My Five Favourite Books of the Summer

Thanks to the pandemic, I have read 20 books this summer. So, while I am sad about the many things that I was not able to do (attend a family wedding on Vancouver Island, go on a cross-country roadtrip with my younger brother to see extended family that I haven't seen for years, hang out with people in general, etc.), the upside was that I was able to read some of my new favourite books. Here are five mini-reviews of some of the standouts.

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

There are always two del Cisne girls. And the swans always take one. Blanca has always known the swans would take her or her sister. Roja always knew that the swans would take her. It has always been the two of them against the world. Until two boys from town get intertwined in the curse, and everything feels different.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicker Woods have a long memory. They do not forgive, they do not forget, and they do not let go. Walker women are the only ones who are brave enough to venture inside - and even then, only on a full moon, when the woods are asleep. Nora Walker finds lost things in the woods on these full moon nights, and brings them back to her home. But one night, one cold, snowy night, Nora finds a boy in the woods. A boy who's been missing for two weeks. A boy who should be dead.

The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted by Conor Grennan

Jack just wants to make it through classroom presentations today. Or at least, that's all he wanted to do. Before he got kidnapped by a strange man, chased by weird demon things, and transported through a portal to an island where grown-ups are arguing about whether or not he needs to get his mind "scraped".

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah is a liar. She doesn't necessarily mean to be a liar - she has such a large imagination that is sometimes difficult for her stories to stay firmly grounded in reality. One of her lies quickly gets out of hand, however, and Aru accidentally frees the Sleeper from his prison. Now Aru must stop the demon before it's too late!