Our Favorite Books Perfect for Spring Break

As we approach Spring Break, you may have some time on your hands to pick up an intriguing book, whether it be while sitting on the couch or sunbathing on the beach. Here are four book recommendations to read with genres from historical fiction to YA fiction.

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Though Taylor Jenkins Reid has been constructing novels since her first published book in 2013 (“Forever, Interrupted”), she has just recently gained a large following. The first book of Reid’s to gain traction, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” (2017), became extremely popular in 2021, which some may say started the rise of Reid’s fandom. After the story of Evelyn Hugo came “Daisy Jones and The Six” which also quickly acquired a great amount of attention. Her newest novel though, as of 2021, has not been as widely known as her others, until now that is. “Malibu Rising” takes place primarily in the 80s, with little snippets of the 50s, 60s, and 70s thrown in for backstory. It follows the story of older sister Nina Riva and her siblings Jay, Hud, and Kit who are not only in the public eye due to their respective careers but also due to their father Mick Riva, the famous musician. The first half of the book follows the tragic love story of June and Mick Riva, while the second half follows their kids’ lives, and takes place over a mere 24 hours of Nina Riva’s notorious annual house party, where new relationships are formed, past ghosts appear, and life altering decisions are made. (Readers aged 14+)

“Handle with Care” by Jodi Picoult
A brief warning before delving into this next recommendation, if you are usually more drawn to novels with happy endings, this book is probably not your perfect match. Nevertheless, Jodi Picoult masterfully crafted the book “Handle with Care” which was published to the public in 2009. “Handle with Care” tells the story of Willow O’Keefe, a young girl with Brittle Bone Disease. Throughout the novel, readers get an inside look into the perspectives of the other O’Keefe family members as well as certain additional side characters, showing the toll that Willow’s disability has taken on each of them, as well as their immense love for the little girl. Said family members include Amelia O’Keefe (overlooked older sister), Charlotte O’Keefe (doting mother), and Sean O’Keefe (burdened father). In order to pay for Willow’s neverending medical bills and fees, Charlotte is forced to make a brutal decision that may leave her family and friendships in ruin. (Readers aged 14+)

“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley
Drug trafficking, dirty money, dismissed culture, and dangerous friendship: “Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley dives into it all and more in this fast paced, multi-layered mystery. The novel centers Daunis, a biracial Ojibwe 18-year-old who has never fully felt a part of her Native community, especially not compared to her half-brother, Levi. The past year or two–or three, or 18, if you’re counting the scandal that’s followed her and her mom since her birth–Daunis’ life has been filled with strife, putting Daunis’ plans to leave her hometown and attend university on pause.
So, it seems almost too good to be true when Jamie, a talented hockey player who quickly joins Levi’s hockey team and becomes a pillar of the teen community, moves to town and takes an interest in Daunis. And then, after a drug-spurred murder rips apart Daunis’ world, she learns that everything was, indeed, too good to be pure. Daunis is pulled into a high-stakes investigation into a new dangerous strain of meth believed to have been developed and trafficked by someone in her community, and is forced to use her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe formulas to crack a case, all while protecting herself, her family, and her community from a country quick to blame those they deem different. Impossible to put down and an heartbreaking message of the lengths one will go to protect those they love, “Firekeeper’s Daughter” is a haunting must-read that’ll keep you wondering for months to come. (Readers aged 13+)

“Parachutes” by Kelly Yang
Claire Wang and Dani De La Cruz could not be more different. Seriously. The former is ostentatiously wealthy, sent alone from Shanhai, China to the US to finish high school after she speaks out of turn one too many times. Claire is–in Dani’s eyes–effortlessly gorgeous, instantly popular, and unbelievably rude. Dani, meanwhile, is on scholarship to an expensive private school, a champion of debate competitions, and constantly ridiculed by her classmates. When Dani’s mom rents out a room to Claire as a means to make extra money to cover Dani’s debate-related fees, Dani isn’t happy, and Claire and Dani immediately get along like oil and water.
Despite their issues with each other, they both begin to separately see light at the end of the tunnel: Claire catches the romantic eye of the similarly wealthy and popular Jay, and Dani’s debate coach begins to give her extra one-on-one coaching to prepare her for the competition that could change everything for Dani. And then, slowly, the light at the end of the tunnel stops glistening and starts to look more like red warning lights flashing “danger.” A single wall separating them, Dani and Claire suffer privately, and silently, never confiding in one another about the two interconnected challenges they face. “Parachutes” is a masterpiece of a novel about womanhood, race, money, abuse of power, unreasonable academic and social pressures, and allyship. More than anything, it is a story that has been lived to some extent by 97% of women, and graces the page in hard-hitting, heart-breaking writing. (Readers aged 15+)

We hope you consider reading these books and many others. Let us know in the comments if you read and enjoyed these books. Happy reading!