Summer is an excellent time to fit some reading in, freed from the daily round of "go to school, do homework, sleep, repeat."
However, with the sheer amount of reading material available, it's difficult to choose the best books. Some of our TX. writers have therefore offered their personal favorites for summer reading.
From "1984" on, dystopia is a highly popular genre.
Savannah Rice, a sophomore at Weber High School, suggests a modern twist on the subject: "I would recommend 'Divergent' by Veronica Roth. It's a dystopian novel, perfect for anyone who likes 'The Hunger Games' and the like. It's suspenseful and is the perfect mix of action and romance."
"My favorite is 'The Hunger Games' series (by Suzanne Collins)! It's so interfering and exciting," agrees Morgan Sewell, another dystopia fan and a senior at Bonneville High.
Olivia Andrus, on the other hand, prefers a classic rags-to-riches story.
"My favorite book is (Frances Hodgson Burnett's) 'A Little Princess,' " the Ogden High sophomore says. "The little girl in it, Sara Crewe, is so sweet and innocent, which makes you feel bad for her while she goes through all her trials. The book teaches a valuable lesson on always being nice to others."
Emily Shepherd of Bear River High loves a good classic as well.
"My favorite book is 'Crime and Punishment' by Fydor Dostoevsky because the writing style reflects the personality of the characters and it shows that people have a mix of both good and bad inside of them and each can have influence in your actions," says the senior. "No matter how many reasons you can give to rationalize an action that will hurt someone, you can't justify it. The book just gives a new perspective on morality and the effect that individual people have on humanity as a whole."
"Hush, Hush," by Becca Fitzpatrick, is the favorite of Taylor Deem, a Fremont High junior.
"I love to read this book and I have loved every book after the first one," Deem says. "It is not suggested for people who can't handle happy-go-lucky books. Of course they all end up happily ever after, but it's dark on the way there. I do suggest it for people who love deep intense romance and a struggle for a happy ending."
Krystal Ruiz's pick gets a bit metaphysical, being a powerfully moving book about books -- "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak.
"I love almost every book I read, but 'The Book Thief' is my all-time favorite," the Weber High sophomore says. "It's about a girl who lives in Germany during World War II. It's a very sad book, but it changes your perspective on life and love and the power of words."
Angelica Previte recommends two books, a philosophical thriller and a masterpiece of armchair travel.
"I loved G.K. Chesterton's novel 'The Man Who Was Thursday,' which follows the adventures of policeman Gabriel Syme as he infiltrates the high council of an anarchist organization," says Previte, a junior at Weber High. "Chesterton's writing style is evocative without being wordy; his prose is as close to poetry as it gets. The book is both thoughtful and incredibly funny. Also, there's an elephant chase.
" 'The Worst Journey in the World' by Apsley Cherry-Garrard is also a great book for summer. It's the thrilling story of Cherry-Garrard's adventures on Robert Falcon Scott's doomed expedition to Antarctica. When 100-degree temperatures feel unbearable, you can be thankful that at least you're not in a 77-below blizzard."
Mythology can become a treasure house of great ideas for writers, as in "The Scorpio Races," Maggie Steifvater's tale of the capaill uisce, the legendary water horses.
" 'The Scorpio Races' is an action-packed adventure," says Sierra Bruggink, a Weber High sophomore. "The author draws you into the story until you become the characters. It's a truly well-written story about determination. I love how the author weaves her story, and that it's not a trilogy .just a simple spell-binding story in one novel."
Finally, Kalli Damschen, a senior at Clearfield High, recommends a very atypical cancer story: " 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green made me laugh and cry all within a span of five minutes, and then repeated the process until the book's final page. Not only is the prose beautiful, but the story is both entertaining and inspiring, telling the story of Hazel Lancaster, a teenage terminal cancer patient, and Augustus Waters, the boy she falls in love with."
Reading doesn't have to end just because school does. Without assigned books to read, there are even more opportunities to pick up a good book of one's choice and mentally escape the heat, whether it be to Germany, Antarctica, or places not found on any earthly map.