Zoey’s Staff Picks for June

Here is what I picked for this month, including short reviews:

Along for the Ridealong for the ride
By Sarah Dessen, performed by Rachel Botchan

“Eager to escape her sleepless nights and demanding mother, Auden travels to a quaint beach town to spend her summer break with her newly remarried father. Once there, Auden acquires a job at a local clothes boutique and befriends a group of girls. When she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, Auden finds a companion for her restless evenings. As their friendship blossoms, Auden looks to experience a classic teenager’s summer, while Eli looks to get over the guilt he feels regarding a friend’s death.”

I feel as though June sneaked right up behind me and all of sudden it’s summer. I couldn’t resist picking a great summer read that I’ve read and re-read more times than I care to count. I will admit, without hesitation, that Sarah Dessen is a guilty pleasure of mine. Oh, why not, just a pleasure, completely guilt free; we all should read whatever genre we want, no matter our age. I think my admiration for her YA reads began during high school, when I would often pick them up at the beginning of summer, eager to dive into books that were finally not forced upon me. Reading her books eventually became habit around the beginning of summer; as some readers would go so far as to call her the “Nicholas Sparks” of YA, because she publishes (almost) every year. Along for the Ride is my favorite, probably, because I easily identified with Auden. She is much too hard on herself, as is her parents, and pushes herself too hard with school and getting into a good university. It’s finally the last summer before she heads off as a freshman, and it’s the summer where she reclaims her childhood, falls in love, and finally learns to ride a bike.

dir. Joe Wright, featuring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan

“In the summer of 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis wildly misinterprets the relationship between her sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, childhood friends home from Cambridge. So when her young cousin is assaulted, Briony gives in to her hyperactive imagination and blames the atrocity on Robbie. It is a terrible decision that alters lives and fills Briony with an everlasting sense of guilt.”

A lot of people in my life– friends, family members, even professors, have recommended Atonement, both the movie and the book, but I always put it on the back burner distracted by something else. I recently gave the film a shot, and I regret putting it off for so long. Not only does it detail a sweeping love story, but the film itself is also creative with its cinematography. I was simply blown away at some of the scenes and shots. The nature of the story sets up the film to jump between two different time periods– just before World War II and during World War II. Because of the jumping, the plot unfolds in a very natural way, as if someone is telling a story to you.

Atonement was based off of the Ian McEwan novel of the same name. I’m saving Atonement for a beach read in a few weeks, but I have no doubt that it’ll be just as phenomenal as the movie.


Summaries and images taken from catalog.ccls.org.


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Filed under Audiobooks, Movies

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