It’s Grace here, finally home after a five-day journey home from school. (My car brakes gave out around Athens, Georgia — so I ended up hanging around there for a few days. Convenient timing, but oh-so-painful considering I have to drive seven hours to pick it up later on.)
Now that I’m home for the summer, and all my plans have fallen through, I’ll have a lot more reading time. Read: restless afternoons spent at the pool or beach.
Recently, I posted a series of recommendations on my Instagram for those who have been begging me for summer reads. While I debated putting together a collection of frothy beach reads (and still one thousand percent will), I wanted to spotlight some books I love for lines that gut me. Lines that make me sigh or reach for a pen or in some way have that moment that’s like “yes, somebody gets it.”
Language is primarily the reason that I read. Plus, I’ve been so into lettering this year that it was kind of nice to just write out book passages without flair. Without further ado, here are some passages and recommendations to accompany them, if you’re looking for a read that will get to you.
This passage is from Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson. While her other books are more colorful, this one had an elegant, dry air to it that made it sing in certain lines such as these. It was clever and took literary risks, which I appreciated. It’s both dystopian and historical, which was a cool mix.
Novel: Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson | Goodreads
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Divided by time. Ignited by a spark.
Kansas, 2065. Adri has secured a slot as a Colonist—one of the lucky few handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.
Oklahoma, 1934. Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine fantasizes about her family’s farmhand, and longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called the Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire—and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life—Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.
England, 1919. In the recovery following the First World War, Lenore struggles with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?
While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined.
Anyone who knows me knows that Tiger Lily is not just one of my favorite books, but perhaps the favorite book. It’s a haunting retelling of Peter Pan that focuses on Tiger Lily, the little Native girl, and her coming-of-age. And this book will break your heart.
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up.
I love Jellicoe Road, and I read it almost every year. It starts out innocently enough — a years-old turf battle at a boarding school with “houses,” the Townies, and the visiting Cadets. A premise that’s definitely addictive enough. But add in the warm atmosphere, the emphasis on family, and a tantalizing inner narrative that unfolds in a desperately suspenseful way? Hooked.
Novel: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta | Goodreads
Release Date: August 26, 2008
I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.
Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs – the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.
And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.
The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.
Even just reading this, it’s clear the level of human — and precise — detail that Maggie Stiefvater lends her narratives. It’s astonishing, really. She creates settings and tensions that are absolutely, deliciously dark as well as engaging. I love the folky feeling of her stories, and her characters feel so real that you can’t help but root for them.
Novel: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Goodreads
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.