You can never have enough zombie novels, as far as I'm concerned. Here's a new one, just in time for summer: The Girl with All the Gifts, by M. R. Carey. This story is a bit different, as it is told from a zombie point of view. You didn't think zombies had any thoughts, did you? Then you had better read this book ASAP and find out more . . .
I recommend The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It is not a beach book, but I would suggest it for the sad summer days when it's raining outside. It is a fabulous book that I think ages 14+ would enjoy, but does contain difficult subject matter.
Foundling is a high fantasy set on the Half-Continent, a world
in which there are humans and there are monsters. Monsters are so much
more physically powerful than humans that in order to fight them, a
person must undergo a procedure that replaces their internal organs with
artificial ones, thus enabling that person to become a conduit for
lightning (which is then used to fight monsters).
Rossamünd is an orphan on his way to become an apprentice lamplighter. His journey is riddled with danger and adventure--the greatest of which is falling in with one of the most famous lahzars (or monster-hunters), Europa, Duchess-in-Waiting of Naimes.
Europe (as she is called) is one of my favorite characters in print, a woman who doesn't care a whit for convention, is bafflingly amoral, and a force to be reckoned with. The first installment in this trilogy is good, but it is Cornish's debut, and his writing (and the story) only gets better in the second and third books. Most definitely worth anyone's time but highly recommended for fantasy readers who enjoy in-depth and detailed world and character building.
I have yet to come across a story with a cast of characters so lovably flawed. Cloudstreet is gorgeously poetic and is a challenge, but well worth the read. Tim Winton beautifully incorporates the power of nature into this story. At once magical and completely relatable, Cloudstreet is a book to be enjoyed over and over again.
Replay, by Ken Grimwood, is by far one of the most magnificent
books I've ever read. It details the multiple lives of one man who,
every time he dies, wakes up earlier in his life, and lives out a span
of decades over and over again. Each time he dies and awakens, he lives
life differently, always striving to attain
happiness, with mixed results. This mysterious phenomenon makes for a captivating read that will have the book glued to your hands. Grimwood spins a truly brilliant character-driven tale of self-reflection to which any reader can relate. Both philosophical and entertaining, I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. Stop by and pick up a copy if you want to enjoy a thought-provoking, fun, and truly memorable read.