5 books to read before summer ends

By Emily Clark
Times-News correspondent 

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) advocates that all teens should have access to a great    library.
Each year, a committee of librarians called “the Blogging Team,” compiles fiction books geared toward 12 to     18 year olds that have been published within the past 14 months. This “Best Fiction List” is posted, perused       and used as a guide in libraries across the nation to better serve the teens in individual communities.
Both the May Memorial Library in Burlington and The Gibsonville Public Library used the 2019 list to guide     their next purchases, and have the majority of the titles on the list. In addition, the organization allows     teenagers to nominate and vote for books on the YALSA website, the books with the most votes will be placed on the “Teen Top 10 Nomination” list.
These books are part of the 2019 Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) list. Each is beautifully written and meaningful in its own way. These are five great books to read before summer ends.
“The Cruel Prince”: by Holly Black. — There is a lot of bloodshed, multiple plot twists, plenty of selfish motives and a little too much deceitfulness for my hopeless romantic self. This is kind of a utopian fairy tale gone wrong, and that’s obviously the plot of the story — how to get the kingdom back on track. There is a Harry Potter-esque muggle/wizard prejudice power struggle, though called faeries and mortals, that does keep things interesting throughout the novel. This is the first of three books, and the book definitely ends with a cliffhanger.
“Blood, Water, Paint”: by Joy McCullough. — This book is written almost entirely in verse, so be warned, but do not fret — this author is talented enough to make the novel easy to understand. Based in Italy during the 1600s, this setting provides a patriarchal culture that is adamantly against women in power, or even women having a voice at all, really. This is the story of a strong woman, Artemisia, who is beaten down time and time again as she ultimately deals with the struggles of a father taking credit for her work, and being continually treated as worthless by the men who seem to rule her world. She ends up being motivated by the stories once considered biblical (but never included in the King James Version) that her mother told her as a child, with the intended purpose of strengthening Artemisia’s sense of self-worth in the misogynistic world that she lives in. This book is one of those that makes a girl want to be valedictorian, win the push-up contest, or speak up against injustice — simply to show the world what a woman can do when she puts her mind to it.
   ”Frat Girl”: by Kiley Roache. — “Frat Girl” (unexpectedly) became one of my new favorite books quickly. A feminist scholarship winner joins a popular fraternity infamous for objectifying women in an attempt to discover the truth about what goes on inside the frat house. Readers will discover a ragtag team of frat boys who range from bashful nerd to playboy prince, and the girl who falls in love (reluctantly) with her brothers as well as all that the Greek life has to offer.
 ”Ash Princess”: by Laura Sebastian. — “Ash Princess” was the book that I could not put down. I love a good dystopian novel, and this was one world that is unlike any I’ve read about before. Basically, the plot is this — the princess is held captive by a crazy imperialist king from another part of the area. He has gone on a tirade in an attempt to capture all the known world. She is mistreated and oppressed (but obviously, because she’s a heroine) must learn to fight back and take hold of her own fate. There is so much to the book that cannot be explained in a little paragraph, but I highly recommend this book. Let’s just I was glad that book two of the trilogy was released in February.
 ”Wildcard”: by Marie Lu. — This is the second book of a series, which I was originally concerned about for my own understanding’s sake, but do not be afraid. If you like to jump to the punch (like me) the second book in Marie Lu’s Warcross series is a great place to start, and thankfully not too hard to follow. This one is dystopian as well, but this is a tech world gone wrong. The developer of a new mind app has turned evil and determined to use the application as mind control geared toward eliminating crime in a futuristic Japan. This novel has no shortage of plot twists and shady “good guys,” and the plot moves quickly enough that you will remain on the edge of your seat. Make yourself aware, though, the characters you hate to love and love to hate in this book may end up to be the same ones — and then you’ll just hate yourself for falling for the bad guy.

Emily Clark is a rising senior at Burlington Christian Academy and a Teens & 20s writer.

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