Hate summer reading? Not with these books

Hate+summer+reading%3F+Not+with+these+books

Danielle Kiefer

Reading doesn’t have to be a chore with these sure-to-please Observer picks

By Danielle Kiefer, Features Editor

Nothing can ruin a summer faster than required summer reading assignments. However, reading during the summer doesn’t have to be accompanied by a groan and a sense of dread. The Observer brings you a list of must-read books for this summeressays optional.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

John Green, best-selling author of books such as The Fault in Our Stars, tells the story of Colin Singleton, a boy who has dated a lot of girls named Katherine—19 Katherines, actually. And he’s been dumped a lot by girls named Katherine—19 times, actually. An avid lover of anagrams and a former child prodigy, Colin sets out on a road trip the summer before college with his best friend. The two soon find themselves in a small town in Tennessee, where Colin decides to create a mathematical theorem that can predict the future of all relationships. An Abundance of Katherines is a fun, light-hearted read, ideal for tossing in the backseat of the car on a road trip with friends.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Similar to Tiny Fey’s autobiography Bossypants or Chelsea Handler’s Are You there Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, actress, comedian and writer Mindy Kaling’s autobiography includes hilarious observations on topics such as the amount of selfies on her phone and her love of men with chest hair, along with laugh-out-loud advice (“sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched”), that will make every reader want to be her best friend. This hysterical book is a perfect, quick read for squeezing in while you’re trying to finish binge-watching the last season of The Office or The Mindy Project. Kaling herself wrote, “This book will take you two days to read. Did you even see the cover? It’s mostly pink. If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.”

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder follows 10-year-old August “Auggie” Pullman in his first year of attending a mainstream school after being home-schooled his whole life due to a facial deformity. Told from varying perspectives including Auggie’s, his sister’s and a few of his friends’, readers get a well-rounded idea of what it is like to be in Auggie’s life. Although intended to be a children’s novel, Wonder makes for a touching, easy-to-read novel sure to bring readers a smile and a few tears by the end. Despite Auggie’s difficult situation and the cruelty of classmates’ teasing, Wonder remains at its core an uplifting and hopeful story about friendship and kindness.

Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison

Hope in a Jar is the story of two estranged best friends, Allie Denty and Olivia Pelham, who see each other at their 20th high school reunion for the first time since graduation. The two reunite to stop their mutual friend from marrying a “mean girl” from their class. Written by New York Times bestselling author and CHS alumna Beth Harbison, Hope in a Jar is sprinkled with references to Potomac, including CHS itself, Montgomery Mall and Tallyho Swim Club. Hope in a Jar is the perfect beach read for lounging by the ocean or laying out by the pool.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Set in the year 1999, when emails were still somewhat of a novelty and Y2K suspicions were running high, Attachments follows Lincoln O’Neill as he begins his new job as an “internet security officer” at a newspaper, which requires reading over all the employees’ emails for inappropriate content. Despite it being against company policy to send personal emails, Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder can’t help updating each other on every detail of their lives through a never-ending chain of emails, and Lincoln finds himself unable to keep from reading their hilariously entertaining messages. When Lincoln finds himself falling for Beth, he knows that reading her email means they could never have a relationship—and he wonders if it’s possible to love someone without ever having met them. A funny and charming book, Attachments will quickly become your new favorite, quirky love story.

The Giver Series by Lois Lowry

Fans of the Divergent or Hunger Games series will enjoy this quintessential dystopian series: The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger and Son. 12-year-old Jonah lives in a seemingly perfect world, without fear or pain. Each person in the society is assigned a role, but when Jonah receives the position of Receiver of Memories, he struggles with learning the horrible truth about his world. Be sure to finish the book in time to see the screen-adaptation hit theaters Aug. 15.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Written by the author of New York Times best-seller and soon-to-be movie Gone Girl, Dark Places is a similarly haunting and intense crime thriller. At the age of seven, Libby Day witnessed her family’s murder in what came to be known as “The Satan Sacrifice” and later famously testified that her brother was the one who killed them. Years later, a club that’s obsessed with famous crimes finds Libby and begs her for details. As they try to find evidence to free her brother, Libby begins to question if she made the right decision long ago and finds herself on the run from a killer yet again. You may not want to read this before bed if you have to wake up early for camp because Dark Places is a gripping page-turner sure to keep readers up at night.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

29-year-old Alice Love has a perfect life: a loving husband, an amazing sister and a baby on the way. But that all changes when she wakes up one day on the floor of a gym and discovers that it’s actually ten years later, and she can’t remember anything that’s happened to her in the past decade. Her once-perfect life is now nothing like she imagined—she has three kids, her husband is divorcing her, her sister won’t talk to her, and she’s become the kind of person she used to hate. While trying to recollect the memories of her life, Alice has to decide if this accident is a tragedy or a chance to start over.