During Summer, I get the urge to sunbathe and read some summer-themed books, and pretend I’m on the beach, taking in the vibrant blue seas. Here is a list of my personal favourite summer reads that I’ve been enjoying this summer, and why I’ve loved them:
Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid
I read this book within a day, I simply could not put it down. Whenever I did put it down, I felt the urge to pick it back up again and feel myself drift into the world of Nina Riva. The book by Jenkins Reid is set in beautiful Malibu and goes through the past and present, the life of Nina Riva and her siblings, along with the life of her mother. It was a lovely book, and at times, really sad, but I believe that’s what makes a book so good, a book that you enjoy and which puts you through various emotional stages, is a book that’s done its job, to me. Jenkins Reid is a fantastic writer, and having read almost all of her books so far, Malibu Rising is one of my absolute favourites. I found myself loving characters, hating other characters, and getting so encapsulated in the world of Nina Riva. I definitely recommend this book, especially if you’re a fan of Jenkins Reid’s other works.
We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
This book was the book that got me back into reading again, and the shocking twists and turns along with the remote island summer setting drew me in, I didn’t want to finish this book, it was that good. I especially love the big twist the story adds to the end, it was unexpected and I was genuinely gobsmacked, but no spoilers here! If you’re a big fan of mysterious books with a twist, this is definitely for you. I personally love a good romance novel, so I enjoyed the romantic side of the book too, even if at times, it was heart-breaking. I absolutely adored the main character, Cadence ‘Cady’ Easton, and I especially liked getting to delve into the dynamics of her family, realising it all goes deeper than I originally thought. This book will always be special to me, since it’s the very reason I rekindled my love for reading.
Family of Liars – E. Lockhart
The prequel of We Were Liars, Family of Liars, I think might be my in my top five favourite books. Although this story is set before We Were Liars, it’s best to read it afterwards, as it contains spoilers to the original book. Lockhart definitely created a universe with diverse characters and gave so much depth to each character. In this prequel, you learn more and more deep, dark family secrets, which makes the book hard to put down. I found myself sometimes wishing I was on the beautiful family island, delving into the secrets of the Sinclair family. The novel contained some shocking tragedies, which did pull on my heartstrings, but genuinely made me want to carry on reading even more. Lockhart shocked me with the huge twist at the end, and left me wanting to know more about the Sinclair family, I’m holding on to the hope of another book in this series.
Carrie Soto is Back – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Carrie Soto is Back was one of the most fantastic books I’ve read. Jenkins Reid, being my favourite author, reigned me in with this book. I loved Carrie Soto, and learning about her upbringing, surprisingly, after disliking her character after her brief cameo in Malibu Rising. I expected myself to continue disliking Carrie’s character, but I loved her more and more as the book progressed. I love the determination of Carrie, and how she doesn’t conform to societal standards and stays true to herself, and I love the surrounding characters and the romance aspect in the book. I especially adore that in Jenkins Reid’s work, she manages to create a universe of her characters, we saw Carrie Soto in a negative light in Malibu Rising, which is reflected on in Carrie Soto is Back, and gives us a deeper look into her character, showing that everything is not as it seems. I found myself immersed in Carrie Soto’s world of tennis, I was rooting for her the whole way, there were definitely heart-breaking moments, moments of romance and moments of happiness. If there was any book I’d recommend to anyone, it’d be Carrie Soto is Back.
From Cornwall With Love – Cressida McLaughlin
This book is part of McLaughlin’s Cornish Cream Tea series, and I absolutely loved it. The books delve into a series of characters residing in Port Karadow, Cornwall. From Cornwall With Love focuses on Maisie Winters, one of the most likeable characters I’ve ever came across, in my opinion. Maisie is just the sweetest character. The book focuses on Maisie’s love interest, her devotion to helping people and of course, her beloved dog Sprout. I personally knew I’d love this book before reading it, because Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the world, and to have a whole entire series written there is one of my favourite things about McLaughlin’s books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I think it’s a perfect summer read, and helps you escape everyday life by delving into the life of Maisie Winters. I really love that in the Cornish Cream Tea series, McLaughlin makes sure we get to know and love every character.
The Summer I Turned Pretty series – Jenny Han
These book are the definition of relaxing summer reads. Or so I thought. I expected these books to be sweet, easy-going young adult romance novels, but I was wrong. I absolutely loved this series, I really enjoyed seeing the love triangle between the three main characters, Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah. I personally loved Jeremiah’s character best, especially in the first book. Belly’s character, to me, was likeable, but very frustrating to me as a reader. I found myself getting so angry at some of the things she did, but I really do believe that’s a good thing. Belly’s character was a reminder that everyone does make mistakes and nobody can be perfect, Han made sure each of the characters had their flaws, and I think that definitely builds up a connection between the characters and the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this series, I believed it would be a happy love story book, but I was wrong, the book had some really sad moments, but I won’t spoil it for anyone! I actually didn’t like who Belly ended up with in the end, but it does make sense. This series is full of twists and turns, and sometimes, I really did find myself hating Belly, but in the end I felt I understood and respected her character.
Liar’s Beach – Katie Cotugno
Normally, when books end with a cliff-hanger, I absolutely hate it. There’s usually nothing that angers me more than reading a brilliant book and not having a perfectly fulfilled ending. However, I couldn’t help but love the ending, and the mystery surrounding it, of Liar’s Beach. The main character, Michael Linden, was a great character, who I really did like, however, there’s an aura of mystery around him, and I can’t figure out what, which is part of the cliff-hanger, and I believe, part of Cotugno’s intention. The book focuses on Linden’s trip to Martha’s Vineyard with to stay with his privileged friend Jasper, in his family summer house. I don’t know why, but whenever I personally read a book that’s set in Martha’s Vineyard, I really want to be there, all the best books seem to be set there! This book in particular is full of dark twists, Linden’s insecurities and his rekindled friendship with my favourite character, Holiday. Holiday definitely added a breath of fresh air to this young-adult summer thriller novel. I definitely felt like I was there, with the characters, and submersed in the dark mysteries the book had to offer.
I wish I could talk about so many more books, my list of summer favourites is honestly endless! Have you read any of these books? Let us know on our Twitter @Fashion_North.