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Book review: Summer reads for young adults

By Hanah Shields, For the Express-News

Published 12:00 am, Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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It’s almost summer, and you know what that means … Summer reading! Summer is the perfect time to lay out in the sun and read some upbeat, lighthearted young adult fiction.

Here are five of my favorite contemporary reads to take you through the next few months. Since You’ve Been Gone By Morgan Matson

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, £9.99 When Emily’s best friend Sloane suddenly disappears, the only thing she leaves is a list of daring tasks for Emily to complete. Despite Emily’s cautious nature, she’s determined to find Sloane by checking off all the items on the list, even if it means getting out of her comfort zone.

Morgan Matson’s writing is fun and adventurous, perfect to take with you on vacation. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe By Benjamin Alire Saenz[1]

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, £12.99 Aristotle is cynical and full of anger, while Dante always has his head in the clouds. As their friendship grows and changes, Ari and Dante struggle to find their identities and their place in the world.

This critically acclaimed novel set in 1980s El Paso holds important messages about identity that will stick with you long after you finish it. Holding Up the Universe By Jennifer Niven[2]

Knopf Books for Young Readers, £17.99 Libby Strout[3], once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen,” returns to high school, hoping for a fresh start. Jack Masselin[4], smooth and charismatic, is constantly hiding the fact that he has prosopagnosia: he can’t recognize faces. Through a twist of fate and group counseling sessions at school, Jack and Libby get to know each other while dealing with their own insecurities in Jennifer Niven’s well-loved contemporary novel.

The Summer I Turned Pretty By Jenny Han[5] Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, £10.99

Belly waits all year for summer, the only time of year that really counts. The best times of her life are spent at the beach house with Susannah and her two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad. But one summer, everything begins to change, and Belly doesn’t know if it’s changing for the better.

Heartfelt and true, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” will keep you longing for the coast. We Were Liars By E.

Lockhart[6] Delacorte Press[7], £17.99 The Sinclairs are supposed to be distinguished, polished and perfect.

But on their private vacation island, secrets are spilled, bonds are made and broken, and lies are everywhere. The ending to this suspenseful story full of scandal, romance and mystery is the best part of the book. Hanah Shields will be a junior at Alamo Heights High School[8] in the fall.


  1. ^ Benjamin Alire Saenz (
  2. ^ Jennifer Niven (
  3. ^ Libby Strout (
  4. ^ Jack Masselin (
  5. ^ Jenny Han (
  6. ^ E.

    Lockhart (

  7. ^ Delacorte Press (
  8. ^ Alamo Heights High School (

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