>My spring and summer fever really affects my reading. As the temperature finally begins to rise, I start to crave fun summer books, page turners that are impossible to put down, books that grab me from the first page. My summer reading fever kicked in three weeks ago, and I’ve been completely consumed by three very different, but equally captivating books. So consumed that I just realized it’s been weeks since my last book review! Before I get caught up in the next book on my nightstand, I wanted to take a few minutes to recommend some must reads whether you’re at the pool or packing for the beach.
The Passage by Justin Cronin is pure adrenaline from the first chapter. It’s a futuristic story of a science experiment gone terribly wrong that ends up putting the fate of the entire world in the hands of a very special young girl. To say that it is gripping is an understatement. This is a Michael Crichton type of thriller, the type of book that not only captivates you but also makes you think. I couldn’t put it down and haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it last night. The characters are well developed and its impossible to keep yourself from rooting for them. Stephen King said, “Read this book and the ordinary world disappears.” I couldn’t agree more. The fact that the author came up with the novel idea while biking with his 9-year old daughter only made me love it more.
I stumbled upon the Magicians by Lev Grossman on the sale rack at my local Borders, and the financial challenges of the bookstore chain was my gain. The Magicians is like a Harry Potter for adults. Quentin is a brilliant but miserable high school student in Manhattan who is invited to apply for an secret magical college. The magic in the novel is a dark force that only a few of the most intelligent human beings are able to tap into. Quentin spends his four years of college learning how to harness that power, but after graduation, the real world of adulthood seems drab and pointless until he finds a portal into another incredible adventure, even more amazing than when he discovered that the world of magic was real. I found the Magicians to be incredibly creative, a very adult take on the powers of magic. It was a thoroughly entertaining read, and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out this summer.
I can lose myself in a good read in a variety of genres and The Roses by Leila Meacham couldn’t be more different than the first two books I’ve reviewed today. The novel is a sweeping Gone with the Wind type of Southern family saga. The founding families in a small town in East Texas make difficult choices across three generations, choosing land over love with devastating consequences. The choices made by some of the characters in Roses can be as torturously painful to read as watching the heartbreak of Rhett and Scarlett. By the end of the novel, the drama was almost too much for me, but overall, I found Roses to be a thoroughly entertaining read. If you’re a fan of historical fiction or Southern literature, you’ll love Leila Meacham’s debut novel.