Summer reads for teens

Wondering what Ottawa teens are reading this summer? Looking for your own books to bring to summer camp? The Carlingwood Branch of the Ottawa Public Library shared some of its Teen Advisory Group members’ summer reading picks.

1) Isabelle Wong’s pick.

Book Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks by Nathan Bourgoin

Ever since he was four, Cole has been known as a freak. But that’s nearly over; there are only a couple of more weeks of high school and then he’s off to university. Cole’s got it all planned out, until he steps through the school’s front door and finds himself 80 kilometres away, holding the door to a museum. Teleporting was definitely not in Cole’s plan! This new ability is an accident waiting to happen, especially since it may get Malik involved.

Cole is part of the Rainbow Club, who welcomes all LGBTQIAP members with open arms. The representation is truly phenomenal; there are gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, lesbian and deaf characters, which is really refreshing to see in a young adult novel. Cole’s relationships with his parents and friends are heart-warming, and the representation of supportive friends and family is always a privilege to read about. On top of all that, the fantasy subplot was an enjoyable twist. Cole’s overwhelming feelings, and somewhat awkward encounters with Malik, made the novel feel authentic, and it helped flesh-out Cole’s character. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read that I would recommend.

2) Fatima Ghrebi’s pick.

– Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Shelby Mahurin’s debut novel Serpent & Dove is an amazing romantic fantasy that’s set in 17th Century France. From the very first page, the reader is pulled into Louise Le Blanc’s magical adventure. Serpent & Dove tells the story of the unlikely relationships and friendships Louise makes on her journey to live a normal life, or as normal life a witch can have.

This book is a great read that put me on a rollercoaster of emotions. There were parts that had me laughing out loud, while other parts had me on the verge of tears. Serpent & Dove is a book that everyone should read if they want to be part of a dark, comedic story that is impossible to put down.

3) Olivia Chrysler’s pick.

– Frankly in Love by David Yoon

I have to say that this is one of my favourite young adult novels. David Yoon takes an ordinary life story and turns it into an extraordinary tale of love, loss and self-realization. The way this book is written makes it so personable and makes it hard to stop reading. It pulls you in every time you start to read. You start to feel like you are a character in the novel watching first-hand what is happening to Frank.

David Yoon’s writing is at the same time familiar and so different that it manages to make you feel at home while also making you feel that you are on an adventure in a place you have never been before. There are so many twists and turn in this book that many readers will relate to.

This book is so easy to get into and love. It would be great for anyone who is a fan of his wife, Nichola Yoon, and fans of other popular YA authors. Grab this book off the shelf nearest you and hunker down because this is a must read. Happy reading!


4) Rameen Rahman’s pick.

– Cursed by Thomas Wheeler and illustrated by Frank Miller

Cursed is a book that really is an experience. It’s very action-packed, essentially having a storyline that is a reimagined version of Camelot. Though it has many of the characters from the beloved franchise, Cursed couldn’t be farther from it in terms of plot, characters’ relationships and storyline.

I mentioned earlier that it is an “experience” and, though all books are, this one really is filled with countless twists and turns. Cursed is also a very creative book with a lot of great ideas and unique additions, such as illustrations and a unique way of handling multiple points of view.

Regarding the book as a whole, I would recommend this book to people who like dark fantasy. There are a lot of gruesome scenes and even though it may seem fairy tale-esque, the book takes a much darker approach. Overall an excellent summer read!

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