“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
I don't know about you, but as soon as the last of the snow melts and the weather begins to get warm the first thing I want to do is spend as much time as possible outside. And there is absolutely nothing better than to bring a great book (or two) with you as you enjoy the sunshine and fresh spring breezes. Here are some great reading suggestions for the season:
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Nicola Yoon's debut novel is filled with love, heartbreak, and hope. Maddy Whittier has not been outside for her house for 18 years due to her unique illness which causes her to be allergic to most things in the everyday world. When new neighbors move in next door and Maddy becomes friends with Olly, a boy her own age, she begins to wonder if there is more to her life than she ever dreamed were possible. This book, despite dealing with illness and isolation, is beautiful with bright spots of humour that make you feel as if you are friends with Olly and Maddy and keeps you rooting for them throughout the story.
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Louise is a single mom with a dead end job she can't stand. When she meets Dave at the bar she thinks her life might be turning around. After all, he's handsome, funny, and a really good kisser. Then she finds out that he's married. And her new boss. And when she befriends his wife it seems she's afraid of Dave. What is really going on behind their marriage? Do you like Gone Girl? What about The Girl on the Train? This one blows them both right out of the water. A high stakes psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. And I guarantee that it has a conclusion that you will never see coming in a million years.
Emma by Jane Austen
An oldie but a goodie! While this is not my favorite Austen novel, I do think it is one of the most fun. Despite Emma Woodhouse fervently stating that she has no interest in marriage, that doesn't stop her from involving herself in the love lives of others. When she attempts to break her friend's romantic interest in one man, to get her attention focused on another, trouble and hilarity ensue. Definitely a fun book to read or reread this spring, if you're new to Austen or already love her work.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe
This book is a tough read, but certainly worthwhile. Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist. But when she asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian, the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years, he sets out to find out what secrets Julian has been keeping, and why he seems so troubled all the time. As I said, this book deals with some very real issues, such as child abuse, the death of family members, and depression. But the character development and the sense of hope and perseverance that permeates this story just makes it absolutely one of the most beautiful things you could read this season.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
I have to admit, this was definately one of the best books overall that I have read recently. It's about books, friendship, and community. Sara has come to Broken Wheel, Iowa, all the way from Sweden to finally meet her pen pal Amy, in person. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily though, the townspeople are very happy to look after her, even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. When Sara decides to stay and open up a bookstore in Amy's honor, she brings the town together in a way that she could never have expceted. This is such a feel good book, it practically oozes sunshine and happiness from the pages while reading it. It never feels overly sentimental however. I didn't find myself rolling my eyes at any point of the story. Instead watching Sara grow and become more confident and spread her love of books throughout the time made me grin the whole time and left me with a warm feeling in my heart long after finishing it.