I have always been a big reader and the best part of packing for holiday is placing a book in my hand luggage and the rest in my suitcase (although, when holidaying with my family, my mum boasts that while my books take up some of our allowed space, my mum carries hundreds of books on her best friend: The Kindle). Even more exciting is when I buy new books especially (book shopping for Malta was super exciting). What is better than going on holiday with your favourite people in your life and being able to ignore them easily because if you can’t ignore someone for a book on holiday, when can you? I read three books when in Malta this year and they very much so fell into the category of “leave me alone: I’m reading.”
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
I wanted to read a Young Adult book to start with on holiday because I’ve recently read more hard-hitting/thought-provoking fiction/non-fiction. Even though this is aimed at teenagers, Second Chance Summer, as I was warned, turned out to be heartbreaking: I mean, Morgan Matson ripped out my heart and stomped on it with her perfect characters. It’s about Taylor, a 17 year old girl spending her summer in Lake Phoenix (their lake house). With her family wanting to spend a summer together after they are delivered some heartbreaking news, Taylor has her summer to love her family and find herself again in her favourite childhood place while facing a few ghosts from her past.
It is books like this that inspire me to order five Young Adult genre books in one go. While a 13 year old is sure to love this, so would my mum! I finished this book on the boat ride back from the Blue Lagoon and Aaron watched, bemused and a little (a lot-a) terrified, as I wailed my way through, not the last few pages, but the last 30. It’s really, really good.
After You by Jojo Moyes
Since I watched Me Before You at the cinema twice before holiday, I bought this (alongside Second Chance Summer) on a shopping trip the week before we were to get on the plane. Two years before I read this I had just finished Me Before You (the first book in the two-book series), so it seemed only fitting. I’m fearful of spoiling Me Before You so I’ll just say that I didn’t realise how much I needed this book until I opened the first page immediately after cleaning up my tears from Second Chance Summer.
I was dubious about reading it, actually. Weirdly. There are few authors I trust like Jojo Moyes. Her writing is flawless and I open every novel of hers, very aware I’m about to read one of my favourite stories. I was just nervous because I will never love a novel in the way I loved Me Before You and I couldn’t let the novel go. I was aware it was going to be an amazing book (there was no doubt in me at all), but took a while to buy it all the same. Ultimately, it was the continuation of Lou’s – my favourite character ever – story, and her endeavour into becoming more like her favourite way to dress- exciting and adventurous.
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Aaron bought me Extraordinary Means for my birthday and I saved it for last on holiday. The novel is about the return of Tuberculosis and the teenagers who have the disease that have been sent to a boarding school. Going in, the teenagers don’t know how long they will be in there until they’re better- they don’t even know if they will get better. Or if they’ll survive at all.
Lane is still focused on his dream of getting to Stanford when he ends up at Latham House. Soon enough he realises how damaging working hard is to his health and he tries to fit in- finding himself in the quirky friendship group of Sadie, Nick, Marina and Nick. Their group makes the book immediately endearing. They’re friendship also creates the dark humour the novel oozes and together they portray one of the main messages: One of mankind’s greatest downfalls is fear. The book is full of references which I adored (the reference to Community being my absolute favourite reference of all time- I got very excited as I finished it on the plane back!), and despite the novel being more bitter than sweet, it teaches us in the best Young Adult kind of way.
~ Kat ~