There's a little something for everyone here, so read on.
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
This is the romance we were talking about. I was a bit reluctant to start this one because the cover made it seem a little cheesy, but once I started, I was absolutely hooked. This book had me putting off responsibilities until I finished it.
Oh, the classic tale of two people who undoubtedly are meant to be but come from two different worlds; she comes from a rich family legacy of doctors and he comes from a town that has about one traffic light.
This story will have you desperately flipping through pages as you read about compromise, priorities and the discovery of what truly matters the most in life.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkens-Reid
"Malibu Rising" is a book you need to read in the summer, given the storyline. Set in Malibu in the 1980s, this historical fiction depicts the day that the Riva siblings throw their yearly party. It’s the party of the summer, with everyone dying to be in the presence of all of the ultra-famous people that attend and the mysterious Rivas themselves.
Weaving in and out of the past to connect the reader with the secrets that make this family who they are, Reid writes characters so vivid that you’ll feel like you’re in the 1980s there with them.
This tale is also sneakily connected to both "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" and "Daisy Jones & The Six." If you haven’t read these already, well, I’m probably not the first to tell you that you need to.
Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
Hopefully, you’re not as behind the times as I am and have read this book ages ago, but if you haven’t … do it. Now.
I think this book is perfect for summer because it’s an easy read. Rooney’s writing style isn’t fast-paced or overwhelming. Her books can feel very comforting in that way. It’s a poolside, slow-day read.
It’s the story of Frances, who becomes friends with a married couple, though she’s attracted to the oh-so-mysterious husband. As their lives become intertwined, there is infidelity and the reader gets an honest depiction of the shocking intricacies of marriage, the dangerousness and foolishness of youth and the realization that most of the time, we really can’t have it all.
Recently made into a TV show, I recommend you binge all the episodes once you finish.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
This summer we are doing the work to become the best versions of ourselves, and this book is gonna help us do it!
"Untamed" is Doyle’s memoir that follows her journey to unlearning the life she thought she needed to live and embracing who she actually is. It’s about becoming authentic, healing from hurt and trusting ourselves to be great. Her writing style is like having a conversation with her: personal, relatable and raw.
I typically baby my books, but I wrote on every other page of this one. Doyle is brilliant and her realizations about herself will resonate so deeply with you that you will have to rip a page or two out and tape it to your wall.
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Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Now, this is pick is for my people that genuinely can’t sit down and focus on a book to save their life.
This book comprises short stories that are all about love, the different ways it is presented and portrays the best and worst of it all.
Most of the short stories are strange, and I mean that. You might cringe a little at some of them, but you will fly through the book nonetheless. You probably won’t emerge with ground-breaking insight about life, but you will be entertained and you will definitely relate.
Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman
"Booktok" did it again with this one. Though the cover is absolutely beautiful, I don’t think I would have reached for this book without the help of social media. However, I personally think it lived up to the hype.
Journalist Chani Horowitz has the dream job of writing profiles on celebrities. She’s tasked with writing about Gabe Parker, the hottest movie star on the scene, currently. Things heat up between the two and before she knows it, she’s getting special-access information that could help her write the piece that defines her career.
But she falls for him and blows it. And that seems to be what defines her career, as a young, female journalist, despite the fact that her article was a huge hit.
Ten years later, the two meet up to remake the iconic interview … and the rest, well, you’ll have to find out yourself.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
This book is the perfect summer read because you will undoubtedly plop down beside the pool with it and finish it before you get up again. Our main character, Dannie, has her life seemingly figured out: she's a hardcore lawyer and she just accepted a marriage proposal from her boyfriend that fits into her life plan seamlessly.
Then, she wakes up in the middle of the night, five years in the future, in a different apartment, next to a man that is not her fiance. When she wakes back up again, she's back to her normal life, but the last hour of her life felt like anything but a dream. It felt too real for her to shake. But, being the type-A, practical person that she is, she knows better than to believe in visions or signs.
She remembers this strange experience often, until four years down the line, she meets the man that was in her dream. And he's her best friend's boyfriend.
The ending of this book truly shocked me, with an ending that I couldn't have predicted if I tried. It's a sweet, easy read that reminded me that friendships are just as important as romantic relationships.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
This isn't really an upbeat summery read, but it's a strategic pick. If you don't really consider yourself that much of a reader (but you're trying this summer, okay?) this is your book. You will be so horrified that you won't even realize you read the entire book in one sitting.
Lowen is a not-so-famous author that meets Jeremy, the husband of oh-so-famous author, Verity Crawford. Verity has been in a devastating accident that has left her unable to leave her bed on her own, much less finish her book series. Jeremy hires Lowen to write under Verity's name.
While Lowen spends time in Jeremy and Verity's creepy home to sift through her writing notes and gather ideas for the novel, she stumbles upon a manuscript that leaves her speechless. It's Verity's secret autobiography – and the words she has written are so twisted, Lowen can hardly believe them.
While Jeremy is devoted to caring for his injured wife, Lowen is uncovering information about Verity that proves Jeremy has no idea who his wife really is. When you mix in the feelings Lowen and Jeremy are developing for each other ... it seems like Lowen has a lot of reasons to bring these secrets to light. The only thing stopping her is fear – of Verity herself.
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkens-Reid
Clearly, if Taylor Jenkens-Reid writes it, I'm going to love it. I also love a book that forces me to reconsider what I think I know about love and relationships.
The main character, Emma is forced to mourn the loss of her adventurous and wild husband, Jesse, after his helicopter goes missing over the ocean during his travels. Healing from this pain has been the hardest journey of Emma's life. She has effectively rebuilt herself to live a life that is at peace following his death. Despite what people say, she was capable of finding love again with a man from her peaceful hometown, Sam.
And then Jesse is found. And he comes home like Emma always dreamt he would. The happy ending to a horrible nightmare.
Emma always thought she would run back into his arms if the impossible happened. But now ... she doesn't know, and she also has Sam to factor in. Is it possible to have more than one true love in your life?
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I initially read this book last summer, but I recently re-read it because it has been made into a movie that is releasing on July 15. If you haven't read this masterpiece yet, there is still time for you to do so (and tell everyone, even if they don't ask, that the book is better).
In the quiet town of Barkley Cove lives Kya. Her town has nicknamed her the "Marsh Girl" due to her perceived unkemptness, having grown up in poverty with a neglectful family. Kya is misunderstood; the girl that everyone sees as dirty and a lost cause, except two men – who each are curiously drawn to her free spirit and tenacity.
The fate of her romantic life leads Kya to question if she will ever have the normal life that others do, given the lifestyle that she leads. When the murder of one of these men shakes the town – everyone looks to Kya, the strange girl that the victim spent time around in the Marsh.
Is Kya who everyone around her seems to think she is? Or is she a misunderstood product of isolation and abandonment? As the mystery unravels, you will be hooked on Kya's story, desperate to figure her out yourself.
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