Two YA Beach Books with Brains, Heart, and Perfect Pitch

BookendsLynn: Who doesn’t love a fun, engaging beach book for a summer day’s reading? I certainly do and, honestly, I love a beach book just about any time of the year! Recently, I was listening to an audio of a best-selling author’s latest book for adults, a new entry in a series I categorized as beach books.  I was rolling my eyes so much that I was endangering every driver around me. The word dreadful doesn’t even come close to describing that book. Happily, I read a couple of new YA books right after that and they were delightful. Entertaining page-turners with brains, heart, and happy endings—and perfect for a delightful read on the beach. Skip those cranked-out potboilers and give these YA books a try. Enjoy!

I was rolling my eyes so much that I was
endangering every driver around me.

recordWhat teen hasn’t fantasized about going on tour with her favorite band? (Or, for that matter, what adult?) Cue up this book about a teen girl, despised by her suburban classmates, who is miraculously chosen to sing with a wildly popular rock band when their lead singer quits. I loved debut author Charlotte Huang’s For the Record (Nov. 2015) from the very first note, I mean page, to the last. After her ex-boyfriend dumps her and spreads malicious stories about her, Chelsea is scorned at her high school. Losing a singing contest on a TV reality show doesn’t help her self-esteem—until she gets a call to do a trial-run tour with her favorite band. It’s a dream come true if she can survive the summer tour. The band members barely tolerate her, the schedule is brutal, and the paparazzi are obnoxious, but it’s all worth it when she performs. There’s some sweet romance in this inside look at touring, and Chelsea is a likable, self-effacing protagonist readers will cheer for as she grows in self-confidence, maturity, and star power.

promSpeaking of band tours, but this time of the extraterrestrial variety, next up is The Prom Goer’s Interstellar Excursion (2015) by Chris McCoy. High-school senior Bennett Bardo, wait-listed for Princeton, has long loved the beautiful Sophie from afar. In a stroke of luck, she agrees to go the prom with him—but as they are driving near their home in the New Mexico desert, she is abducted by aliens! Determined to rescue Sophie, Bennett chances upon a past-their-prime band of space-hopping musicians, The Perfectly Reasonable, who have stopped for food at an In-and-Out Burger. They promise to help Bennett as soon as their tour ends. Wisecracking madness ensues in this snarky and delightfully absurd spoof that takes aim at almost everything. Great fun for Douglas Adams fans and everyone else as well.

Happy Reading and don’t forget your sunscreen!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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