So two days ago I posted My Summer Library Reading List which consisted of 15 books that have either been on my reading list for months or have only just piqued my interest… but! These weren’t the only books that I reserved; they were just the first ones to be available for pick-up. I actually have another 12 reserved that I’m hoping to work my way through over the next couple of months – here’s what they are & why I want to read them!
The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.
The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.
But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?
I added The Accident Season to my list very recently, after I read Spellbook of the Lost & Found by Moira as I really enjoyed her style of writing & her creativity. The Accident Season sounds like it’s going to be just as a creepy & strange as Spellbook of the Lost & Found so I’m looking forward to reading it!
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.
Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.
Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.
This book is one of the ones that came to my attention after asking Twitter for books with disability rep; I’ve read a couple of books with deaf rep (check out Wild by Hannah Moskowitz for some 10/10 deaf rep) & the more I read the more I realise I really need to learn sign language – I will do it one day, when my hands are stronger. As for this specific book I love the concept of art being Julia’s escape from being different in her abled-filled school, & I feel like I’ll relate to her quite a bit (but my escape is reading).
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.
I don’t really read romance books but everyone is talking about this particular book & considering I want to move to Korea one day I felt it would be wrong if I didn’t read I Believe due to its cast. I have a feeling this book will leave me feeling nostalgic about high school (a little like Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David did) & about how ridiculous everything was when I was a teenager. I have heard wonderful things about this book so I’m really hoping I enjoy it too.
Children of Eden (Children of Eden book one) by Joey Graceffa
Rowan is a second child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Her kaleidoscope eyes will give her away to the ruthless Center government.
Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron Al-Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world.
As an illegal second child, Rowan has been hidden away in her family’s compound for sixteen years. Now, restless and desperate to see the world, she recklessly escapes for what she swears will be only one night of adventure. Though she finds an exotic world, and even a friend, the night leads to tragedy. Soon Rowan becomes a renegade on the run.
I was first attracted to this book because of the first paragraph of its synopsis – I’ve wanted to adopt a female child from China due to the way they are often discarded due to their sex & the restrictions on the number of children people have been allowed to have there during the past, so when I found out this book was about a second-born child in a world where second-borns aren’t important, I absolutely had to read it. Add in the dystopian themes & the fact that this book sounds a little like a Doctor Who episode plot… well the book had to go on my to-read list.
Wintersong (Wintersong book one) by S. Jae-Jones
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
I have heard great things about this book & about J. J. so I had to add it to my list! The Goblin King sounds super intriguing & hopefully he’ll be a little bit terrifying too. I just really hope this book doesn’t end up being one of those ones where the protag’ falls in love with the bad guy [insert eye roll here].
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata (Illustrated by Julia Kuo)
Summer knows that kouun means good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has had none. Just when Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan, right before harvest season leaving Summer and her little brother, Jaz, in the care of their elderly grandparents, Obaachan and Jiichan.
Obaachan and Jiichan are old fashioned, very demanding, and easily disappointed. Between helping Obaachan cook for the workers and with all the other chores, and worrying about her little brother, who can’t seem to make any friends, Summer has her hands full. But when a welcome distraction turns into a big mess, causing further disappointment, Summer realises she must try and make her own luck as it might be the only way to save her family.
I was told to read Cynthia’s work by someone on Twitter after I asked for more YA written by Asian writers with Asian themes – The Thing About Luck was the book by her that really interested me so I thought I’d dive into her world by starting with it. I chose this one because I like books where the Asian daughter ends up being the hero because it challenges so many Asian stereotypes against women.
The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.
As I’ve already said, I don’t really do romances, but I’ve read Stacey Lee’s other two books & I absolutely adored them both (making her one of my fav writers) & it would be awful of me to not read her other novel just because it’s a love story! This also sounds like it’ll be quite a funny & cute YA novel so I really should give it a chance.
The Lavender Keeper (Luc & Lisette book one) by Fiona McIntosh
Are you German or are you French? Are you working against Germany or for it? Are you telling me the truth, or are you a very accomplished liar?’
Lavender farmer Luc Bonet is raised by a wealthy Jewish family in the foothills of the French Alps. When the Second World War breaks out he joins the French Resistance, leaving behind his family’s fortune, their home overrun by soldiers, their lavender fields in disarray.
Lisette Forestier is on a mission of her own: to work her way into the heart of a senior German officer – and to bring down the Reich in any way she can. What Luc and Lisette hadn’t counted on was meeting each other.
When they come together at the height of the Paris occupation, German traitors are plotting to change the course of history. But who, if anyone, can be trusted? As Luc and Lisette’s emotions threaten to betray them, their love may prove the greatest risk of all.
Of course I had to have a war story on my summer read, and considering my obsession with all things lavender, this one seemed to fit the bill quite well. I’ve read one other war story based in France & I really enjoyed reading the war from that perspective so hopefully this book will educate me & break my heart just how that other book did.
The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
When a man’s favourite elephant vanishes, the balance of his whole life is subtly upset. A couple’s midnight hunger pangs drive them to hold up a McDonald’s. A woman finds she is irresistible to a small green monster that burrows through her front garden. An insomniac wife wakes up in a twilight world of semi-consciousness in which anything seems possible – even death. In every one of these stories Murakami makes a determined assault on the normal.
I’ve been told multiple times that it’s strange that I haven’t read any Murakami books considering my love for Asian writers, so what better time to start Haruki’s collection than this summer, when I already have far too many books to read! I chose this book from the many at random, so hopefully it’ll be a good start to Murakami’s writing.
The Shadow Cipher (York book one) by Laura Ruby
It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.
Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment house—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long-held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.
I really like books that are set in the past with futuristic themes, but unfortunately there aren’t many out there! So, when I heard about this new series I just had to get my teeth into it. I’m really excited about this book so fingers crossed it’ll be available at the library soon.
The Garden of Evening Mist by Tan Twan Eng
It’s Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan.
Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice ‘until the monsoon comes’. Then she can design a garden for herself.
As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling’s friend and host, Magnus Praetorius, seems almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of ‘Yamashita’s Gold’ and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?
This book sounds like a fantastic piece of Asian historical fiction & I am very excited to read it! I’ve not read any books set in Malaya before & I don’t know much about it so I hope this read will educate me about it well; I also love that the book is set very soon after The Second World War & that it demonstrates some of the damage left behind. This book also seems to contain a huge amount of Asian culture & that is what got me really excited about reading it.
Gaslight by Eloise Williams
1899. All Nansi knows is that her mother disappeared on the day she was fished out of Cardiff docks. She can’t remember anything else.
Now, with no other family to turn to, she works for Sid at the Empire Theatre, sometimes legally, sometimes thieving to order, trying to earn enough money to hire a detective to find her mother.
Everything changes when Constance and Violet join the theatre, both with their own dark secrets. Nansi is forced to be part of Violet’s crooked psychic act. But it’s when Constance recognises her, and realises who her mother must be, that Nansi’s world is turned upside down forever. She is soon on the run for her life and she will have to risk everything if she’s going to find the truth.
Do I really need to state why I want to read this book? Everything about it sounds thrilling & daring, but I’ve also heard a lot of wonderful things about this book & I’ve been wanting to read it since its release. This is another book that I’m hoping will be waiting at the library for me soon!
You’re probably thinking, if you’ve read both my posts about my summer reading, that I have taken on waaay too many books – & you are 100% correct. I have absolutely no idea how long it will take me to work my way through all 27 library books as well as all of the ARCs I have, but I will do it & I’ll be using my blog to document my journey. I can’t guarantee I’ll stick to this list completely, there may be the odd book thrown in along the way, but I’m really going to try & control myself this summer… I really need to learn some self control when it comes to books & reading…