Listen book lovers, we get it. Sometimes you want a book you can devour in a single day, maybe even a single evening. It’s May, the perfect time for picnics and quick reads—do you really want to have to close that book at the halfway mark, because the picnic is over and you’re totally out of Sun Chips? These 7 books can be started and finished in one (awesome) day—or even, if you’ve had a little too much coffee, a single evening.
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, by Adele Griffin
This skinny book packs a serious punch. It’s a fully illustrated YA novel full of beautiful, full-color drawings, news articles, photographs, doodles, and more. Written as a fictionalized oral history account, Griffin’s novel introduces you to Addison Stone, a young street artist on the rise, in the wake of her strange death. The story is told through the words of the character’s friends, family, fans, critics, and exes, a unique tale told with stunning prose.
Sweet, by Emmy Laybourne
Mentioning this book feels a bit unfair, since it doesn’t come out until June. But oh, what an incredibly exciting and super quick read it was. Written by the author of the bestselling Monument 14 trilogy, it’s made to be polished off in one sitting.
Set on a cruise ship, the book shifts perspectives between Tom, a former child star desperately trying to shake his old image, and Laurel, just a normal girl with an affluent best friend paying her way. But this cruise is no ordinary vacation: guests are setting sail in the hopes of losing as much weight as possible, thanks to the ship’s corporate sponsor: Solu, a new artificial sweetener that really, really works. Really. Things get dark quickly, as the ship pushes farther out to sea and a horrible side effect of the sweetener is revealed. Pre-order this one, you guys. It’s incredible.
Deliver Me, by Kate Jarvik Birch
Let’s throw a dystopian thriller into the mix, shall we? Deliver Me is one of those books that frequently had me gasping and shaking my eReader. In Birch’s world, we’re introduced to a society run by The Union, a totalitarian government that controls everything, and I mean everything, about people’s lives. Not just simple things like the clothes they wear, but the genes that get passed down from person to person.
See, in this broken future, teen girls dream of being selected as a Carrier when they turn 16. This means they’ll be giving birth to future generations of citizens in the Union. Only protagonist Wynne doesn’t get selected—her best friend, Odessa, does. And unfortunately for Odessa, being a carrier isn’t as great as the stories made it out to be. This YA thriller clocks in at fewer than 200 pages. Devour it on a Saturday, and then hug your best friend after.
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
This romantic adventure is set in New York City and told by its coauthors in chapters that alternate between the perspectives of Nick and Norah. When Nick spots his ex-girlfriend attending his band’s show with a new guy, he asks Norah to be his girlfriend for just five minutes. The result? They end up on a first date that lasts all night, two teenagers on the mend from broken hearts and seeking out good music across the city. And after you’ve read it (stress: AFTER), you can go see the movie.
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick, by Joe Schreiber
Alright, so maybe I’m a bit of a sucker for quick YA reads that have to do with rock and roll. Oh, well. Here’s another one, the first book in a really fun duology. And like the last two picks, it’s under 200 pages. Perry is a teen who dreams of being a rockstar, and might just accomplish that goal: a big-deal executive is rumored to be attending his upcoming gig in New York City. Only two things stand in his way: his overprotective father and the nerdy exchange student he’s being forced to take to the prom. Things take a crazy turn when that exchange student, Gobija “Gobi” Zaksauskas, turns out to be a highly trained, lethal assassin, with plans to go on a tear through NYC the night of the prom. And oh, what a tear it is. It’s a super exciting, really thrilling read, as hilarious as it is violent.
Beyond Our Stars, by Marie Langager
The shortest novel on this list, Beyond Our Stars can definitely be read in a single afternoon, giving you enough time to…read another book, of course. Clocking in at just 113 pages, it’s a sci-fi novella about spaceship leaving a destroyed, ravaged Earth to strike out on a mission to populate CR-3, a new home planet far away. It’s a little Across The Universe-ish, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately for the characters in Langager’s sci-fi space thriller, it turns out the planet is already inhabited, by a group of aliens that won’t stop running experiments on their people. It’s up to Hope, a 17-year old orphan, to connect with the aliens and wrangle what’s left of the humanity, before her people are extinguished.
Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr
And now, let’s return to Earth. Story of a Girl isn’t just the name of an awesome song by Nine Days. It’s also an incredibly moving novel by Sara Zarr. A National Book Award Finalist, it focuses on Deanna, a girl who gets branded the school slut after she’s caught in the backseat of a car with her brother’s best friend. It’ll leave you crying and yelling at the pages, in the way only a really remarkable read can.