Skip to main content


June 26, 2009

Jenny Han on Summer Must-Reads

Posted by webmaster

Though Jenny Han is hard at work on the sequel to her newly released novel, THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, she's still taking advantage of the summer downtime to catch up on a little reading. Below, she shares the top five books on her list.

When I’m not writing books, I’m working part time at a school library on the Upper West Side. Well, school’s finally out, and I have to say, one of the best things about summer vacation is all the reading I get to catch up on. Although, truth be told, with a July deadline for the sequel to THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, I shouldn’t be doing anything extracurricular at all. But you still can! And I can too, after I turn in my revision…

Without further adieu, I present to you, my five YA must-reads this summer.

1. THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams
I am a sucker for a haunting cover, and this one sure looks haunting --- a girl with long blond braid that is just starting to unravel. The story’s about a girl named Kyra, who lives on a polygamist compound with her father, three mothers, and twenty siblings. She’s just been betrothed to her 60-year-old uncle. Now what? I’m hoping she’ll be as gutsy and spirited as Nikki from “Big Love,” and bust out of that compound, come hell or high water.

2. MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD by Francisco X. Stork
Everywhere I go, I hear rave reviews about this book. It's about a 17-year-old boy with Aspergers who takes care of ponies and listens to music in his head. Oh, Marcelo, I think I love you already. Marcelo is given the choice to continue to live in his own private world or to join “the real world” of lawyer fathers and corporations.

3. WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is like Steve Martin. I once read a review that said , when Steve Martin comes out with a new comedy, no matter what it is, you stand up and pay attention. When Laurie Halse Anderson comes out with a new book, you stand up and pay attention. She’s just that good. This one is about a girl named Lia who is struggling with many different problems, chief among them being anorexia.

4. SAVVY by Ingrid Law
This is one I’ve been meaning to get to for some time. It’s about a 12-year-old girl named Mississippi who is waiting for her “savvy.” In Mississippi’s family, when a kid turns thirteen, he or she gets his or her very own supernatural ability. For instance, her brother Rocket can create electricity. I wonder what Mississippi’s savvy will be?

5. ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen
I’ve been waiting for this one for months! It has all of the elements I love --- thinking girl with a thinking-girl name, a sleepy beach town, a new boy. Auden is leaving for college in the fall, her mom’s a control freak, her dad’s just had a new baby, and she doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Sarah Dessen is at the top of her game, and I can’t wait to see what she’s come up with this time.

Happy reading, y’all!

-- Jenny Han