It’s not exactly summer here in Indonesia, but I’m on holiday and it’s pretty much always sunny, and the western countries are having their fair share of sunny months, so I guess that justifies the title. I was in the middle of finishing my undergraduate thesis this past few months, but I don’t know why I have the urge to read some novels (I guess it was just so I could push the obligation to finish my thesis aside). It all started out when I watched Ingrid’s May favorite where she mentioned Robyn Schneider’s book “The Beginning of Everything“. The way she described it makes it so tempting to read the book that I immediately searched for the book. As always I got the e-book so I can read on my iPad. By the way, if you like reading in iPad and you think the app store doesn’t have a good selection of books (very, very limited selection in Indonesia), there’s a Kindle App in iPad so you can order the book from Amazon (don’t forget to purchase the Kindle Edition and have it delivered to your Kindle App). It’s actually a bit tricky for us in Asia & Pacific as some books just can’t be purchased the normal way, but this post will teach you how to do it. After successfully purchasing it, you can read it straight away from your Kindle App. If everything fails, there’s always epub, which I don’t recommend but very useful if you’re dying to read a book but can’t have it purchased through Amazon.
Okay, back to “The Beginning of Everything”. Turns out this book become the beginning of my Young Adult books-reading marathon (?). The story is about a boy named Ezra (beautiful name, huh?), who was the popular guy in his school. He played sports (of course) and tennis was his thing. He believed that everyone have a tragedy waiting to happen in their life, and when it happened, they’ll come out of it as someone entirely different. For him it was one night at a party when he discovered his girlfriend in bed with another boy. He was so upset he decided to just got back home, and in the nearby intersection, he got hit by a black SUV while driving his convertible BMW (I think). After the tragedy, he was wearing a cane and couldn’t play tennis anymore so he decided he wasn’t cool enough to hang out with his usual group of friends, and instead he hung out with his old friend Toby and somehow got into the debate team. Here, his adventure with the new girl Cassidy begins. I really enjoyed reading the book and I finished it in about two or three days I think. Which is fast for a slow reader like me. I found the similarity of this book with Paper Towns by John Green in the sense the main character is a boy who’s kind of fascinated by this weird, mysterious girl. But I can say that after reading thoroughly, that was the only similarity I can think about. I like that I can found a closure in the ending of this book, which I couldn’t find in Paper Towns. The ending wasn’t exactly a happy ending, but it is a very logical and acceptable ending. After finished reading The Beginning of Everything, I crave to read another young adult, easy reads book. And I remember a while ago I watched Allison‘s video, I can’t remember what but I think it’s either a book haul or a non beauty favorites. And she said that she picked up a novel by Stephanie Perkins called “Anna and The French Kiss” because a lot of her subscribers recommended it. Amazon recommended it as a Summer Reads for Teens, so I decided I would just get it and give it a read. I later discovered that I had made the right decision when I can not put this book down and stayed up all night trying to finish it! It was THAT good. Okay, maybe I was just a tiny bit exaggerating. The story is about Anna, an American girl who’s dad is a famous novelist. Her mom and her dad are separated, and she kind of hate her father, even more so when her father decided she should go to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. Under normal circumstances going to a boarding school in Paris might be a girl’s dream, but Anna had everything she could ever wanted in her life at that point. A nice job at the cinema, a best friend, something that might be the beginning of a relationship with a hot guy from work, aaand it’s her senior year. So she hated the idea of moving to Paris, and when the idea becomes reality, she cried in her room after her parents dropped her off at the dorm. The very nice girl next door knocked Anna’s door and invited Anna for hot chocolate in her room. Later when Anna went back to her room, she bumped into Étienne St. Clair. The perfect American guy with English accent and a French name. Their story begins there. I have to admit I kind of think a character like Étienne is purely fictional, like he’s just too good to be true. But apart from it, I really enjoyed their friendship-love story. A very recommended novel if you’re looking for something easy to read, nothing depressing, makes you feel nice and warm inside.
Next up is “My Life Next Door” by Huntley Fitzpatrick. This one is very appropriate for summer because the book itself is set on a summer. Samantha is a seventeen-year-old girl, living a quite privileged live. Her mom is a senator, she went to a private school, had a nice job at the country club with her best friend Nan and her twin brother Tim. Her mom is a bit of a neat freak and they had this neighbor, the kind of family her mom hates because they have 8 kids which means messy house, messy yard, messy everything. Ever since the family next door moved in, Samantha had been secretly watching them from her spot in her balcony. One night when her mother is off on a business dinner or something and her only sister had just gone for a summer vacation, she climbed up her balcony and watched the family next door. The usual thing had been going on inside the house, and she was deep in her thought when she heard someone climbing the trellis to her balcony. She was really shocked to find that it’s one of the boy from the house next door, and not the little ones, this is the one who’s just a year older than her. What was even more shocking is that this boy, Jase had known her watching his family for a while. That night everything changed. She started coming to Jase’s house and had interaction with everyone in his family. Surprisingly enough, everyone seems to like her and his mother even asked her to babysit the kids a few times a week. From there on, Sam and Jase’s relationship grown stronger. I don’t want to give too much details, but later in the book there’s conflict, a pretty messed up one. But I can say this book has a happy ending. If you’re looking for a young adult novel about friendship, first romance, and family, this is the one for you.
I have another three books I’ve read in the past months, but I think this post has gotten too long, so maybe I’d make another summer reads list in the (maybe near) future. I hope you’re having a nice summer, and if you have book recommendation please do share in the comments below!