All apologies for my absence last week, I was on vacation in this gorgeous place, where it is very easy to forget about whatever technological obligations you may have. This week I fly away again, but I’ll leave some posts for you in preparation.
And now, we move to books, the things you actually care about. And school, the thing you probably wish you didn’t care about as much. Also the thing you wish hadn’t just started/wasn’t about to start. More specifically, that summer reading assignment you may be stressing over (I got lucky this year – no assigned reading! Though I would rather have summer reading than most of the other summer homework I got). This post will likely not be helpful if you have a specific book assigned to you, but if you get to pick from a list (or choose freely!), search no further. I’ve collected a short list of my favorite, relatively original to choose, meaningful (all the better to write about) and interesting books that are approximately school appropriate and linear enough for easier projects. Good luck!
Sara’s Face by Melvin Burgess
Melvin Burgess, author of the risqué books Doing It and Smack tackles teen insecurity in a delightfully sinister manner. (This is for seriously one of my favorite books of all time – I should review it).
In her quest for a body she’s happy with, Sara accepts the help of an infamous megastar who has undergone multiple plastic surgeries. Though he feels he’s the only one, Mark, Sara’s boyfriend, doesn’t support plastic surgery, even though Sara told him he could have free reign on her upcoming boobjob.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
You can read my review of this book/graphic novel here, but if you don’t have the time I assure you it’s great. (Though you might want to check it with your teacher because it’s a graphic novel. It’s very text heavy, but there are pictures and some teachers oppose that).
It’s hard enough to grow up in the best of circumstances, but young Marjane Satrapi has it worse than many. She lives in a war zone, where she’s forced to cover her hair and hide her personality. As she struggles to understand what her family is fighting for, she grows up without before she can notice.
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
This series is tried and true for school projects by yours truly (I read both books for the first time for free choice assignments), and probably by lots of other people as well. Both Bumped, the first book, and Thumped, the sequel, are ripe with meaning and real-world application while also ridiculously fun to read.
Melody Mayflower and Harmony Smith are polar opposites. Melody is ready to launch a career as a successful surrogette, aka a babymaker for rich, infertile, over 18 year olds. All she needs is for her agent to find the perfect partner so she can get started. Harmony is about to be married, already considered an old maid in her superconservative religious sect at the age of sixteen. When their worlds collide, neither of them is sure what to think.
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
A gorgeous book, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Hold Still is steeped in meanings and poignant things to consider. It’s also a gorgeous read (both in literary terms and visually – the in-text art is unparalleled) and similar to the very popular 13 Reasons Why without making teachers roll their eyes because you’re the fifth person to do it this year (nothing against 13 Reasons, but a bit overused, just saying).
Struggling to understand her best friend’s recent suicide, Caitlin turns to the diary that was left under her bed by Ingrid before she vacated her life. As she begins to heal, Caitlin finds various outlets and makes new friendships until she might, just maybe, have a real life again.
The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw is the motherlode when it comes to hidden meaning and symbolism. It is also possibly my favorite book of all time (I have about five of those), and so, so beautiful. I cannot praise it enough. I really, really love it.
Twentysomething Midas has a very dull life until Ida steps onto his peculiar island and changes everything. Though her step is clunky and uncoordinated, it’s the first step toward a cure for Ida’s perplexing affliction – her body is turning to glass. As she and Midas work toward the cure they’re not sure exists, the clock ticks, and so do their hearts.
There you have it. I hope you have some more ideas now. I also hope you have the luxury of picking one of these books, because though they’re academically interesting and kinda fun to analyze, they’re also great books, or in the case of The Girl with Glass Feet stunning literature.
Happy reading, and my condolences on school starting (unless you’re into that, which I totally respect),