Its getting to that time of year again—springtime! To celebrate the impending vernal equinox, the longer days of summer sun and the all-around warmer (albeit rainy) weather, why not talk about some of the best reads for springtime?
Spring is the season of new beginnings. It is a season full of spring cleanings that clear the house of its clutter, making way for the new junk that is destined to pile-up in the coming months, torrential downpours that wash away the dirt and grime of winter, making way for the buds of soon-to-be flowers, and drastic outfit changes that shuck the wintertime staples of long pants and woolen socks, making way for shorts even though the weather isn’t quite warm enough yet.
My sister, Leah, and I have already caught spring-fever. We’ve packed our bags for spring break (a week and half early), we’ve cleaned our dorm room, we’ve started packing all those extra items we brought to college “just in case” that we now realize we have never used and never will use, and we, embarrassingly, have already started planning everything we will do at the beginning of that oh-so-wonderful season of freedom—summer. Suffice to say, I have been busy spending my days looking toward the future—a staple pastime of any sane person in the spring time. At least, thats what I’ve always thought.
In honor of this time of beginning anew, looking hopefully forward toward the future, and moving on from the past, I thought why not create a list of some contemporary Young Adult books that I think perfectly embody these themes and the overall ambience of spring season. So, here they are!
#1 Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is the epitome of Young Adult contemporary or realistic fiction. If you haven’t read one of her books, you haven’t had a childhood on the planet Earth (at least in my eyes). Basically, her books perfectly capture the experience of adolescence—that period in life that is full of first times, new beginnings, and constantly wishing for the future to come quicker with all of its freedoms (and responsibilities). Saint Anything is no exception to these staple (and spring-like) Dessen themes.
Dessen’s most recent release is Saint Anything. It is the story of a young girl named Sydney, forced to cope with the recent fall from grace of her older (and supposedly perfect) brother, Peyton. Saint Anything follows Sydney as she attempts to find a way to live her own life—a life outside of the shadow of her brother, a life where she isn’t just Peyton’s sister. Sydney starts her journey with the drastic transfer from private to public school where, with the help of some new life-long friends, Layla and Mac, Sydney’s life truly becomes her own.
#3 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
College is the new beginning of all new beginnings. It’s a time to reinvent yourself, to start anew. You can be the cool kid you never were in high school, you can build the friendships you will have for the rest of your life, you can even be the new, no, the real you that never got the chance to exist in the confining, judgmental world that is high school. At least, this is what most people think and hope.
For Cath, college at the University of Nebraska is a jarring experience—one that, at first, puts her in a state of confusion, fear and desire to go back to the old days of writing fan fiction with her twin sister Wren. Struggling to make friends, properly do her assignments and even eat in the fear-inducing, crowded cafeteria, Cath finally starts to create the new college life for herself that we all dream of with the help of her outgoing, infectious, and extroverted roommate Regan, and the endearing Levi.
#4 If I Stay by Gayle Forman
If I Stay has recently come out as a feature film starring Chloe Grace Moretz, but before that it was a devastating and beautiful Young Adult contemporary novel which follows main character and cellist, Mia, as she relives her past memories—both happy and heartbreaking—in the wake of a devastating car accident which takes the lives of her entire family.
This book is perfect for spring. Sometimes it is hopeful while other times it is completely and utterly heart-wrenching. Sad, but tinged with Mia’s hope of a fulfilling future even without the family she so dearly loves, If I Stay perfectly embodies what it means to accept the past, appreciate its moments–good and bad–and start on the journey toward a new beginning.
These are three contemporary reads that I think are perfect for spring! I love these books and I hope that I have introduced you to a few new YA spring reads. Leave a comment with books that you love to read in the springtime or that you think mirror the same sentiments and themes of these books. I’d love to hear what you’re favorite spring reads are!