Traveling is a very fun time, but sometimes the actual traveling part... kinda sucks. Some people can stare out the windows of a car, bus, train, plane, boat or whatever forever, but sometimes you just need something to pass the time.
This can get tricky when cooped up in a tiny space, especially on a plane when you have no wi-fi and your phone is on airplane mode (or at least it should be). Yeah, you could watch movies on your phone, laptop or iPad, but if you're trying to preserve battery life, that might not be the best move, either.
Luckily, books will never hurt you like that.
If you like some easy reading on the road, this is the list for you. Some shorter, some longer, some light-hearted and some with darker tones, there's a little bit of something for everybody on here. You might find the time flying by on your ride when you finally pull your nose out of one of these books.
Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall
This book follows Sugar Legowski-Garcia, a high school girl who has been ridiculed for being fat by the world around her. Forced to care for her home and her morbidly obese, bed-ridden mother, as well as endure abuse at the hands of her brother, Skunk, Sugar feels trapped in a life that she desperately wants to escape.
Then she meets a boy named Even (not Evan), and she begins to see a future for herself that she could never envision before.
Sugar is a coming of age story that's easily accessible and enjoyable. It might not be groundbreaking, but it leaves a lasting impression on you after you put it down.
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Ceony Twill has just graduated from her magic academy, assigned to apprentice under the magician Emery Thane to bespell paper instead of the metal she wanted so badly.
As she discovers that paper magic is actually really, really cool, she also learns about the forbidden magic that exists in this colorful world. A practitioner of blood magic comes and quite literally steals Thane's heart, and Ceony must do whatever it takes to get it back--even traveling into his heart itself.
A vividly built, fascinating world with a compelling story, The Paper Magician is a great read for anybody who enjoyed Harry Potter, or just fantasy in general. It's the first of a trilogy, so if you enjoy it, you have two more books you can read!
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Tired of reading stories about the hero? Ever wonder about the people in the background of those events? Then The Rest of Us Just Live Here might be the book for you.
High schooler Mikey isn't one of the "indie kids," who all have unusual names and/or powers. He's just trying to graduate and avoid uncertain death at the hands of various would-be apocalypses over the years, always stopped by the "indie kids." Mikey just wants to ask out his crush, Henna, in peace, and deal with growing up without being eaten by a zombie.
Very tongue-in-cheek and self-aware, The Rest of Us Just Live Here gives a unique twist to the genre, and is relatively light-hearted and a fun, quick read.
Reality Boy by A.S. King
If you like watching reality television, this might be a good pick for you. The story of Gerald Faust, a former child reality TV star, Gerald has grown up with a lot of problems following the television stint. With no friends and nobody who understands, the people around Gerald are waiting for the worst from him, despite all of his efforts to prove them wrong.
Darker--not terribly dark, but darker--than some of the other books on this list, Reality Boy really makes you consider the aftermath of what can only be described as an invasion of someone's life on reality television. However, there are moments of sweetness that make the book not terribly depressing. It's worth it, I promise.
The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
This is definitely a book for anybody who enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy. Taking place in the aftermath of a nuclear war, a small group of survivors band together before warring over which family will lead. Fifty years later, the tradition of marrying the daughters of the losing family, the Westfalls, to the sons of the winning family, the Lattimers, is enforced to maintain peace in their community.
Enter Ivy Westfall, to be wed to Bishop Lattimer, and to kill him, despite the odds stacked against her.
An easy read, The Book of Ivy isn't as innovative as The Hunger Games, but it has complex questions of morality that keep you hooked, as well as a startlingly decent romance in a genre where so much feels forced.