there is not one character that can be defined as fully good or evil within these pages. People are often ever shifting in their morality and this novel reflects that truth. We all make bad decisions for what we feel are good reasons sometimes and Victoria Aveyard embraces that greyness. Glass Sword embraces the shades of grey that Red Queen first introduced and reminds us that good and evil really depend on who is telling the story.

Glass Sword took Mare’s story into unexpected places. The world is expanded and with it comes breath stealing storylines that are filled with surprises, and some new characters to love. So much of what Victoria chose to do in this instalment felt bold and daring. It’s not the predictable direction you would expect it to take and that makes this story all the more engaging. It could go in any direction, and it is not necessary telling the story you think it is. It leaves you feeling unsettled because this could be the story of how a young woman becomes the hero, or it could just as easily be the story of a young woman becoming a villain.

Mare struggles with the events of book one. They have left their mark and haunt her every step; she is sometimes selfish, sometimes cruel, and often makes quick tempered decisions AND I LOVE HER FOR IT. I’ve always said that I don’t have to agree with a character’s actions, or even like their decisions, but I do have to understand them. I understand Mare. The writing ensures that the reader recognizes her motivations. The things that happened to her have an impact and that’s made her who she is. There is character growth, even if it feels like negative character growth. This isn’t the story of someone learning to open up. Instead this is a systematic hardening of a young girl who has had a large responsibility put on her, one she is not sure she’s ready for. She’s a reluctant heroine, one who isn’t sure the shoe fits. “If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.” This quote lingered with me and I think it defines Mare’s mental state during Glass Sword perfectly. Mare is beginning to become a little ruthless, and we all know that saying about power and how it corrupts.

Victoria Aveyard once again offers up a juggernaut of an ending that will leave you madly desperate to get your hands on book three. It is the sort of ending that once again pushes this novel into new territory. It is, like the rest of Glass Sword, bold and offers the perfect exclamation point to this chapter of Mare’s story.

Glass Sword is this week’s 50 Book Pledge Featured Read! Add it to your shelf now.


Follow Kathy on Twitter @kathycoe. To read Kathy’s full review, visit her blog here.