I recently completed The Kansas City Public Library‘s Summer Reading challenge for the first time (since I’m new to the area). I love their program because you get a free book just for signing up, and after reading five books, you get the choice between a pint glass, a light-up cup, or a sippy cup. I’ve been told they have a new pint glass every year, so I’m looking forward to collecting them!
Here’s what was on my list:
The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver
A heartfelt own voices story about a non-binary teen who loses their brother and, through the grieving process, feels like they’re losing much more. Emotional and heartbreaking, but not without hope that things can get better. Highly recommended if you or someone you know has experienced a close loss.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
This is an engaging puzzle of a novel about a teen who inexplicably inherits the estate of a billionaire. As stipulated in the will, Avery has to move into the billionaire’s mansion with the family who was bequeathed only a fraction of the fortune, and she works with his grandsons to figure out why. A thrilling mystery with lots of puzzles, danger, and a bit of romance.
Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
This adorable, messy gay romp made me want to visit Seattle, experience a drag show, and go on a romantic date at the Space Needle! That’s some of what Jay, who’s an out gay teen in rural Washington, puts on his “gay agenda” when he learns that he and his family are moving to the Emerald City. But things get a little complicated when he falls for a guy, starts hooking up with another, and tries, and fails, to keep connected with the best friend he left behind.
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
I could not put this one down! Ambrose and Kodiak, sworn enemies from Earth’s last two countries, are sent on a spacefaring rescue mission on a ship with an operating system they don’t quite trust. If you like suspenseful space survival (like The Martian or Gravity) with some nefarious artificial intelligence (like 2001: A Space Odyssey) and don’t mind an enemies-to-lovers romance thrown in, check this one out.
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
This is a fantastic adventure filled with magic, danger, some mystery, and a bit of romance. After Shiori, princess of Kiata, discovers her forbidden magic, she is banished by her stepmother, who also turns her six brothers into cranes. Shiori is strong and resourceful, and her quest to undo her stepmother’s curse and save her brothers will draw you in. Definitely looking forward to sequels!