With the Victoria Day long weekend kicking off on Friday, the summer season is unofficially upon us. And few things say summer in Toronto to us like some great reads. Lindsey Reeder of Random House Canada has suggested five great books for you and your tweens to get your summer reading off to a fabulous start. Start planning that cottage getaway today!
Five Great Reads for Summer in Toronto
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.
Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.
Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook
Hamburg, 1946. Thousands remain displaced in what is now the British Occupied Zone. Charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people, Colonel Lewis Morgan is requisitioned a fine house on the banks of the Elbe, where he will be joined by his grieving wife, Rachael, and only remaining son, Edmund.
But rather than force its owners, a German widower and his traumatized daughter, to leave their home, Lewis insists that the two families live together. In this charged and claustrophobic atmosphere all must confront their true selves as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
The Aftermath is a stunning novel about our fiercest loyalties, our deepest desires and the transformative power of forgiveness.
The Oathbreaker’s Shadow by Amy McCulloch (BOY)
Fans of Philip Pullman, Jonathan Stroud, and George R.R. Martin are going to love this action-filled fantasy novel by an exciting and extremely promotable debut voice in the genre.
In the world of fifteen-year-old Raim, you tie a knot for every promise you make. Break that promise and the knot will burst into flames, scarring your skin and forever marking you as an oathbreaker. Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one seems to know where it came from or which promise it symbolizes, and Raim barely thinks about it at all–especially not since he became the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the day that he binds his life to that of his best friend (and the future king), Khareh, the rope ignites and sears a dark mark into his skin. Scarred now as an oathbreaker, Raim has two options: run or be killed. He chooses to run, taking refuge in the vast desert among a colony of exiled oathbreakers. Will he be able to learn the skills he needs to clear his name? And even if he can, how can he keep a promise he never knew he made in the first place?
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan (GIRL)
It was bizarre and inexplicable, and after it happened, Ingrid Waverly was forced to leave her life in London behind. She had to trade a world full of fancy dresses and society events for exile in gothic Paris with her mother and her younger sister, Gabby.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and disturbingly, the house rented by Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, isn’t a house at all. It’s an abbey. A creepy, old abbey with a roof lined in stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And to top it all off, Grayson is missing. Yet no one seems to be concerned about Grayson’s whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant who has some deep and dark secrets of his own.
There’s one secret about the city that even Luc can’t keep hidden, though: there’s a murderer on the loose. And every day that Grayson is missing means there’s less chance he’s still alive.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead–she can feel it deep in her soul–but she knows that he’s in grave danger, and that it’s up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost. And yet the path to him is more dangerous than she could ever imagine.
All titles are available for purchase online or at your local bookstore.
What’s on your must-read list for summer in Toronto?