20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
20th Century Ghosts called out to me when brainstorming ideas for the book I’d select as my Summer Reads pick. It came to me suddenly, I thought, “What captures the feeling of summer better than ghost stories told ’round the campfire?” Joe Hill’s tales, however, aren’t just a pack of chills and thrills; they are tender, absurd, and bold ventures into the abyss. Whenever I read Joe Hill, I feel that I’m taking a glimpse into the future of the horror genre, and the case seems solid that he is the rightful heir to the throne of all things spooky!
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I’ve been loving Sarah Dessen’s books since I was 13 and I reread them every few years or so, when I’m in need of comfort. I recently revisited Saint Anything and it cast that Dessen spell on me. She writes PERFECT summer reads, filled with characters that are so crazy realistic, relatable, and charming—you feel like you KNOW them, deep in your gut. This is such a compelling, enjoyable read, and I believe anyone would benefit from reading it. In Saint Anything, we meet Sydney Stanford, a girl who’s always felt invisible, living in the shadow of her big brother, until she meets two people who change her life, finally making her feel SEEN. I dare you to read a Sarah Dessen book and not want to immediately read every single thing she’s ever written. Take this on your summer vacation, read it on the bus or at work, while dipping your feet into Barton Springs—you are gonna love it.
Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart
Tom Hart and Leela Corman lost their daughter, Rosalie Lightning, very suddenly before the age of 2. This graphic novel is a memoir of their grief, the earth-shattering loss they endured, and their seemingly impossible journey to find solace or recovery. Read this book. You will cry so hard you might need to take a breather, but you will also feel intense hope, strength, and awe. The art is beautiful, the story is moving, and you won’t be able to forget it.