What sort of images come to your mind when you think of Summer? For me, it’s blazing sunshine, melted ice-cream, hot pavement, big shade trees, green grass and long afternoons. The days and nights of summer are bright, vivid, and filled with so much spirit and adventure. And during these summer days, my taste in books, music, and movies shifts a little. I like to read and watch things that are able to match those nostalgic feelings. So I put together a list of books, movies, and music that I think are the perfect examples and offer the best of this season.
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Josee, the Tiger and the Fish – After a chance encounter, two strangers begin a reluctant, and unlikely friendship, as they learn what truly matters in life. A beautiful, and touching story about life, love, and friendship. For me, there is nothing that encapsulates the essence of summer more perfectly than anime. So if you want a little dose of summer-time joy, you should watch this movie. I first watched Josee, last summer when it premiered in theaters, and from the moment the very first scene played out, I knew I was going to love it. And it has since become one of my all-time favorite films.
Summer Wars – During the summer holiday, a high school student takes an unexpected trip to the countryside, where he finds himself fighting for the fate of the world from the digital battlefront of OZ, a virtual reality game. (I meant it when I said that anime and summer were a perfect pairing, so you shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve added another one to my list.) This movie reminds me a lot of the book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline; the difference being that I disliked that book, but I absolutely loved this film. It’s hilarious, and heartfelt, and everything you’d want a movie to be.
\\ B O O K S \\
At Night, I Become a Monster, by Yoru Sumino – To continue with my theme of Japanese films and summertime, I present to you a psychological high school drama about a boy who becomes a monster at night. (Obviously, wink, wink.) This story can’t really be described without spoiling most of the plot, so suffice it to say, if you’re interested in something that’s a little peculiar, but brimming with broad, unusual themes, you’ll probably like this book. It’s a slower paced story, but has all of the essence of school life you’ll find in anime.
The Summer We Forgot, by Caroline George – In a quiet and picturesque coastal town, residents are rocked by the unsettling secrets from a summer two years ago that begin to resurface. A group of teens find themselves at the center of it all. This story paints a vivid, sometimes jarring picture of youth, while navigating the murky waters of growing up, and coming to terms with one’s self. Caroline George is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and her newest book does not disappoint.
The Mermaid’s Sister, by Carrie Anne Noble – This story takes place in a secluded cottage, high atop a mountain, where two sisters live happily with Auntie, their guardian. Everything changes when one of the girls becomes very ill and it is realized that she is fast becoming a mermaid, and only the sea can cure her. It’s been a few years since I read this story, but I think about it often, and think it’s a most perfect summer read. It is set in a historical time period, with strong themes of sisterhood and a beautiful and charming atmosphere.
// M U S I C //
Lastly, we have the category of music, which is perhaps the most essential tool for enjoying summer days and nights. Nothing beats a good summertime jam, blasting in the car with the windows rolled down. I made a short playlist, with some of my favorite songs, that you can’t help but bop your head along to. Most of these songs have been on my summertime playlist for a while, and some are new additions that I had to include. Listen to it HERE!
So that’s it for my lists. There are many, many different themes and ways to enjoy summer but I simply wanted to share a few of my favorites. Now I want to hear from you. What are some forms of media that remind you of summer? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading,