• Arden Palmquist

This Summers Reading List & Recommendations

Updated: Aug 10

Before the year started, I sat down and made myself 20 resolutions for the new decade. One of those resolutions was to read 24 books within the year. We are five months into 2020 and I'm slowly chipping away at my resolution! With making strides towards this goal and people still in quarantine, I decided to compile a list of book recommendations from me and my followers for this summer!

For the Science Fiction Readers

1. The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

The series takes place in a Chicago in a post-apocalyptic dystopian setting. The trilogy starts with Divergent. The society defines their citizens by one of five factions; Candor the honesty, Abnegation the selfless, Dauntless the brave, Amity the peaceful, and Erudite the intelligent. On an appointed day each year, every 16-year-old must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their life to with a simulation test. For our main character, Beatrice, the decision she must make is to stay with her family in Abnegation or to go where she really belongs, Dauntless. She can't have both. When Beatrice makes her choice, it sends everyone with shock. During the journey Beatrice reinvents herself and struggles with finding out who her friends are and romance with the life she has chosen. But what everyone around her doesn't know is she has a secret and if that secret gets out, it could mean death. While adjusting to her new life, she discovers a growing conflict that threatens this society set up and that her secret could either help her or destroy her. This series is amazing and addicting. The movies will never live up to the books but if you're in for a good science fiction setting - this is for you.

2. The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Claire

15-year-old Clary Fray heads out on the streets of New York City for a fun night out but her night gets turned upside down when she witnesses a murder. Well, kind of a murder. She witnesses three teenagers covered in odd looking tattoos and bizarre weapons. Then all of a sudden, the body just disappears into thin air. How can you call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and there isn't even a drop of blood? Little did Clary know, this was her first encounter with Shadowhunters, warriors who dedicate their lives to ridding the art of demons. This encounter also involved Shadowhunter, Jace, a boy who may look like an angel but is actually a jerk. In under 24 hours, Clary is pulled into this world with vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. With a bunch of questions brewing around in Clary's mind her once so normal life is now no more. THIS SERIES IS AMAZING. I know it sounds so extreme but the plot, the intense emotions between characters, the details - all are so wonderfully written. These books are not small but you'll get through them so quickly. The movie and TV show are garbage compared to this amazing series.

3. The Hunger Gamers by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of what was once known as North America lies a new nation known as Panem that holds the "perfect" Capital and is surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capital's job is to keep the peace in line between the districts by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, an fight to the death event that is broadcasted on live TV. Katniss Everdeen is 16 years old and only has 2 more years before her name is out of the lottery forever. That is until her sister's name is drawn and she steps forward and take's her place in the games instead. But Katniss has flirted with death and survival before so for her this is a second nature. But, if she wants to win, she has to make some intense decisions. Truth be told, everyone knows the plot to this story, most people have read it. BUT if you haven't - this is a good science fiction novel with a beautiful love story and some insane plot twists.

For the Romantics

1. After by Anna Todd

Your classic story of a good girl, Tessa, with a reliable boyfriend goes to college and meets bad boy, Hardin Scott. The novel follows the two through the emotional roller coaster of their relationship with a jaw dropping twist at the end. This novel is one of my favorite romantic series with a page turning plot. If you are a hopeless romantic, I recommend this series.

2. One Day In December by Josie Silver

One day in December while on the bus, Laurie spots a man out the window and she knows it's her soulmate. She spends one whole year to search for this man only to find nothing. Out of nowhere, they "reunite" at a Christmas party where where best friend, Sarah, introduces her new boyfriend, Jack. Otherwise known as the man from the bus stop. This story takes place over the span of a decade as it follows Laurie, Sarah, and Jack through friendship, heartbreak, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. This book is beautifully written and will have you happily crying at the end. I devoured the book so quickly and can't wait to read it again.

3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly is one of those girls where her life is very boring, nothing ever happens to. Every year she spends her summers at the beach house with childhood friends, Conrad and Jeremiah. Throughout the years she's always noticed them but they never notice her. With each year she hopes they just would look her way. But one summer when she comes to the beach house fully bloomed, the boys turn their heads which changes everything. This series is AMAZING, perfect for those hopeless romantics who love juicy love triangles.

For the Readers Seeking Motivation And Self-Help

1. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

George is struggling in life, him and his wife are having martial problems, he's struggling at work to keep his job, and to top it all off his car is now in the shop for two weeks with no form of transportation. Except, to take the bus to work. When he gets on the bus he is greeted by the most positive person he has ever encountered, Joy the bus driver. Along the two weeks of his car being in the shop and riding the bus, he learns 10 rules from Joy to fuel his life, work, and his employees with positive energy. This book helped with my outlook on a lot of things and it was such an easy read! I recommend for those who need that reminder to stay positive when times get hard.

2. The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay

This book is for all of my friends who are in their twenties or soon to be twenties. The "thirty-is-the-new-twenty" culture that tells us that our 20's don't matter. Within this book, Dr. Jay, argues that the 20's matter more than we even thought. Dr. Jay shares advice for making the most out of your 20's, how to show hard work, how to navigate relationships, how to build social networks, and so much more. This books is life changing, especially since I am three years into my twenties and trying my hardest to navigate this age with work, love, and health.

For the Coming of Age

1. Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Alix Chamberlin made her career based on her confidence-driven brand, teaching women to do the same. Alix is shocked when her babysitter, Emeria Ticker, is confronted while watching her daughter late one night in the isles of a high-end supermarket. The store's security guard sees a young black woman out late with a white child and accuses Emeria of kidnapping the child. A small crowd gathered to watch and a bystander films everything while Emeria is not only furious but also embarrassed. Alix makes it her mission to resolve it. What While Alix is someone who always get what she wants, Emeria is broke and has no interest in Alix's help. She's 25, on the verge of losing her health insurance and has no idea what she wants to do with her life and babysitting sure isn't it. When the video of Emeria unearths someone from Alix's past and Emeria's present, both women find themselves on a quick turn of events that will change everything for themselves and one another. This book was so good but had a slow start. Once I got into reading it, the ending was worth the wait!

2. The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Eden was always good at being good. When she started high school, that wasn't what changed her. It was her brother's best friend when he raped her, changing everything for her. Everyone who she once loved she now hates, what she thought she knew to be true were all lies, and nothing make sense anymore. She knows she's supposed to talk about what happened but she can't. So, instead she buries it and who she used to be. The story is told in four parts (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year) that reveals the pain of trauma. But it also shares the story of one woman's strength as she navigates the disappointment and pain of adolescent, first love and heartbreak, friendships broken and then mended, all while learning to embrace the power of survival that she never knew she had within her. This books is a heavy read, it is written beautifully but also heartbreaking.

Recommendations From Reader's

I asked for book recommendations and my followers provided. Here is a list of books that my followers recommended!

1. Clock Dance by Anne Taylor

2. For One More Day by Mitch Albom

3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Series)

4. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

5. Things Only You Can See When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim

6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

7. Untamed by Glennon Doyle Melton

8. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

9. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

`11. Hollow by H.D. Carlton

12. Untainted by H.D. Carlton

13. The Keatyn Chronicles by Jillian Dodd (series)

14. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

15. We Should Hang Out By Josh Sundquist

16. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

17. Blanket by Craig Johnson

18. Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (Series)

19. Percy Jackson and the Hero of Olympus by Rick Riordan (series)

20. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

21. Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan (Series)

22. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

21. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

22. For Every One by Jason Reynolds

See something you're interested in? All items are linked! What are some of your favorite books you've read?

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