Beach reads for teens

With friendship drama, summer flings, exotic locales, and even suspense, these novels offer teen readers of all tastes compelling summertime diversions.

magoon 37 things i love 210x300 Beach reads for teensKekla Magoon’s 37 Things I Love (in no particular order) takes place during the last few days of sophomore year before summer vacation begins for Ellis. Along with typical high school issues—friends, dating, etc.—Ellis faces a more serious challenge: her father has been in a coma for years, and Mom wants to end life-support. What elevates this book above Afterschool Special is Ellis’s way with words as she describes juggling familiar teen concerns with life-and-death decisions. (14 years and up)

caletti story of us 199x300 Beach reads for teensIn Deb Caletti’s The Story of Us, Cricket’s future with longtime boyfriend Janssen is uncertain. Meanwhile, her mom is getting married, and college looms. Interspersed with a memorable week at a beach house are Cricket’s letters to Janssen in which she recalls the trajectory of their relationship. Authentically imperfect characters, clever dialogue, and observations that ring true will draw readers in. (14 years and up)

bauman jersey angel 203x300 Beach reads for teensAngel, the star of Beth Ann Bauman’s Jersey Angel, is a confident, sexually experienced teen. She knows that her secret summer fling with her best friend’s boyfriend could inflict damage, but she rationalizes that she’s a good person and good people should be allowed to “fall” sometimes. This steamy beach book goes a level deeper as the characters find themselves faced with difficult choices. Angel isn’t sure whether she says or does the right thing—but she admirably tries her best. (14 years and up)

cadnum seize the storm 200x300 Beach reads for teensMichael Cadnum’s Seize the Storm chronicles seventeen-year-old Susannah and her family’s yacht voyage to Hawaii during which they sail into a deadly confrontation with professional criminals. Cadnum meticulously describes each character’s personality and motives, embedding them in an expertly constructed web of intrigue. Straightforward, elegant prose helps place the dramatic events into a grander scheme in which fortune, greed, fate, and death thrillingly play out. (14 years and up)

HB 0613 new JLG 468x60 Beach reads for teens

From the July 2012 issue of Notes from the Horn Book. For bibliographic information please click here.

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Katrina Hedeen About Katrina Hedeen

Katrina Hedeen is assistant editor of The Horn Book Guide and manager of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards.

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