My dad was an elementary school librarian until he retired a few years ago, which meant that over the summer I had unlimited access to an entire library full of un-checked out books. I could read book after book after book of the Babysitter’s Club back to back with no risk of the next one being checked out — it was a voracious young readers dream come true.
No longer armed with several weeks off every summer, I don’t find quite as much time to read. Though as a writer, it seems that I have access to a library full of friend’s books at all times. Recently, on the train to New York for a mini summer vacation, I read one of those books, Kristy Gillespie’s young adult novel, Jaded. The novel is set in a utopian commune, called Nirvana, that is governed by eye color. Children are assigned an eye color at birth and then must select the profession of one of their parents before they turn 17, after which they will undergo surgery to change their eye color to one which matches their chosen profession. Jade’s 17th birthday is fast approaching and she is struggling with her decision. Simultaneously, she is learning that things aren’t as perfect in Nirvana as she had believed they were. On top of the twists and turns as Jade makes her decision and learns more and more about the commune’s secrets there is also a sweet romance developing with her childhood best friend Ty.
I loved Jade’s character and was completely drawn in to her journey with her. My pulse quickened when she was in danger (or near her best friend turned boyfriend). I will be honest– young adult dystopian novels aren’t usually on the top of my list, but Kristy writes beautiful, real characters who just happen to live in a world that is different from the one we live in everyday, without being completely unfathomable.
Reading Jaded, I felt like I was a kid again, curled up with a good book on a summer day. Now I just need Kristy to hurry up and finish the second book in the series so that I can recapture that magic feeling of devouring book after book in a series.
What are you reading this summer? Let me know in the comments below. (And don’t forget to sign up in that awesome orange box to get my blog posts by e-mail every week!)