One of my favorite things in this world is what I call seasonal reading (is this a real thing outside of my head? Not sure). I love to pick a book that reflects what it's like outside. It makes me feel more connected to the world outside and the world inside the book. So, I'm rounding up my favorite summer reads for your seasonal pleasure. Enjoy!
In no particular order...
1) Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West
One of the more adorable novels I've read, Love, Life & the List follows Abby and her best friend Cooper as they spend the summer following a list Abby's come up with that will give her more emotional depth for her to channel into her art. There are more feels than I bargained for in this book though - in the best way. I loved Abby and Cooper's friendship and the complexity of Abby's relationship with her mom, who sometimes spends weeks never leaving the house. Add a sarcastic grandpa and I'm in love. This book makes me remember all the meandering summers you have before the "real world" gets ya - time to discover yourself and dive into the things and people you love.
2) The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees perfectly captures the feeling and atmosphere of summer in the south. The intense heat and humidity coupled with the sweetness of honey and bees, the hard social realities paired with the strength of Southern women - it all comes together poetically in this historical novel based in the 60's. It will make you laugh, cry, and want to become a beekeeper. This is up there as one of my favorite novels ever, and it's perfect for this time of year.
3) Stay by Deb Caletti
This book wrecked me. Stay covers an abusive relationship, leaving out none of the details. What's striking about the book is that it jumps between present day, when the main character Clara knows that her ex-boyfriend Christian was abusive, and the beginnings of their relationship, when she didn't see the signs. The setting is a beach town, but this isn't your typical light beach read. This is more of beach during a thunderstorm with waves crashing against the sharp rocks type of mood - still beautiful, but dangerous.
4) The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
The Summer I Turned Pretty perfectly captures the feeling of hope and possibility that summer can bring. Maybe this will be the summer that I learn to surf, take a long road trip, or hey, turn pretty! This book is total wish fulfillment for so many girls - I know I thought that every time I went back to school or saw someone I hadn't seen in a year I wondered - do I seem different? Can I reinvent myself now? Belly is experiencing that throughout the novel during her summer on Cousins Beach. This is the quintessential beach read - light and romantic.
5) Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
While I haven't actually gotten around to reading this one for whatever reason, the cover and description have always intrigued me. Main character Anna is attempting to deal with the death of her boyfriend Matt. It's complicated, though - Matt is her best friend Frankie's older brother, and no one knew they were together. Anna grieves alone while Frankie attempts a twenty-boy summer: with twenty days in Zanzibar Bay, if they meet one boy a day, they're bound to find true love. This book promises to be bittersweet, but if it's anything like Sarah Ockler's other books, ultimately worth it.
6) The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
Another book that I've only admired so far, but Beatriz Williams' writing is always well-researched and interesting. The Summer Wives is a historical fiction set in the summers of 1951 and 1969 on the New England coast. I love the idea of a New England summer since I've only experienced beaches in Georgia, Florida and Hawaii - I feel like New England is a completely different vibe (and obviously was in the 50's!). The novel follows Miranda from 1951 to her return to the same island town in 1969. I really want to fit this one in to read this summer, it looks amazing!
7) Summer Days and Summer Nights, anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins
And just in case you can't settle on just one or two stories - the perfect anthology for the summer! I've read the winter anthology My True Love Gave to Me, also edited by Stephanie Perkins, which seems to be the pair to this one. There are so many great authors contributing to this one - Cassandra Clare, Jennifer E. Smith, Libba Bray, Veronica Roth, and the list goes on.
See my summer reading list on Goodreads for these and other summer reads!
I do tend towards certain kinds of reads, depending on the season, too I think. Maybe moreso since blogging? I don't know, but it seems like it! And I loved the Summer Days and Summer Nights anthology! I wish we'd get more short story collections like that.ReplyDelete
Blogging definitely helps! I also feel like publishers will sometimes release books corresponding to the season, so that could be part of it. I'm glad it's good, I think that will be my next "summer read"! Anthologies can be such a hit or miss at times, but I loved the winter anthology that Stephanie Perkins also edited - they even have matching cover styles.Delete
I remember loving The Secret Life of Bees too when I read it. A great summer novel!ReplyDelete
Right now I'm reading the similarly titled The Murmur Of Bees by Sofia Segovia which is a historical fiction set in revolutionary Mexico.
I love a good bee title! That one looks really good too, adding it to the TBR pile :)Delete