Good Reads for the Summer Heat

by Alyson Raywood

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Finally, the last school bell rings at 2:40, and everyone is rushing out of the doors; summer vacation begins. A nice, long break from the hectic school year is just what every teenager needs, but sometimes you can find yourself with nothing to do.  After all, eight weeks is a pretty long time.  For those times when the beach is not an option and all of your friends seem to be busy, I’ve compiled a list of great books to occupy your time:

Twilight Saga: Twilight– Stephenie Meyer’

The reader is introduced to the dull and normal life of Bella Swan when she moves to Forks, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona to live with the father she barely knows. It is in the town of Forks that she soon meets and falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire, Edward Cullen.  However, he isn’t your typical vampire; he drinks animal blood rather than human blood.  Their love quickly becomes unconditional, but is interrupted by James, a devious vampire from another coven.  His goal is to hunt Bella down, but with the over-protection provided by Edward and the other Cullen’s, it’s almost impossible for him.  Bella is tricked into believing her mother is in trouble, and escapes the protection of the Cullen’s to return to Phoenix alone.  She encounters James, whom wants to kill her; will Edward and his family get there quick enough to save her?

Beastly– Alex Flinn

In a modernized retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Kyle Kingsbury has everything- wealth, beauty, and the adoration of everyone but his parents.  However, his soul is cruel, and he has become incredibly conceited.  Because of his wicked ways, a witch places a curse on him.  As in the fairy tale, Kyle is turned into a beast, with only  to find someone who will love him for who he is, not the way he looks.  In his father’s attempts to find a cure, he sets Kyle up with a maid and a blind tutor; Kyle does not fully connect with either of them.  Later, he encounters a thief who is willing to trade his daughter for his freedom.  However, could she also be the solution to his curse?  Or will his time run out before he can convince her that he is lovable?

Soul Surfer– Bethany Hamilton

The  true story and autobiography of Bethany Hamilton, this is the story of a typical teenage girl growing up in Hawaii.  Her main interest and passion is surfing, and she competes in many tournaments and is even sponsored by a surf company.  Her life seems almost perfect; growing up in paradise, doing the sport she loves everyday, and having the endless support from her loving family.  But perfection always has its downfalls, and for Bethany that was losing her arm after a shark bit it off during her morning surfing lesson.  Now, you  would think her love of surfing would come to an end after such a tragedy, but Bethany’s only concern was getting back on the board.  The reader is able to gain appreciation for the bravery and dedication of a thirteen-year-old girl and her ability to recover so quickly, get back on her surfboard, and compete again.  A great book that will inspire anyone who reads it.

Water For Elephants– Sara Gruen

A gratifying novel that takes place in 1932, this story begins when  Jacob Janowski, an orphan, jumps onto a passing train and enters a world of strange people; a circus struggling for survival during the Great Depression.  This circus constantly travels from town to town, making one-night appearances, in hopes of making money.  Soon after Jacob’s arrival, he’s put to work caring for the circus people and animals.  This is where he meets Marlena, the young, gorgeous star of the equestrian act.  Jacob soon discovers that Marlena is married to August, the animal trainer, but that doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason to stop pursuing the true love developing between him and Marlena.  The two are forced to overcome improbable obstacles in a circus world of endless confusion.

Slice Of Cherry– Dia Reeves

The two main characters, Kit and Fancy Cordelle, are very close sisters. They are the daughters of the Bonesaw Killer, so they are used to being judged and secluded from everyone else. Their utmost desire, not to fall into the same trap and footsteps as their father, used to be priority; until they enter Portero, a place where the wild run rampant.  It’s soon after they come to Portero that they give into the urge to kill; however, they’re not killing just any random souls, but only the people who deserve it.  The two sisters keep in mind how their father got caught, and refuse to make the same mistake.  However, as their desire to kill increase, how can they balance their urge to kill with their desire to not get caught?

There are many activities to do in the summer, but for those days where there is nothing to do, or when you don’t feel like leaving the house, take into consideration reading one of the five books I listed above; they’ll occupy your time, while challenging your mind.

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