Book Review: Summer books to read

Disclaimer: The following review may contain some spoilers revolving around the plot and background. The review is simply my own opinion, you may disagree.

In these reviews, I will rate the books on a starring system using an appropriate symbol: bookmarks.

5/5 Bookmarks: This book will land in my all-time favorite book list and you should stop what you are doing and read it, no matter what.

4/5 Bookmarks: You should try to read it at some point in your free time.

3/5 Bookmarks: If you are bored or going on a long trip, it might be fun to read.

2/5 Bookmarks: I would not really bother unless you enjoy the author.

1/5 Bookmarks: The book would make a better coaster for your Coke than a book.

0/5 Bookmarks: Congrats! You now have kindling! (just kidding, please do not burn books; just do not waste your money or your time with this one)!

While this is my last book review of the school year I’ll be reviewing books for May, June, July, and August so that bookworms can continue reading for summer.

May: The Alchemist by Michael Scott

Many are familiar with the name of Nicholas Flamel, who was acknowledged as the greatest alchemist of the 14th century. Some believe that, although he supposedly died in 1418, he is still living thanks to his discovery of immortality. This book focuses around this mythical figure and other historical and mythical figures, along with two modern-age twins, Josh and Sophie. Josh and Sophie accidentally stumble into this world of magic, secrets, and alchemy along with a prophecy that focuses on them. This is a pretty good book series, and I would especially recommend it to those who enjoyed the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series; it falls into the same vein. Rated 3.5/5 bookmarks.

June: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Father Time is a familiar figure in pop culture, but this novel actually follows his origin, punishment, and subsequent quest involving time. Dor is a normal man living 6000 years in the past, he is extremely intelligent and takes up the hobby of measuring anything and everything. Unfortunately, this hobby gets him into trouble when he accidentally discovers time and how to measure it. After he loses a loved one and curses God, God punishes him. After 6000 years he is sent on a quest to save a young woman who wants less time and an old man who wants more time. This is a fable, like so many of Albom’s other works, and teaches the lesson of not wishing away your time. This is a rather sobering novel, but it does have an uplifting ending so I recommend this to anyone who is in need of some self-reflection. Rated 3.5/5 bookmarks.

July: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

This colorful and fun graphic novel follows side-kick wannabee Nimona, who is an ambitious and impulsive shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Her boss, Lord Ballister Blackheart, holds a serious vendetta against Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, a seemingly perfect hero. Together as sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart work together to play mildly harmful pranks on the knights of the kingdom. However as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past and ambitious and reckless nature may be more dangerous than he is willing to admit. This is a hilarious and surprisingly complex story about friendship, the danger of a lie, magic, and science. I strongly recommend this to any teens who play D&D as this falls excellently into that universe. Rated 4.5 /5 bookmarks.

August: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This is a very interesting novel as it is a coming of age novel set in the back-drop of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s in Southern America. The main character Lily lives in Southern Carolina with her abusive father, T. Ray, and her maid/surrogate mother, Rosaleen. Lily believes that she killed her mother Deborah when she was 4 during an argument between her parents when Deborah was attempting to leave T. Ray. During the beginning of summer Rosaleen attempts to register to vote in town, but instead is forced to defend herself against three racist men and is thrown into jail. Pushed by this and the abuse she has suffered, Lily springs Rosaleen from jail and they flee to Tiburon, South Carolina, the only clue Lily has of Deborah’s past life. There they meet the Boatwright sisters, a trio of eccentric, African-American, bee-keepers and are taken into their lives. I remember reading this during the summer of my sophomore year and loving it. The story is so warm and inviting, like a cozy sun patch to take a nap in. There are themes of religion, motherhood, and the complexity of people. The book itself is a very easy read, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a book to read that has a sweet story mirrored with historical ideas. Rated 4/5 bookmarks.

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