Nothing hits quite like summer reading. When I was in school, I remember being given a list of books where I was supposed to choose three-to-five books to read over the summer break, and I always read the whole list — I didn’t want to have picked the wrong books!
Let’s get started!
one | Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Bree is looking to do anything but think about her mother’s recent death. When she gets accepted to the Early College program at UNC – Chapel Hill with her best friend, Bree thinks all her prayers have been answered. But before Bree can get settled into life as a kind of college student, the rug is ripped out from under her. She is exposed to ancient demons, a secret society hell-bent on protecting the world from the dark, and she meets the potential love of her life — a self-exiled member of this secret society, the Legendborn. This book takes readers on a magical adventure reminiscent of King Arthur while also tackling complex topics like racism and sexism. 10/10 would recommend. 5/5 Stars
two | The Dutch House by Ann Patchett — Audiobook
The Dutch House is beginning of the end for the Conroy family. When Cyril, the father, buys the house, he thinks all their problems will be solved. They’ve made it! But the mother hates the house, and ends up leaving her children to its darkness. When Cyril marries Andrea and passes away unexpectedly, Danny and Maeve are forced out on their own to pave their own way in life. This story is told over five decades and focuses on the unbreakable bond between brother and sister. Overall, I felt like not much happened. It was an interesting story about the cycles we find ourselves in, but it didn’t leave me wanting anything more from it or thinking too deeply about my own life. 3/5 Stars
three | Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling when they are unfortunately caught and swept aboard a pirate ship. Much to their dismay, they are going to have to trust the captain of this ship with their lives and hope they make it out alive. This is the second book in the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy, and it very much serves as a bridge between the first and the third. Alina and Mal both go through a lot of character building, new characters are introduced, and there is a lot of training for war. 4/5 Stars
four | No Exit by Taylor Adams
Darby is driving home because she has to tell her mother she loves her before she goes into surgery. But Snowmageddon has other plans. Darby gets stranded at a poorly stocked truck stop with terrible coffee with four strangers. When Darby tries to find a cell signal to at least call her mother, she spots a pale, tiny hand grasping a bar inside the back of a van, and her entire night changes. It’s no longer a countdown to the snowplows, but a countdown to save an innocent life. Darby must figure out which of these strangers is the kidnapper, who she can trust, and how to save this girl. This is now the most important night of Darby’s life for two reasons. 5/5 Stars
Triggers: Animal cruelty, kidnapping, sex trafficking, sexual assault, graphic depiction of torture
five | Know My Name by Chanel Miller — Audiobook
For many years, Chanel Miller was known as Emily Doe, the victim in the Stanford rape trial. She was found by two Swedish men riding their bikes being assaulted behind a dumpster by Brock Turner. In her debut book, Chanel tells the story from her perspective. She shares about the slow-unfolding of that night’s events, the horror at learning intimate details of the case while on the stand, and the injustice to victims of having to prove guilt even when a perpetrator has been caught in the act. Chanel has a talent for writing, and her bravery is unparalleled. 5/5 Stars
six | Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab
Boundaries and I had never met before I read this book. Tawwab, a licensed counselor, knows how hard it can be to set boundaries and how destructive it can be to live a life without them. She takes readers on a journey to understand what boundaries are, what happens when you don’t have them, and how you can set them while maintaining your relationships with yourself, family, and friends. 5/5 Stars