2017 Summer Reading List

Summer is my favourite time of year to read. It combines the two loves of my life: books and the sun. There’s just something so calming about sitting outside in the warm sunlight, with the clear blue sky above. Even if you’re working all summer, there’s always a bit of time do go outside and enjoy the sun and a good book. Young Adult books are perfect for any season, but their intensity, humor, and unabashed sincerity make them great for summer.

Since I’m writing here on The Nerd is the Word, I decided to try and keep my list as decidedly nerdy as possible. We’ve got fan fiction and cosplay, superheroes and impostor queens, road trips and banquets. Many of these are new releases, with a few backlist titles thrown in for good measure. Without further ado, here’s ten of my summer reads.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: on-sale now!

One of my favourite genres of literature is boarding school fiction and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was everything I could have hoped for. Frankie wants one thing: to join the all-male secret society, The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, at her private boarding school. Thing is, she is a girl and, therefore, automatically excluded. She isn’t one to take this kind of rejection easily and decides that if she can’t join them, she’ll take them over. This book was smart, funny, and unputdownable. Frankie is a character you will remember for years to come.

Eliza and Her Monsters

Author: Francesca Zappia
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: on-sale now!

Eliza and Her Monsters is the sophomore novel of Francesca Zappia, whose debut Made You Up released in 2015. Her new novel explores the interesting world of online fiction through the eyes of Eliza Mirk, a shy teen who created an incredibly successful web comic. There’s discussions of mental health, coming-of-age, and a dash of romance. Reviews of this one have been overwhelmingly positive, so I would definitely add Eliza and Her Monsters to your summer TBR!

Queens of Geek

Author: Jen Wilde
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: on-sale now!
Queens of Geek takes place at SupaCon (a comic convention) and features three best friends Charlie, Taylor, and Jamie. Lots of geeky and romantic hijinks ensue, and lots of on-page discussion of mental health. There is also a bisexual narrator, which is always a plus. Definitely one to check out if you want a fun, sweet read with lots of geeky references thrown in!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzie Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Release Date: on-sale now!
If you’ve been anywhere near the YA community recently, you’ve definitely heard of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I’ve been hearing nothing but rave reviews for this one for months (even though it just released a couple of weeks ago). This one features Monty, a gentleman on a road trip of a lifetime across Europe. Although not your typical road trip, since this book is set in the 1800s! He’s travelling with his best friend (and crush) Percy, and his sister Felicity. Gentleman’s Guide is supposed to be hilarious and a ton of fun. It may look a bit daunting, but definitely worth lugging the hardcover around!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 29th

Can’t get enough of Wonder Woman? Well, never fear! DC is releasing a series of novels (titled DC Icons) that bring to the page some of your favourite superheroes. Wonder Woman is up first; with bestselling author Leigh Bardugo penning this new release. Wonder Woman: Warbringer takes place when Diana is a teen and still with the Amazons. Although releasing closer to the end of summer, it is definitely one to check out if you loved the movie! Keep your eye out in 2018, because the rest of the DC Icons series will be releasing (including books on Batman, Superman, and Catwoman).

Bonus Suggestion: Want to learn more about the story behind Wonder Woman’s creation? Pick up Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, in stores now!

When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: on-sale now!
Pitched as an arraigned marriage rom-com, When Dimple Met Rishi is laugh out loud funny. Literally. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this book.
Dimple loves coding. When the opportunity presents itself to attend a summer program on web coding and app building (and possibly meeting her tech idol) she jumps at the chance. Rishi is a hopeless romantic and when he arrives at the same program to meet his bride-to-be, he quickly finds out that she…has no idea he exists. What follows is a hilarious exploration of family and tradition, friendship and romance, with two characters you can’t help up fall in love with.

And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: out now in paperback!
Series: Now I Rise, the sequel, on-sale now!
And I Darken was my favourite book of last year. I’m usually a fast reader, but I took my time with this one because I wanted to savor every bit of this story. Basically, And I Darken is the story of the rise of the infamous Vlad the Impaler…except in this story, Vlad is a teenage girl named Lada. Rich with history, oozing with intrigue, And I Darken is a master-class in storytelling. The book alternates perspectives between the fierce and violent Lada, and her gentle and caring brother Radu. It features incredible moments of female empowerment, and multiple QUILTBAG characters. Basically, this book is a gem and if you haven’t read it, you need to add this to your list.

The Impostor Queen
Author: Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: out now in paperback!
Series: Sequel The Cursed Queen out now and final book The True Queen out in January!

There were many things I loved about The Impostor Queen but one of the best things was how it plays with expectation and genre. What if you’re whole life you’ve been made to believe you are the chosen one? And what if you find out that they are wrong? That’s the premise behind The Impostor Queen where main character Elli finds out that she is not the magical successor to the throne of Valtia. It’s an intriguing novel, with great characters and a bisexual protagonist! A bit slower paced (as many fantasy novels are) but definitely not one to miss if you enjoy world building and characterization.

When I Am Through With You
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 1st

Who doesn’t love a good summer thriller? Stephanie Kuehn writes some of the best psychological YA thrillers. Her novels are disturbing and worm their way into your head. Her newest release When I Am Through With You promises to be as captivating and gutting as her previous novels. Ben Gibson is recounting what happened on a school camping trip in the mountains. Except he’s recounting it…from jail. And he isn’t sorry for what happened. To say I’m incredibly excited for this novel would be an understatement, and you definitely should be too!

The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: whole series, on-sale now!

The Raven Boys is one of if not my favourite book to exist in this world. And trust me, I’ve read a lot of books. It’s magical. Captivating and hopeful, The Raven Boys will dig hole in your heart and bury itself there. It tells the story of Blue Sargent, born into a family of psychics but not one herself. On St. Mark’s Eve she sees, for the first time, the ghost of a boy destined to die within the year. The next day, she meets him in person. What follows is an exploration of family dynamics, class divides, and the magic within us all. It’s enchanting and impossible to forget.

Ciara Loader is a recent English lit grad, with a passion for Young Adult books. When not reading, she can be found throwing impromptu dance parties, eating too much chocolate, smashing the patriarchy, and procrastinating. She often lurks on Twitter (@lostatmidnight) and writes on her blog Lost at Midnight Reviews.