One of my most favorite things to do on vacation is to read.
I read in the airport, on the plane, on the beach, on the screened-in porch, in bed, on the boat. I carry a bag of books, my Nook, and my phone with the Nook app, just in case, you know, I run out of books.
Reading without guilt (dust bunnies squirming, dishes calling, deadlines looming) is heaven. It’s escape. It’s a reward.
The first book I grabbed for our trip down south, was the Young Adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Big mistake. Never read a John Green novel on a plane, unless you’re really good at laughing quietly and holding back your tears.
The Fault in Our Stars was heartbreaking. It was also clever, romantic and laugh-out-loud enjoyable. Hazel is terminal, but was bought some extra time with a new tumor shrinking drug. She takes a college class, attends a Cancer Kid support group and tries to lead as ordinary a life as possible, while tugging along her oxygen tank. All that’s about to change though, when she meets the very good looking, witty, Augustus Waters.
A Trailer for The Fault in our Stars by John Green himself.
Another vacation favorite was Divergent, by Veronica Roth.
Set in dystopian Chicago, Beatrice’s society is divided up into five factions. Abnegation, the selfless; Dauntless, the brave; Candor, the honest; Amity, the peaceful and Erudite, the intelligent. Each faction’s dress, behavior, rules, lifestyle and interactions reflect their virtue. For example the followers of Abnegation, the faction Beatrice was born into, must dress in gray colors. They must hide their beauty under gray robes and pulled up hair. Mirrors are covered except for the second day of every third month when Beatrice’s mother cuts her hair. And above all else, they must put the needs of others above all else.
On one special day every year, all 16 year olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. Before this, Beatrice takes an aptitude test of sorts to see where she best might fit, and discovers something special about herself. The twist; that something must be kept secret from everyone or it could mean death.
Now she must choose between staying with her family in Abnegation, or turning her back on her parents and their way of life to embrace a faction where she can be herself.
Another book of note from the eight I read on the beaches of Sanibel, is The Pact, by Jodi Picoult.
A 3:00 am phone call rips apart two formerly, inseparable families. Seventeen year old Chris and Emily, best friends since birth, had just begun to date to the delight of their parents. How could they have ended up in this horrible nightmare . . . where Emily has been shot to death by her soul mate Chris, and he swears it was a suicide pact.
I was riveted to the characters and the challenges they faced. I highly recommend it.