Summer is almost upon us, and while we’re eager to burn ditch our schoolbooks, there’s almost nothing better than posting up on the beach, or under the shade of a tree, or staying in bed all day with a book that we actually want to read. This is our official summer reading list!
We’ve also included links to each book at betterworldbooks.com. For every book purchased from them, a book is donated to a person in need. So far, the company has donated over 6,000,000 books to readers around the world, raised over $12,000,000 for literacy and library programs, and recycled over 84,000,000 old books!
+ The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins, $6-$10 at betterworldbooks.com
If you have yet to read “The Hunger Games,” you’re seriously missing out. The story centers around a 16-year-old girl’s fight for her life in a televised battle to the death. The only bad thing about “The Hunger Games” is that it’s so good, you’ll probably finish it within days -- or maybe even hours -- of starting it. Good thing there are two more books in the series! “The Hunger Games” teaches us a lot about freedom of speech and even reminds us of the 99% movement. And no book is complete without a good ol’ fashioned love triangle! When you’re finished, let us know whose team you’re on.
+ Battle Royale. Koushon Takami, $15.29 at betterworldbooks.com
Many readers say “Battle Royale” was Suzanne Collins’ inspiration for “The Hunger Games.” We’ll let you decide for yourself, but this book about Japanese school children forced to fight to the death in a three day televised event is an epic thriller and an amazing film as well. With all of the bullying going on these days, Battle’s main characters remind us of that teamwork and intelligence are far more important than popularity.
+ How To Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents. Zac Bissonnette, $15 at betterworldbooks.com
From job-hunting, to car buying, to being ridiculously good-looking, 23-year-old Zac Bissonnette’s latest book is full of good, fun advice for young adults looking to become…well…richer, smarter, and better-looking than their parents.
+ Shadow of Night. Deborah Harkness, $15-$18 on amazon.com
Vampires are here to stay! If you felt like your life was over the day you finished the last book in the “Twilight” series, here’s a story about a girl, a vampire, and their awesome adventures in Elizabethan England. This is the sequel to Harkness’ NY Times Bestseller “A Discovery of Witches.” Speaking of vampires, check out the inspiring work “Twilight” hunk Kellan Lutz is doing to combat sex trafficking in Los Angeles. See! Not all vampires are bad guys!
+ Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Jenny Lawson, $20 at betterworldbooks.com
It’s pretty hard to pretend something never happened when you publish it for the world to see, but this hilarious “mostly true” memoir by Jenny Lawson teaches us that our most embarrassing moments will someday become the ones we recall most fondly and share most enthusiastically. It’s full of awesome pics (big kids like picture books too!) and ridiculous stories that you have to read to believe. When things get rough, it’s hard to remember that our greatest losses are often what lead us to our greatest victories, but this book does a great job of reminding us.
+ Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. Steig Larsson, $4 at betterworldbooks.com
Girls who kick butt are so in right now! This novel is an exciting tale about one of the most badass young women in the literary world. A girl with a dragon tattoo combats sexual exploitation and human trafficking in this bestseller.
+ No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. Mitt Romney, $4-25 at betterworldbooks.com
In “No Apology” Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gives us his honest take on how to tackle the important issues facing our country. If you like reading about presidents, check out our MTV Power of 12 piece on hipster presidents!
+ Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Barack Obama, $4-$16 at betterworldbooks.com
This book by musical superstar President Barack Obama highlights his struggles with race, identity, and the loss of his father. It teaches us that Obama is not just our President, but a man who worked to find himself much like many of us are still doing today.
+ Monument 14. Emmy Laybourne, $17 at betterworldbooks.com
In “Monument 14,” a group of students are forced to seek refuge in a superstore -- confronting their differences and creating a new social order -- while the outside world is torn apart. This fictional novel is a very real take on social hierarchy, and author Emmy Laybourne highlights an issue facing many young people today: bullying.
+ The Lucky One. Nicholas Sparks, $4-$16 at betterworldbooks.com
The main character in this book has a very lucky charm: a photograph of a woman he’s never met. In most cases, this would be a little weird, but in “The Lucky One,” it’s cute, and endearing, and what happens next is the stuff classic love stories are made of. Seeing as this is a summer reading list, check out our summer tanning tips, featuring Zac Efron -- star of the movie adaptation of “The Lucky One.”
+ The Help. Kathryn Stockett, $7-$17 at betterworldbooks.com
“The Help” is a story about African American maids working in White households in the ‘60s. It’s a timeless story about three women who come together to bridge personal and societal gaps in their hometown. Emma Stone, star of the movie adaptation of “The Help” recently gave an amazing speech at the MTV Movie Awards about differences and acceptance -- the same themes explored so beautifully in this book.
What are you reading this summer? Give us your reviews and recommendations in the comments section below!