The top 10 books to read this summer

Brittney Dear, Editor

Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads ratings: 4.5/5

Goodreads summary: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

This novel was recommended by librarian Noel Hill and the library aide Samantha Green, as well as junior Jessica Utz. All three said that the book was fantastic and that they couldn’t but it down. They are all excited for the third book of the series.

Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Goodreads ratings: 4.15/5

Goodreads summary: Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

This novel is the perfect summer getaway book, with a major love interest, a tear-jerking conflict, and a beautiful story.

13th Continuum

Author: Jennifer Brody

Goodreads rating: 4.7/5

Goodreads summary: One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the descendants of the chosen survivors take refuge in 13 contingency shelters buried deep underground, at the bottom of the ocean, and in the far reaches of outer space. In the underwater 13th Continuum, 16-year-old Myra Jackson has heard rumors and whisperings all her life of a magical place called “The Surface,” where people could breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of something called sunlight on their skin, and see things known as stars and trees and mountains. Myra has never dared to ask whether the stories are true, since the act of speaking such words aloud is an offense punishable by death. But after she discovers that the air supply aboard her underwater colony is running out, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to find this mysterious place.

“I loved it because it was adventurous and the concept was really out there,” Green said.


Author: Lauren Oliver

Goodreads ratings: 3.7/5

Goodreads summary: Lyra — From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own.

Gemma — Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions.

“It’s cool because it’s two points of view,” Green said.

Big Magic

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Goodreads ratings: 3.9/5

Goodreads summary: Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration.

This book is perfect for non-fiction lovers who wish to develop their creativity, and even for those who don’t wish to learn, this book, I promise, will change anyone’s life.

An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Goodreads ratings: 4.7/5

Goodreads summary: Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do. But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

“[With] its alternating chapters, it covers everything. It holds your attention,” Green said.

Tell Me Three Things

Author: Julie Buxbaum

Goodreads rating: 4.6/5

Goodreads summary: Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week as a junior at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

“Tell Me Three Things” is a cliche, realistic fiction novel — but who doesn’t love those? Recommended by Hill, this novel is perfect for all teens who wish for a romantic getaway.


Author: Todd Strasser

Goodreads ratings: 4.3 / 5

Goodreads summary: In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will — and won’t — remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.

A popular choice for teen boys, “Fallout” is a perfect, retro dystopian novel for the summer. It was recommended by Green.

We Were Liars

Author: E.Lockhart

Goodreads ratings: 4.5/5

Goodreads summary: A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

This is a beautifully strange novel that will leave readers confused, devastated, and happy all at once. This book is a perfect novel for the  summer that is impossible to put down.


Author: Brittney Kristina (who goes to this school!)

Amazon rating: 5/5

Amazon summary: What happens when you discover an astonishing world, so existent and extraordinary and terrifying, but everybody tells you that this place was simply, only a dream? What happens when you find the love of your life, yet nobody believes that such a soul was ever real? Skylar Vail was just your ordinary teenage girl. Nothing was unique about her, and nothing exactly stood out. Until that one night, that one world, in which changed everything.

“Literally the best book ever written.” — William Shakespeare

Students who wish to download free ebooks and audiobooks this summer from the BHS library can go to this link to browse the collection:

Username is your school ID and the password is the year you were born.