The summer of 2020 will come to an end in less than 15 days. More than half of the year has passed, and we are still cooped up in our homes, struggling to get used to the ‘new normal.’ And yet, we all know how important it is to stay calm and focused during these hard times. But while you must be losing your calm, what with the pending assignments and lack of affection, you have got to take some time out for leisure. If there’s a healthy habit you may wanna consider falling back to, it’s leisure reading. So here are 5 young-adult books which will make you feel good. Packed with happy summer vibes, reading one of these books for just 15 minutes every day is sure to help you escape the reality, appreciate the little things and make you feel good and stronger.
1. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
“Reading isn’t the only thing in the world, Nina.”
“It’s one of the only five perfect things in the world.”
“And the other four are?”
“Cats, dogs, Honeycrisp apples and coffee.”
If you dream of living in a library and constantly measure your real-life to the benchmark of fiction, this is just the book for you. Nina is the only child of a single mother, works at a bookstore and is a part of an amazing trivia team. She sets her goals every day and is very happy with her life until her father dies and leaves behind siblings who can’t wait to meet her. Also, enter Tom – her cute, trivia rival. This book is more about a comforting vibe than a great plot. It’s feel-good, cosy, and bookish and has all the YA elements in the right proportion.
2. Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“Even though summers were mostly made of sun and heat, summers for me were about the storms that came and went. And left me feeling alone. Did all boys feel alone? The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”
This is a book readers will never, ever stop talking about. Its lyrical prose is so beautiful that it took me 10 minutes alone to decide upon a quote. Aristotle Mendoza is an angry, introvert teen who meets the adventurous, Mr Perfect Dante Quintana while swimming. As their friendship grows, one day Ari saves Dante from a car accident and creates this unbreakable bond between them. Through the course of their correspondence, these two young men experience both happy and sad moments and discover what it means to live and love, aka, the secrets of the universe. Even though this magical book is an emotional rollercoaster, there is no way you won’t end up feeling full and happy.
3. Paper Moon by Rehana Munir
“Books. Bombay. Romance.”
Indian YA books have struggled hard to leave a lasting mark on readers. But, set in the suburbs of Bombay, Paper Moon has it all. When Fiza’s estranged father passes away, he leaves her with a sum to open a bookstore and turns her life into a whirlwind. It’s the most wholesome feeling to experience Fiza putting together Paper Moon. While at the same time, a mysterious customer Iqbal and her ex-boyfriend Dhruv enter the scene too. Easy to read, the book is picturesque and has an engaging narrative.
4. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
“I believe in love at first sight. Fate, the universe, all of it. But not how you’re thinking. I don’t mean it in our souls were split and you’re my other half forever and ever sort of way. I just think you’re meant to meet some people. I think the universe nudges them into your path.”
Arthur, who is only in New York for the summer and just loves Broadway shows, meets Ben at the post office who is sending back a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. After that first glance, the cupid’s arrow hits them and they leave no stone unturned to find each other in the city of New York. Hence confused and still in love, they can’t help but doubt the plans universe has for them. Among all the things 2020 has ruined for us, relationships make up most of it. By joining Arthur and Ben in their battle for and against fate, save that flicker of hope inside you from dying.
5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”
If you love reading YA, you must have read and gotten over Fangirl already. But I can never stop recommending this book because of the comfort it made me feel. Cath, who writes fanfiction, has a twin sister Wren and both of them have just started college and moved into the campus. Their dad has brought them up and they have issues with their mother. It explores the phase of growing up; How our priorities change, and somehow – though we may not like it – we have to let new people in, at some point. This book is a catharsis for anyone who has ever been obsessed over a fandom and struggled to grow out of that phase gracefully.
Have a book that has helped you feel good and made you smile? Let us know in the comments!