During the school year, there never seems to be a dull moment outside of homework and studying. Yet, when teens are given much more free time during the summer, boredom quickly sets in.
By turning to some popular YA novels, you can follow in your favorite characters’ footsteps and have some entertaining and affordable experiences!
The Fault in Our Stars
In John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, August Waters and Hazel Grace explore their artsy side by visiting an outdoor art exhibit.
“We walked down what passes for a hill in Indianapolis to this clearing where kids were climbing all over this huge oversize skeleton sculpture. The bones were each about waist high, and the thighbone was longer than me. It looks like a child’s drawing of a skeleton rising up out of the ground.”
Although you may not be able to visit the “Funky Bones” exhibit in Indianapolis like Hazel and Gus, there are still many artistic options for you to explore.
Many towns and cities in the USA offer outdoor summer events for the general public. These include concerts, outdoor movies, and outdoor exhibits that are often free of charge!
In addition, make sure to check with your local library for guest speakers and other events that may catch your attention.
To get your search for free concerts started, check out this website and be amazed at the amount of fun things you can be doing near you: ILoveFreeConcerts.com.
All the Bright Places
When people get so wrapped up in the idea that they will only be happy when they see everything that the world has to offer, they often forgot what is right in their “backyard.”
This summer, why not wander and explore the state you live in, just like Violet and Finch in All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven?
“Here’s what I think: I think I’ve got a map in my car that wants to be used, and I think there are places we can go that need to be seen. Maybe no one else will ever visit them and appreciate them or take the time to think they’re important, but maybe even the smallest places mean something. And, if not, maybe they can mean something to us. At the very least, by the time we leave, we know we will have seen it. So come on. Let’s go. Let’s count for something.”
Every state has its own quirky landmarks that are often forgotten about. Whether you want to visit silly local treasures or beautiful national parks, there is always something to be wandered. Just remember: “It’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”
To start your wandering off, here’s a list of “The Most Ridiculous Landmarks in All 50 States.”
Eleanor & Park
These days, the amount of music available to us can sometimes be daunting. The summertime is a great time to delve in to all different genres and to finally listen to that certain artist you have been meaning to Google.
On top of indulging in the growing styles of music, you can also change the way you access music, just like Eleanor in Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park.
“There was something about the music on that tape. It felt different. Like, it set her lungs and her stomach on edge. There was something exciting about it, and something nervous. It made Eleanor feel like everything, like the world, wasn’t what she’d thought it was. And that was a good thing. That was the greatest thing.”
You can visit a record store or even ask your parents if you can look through their old tape collection. You never know; you might even discover an older artist that you may not have had the opportunity to hear before!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Another great way to kill some time and escape the heat is by starting a journal, like Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
All you need is a notebook and a pen to help record your priceless memories. This is a definite way to make sure you never forget all of the great things you did during summer 2015!
The Beginning of Everything
Lastly, taking up a new hobby may seem scary at first, but it can lead to so many awesome opportunities! Just like Ezra Faulkner in Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything, you can escape your normal routine and try something new.
When Ezra stopped playing tennis and started participating on the debate team, his life changed in numerous ways.
By getting involved in your town, a new club, or an athletic team, you can make new friends and learn skills that you may not have known you could have.
Check your local newspaper and recreational centers for some different activities you can join.
Bring your favorite books to life by going out and having some fun this summer! Don’t let your boredom get you down. If you need some more fun ideas, just keep reading!