Memory is a slippery thing and something you don’t think too much about until it flexes its darker power to haunt you with things you would rather forget. When loss has been a major part of your life, is memory friend or foe? Do you savor the memory of sweet times with people you love who are now gone or transformed into someone you no longer recognize? Or do you push it away because it hurts too much to contemplate all that you have lost? What about when you cannot control memory, when it controls you and takes over your life, tormenting you with visions that are unbearable – yet bear them you must, as they will not go away? These are some of the themes that Laurie Halse Anderson explores in her newest: The Impossible Knife of Memory.
Let me just start by saying that there is nothing wrong with reading fluff in the summertime. Fluff is delicious and fun, but in this season, I also like to sink into something more challenging than I would dare during a school year. So, if you, like me, want books with both summer themes AND substance during these months with greater leisure, here are my suggestions.
For some, those “carefree” days of high school are not so carefree or blissful. Not everyone fits into those tightly defined categories that seem to rule the social structures of just about every high school in America. For some of those kids, the KY Governor’s Scholars Program (affectionately referred to as Geek Camp) can be a real godsend, a place for bright, geeky kids to meet other bright, geeky kids. And that is what Sarah Combs’s debut novel, Breakfast Served Anytime explores.
“Quit reading that crap and pick up a book for heaven’s sake!” said I to my fanfic reading daughter at least a thousand times. But after reading Fangirl by the practically perfect Rainbow Rowell, I say: No More! This book took this reader deep into the world of fanfic and made me fall in love with it. This is the world of Cath, the main character who is hobbling through her freshmen year in college. It takes a while for her to find her footing, but once she does, we know she is going to take off in wonderful ways.