I love summer, and as a teacher, summer has been my time to revive my creativity, read what I want, and enjoy the outdoors. At the moment, we’re in the middle of a heatwave, and we’ve spent the last three days sitting in the middle of our freezing cold splash pad and eating popsicles. I think a lot more people love summer vacation, too, because there were a lot of great books to choose from to make this list. 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/ . Onto the recommendations!
The Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz paired with a Virgin Piña Colada
Lana Torres has just joined the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance. After finishing The Blazewrath Games last year, I went around telling everyone that it was my favorite fantasy standalone and my favorite dragon story. And then I found out that a second book was coming out; I can’t wait to get my hands on The Dragonblood Ring. Enjoy the national drink of Puerto Rico- a Piña Colada- while reading this awesome dragon story!
You Have a Match by Emma Lord paired with an Iced Campfire Mocha
Emma Lord has some of the cutest and sweetest books. If you loved Tweet Cute, this adorable book will be right up your alley. In You Have a Match, Abby signs up for a DNA service mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister. When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents. After meeting, they decide to attend the same summer camp to figure out why Savannah was given up for adoption. There are some complications when Leo also shows up for summer camp, and Abby has to learn a lot about herself. I promise you’ll enjoy the sweet book and our version of an iced campfire mocha!
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn paired with a Mochi Matcha Latte
In I love You So Mochi, Kimi is obsessed with fashion and transforming outfits, and when her mom and her get in a huge fight over it, she decides to accept an invitation to visit her estranged grandparents in Kyoto for spring break. When she arrives in Japan, she’s met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her. She loses herself in the city’s outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival — and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. The mochi described in this book is better than what I can find in my local grocery stores. See if you can find a good store before picking up this love story!
The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane Kate O’Shaughnessy paired with a Blueberry Lemonade
Do you love the “Found Family” trope? The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane showed me how cute that trope can be.At the beginning of the book, eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane recognizes her father’s laugh on her car radio. Going against her mom’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ dad’s new show. When he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride too. These are not the people Maybelle would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they’re searching for things too. And the journey will bond them into the best kind of family. Pour yourself some sweet lemonade and pick up The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane. (P.S. This is the kind of book that will make you cry sweet, happy tears, so if you’re looking for a good cry, this will do it.)
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston paired with a Crystal Ball Frappuccino
Have you jumped on the Amari fan train yet? If you haven’t, let me be the push that gets you! Amari’s brother has gone missing, but no one is doing anything about it. Then Amari discovers a ticking briefcase in her brother’s old closet. He’s left her a nomination for a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain the answer to finding out what happened to him lies somewhere inside, if only she can get her head around the idea of mermaids, dwarves, yetis and magicians all being real things, something she has to instantly confront when she is given a weredragon as a roommate. Amari must compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids—who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives. If that all wasn’t enough, every Bureau trainee has a talent enhanced to supernatural levels to help them do their jobs, but Amari is given an illegal ability that has a lot to do with the crystal ball you see on the cover. Try out our Crystal Ball Frappuccino and maybe you’ll get some supernatural abilities, or at least fall in love with a new book!
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus paired with an Iced Coffee or an Avocado Smoothie
If you love a good teen mystery, The Cousins is fantastic! Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other. And, they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised and curious, but they all decide to go. The cousins are very specific about their drink orders in this book particularly an iced coffee. It’s my favorite drink but basic. So we’ve added an avocado smoothie for all of the parents and the grandma because they’re very extravagant and fancy!
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch paired with a Gelato Affogato
Before Lina’s mom died, she asked her to get to know her father in Tuscany. Upon arrival she is given a journal that her mother kept while there, and Lina discovers secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself. Love and Gelato is magical just like the drink we’ve created. They’re both super sweet!
The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim paired with a Forbidden Fruit Boba Tea
Rick Riordan Presents is a new imprint publishing some awesome books (Aru Shah and the End of Time, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, and others)! And, The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim is fantastic. Set in Koreatown, LA, Riley Oh can’t wait to see her sister get initiated into the Gom clan, a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Her sister, Hattie, will earn her Gi bracelet and finally be able to cast spells without adult supervision. Although Riley is desperate to follow in her sister’s footsteps when she herself turns thirteen, she’s a saram- a person without magic. Riley was adopted, and despite having memorized every healing spell she’s ever heard, she often feels like the odd one out in her family and the gifted community. Then Hattie gets an idea: what if the two of them could cast a spell that would allow Riley to share Hattie’s magic? This book is full of the sleuthing, quests, secrets, and unique gods that you’d expect from Rick Riordan, and a Forbidden Fruit Boba Tea will get you a pass into this magical world.
Rayne and Delilah’s Midnight Matinee by Jeff Zentner paired with a Frappula Frappuccino
Jeff Zenter’s books have made me cry, and this is one no different. I promise happy sweet tears from Rayne and Delilah’s Midnight Matinee. In the book, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood on Friday nights, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnight Matinee on the local cable station TV Six. But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder. Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnight Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too. It’s a sweet novel full of meaningful moments and campy vampires to go with your Frappula Frappuccino.
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins paired with a Mint tea
If you love short stories, this is a fantastic anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins. In “The End of Love” by Nina LaCour, Flora signs up to (voluntarily) retake geometry. She unexpectedly re-encounters a group of three friends (one of whom she hasn’t stopped thinking about) and decides to go on a weekend camping trip with them. On the trip they find mint leaves and pluck them to make into tea. So that’s exactly what we’ve done! Enjoy some of your favorite tea with these sweet stories.
Whether you’re on summer vacation or using vacation time, camping or traveling, or road-tripping or hiking, we hope you have a lovely summer and let us know what you’re reading in the comments!