Summer vacation may be over, but the need for some brain candy isn’t! These two books for teens are a perfect way to extend the fun of the warm summer months without actually taking more vacation.

real mermaids don't.jpgReal Mermaids Don’t Hold Their Breath
by Helene Boudreau

Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky
ISBN: 978 1 4022 6446 7

The followup to Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings is every bit as fun, with friendships, the beginnings of romance, secrets to be kept, plots to be uncovered, and danger to escape.  It’s a quick read, and a little bit of fluff, but quite enjoyable. It may be a followup, but you don’t have to have read the first one to enjoy it, it makes enough references to catch you up. By the end of the summer, all of the plots and subplots have wrapped up in time for school. I can see another of these coming along, but we aren’t left with cliffhangers, either. Isn’t fiction tidy?!

This one would be accessible for a tween, as well, as the mermaid theme is attractive, the issues are not heavy, and the beginning romance is only just budding, and never extends past a kiss. (With her being 14, there is also some concern from her parents about the idea of her dating, so it’s not a bad way to start that discussion, if you’re at that stage in your house!)

unsinkable girls.bmpThe Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
by Julie Schumacher

Delacorte Press
ISBN: 978 0 385 73773 9

The mothers of of three of the girls had decided to have a book club to keep them busy and earn them some AP English credits. The fourth had, surprisingly, joined on her own. They couldn’t be more different, these four, and being thrown together resulted in some surprising turns of events.

Adrienne, our narrator, feels that she is too bland, and is happy to follow along with CeeCee, who is exciting and full of ideas, even if it lands her in trouble more than once. Jill is sensible, but even she begins to wonder what ‘s up with Wallis, the cipher of the group, and why they never see her mother. At the end of the summer, there is a night that turns bad with awful results for a character (trying not to spoil it, here!).

This book has much more in terms of teen content, and is a more complex book in terms of examining motives and personalities and the characters’ places in the world, but it still has its share of light moments, and a good dash of humour. Adrienne’s voice and her exploration of herself ring true to the way teens are figuring things out, not even always understanding themselves, and yes, prone to a bit of sarcasm.

Also available as an ebook.

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