Summer is great since the weather is nice, my friends and I are free from classes, and the world beckons … but it’s all too easy to let the days slip away without actually doing any of the things you want to do. Enter the summer bucket list!
When I saw this original tag from Tiffany @ Read By Tiffany, I immediately knew I wanted to participate! So although no one’s tagged me to do this, here it is anyway 😜
- Link back to the original creator in your post.
- Feel free to use any of the original graphics in your post, or create your own!
- Tag 5 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them.
hit the beach: a book set by the water
A summer camp with a lake counts, right? Because I’d love to start this summer-themed list with Mother-Daughter Book Camp. The seventh and final book in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series brings the main characters together for one last summer before they head off to college; as summer camp counselors, they start a book club for their homesick little campers and have lots of other fun adventures. (I do think you could read it as a standalone, though you’d miss out on a lot of callbacks to previous books, as well as the coming-full-circle satisfaction.)
watch fireworks: a book that had a fiery romance
Though I’m no longer that cynical fifteen-year-old who rolled her eyes every time two sexuality-compatible [a term I picked up in a fanfic; often but not always synonymous with “heterosexual”] characters so much as looked at each other, this was a hard one for me. There are plenty of soft-and-sweet fictional couples that I ship, but to match the prompt I wanted a pairing where the sparks fly … so I settled on Carry On, aka the full-length version of Cath Avery’s eighth-year
Drarry SnowBaz fic. I haven’t read it in forever, but it’s archenemies-to-lovers and there’s literal sparks / magic so … close enough? (Happy Pride Month, by the way!)
go for a roadtrip: a book that involves a journey
I meannnnnnnn technically almost all books include some kind of journey, whether actual travel or character development. Fortunately Oh, The Places You’ll Go! has both, and it seemed like a particularly fitting pick since it’s graduation season. Yes, it’s a Dr. Seuss book and the first graders I tutor could read and understand it, but I think its themes and colorful images still appeal to all ages — I know it’s a book that I come back to time and again.
camp under the stars: a book that left you starstruck
Apparently I am incapable of going an extended period of time without talking about my Great Love, The Night Circus, so here we go again. If you still have yet to pick up this book, it’s about a mysterious black-and-white circus with lots of fantastic tents which is only open between sunset and sunrise; the major conflict is a long-running duel between Celia and Marco, who were trained by rival magicians but develop minds and methods of their own. Although the writing style and leisurely pace isn’t for everyone, for me the experience is always beyond magical.
marathon some movies: a book you couldn’t put down
Have I mentioned how much I love space stories? Because I do. Ignite the Stars has been back on my mind recently since its sequel comes out this year (and I have an ARC that I am very excited to dive into). A criminal mastermind / outlaw and inimitable pilot of a seventeen-year-old girl, Ia Cōcha (alias I.A. Cōcha) is captured by the Olympus Commonwealth and forced to attend the military academy — so naturally her plan is to escape, no matter how interesting her roomate Brinn is or how handsome Flight Master Knives is.
go out for ice cream: a book with a sweet romance
My cheeks literally hurt from smiling by the time I finished Fake It Till You Break It, it was that cute. From over-the-top PDA (because how else are they supposed to convince their moms that they’re definitely-for-real dating when they hated each other until very recently?) to quiet private companionable moments, watching Mia and Jake’s relationship change over the course of the book is so much fun.
[It’s Not Like It’s A Secret was a very close runner-up, and definitely deserves a mention for Pride Month since it centers on a F/F relationship between a Japanese-American girl and a Mexican-American girl.
Second runner-up because I couldn’t resist how perfectly it fits this prompt: Love & Gelato.]
picnic in the park: a book that was a breath of fresh air
If anyone has recs for books like The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, I would be very grateful because I adored it. An easy recommendation for those who enjoyed Alice in Wonderland and/or The Phantom Tollbooth, the Fairyland series (wherein each book is as good as the others, by the way!) follows a girl named September and her newfound friends as they try to save Fairyland. In this first installment, the opponent is a tyrannical Marquess who wants a special talisman retrieved from the woods; of course September & co. get into all sorts of trouble along the way, but it’s really about the journey …
go for a hike: a character who conquered an obstacle
There are so many fictional role models I could’ve picked for this one, but Keladry of Mindelan has inspired me since I was maybe twelve and read my first Tamora Pierce book, First Test. In her probationary year as the first (openly) female page, Kel is up against traditional hazing on top of sexism and ostracization, but it’s her dream to be a knight so she’s determined to prove that she’s better than the boys she trains with.
grill some bbq: a book featuring delicious food
There are several that come to mind, but Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is definitely a standout when it comes to mouthwatering cooking scenes and dish descriptions — and even includes a bunch of recipes! A little bit of magic is involved in the book, but we ordinary readers can still enjoy the themes of community and second (and third) chances … maybe over a plate of Natalie’s fried dumplings, if you want to try and recreate them!
watch the sunrise: a book that inspired you
This is me resisting the knee-jerk reaction of picking Fangirl because rereading it always makes me want to get back into writing fanfiction (and original fiction too, really) and to make the most of my college experience. Okay, my official answer is going to be Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You because it is the epitome of inspirational (and even kind of matches the prompt since sunrise signals morning and all that). In case you didn’t know, it’s a compilation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s twice-daily tweets, brilliantly illustrated by Jonny Sun, and each page is just a little burst of encouragement.
What’s on your summer bucket list? Have you read any of the books I picked and/or do you have suggestions of your own?