Young Adult Literature

Summer YA Reads for Winter

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Okay, I admit it. I’ve only just now realized how on-the-nose it is that Jon Snow‘s most famous line is “winter is coming.” Alongside this revelation, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that yes, fall is ending. Winter isn’t coming. It’s pretty much here.

Chilly days await those of us in the Northern hemisphere. I’ve stocked up on hot chocolate packets and dug out my fuzzy slippers. I’m ready… almost. The only thing missing is a stack of winter reads.

I don’t know about you, but in the winter, all I want to think about are the olden days of months past, when heat rose off the asphalt in waves, and the trees were brilliant in their greenery. When it comes to my winter reads, I turn to books that conjure up the long, sun-soaked days of summer. This winter, I’m planning to curl up with a mug of steaming hot chocolate and these YA books:

the summer princeThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson: Nothing screams summer quite like the story of June Costa in a futuristic Brazilian city where she meets a young man destined for kingship and death. The Summer Prince is vivid in its portrayal of a romantic, relentless summer.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry: Picking up this book means diving into the gorgeous tale of Lucas, a disillusioned teen who frequents Old San Juan in the summer, stumbling into the poisonous garden of the magical and mysterious Isabel. Romance and legend twist together like vines in this summer (er, winter for me) read.

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen: This is definitely on the younger side of the YA spectrum, and fittingly, I read this in middle school. The book centers on Patty Ho, a half Taiwanese, half white girl who gets sent to Stanford’s summer math camp. Along the way, she grows closer to her traditional, single Taiwanese mother and learns to be comfortable with who she is. This was the first book I ever read with a Taiwanese American heroine like me, and I’ll always have a spot for it in my heart.

This One SummerThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki: This One Summer‘s beautiful, melancholy slice-of-life vibe is perfect for the summer of Rose and Windy, two girls whose families vacation at the beach together every year. If you only read one thing this winter, make it this YA comic book.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares: Of course, no summer reading list is complete with this YA classic. It’s been a while since I read the traveling pants adventures of Carmen, Lena, Bridget and Tibby, but it’s definitely going into my to-reads.

Got any summer-y reads on your winter book list?