May 14, 2014

2014 summer reads (part i)

It's mid-May, which means children everywhere are wistfully planning their fast-approaching summer vacations. They're figuring out how many times they'd like to go to the pool or what TV shows they'll catch-up on when it's too hot to play outside. College kids are already out of their dorms and back in their parents' houses setting up camp on the couch for a Netflix marathon (or working a summer job/completing an internship/going on a mission trip if they're the industrious type).

I may be a grown-up now (allegedly), who is exempt from a summer vacation (tragically), but I still like to treat summer as a special time. I still like to make plans. And one of those big plans is coming up with my summer reading list. I've had one every year since I was in elementary school, when they'd actually put one together for you as a challenge.

I've been a bad little reader the past few months, because I've been heavy in writing/editing mode, but as blog as my witness, I will read this summer! Because I've been such a slacker reader, my reading list is embarrassingly long. But here's are five books I can't wait to read by the pool (or sitting in front of a fan next to the air conditioner vent if it comes to that).

My 2014 Summer Reading List (Part I)

The One by Kiera Cass
Having read the first two installments in this trilogy (read my reviews here and here), I'm pretty excited to finish. Fair warning: If America and Prince Maxon don't figure out their shit and get together, I'll be most displeased.
The highly anticipated third book in Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is perfect for the fans who have followed America's whirlwind romance since it began—and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth's Divergent, Ally Condie's Matched, or Lauren Oliver's Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of IllĂ©a, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice ... and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

Lying to Meet You by Anna Garner
I'm a fan of Anna Garner/Libby Mercer's other books -- well, the ones I've read -- and so I excitedly snatched this book up months ago. Now, I need to read it. I love the cover. Love the premise. I'm really looking forward to this.
Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else. 
Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan's theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she's lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

A failed library check-out from spring, this book comes at the recommendation from one of my best friends. Aside from the appeal of it being adapted for the big screen, he also told me it was well written. He hoped it would inspire my growth as a writer, which I've been fretting about lately. I also hope this will make me smarter.
The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship's cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

The Collector by Nora Roberts
Simple reason this book is on my list: It's Nora. Longer answer: These new titles are almost always available on audio book, which means this is a summer "read" I can tackle while crocheting, cleaning, cooking or accomplishing any number of domestic tasks on my to-do list. I'm also digging the premise.
When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one... 
Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession...

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
I'm ashamed to admit I also had this checked out from the library, but had to return it before I even started. Rainbow Rowell is a fellow Nebraska author. She's also a former newspaper columnist, who I had a chance to meet while I was a journalism student. I'd like to read all of her books, which have received lots of acclaim, but I'll start here.
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Check back on Friday for Part II of my summer reading list!

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?

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  1. That Rainbow Rowell book premise is GENIUS. I'm going to bump that to the top of my TBR pile. (I can do that. It's MY pile, after all!)

  2. I may have to steal this idea and make up my own summer reading list, Laura! You know that I am right there with you on the Kiera Cass book. Can't wait to read and discuss it with you! And that Rainbow Rowell book looks really interesting. I've heard great things about her work!