It can be totally overwhelming to pick a new book and when reading time is limited I want to make sure that my choices are going to be well worth it. About once a month, I share my reading list in the hopes that it makes your reading list a bit easier to navigate and, more importantly, helps you discover books you really love. After all, life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy!
I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share my reading list this month.
On My Nightstand This Month
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The War that Saved My Life – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I try not to be superfluous with my recommendations but this is one of my favorite things I’ve read so far this year. It’s a middle grades novel set in England during World War II, which sounds like it could be formulaic. Instead, the super smart, quick prose make this feel much more grown up. Ada and her brother Jamie escape an abusive situation in East London with the evacuation of thousands of children from the city and find themselves in a small town on the Southeast coast. Susan, a single woman who has never wanted children finds herself caring for two kids with deep needs. Ada’s tenacious attitude is infectious and her relationship with Susan is one of my favorite thing to watch unfold. There’s a sequel due out this fall and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Imagine Anne Shirley as a British war evacuee.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This was the first book I’ve read by Taylor Jenson Reid and I was hesitant because of the plot description that includes an alternate universe, but Reid handles it thoughtfully and without in-depth sci-fi or suspension of reality. Hannah Martin is a young women searching for direction. After a failed relationship has her moving back home to LA, Hannah meets up with an old high school boyfriend one night and must decide whether to go home with him or not. Concurrent stories explore the idea of how much impact our choices really have. I loved watching those two stories play out and appreciated that this didn’t feel forced or sappy. Just a really interesting look at all the ways a life can turn out.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book is getting a lot of buzz for its timely exploration of racial identity and police brutality. It’s definitely written for a teen audience and captures authentic dialogue of the characters but it also challenges thinking about big social issues, even if it gets a bit preachy in parts. The story follows 16-year-old Starr Carter who lives in one neighborhood but goes to school in a very different one. One night she and her friend are pulled over and Starr becomes the only witness of a police shooting. The rest of the book chronicles the reaction and aftermath of the incident that touches the whole community and threatens to divide many of Starr’s friendships. I think this book could generate a lot of discussion with teens (there’s some language) or even a book club.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
My book club choose this for May and even though this is a well known and older book, somehow I have never read it. I’m so glad that I got a chance to read it, because this is one of the richest examples of memoir I’ve read in a long time and it reminded me that this genre is a great bridge between fiction and non-fiction since the stories are true but they read like a novel. Author Jeannette Walls chronicles her unique and tumultuous childhood with exquisite details and compelling narrative. There are trigger warnings for topics of abuse but the story is fascinating. I can’t wait to discuss this with others at book club.
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
I read this book a few months ago but hadn’t mentioned it yet. Another YA book that explores the impact of a big event, in this case the intentional flooding of a town to make way for a reservoir, and its impact on all of the characters. The teenagers of Aberdeen know they only have a few more weeks together and Keeley has to decide if that means she’ll confess her feelings to boy she’s always loved. I like that this book explores some apocalyptic ideas without the actual ending of humanity, and even though I knew nobody was in danger, the book read quickly with some good suspense about how everyone would make it out of the town.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you read any of these titles? What did you think? What’s been your favorite read this month? Leave a comment below with your book thoughts!
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I haven’t read any of these but that first one sounds good as I love reading YA books. I just finished reading See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles. She is a VT writer and has a number of great YA books to her credit. One of her most recent books was picked by Scholastic Books!! Yeah! See You at Harry’s deal with several difficult young adult and family issues. I cried some tears snd smiled a lot ( not all at once!) and I recommend this book to your readers. Try to get one of Jo’s books. You eill love her writing style.
Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to check it out.
Kelly Sage says
I love the Glass Castle. I think the other book connected to her story, Half Broke Horses, is even better.
My mom was saying she liked the Horses book better too. I’ll have to add it to my list at the library!
Steve Teget says
I have not read any of these–I’ll have to check them out! That said, I just finished one you might like called “Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere” by Po Ballentine.
Thanks for the recommendation, Steve! And for the stopping by with a comment 🙂