When I started writing these book and drink recommendations, it was Fall of 2020. Fall drinks and spooky books are pretty easy to match up. And winter books with an array of holiday drinks weren’t too hard either. Spring, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so clear. Not everyone has a spring PSL, and if books mention spring, it’s usually glossed over. WIth that being said, I have taken some creative liberties with this post. I’ve decided that high school graduation and prom are two spring events (which you’ll see below). Books that cover the course of a year without much mention to the season are also included. And, there are few books that remind me of a blooming spring. With the creative liberties that we’ve taken, this might be our best post. We hope you agree!
Along with Vanessa (@nessas.lair), I made (and drank!) these fun beverages; if you want to know how to make them, check out Vanessa’s blog: https://nessaslair.com/ . Before you start shopping this list, which I highly recommend, I want to add a small content warning. Until this list, all of the books that have been on the Princessreadsalot posts have been appropriate for 7th grade (12 years old and up). Below are 2 starred (*) books that the publisher labeled for 14+. If you’re shopping for a middle school student, feel free to send us a message for more details on the mature content that makes these books for high school students.
Bloom by Kenneth Oppel
Paired With: Blooming Tea
In Bloom, an invasion has begun, but it begins with rain. Rain that carries seeds. Seeds that sprout–overnight, everywhere. They bloom–and release toxic pollens. They bloom–and form Venus flytrap-like pods that swallow animals and people. They bloom–everywhere, unstoppable. A blooming tea will totally set the mood for this sci-fi teen book.
A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat
Paired with: Butterfly Pea Flower Lemonade
A Wish in the Dark is taking 2021 by the storm with all of its awards (to name a few- 2021 Newbery Honor Book Winner, Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post and School Library Journal, Junior Library Guild Selection, and NPR 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers). In the book, all light in Chattana (a fantastical setting in Thailand) is created by one man — the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. This is a colorful and sweet book set in Thailand, and this colorful lemonade (indigenous to southeast Asia) is a lovely pairing.
Macy MacMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green
Paired with: Goddess Smoothie
Macy MacMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is one of the sweetest novels-in-verse that I have ever read. Sixth grade is coming to an end, and so is life as Macy McMillan knows it. Already a ‘For Sale’ sign sits on the front lawn of her beloved house. Soon her mother will upend their little family, adding an unwelcome stepfather and pesky six-year-old twin stepsisters. Just when Macy’s mother ought to be sympathetic, she sends her next door to help eighty-six-year-old Iris Gillan, who is also getting ready to move―in her case, into an assisted living facility. Iris can’t move a single box on her own and, worse, she doesn’t know sign language. How is Macy supposed to understand her? But Iris has stories to tell, and she isn’t going to let Macy’s deafness stop her. Soon, through notes and books and cookies, a friendship grows. And this friendship, odd and unexpected, may be just what Macy needs to face the changes in her life. Reading this book and drinking a smoothie will be the perfect start to a day. I highly recommend it.
You Should See Me in a Crown* by Leah Johnson
Paired with: Caramel Cloud Macchiato
When You Should See Me in a Crown came out last summer, I heard a lot of hype, and I am here to tell you that the hype is worth it; a beautiful story, a sweet main character, and a fun plot make this a binge-worthy book. Liz believes she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town, but she has a plan that will get her out: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. When the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz decides to try for her town’s prom queen scholarship. Despite her fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. Liz’s friends are sweet, and mid-way through the book they buy her a Caramel Cloud Macchiato. I’ve never tried one before, but I am here to say the book and the drink are worth the hype!
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Paired with: Cookie Monster Shake
Pepper is the swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. She is also secretly running Big League Burger’s (her family’s restaurant chain) massive Twitter account. Jack is a class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Tweet Cute is adorable. Emma Lord has included a recipe for the Tweet Cute’s Monster Cake (on her blog), and we’ve adapted a drink to match the sweetness!
Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Paired with: Mint Shake
In March, many celebrate St. Patrick’s day (and the month) with a mint shake, so I’ve decided that mint shakes are definitely a spring drink. In The Inheritance Games, Avery’s fortune changes in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves her his entire fortune, but she has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Enjoy this green-covered book (filled with characters green with envy) and a mint shake. Okay, so maybe I am stretching it a little, but I think you’re going to enjoy this pairing!
Today Tonight Tomorrow* by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Paired with: Hazelnut Latte with Whipped cream
Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time. On her last day of school, she buys a hazelnut latte with extra whipped cream. Unfortunately she gets in a small car accident and spills it all over her outfit. When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up, and as Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s more than the nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. Today Tonight Tomorrow is definitely going to be in my top 10 of 2021. I loved it! Drink a hazelnut latte and enjoy reading about Rowan and Neil’s last day of school.
Kpop Confidential by Stephan Lee
Paired with: Iced Matcha Latte
So I loved Kpop Confidential, and I have to agree that I am stretching this a little to add it to this list. It does start in the spring right before the end of Candace’s school year; that’s why it made its way here. When Candace secretly enters a global audition held by SLK’s music label (a Kpop corporation), the last thing she expects is to actually get a coveted spot in their trainee program. After convincing her ultra-strict parents to let her try for a summer, she heads to Seoul where she must perfect her performance skills to within an inch of her life, learn to speak Korean fluently, and navigate the complex hierarchies of her fellow trainees, all while following the strict rules of the industry. She dreams of eating real meals and an iced matcha latte that her mom provides on her free weekend. This story is dramatic and exciting and a little horrifying (is this KPop trainee life for real?!?!), but you’ll definitely appreciate your iced matcha latte when Candace cannot.
American Panda by Gloria Chao
Paired with: Bubble Tea
If you have followed me on Instagram for a while, you may have remembered that I listed American Panda in my top ten books of 2018. I’m here to recommend it again. At the start of the book, Mei is a freshman at MIT, and she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, and produce a litter of babies. However, those are not Mei’s dreams, and when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to reconsider her own dreams. This book is filled with descriptions of dramatic family meals but very few drinks. But, I think if she had a moment free from studying, I think she’d love a bubble tea.
Goldie Vance, vol. 1 by Hope Larson
Paired with: Golden Latte
The Goldie Vance comics will give you serious Nancy Drew vibes. Each volume is a new mystery for the teenage detective to solve, and they are all set in Florida. I don’t want to give too much of a summary because they’re extra short, but I promise they’re fun! By the time you’ve finished your Golden Latte, you’ll be picking up the next volume.
Whether you’re looking forward to getting out of the house and enjoying the weather or staying inside during a spring thunderstorm, I hope you’ve found a good recommendation for the season. Let us know in the comments any spring books that you would recommend or your favorite spring drink!