Your spring break reading list

 

Whether you’re spending spring break at home or on the road, this week free of school is the perfect time to pick up a book again. The following books reflect the spirit of spring in theme, aesthetic or storyline.

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han follows 16-year-old Lara Jean Covey and the drama that ensues when the love letters she’s written to all the boys she’s loved, are accidentally mailed to them. While the Netflix movies were tolerable adaptations, the book trilogy is bursting with humor, loveable characters and a lighthearted, girly aesthetic that was not fully conveyed on screen. Even though this is classified as a romance book, it reads as a coming-of-age tale as spunky Lara Jean comes into her own. 

“Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery. While this classic could be considered a middle-grade, something about wholesome books in spring just feels right. Set in the late 1870s, “Anne of Green Gables” tells the tale of the frivolous but good-natured orphan Anne Shirley as she gets adopted and adjusts to her new life in picturesque Prince Edwards Island. This slice-of-life tale covers years of Anne’s adolescence and provides an escape to a charming time of puffed sleeves and raspberry cordial.

“Are You Experienced?” by Jordan Sonnenblick. In “Are You Experienced?,” modern teenager and guitar fanatic Rich travels back in time to attend the 1969 Woodstock festival with his teenaged dad and uncle. This book has a level of suspense as Rich is on a mission to save the uncle he never knew from his impending drug overdose and death, without revealing his true identity. Though Woodstock took place in August, something about thousands of teenagers gathering on a farm in upstate New York to bask in music, nature and flower power seems like an idyllic (or at least memorable) spring vacation. 

Circe” by Madeline Miller is a contemporary epic that fleshes out the story of Circe, the witch in Homer’s “Odyssey” who turned men into pigs. We follow centuries of Circe’s life, from her early years as an unappreciated and belittled nymph, to her banishment on a solitary island where her affinity for witchcraft truly blossoms. The witchy garden scenes give “Circe” a springtime feel. This book is lingering in pace, but is satisfying in its themes of self-discovery and exploration. Classics lovers will appreciate the appearances from Prometheus, Daedalus, Odysseus, Penelope and more.  

“The Goose Girl” by Shannon Hale is a folktale retelling set in the fictional land of Bayern. In this book, 16-year-old Crown Princess Ani is stunned when she learns, upon her father’s death, that she will not ascend the throne. Ani is instead sent away to marry into a neighboring royal family. After a mutiny on her journey, Ani is left stranded and has to fight for her life and rightful identity as princess. This book’s classic fairytale elements of adventure, romance and magic make for a light-hearted but engaging book fitting for spring as Ani tries to prove her identity.

“Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo. “Six of Crows” is if Rick Riordan’s “The Heroes of Olympus” and “Ocean’s Eleven” came together in a young adult book. Set in the fictional city of Ketterdam, “Six of Crows” features a band of teenage criminals as they try to pull off a deadly heist. This book is fresh and surprising for the YA genre and perfect for a vicarious adventure to get you through the hours at home or a drive through mundane landscapes. 

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’‘ by Lewis Carroll. Though classified as a children’s book, this quirky classic and its air of whimsy screams spring. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” tells the tale of what was a normal day for Alice until she fell “down, down, down” a rabbit hole. As Alice journeys through Wonderland, the reader also experiences a welcome hypnosis at the nonsensical creatures and people Alice encounters.

“Educated” by Tara Westover. In her memoir, Westover tells the story of her survivalist family of nine, headed by her zealous, conspiracy-theorist father. Westover and her siblings didn’t go to places of “government brainwashing,” like school or the doctor’s office. Westover’s outdoorsy, dangerous upbringing in rural Idaho makes for a wild story. From her rough background, Westover makes her way through some of the world’s most prestigious universities even though she’d never stepped in a classroom prior. While “Educated” is somber in its conclusion, its themes of rebirth and promise reflect the sweetest parts of spring.