Six Super Summer Reads!

Wow, have I really not posted in two weeks? Sorry guys! I was in the middle of rehearsing for a pretty hectic school play, and I promise I've been writing this slowly. Oops. . .
Anyway, the solstice has past, and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere*, Summer is well and truly here. These are days of long sessions on the beach (reading), weeks off school to relax (reading), and even the odd spot of reading! Just in case you ever finish your To Read list - as if - here are a few more books which I liked, at least.

*If you're from the Southern one, then . . . um . . . Wicked Winter reads?

Red by Alison Cherry
Trust me when I say you will love this one - anything be Alison Cherry has to be absolutely brilliant. Also, once you've finished it, you can tell me whether you agree that Ivy, Felicity's best friend, should get her own spin-off. (Are you listening, Alison?)

Scarletville, Iowa, is the world's first and only redhead sanctuary. No-one might admit it, but hair colour is everything there. Felicity St. John might be the most popular girl at school, and the odds-on favourite in the annual Miss Scarlet pageant; that's all down to her red cred. And if anyone knew her secret, it would all disappear.
Because Felicity's an Artie. Her hair, like the rest of her, is a great big fake.
She doesn't really care about the pageant, or her popularity: she only entered because the downright bossy Ginger St. John - her Mom - dreams they might be the first mother and daughter to win. However, the prize money might be Felicity's only chance to go to the art school she's been accepted at.
So her secret must be kept at all costs, even when someone finds out and starts a blackmailing campaign. But how far is Felicity willing to go to protect her red cred?
Model Spy: Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky
Jessica Cole: Schoolgirl. Model. Spy.

In theory, Jessica has an entirely normal life: she goes to school with everyone else, tries to keep up with her homework, and spends most of her days imagining scenarios in which she kisses Jamie, her Potential Future Boyfriend (PFB).

That said, Jessica is different. Not every girl rushes to modelling jobs before school, or spends her weekends planting bugs to help her Dad, an ex-M.I.6 operative who became a Private Investigator after being diagnosed with MS. And not every girl, after receiving a coded distress call from said Dad, would use Haute Couture week as a cover to go looking for him in Paris. . .

This one's good, people. You won't be able to stop reading.

Dragonskin Slippers by Jessica Day George
Now, I'm bracing myself for the yells, but I've never really been a huge fan of medieval fantasy. I love all the dragons and ancient skills, and yet somehow, I always seem to get a little lost among the sword fighting and complicated religious systems - this was the book that proved to me that, as long as you've got a strong plot and characters, medieval fantasy can be awesome.

Dragonskin is about a young orphan girl, Creel, who has her entirely workaday life turned around when her impoverished aunt decides she has to be fed to the town dragon: that way, a young knight can come, rescue her, and use the beast's gold to turn all of their lives around. However, the dragon turns out to have a hoard of shoes, not gold, and Creel has already escaped with a pair towards the capital, hoping to make her way as a seamstress. What she doesn't know is those shoes are Dragonskin Slippers - Slippers that land her in an awful lot of trouble involving a dragon named Shardas, a stroppy Princess named Amalia, and the start of an all-out war...

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This is a great summer read, and you must try it, but be warned: many, many tissues are required. The twitter hashtag #AllTheBrightPlaces is used by survivors once they've got through it.

Violet Markey used to be a blogger - she and her sister Eleanor had one of the most successful websites in the country. But when Eleanor died in a tragic car accident, Violet's words dried up too. And her words should be all she has left. She's a girl derailed by her past, and alone - until Finch shows up.

Finch has wanted to die almost as long as he's been alive - his Mom barely notices him, his Dad uses him to impress his new fiancée, and school has never been enough to keep him awake. He's not well, but he shows no sign of physical illness. Then he meets Violet on the top of a bell tower, and his world changes. She's his Ultraviolet Remarkey-able, and he's taught her how to live. But can she save him from himself?

The 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison
I first read this book ages ago, and there are a lot of people out there who would call it Middle Grade, but I like it anyway.

Trouble has a way of finding Tanya. It might be because she's nosy, observant and far too determined for her own good . . . or it might have something to do with the fact she can see fairies. Not nice fairies either - in this book, they're the kind you might need protection from. Eventually, Tanya's Mum gets fed up of her 'troublemaking' (fairy attacks) and sends her to stay with her Grandmother in the mysterious Elvesden Manor. There, Tanya discovers a fifty-year old mystery - and it turns out she's not the only one with the second sight.

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgewick
I would like to say that this is one of my favourite diverse reads of. All. Time. The characters are so smart, as well as strong, and the disabilities / differences in it are handled beautifully. Bravo, Mr. Sedgewick.

She is Not Invisible is about a girl named Laureth, whose name is as weird as the rest of her life - her writer Dad read it off the back of a shampoo bottle, back when he was remotely reasonable. Now, he's been trying to write his pet project, a novel about the human conscience, for six years, and he's probably on the verge of a breakdown. That's why she panics when the notebook he never lets out of his sight turns up in New York while he's on a research trip to Austria, and impulsively drags her little brother Benjamin to the US. She needs his help, because although she might not be invisible, Laureth Peak is blind.

***
What about you guys? Do you agree with me about these books, or are there any others I need to check out this summer? And where's your favourite place to read in the sun?
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