I’m a little late with my summer reading picks–it seems like all the major players did theirs ages ago. But the solstice was yesterday, school is finally out for pretty much everyone still in school, and now is a great time to settle in with an engrossing summer vacation read. So here are my picks for awesome books to devour this summer:
Something to kick back with while sitting on a towel soaking in the sun.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
A light-hearted YA romance is just the thing for relaxing on the beach. Lola and Cricket’s romantic misadventures might make you tear up a little, but they’ll also make you laugh and say “aww.”
Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook
Another romance, but on a complete different track. Ignore the hilariously cheesy cover, because this steampunk romp starring famous explorer Archimedes Fox and infamous airship mercenary captain Yasmeen is so diverting you might not even notice if some punk kid drops his cherry sno-cone in your lap.
When the scenery gets to be too much (or you’re driving through a boring stretch), take a break and read these.
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
If you’re heading through a forest, definitely grab this Robin Hood tale starring a female Will Scarlet whose sneak-thievery has her leaping through trees and battling the sheriff’s men in Sherwood Forest. See my full review on Goodreads here.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Young princess Elisa finds herself enmeshed in political wrangling, caught between her husband the king and the rebels who fight against his rule. She also embarks on several eventful road trips, most of them reluctantly. No matter how boring your scenery, Elisa’s travels will make you happy to be there instead of in the places she ends up.
Rainy Day Reads
Every summer vacation has at least a couple rainy days mucking things up. Stay snug indoors with these cozy rainy day reads.
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
This book about a young dressmaker’s divided loyalties following the sinking of the Titanic provides the perfect balance of gravitas, thoughtfulness, and a dash of romance. A little too heavy for a beach read, but the perfect book for cozying up under a blanket and listening to the rain. Read my short, slapdash Goodreads review here.
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Bad moods happen even in summer, and this dark but morbidly funny book about a serial killer’s son out to prove he’s nothing like his father is the perfect book to get you out of your funk. This book will seem to match your mood when you begin, but by the time you finish, you’ll be rooting for Jazz and will have forgotten all about your bad mood. Check out my full review here.
Can’t get away for a vacation this year? Bummer. At least you can escape for a little while with these exciting page-turners.
The Newsflesh trilogy (Feed, Deadline, and Blackout) by Mira Grant.
Okay, so maybe traveling across the country in the motorcade of a presidential hopeful while simultaneously fleeing/fighting zombies and a conspiracy that seems to really want you dead isn’t your idea of a great vacation. But these thick, exciting and thought-provoking page-turners will keep you so distracted that you’ll emerge after a few weeks of reading having forgotten you ever even wanted to go on a vacation to begin with.
The Graceling Realm trilogy (Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue) by Kristin Cashore
These books cross a fantasy continent as three awesome girls fight corrupt kings, their own insecurities, and public opinion to come into their own.
If you decide to pick any of these up, please let me know what you think! Also, what are your summer read picks? I’ve read these already, of course, so I need something else to occupy me for the next few months!