The month-long school holidays is not only good for catching up on sleep and hanging out with your friends, it also presents an opportunity to delve into reading something other than your textbooks. Ahead, we list some must-reads that will have you well occupied in the days to come.
For The Fantasy Enthusiasts
#1 The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer
With references to classics like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White, follow the journey of Linh Cinder (a cyborg mechanic) and the unlikely friends and allies she makes along the way as they embark on a mission to save the citizens of Earth from a plague, and the planet as a whole from being taken over by Lunar Queen, Levana Blackburn.
#2 The Throne Of Glass Series – Sarah J. Maas
18-year-old Celaena Sardothien is a trained assassin who has been imprisoned by the King of Adarlan. Spending a year as a slave in the salt mines, she is offered a precious chance at freedom – become the king’s champion and be granted freedom after 4 years – by Dorian, her captor’s son and Alarlan’s Crown Prince. The catch? She has to compete against ruthless assassins and thieves in order to gain the coveted position. As she sets forth in her fight to be free, Celaena soon gets entangled with a dangerous conspiracy and is lead to discoveries between the kingdom and her true destiny that will test her in ways she never imagined possible.
#3 The Young Elites Series – Marie Lu
A survivor of the blood fever, a deadly illness that killed most of the infected and marked the survivors forever, Adelina Amouteru discovers that she has a strange and powerful gift, the power to create illusions, and a raging thirst for vengeance and destruction. And she is not alone, for some the fever’s survivors – now known as the Young Elites – have too gained mysterious powers, and are hunted down by the Inquisition Axis. Will Adelina’s extraordinary gift turn out to be the reason for her destruction?
For The Chick Lit Fans
#1 The Billy and Me Series – Giovanna Fletcher
Sophie May is content with her simple life in a quaint English village, but when famous actor Billy Buskin comes into town for a movie shoot, Sophie finds herself the only object of his affection – and him, hers. After years of staying out of the spotlight, Sophie wants to take a chance on love, but will she be able to handle the constant scrutiny that comes with dating a celebrity?
#2 Geekerella – Ashley Poston
Elle Wittimer loves all things related to the sci-fi series Starfield, so when she sees a cosplay contest that will score her an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, she’s determined to win. Playing the Federation Prince Carmindor from Starfield is all teen actor Darien Freeman’s ever wanted, but with the Starfield fandom writing him off as just another pretty face, he can’t help feeling more and more like a fake. A modern re-telling of the classic Cinderella story, this charming tale is one you’ll want to complete in a single sitting.
#3 I Heart Series – Lindsey Kelk
Fleeing a cheating boyfriend in her crumpled bridesmaids dress, Angela Clark jumps on a plane and heads straight for New York City, hoping to start her life over. Now, she has an incredible job at a publication firm that brings her all over the world, a fabulous BFF that’s got her back and an amazing boyfriend on her arm – but will the sudden changes in her new life be too much for this British gal to handle?
For The Sci-Fi Buffs
#1 Carve The Mark – Veronica Roth
After her best-selling Divergent series, Veronica Roth is back with a stunning new sci-fi series set in another galaxy where every being develops a “gift” that helps them shape the future. But there are some gifts, like those belonging to Akos and Cyra, that are so powerful that their bearers become vulnerable to exploitation by even the closest people around them. When a twist of fate throws Akos and Cyra together, unexpected allies are created in the face of seemingly unsurmountable odds. Will they be able to escape the dire paths set out for them?
#2 The Binti Series – Nnedi Okorafor
The first of her people to be offered a place at Oomza University, Binti’s educational journey will bring her within the deadly reach of the Meduse, an alien race the stuff of nightmares that the people of Oomza University have wronged. Headed straight into the heart of the war, Binti is determined to survive, but she’ll need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University – but even if she succeeds, will human and alien ever learn to truly live in harmony?
#3 The Stars Are Legion – Kameron Hurley
As far as memory serves, a war for control over a fleet of worldships – known as the Legion – have been waged with no clear resolution. Enter Zan, a prisoner who wakes up without memories around a group of people who say they’re her family – so why in the world would they say that she’s the only salvation to the war? As she tries to make sense of her surroundings, but when Zan realises she must choose sides in this genocidal campaign, will she choose destruction or salvation?
For The Thriller-seekers
#1 City of Saints & Thieves – Natalie C. Anderson
Fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina ends up in Kenya with her mother, who starts working as a maid for one of the most prominent families in the city – the Greyhills. In a tragic turn of events, her mum gets brutally shot dead. Believing that the patriarch of the family, Mr. Greyhill is behind her mother’s murder, Tina survives the street on her own, becoming a hardened street thief with vengeance constantly on her mind. 4 years on, her chance for vengeance comes when she lands a ‘job’ back at the Greyhill estate. But as she gets overwhelmed by painful memories and past friendships, Tina soon realises that the truth behind her mother’s murder is only one of many dangerous secrets that will change her life forever.
#2 Camp So-and-So – Mary McCoy
What would you do if you received an invitation to spend a week at a lakeside retreat that promised volleyball, rock-climbing, and Shakespeare under the stars? For 25 girls, whose RSVPs were signed, sealed and delivered to a P.O. Box in an obscure Appalachian town, they soon find out that this luxurious camp does not exist. So where exactly are the girls going, and just what is waiting for them beneath the Starveling Mountains?
#3 The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchison
In this garden full of luscious flowers and shady trees lies a savage secret – the “butterflies” in it are actually young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. When the garden is discovered by the FBI, agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with questioning a survivor (Maya) to help piece the case together. But with every detail uncovered, Maya proves to be a puzzle herself, and the agents are left with more questions than answers.
For The Contemporary Lovers
#1 The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli
Molly Peskin-Suso’s the expert on unrequited love, after all, she’s lived through it twenty-six times. But it’s not like everyone’s rejecting her – Molly just can’t stomach the idea of rejection, so she’s careful. But when she meets funny and flirtatious Will, Molly has hopes that she’ll be able to get her first kiss if she can win him over. But there’s another ‘problem’: Molly’s coworker Reid – an awkward Tolkien superfan who may or may not have a crush on her. But there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him, right?
#2 Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner
After sending a text that resulted in the death of his three best friends – Eli, Mars and Blake – Carver finds himself more alone than ever when everyone at school freezes him out. Wracked with guilt and fearing prison, Carver finds solace with Blake’s grandmother with a Goodbye Day, allowing them to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend. Soon, the other families are asking for Goodbye Days of their own – but are they really trying to make peace with their losses, or are they just trying to find a way to land Carver in prison?
#3 North Of Happy – Adi Alsaid
Living a privileged and sheltered life since birth, Carlos Portillo has always been more than happy to follow the path laid out for him by his parents. But when his older brother is tragically killed, Carlos decides to push back against his parents and runs away to the US to work for his favourite celebrity chef, and pursue his love for cooking that his parents always saw as a mere hobby. But when a burgeoning romance between him and his boss’s daughter threatens to have him fired, Carlos finds himself caught between two impossible choices – love and independence.
What are some other books you’ll be reading during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!