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Looking for some good books to read this summer? Check out this reading list with 16 great suggestions. With a mix of fantasy, YA, and historical fiction, there’s sure to be at least one you’ll want to add to your own to your own Goodreads shelves!
When I left for Iceland a few weeks ago, summer seemed like a far off dream here in Maine. But when I got home, the gorgeous weather was here, and hopefully here to stay! Somehow I have a ridiculously full week this week… someone needs to talk to my boss about giving me a break because all I want to do is READ! I feel like I haven’t been able to read that many books lately and with a pile a mile high, I’m anxious to get going on them. And now with longer days, there’s nothing I want more than to sit out on the back deck in the sunshine with a glass of crisp home brewed iced tea and a good book.
Please keep in mind that I have not yet read these books, this is MY summer reading list. I curate these lists based on my tastes, others reviews, previous reads, etc., but there are still times when a book lets me down and one of these books might let you down too, but that’s what books are all about right? What might speak to one person might not resonate with another. But I do think this is a pretty good collection of books, they’re packed with adventure, mystery, humor, love, and female leads – sounds like a great summer reading list if you ask me!
Check out my Facebook Live Video where I talked about each of the books! Sorry it starts off a little sideways!
Why it made the list: Those of you who follow along with my book posts probably remember that this was on my weekend reads for summer list from last year, well, I still haven’t gotten to it, but I’m determined to. Rowell is one of those authors that I enjoy reading, I like her style, even if I feel like her endings are a bit incomplete (ahem, Fangirl and Eleanor & Park). This one seems to have a bit of the supernatural tied into it, so of course, I’m totally in!
Synopsis: Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.
When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts… Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
Why it made the list: I don’t even remember how this book came across my path, but I’m super intrigued. With a story that bounces between New York City and London with love and music and mystery involved, who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon in the park with this book!
Synopsis: Sally is an incredible singer, but she sings only in her wardrobe where nobody can hear her. She’d rather join a nudist colony than sing in public. That is until she ventures to New York where a wild and heady summer of love and loss changes her forever. No longer able to hide in the shadows, Sally must return home to London to fulfill a promise she cannot break – to share her voice.
But just as she’s about to embark on her new life, a beautiful man turns up on Sally’s doorstep bearing a sheepish smile and a mysterious hand-written message. How did he find her? Why is he here? Does he hold the truth to what happened back in New York? And, with him back on the scene, will she still have the courage to step into the spotlight?
Why it made the list: I’ve had this series on my to-read shelf for quite some time. I’ve heard excellent things about it, and it sounds like a story that I would fall into and only come up for air when necessary. Plus, I’ve been loving all the kick-ass books with females heroines lately!
Synopsis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…
“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”
― Sarah J. Maas,
Why it made the list: First of all, I fell in love with Maas’ Throne of Glass series, so obviously I needed to read this one too. Secondly, I’ve heard this series is better… I don’t know if that’s possible, but either way, it sounds like I’m in for a good story!
Synopsis: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Thoughts After Reading: Yup, still in love with Sarah Maas’ work! This book was definitely a strong, action-packed, and exciting first in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I listened to in on Audible at 1.25 and the narration was great, I cruised through 15.5 hours of listening in one day because it was THAT addictive. See my full review here and my full review for A Court of Mist and Fury here.
Why it made the list: I read All The Bright Places back in February, and it left me a little speechless. This book seems very similar, and while I’m not eager to jump right into it, I think it’s going to make for a good rainy weekend read. It’s also received great reviews!
Synopsis: The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment. Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.
As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone – a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything. Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.
Why it made the list: I’m a bit of an SVU addict (although I’m two seasons behind, life’s kind of been getting in the way), and I feel like this book is going to be right up my alley. I’ve heard great things about this book, and I’m excited to start it! Plus, I’m a sucker for pretty much any story set in Ireland.
Synopsis: It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma. The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…
“We all make mistakes. Go and take your punishment, then come back and start again.”
― Jojo Moyes,
Why it made the list: Well, you might remember how Me Before You broke me last year, and I just finished The Girl You Left Behind a few weeks ago. So needless to say, I’m ready for more Moyes! This book seems a little bit more modern than her other stories I’ve read, and I’m curious to see how it plays out since it doesn’t look like it will be the tear-jerking type.
Synopsis: Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages… maybe ever.
Thoughts After Reading: This was very different from the other books I’ve read from Jojo Moyes. This book offered a more lighthearted story with real life hurdles rather than the hard truth and despair she tends to serve up with many of her others. I really loved the characters, each one was brought to life in such a great way. This story was heartwarming and fun, but nothing spectacular, a great summer read!
Why it made the list: For me, this sounds like the ultimate summer adventure book, add in a little coming of age story, and it might just be the perfect book for summer!
Synopsis: All things that can be considered—and oftentimes are—just a bit crazy. With an alcoholic father and an absentee mother, seventeen-year-old Eppie Aberdeen has learned firsthand that life’s circumstances aren’t always sunshine and roses.
So Eppie doesn’t expect the fairytale because reality certainly isn’t one. She’s not waiting on the handsome prince with his white horse to come to her rescue. But even though she’s not waiting on it, that doesn’t stop nineteen-year-old Lincoln Ross from driving straight into her heart with his teal and white campervan and his too tall stature and perpetually goofy grin.
It’s difficult to believe in a happily ever after when a happy now is quite hard to find. But Lincoln gives Eppie hope that despite the odds, a true and unconditional love might actually be out there. A revised fairytale. A new kind of love story. But then again, that might just be plain crazy.
Why it made the list: Guys, this has been on my to-read list FOREVVVVER! I added it because I thought it sounded good, but then one of my favorite book reviews posted a bad review of it, and it turned me off from it. But she also hated Red Rising, and I absolutely loved it, so maybe she can’t be trusted… haha 😉 Recently I’ve had several people encouraging me to give this book a shot and go with my first instincts. So here we are.
Synopsis: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
Why it made the list: When I was in Napa a few months ago, I got my first Blind Date Book, and this was it! A blind date book is a book that’s been wrapped up with a little note written about it, and you buy it based on the note without knowing what the book is or who it’s from. I had never heard of this book before then, but it sounds right up my alley with a female lead and a historical fiction premise.
Synopsis: Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.
Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.
Why it made the list: I am so excited for this book! Pretty much anything with time travel and all that jazz excites me (except Doctor Who – sorry, not sorry). I think this is going to be the perfect summer read for those that love adventure!
Synopsis: In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.
Why it made the list: I’ve actually already started reading this book, which I suppose means I’ve already gotten a start on this reading list, woot-woot! I adore story lines that take place in The South, probably why Nicholas Sparks keeps sucking me back in with the same old story, it’s all about the setting. But anyways, I’m about a third of the way through and invested in this book now!
Synopsis: After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.
Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.
But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves…
Why it made the list: I speak in a retirement community about travel once a month and the last time I was there they asked me to go to Wales next. Most of the time my travels are inspired by the books I read, so I figured I’d pick this one up to see if I get that pull from Wales like I have with some other destinations after reading about them. This is one of the newer books on the list, and so far it’s gotten great reviews!
Synopsis: An impassioned, charming, and hilarious debut novel about a young woman’s coming-of-age, during one of the harshest whaling seasons in the history of New South Wales.
1908: It’s the year that proves to be life-changing for our teenage narrator, Mary Davidson, tasked with providing support to her father’s boisterous whaling crews while caring for five brothers and sisters in the wake of their mother’s death. But when the handsome John Beck-a former Methodist preacher turned novice whaler with a mysterious past-arrives at the Davidson’s door pleading to join her father’s crews, suddenly Mary’s world is upended.
As her family struggles to survive the scarcity of whales and the vagaries of weather, and as she navigates sibling rivalries and an all-consuming first love for the newcomer John, nineteen-year-old Mary will soon discover a darker side to these men who hunt the seas, and the truth of her place among them.
Swinging from Mary’s own hopes and disappointments to the challenges that have beset her family’s whaling operation, RUSH OH! is an enchanting blend of fact and fiction that’s as much the story of its gutsy narrator’s coming-of-age as it is the celebration of an extraordinary episode in history.
Why it made the list: Cecelia Ahern is the kind of author that knows just how to get you (P.S. I Love You, anyone?). I’m actually reading one of her other books right now, The Marble Collector, but I’m really excited for this book series since it’s her first YA novel.
Synopsis: Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.
Why it made the list: A bunch of the girls in The Blissful Bookworms recommended it to me and since I love Historical Fiction, but typically don’t read much of it that takes place here in the United States, I figured I’d give it a go.
Synopsis: In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of the revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist, and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
Why it made the list: Honestly, this one wasn’t even initially on the list, but it caught my eye at the bookstore and I instantly feel in love with the cover (ice cream and puppy dogs… yes, please!) Something about it just screamed “ULTIMATE SUMMER READ” to me, so I just had to add it to the list
Synopsis: Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?
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