There’s no better time to relax and escape into a good book than the summertime. I have a tendency towards romance novels in the summer, but I love catching up on my reading list, in general, so I’ll read pretty much anything. In any case, the best summer reads are always the ones that take you to other worlds, realities, and make you feel all the feels, am I right? I’m sure I’m not alone in this so I came up with a list of my favorite books to read during the summer for whatever mood you may be in.
The Best Summer Reads 2016
For the Romantics:
I love a good lighthearted romance when summer finally hits and these are my favorite! Cecilia Ahern is definitely one of my favorite romance authors because her novels are always filled with humor and heart and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is just a total classic!
Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern
I talked about this book in a previous post HERE, but it’s basically about two best friends who are worlds apart, but stay in contact via email and text messages over the span of years. I reviewed this book HERE.
P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern
P.S. I Love You was made into a film that you probably saw, but the book is a bit different! I love the Irish flair of this particular story and I think the story has much more depth to it than they let on in the film so it’s worth a read. Basically, if you haven’t seen the film, it’s about a woman whose husband just died. She finds out he wrote her a later every day for a year to help her move on with her life without him.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A total classic romance, Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites! It focuses on the Bennett girls (mainly Elizabeth and Jane). Elizabeth is not in a rush to be married off to the highest bidder and Mr. Darcy is definitely not it. Jane is smitten with a man, but too shy to show it. It’s a bit wordy, but definitely worth sticking through for the great story!
The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (AKA The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series)
Lisbeth is a social awkward hacker with a chip on her shoulder. Blomkvist is a hardcore investigative journalist who has just been sued and done time for libel when a man commissions him to investigate the 40 year old murder of his niece. (synopsis for first book only) I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! It’s definitely one of my all-time favorites. If you enjoy a great story about a strong female character, the human struggle, and suspense/mystery, you will love these.
Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
All Tally wants is to be “pretty,” but she can’t get the operation until her 16th birthday. While waiting for her birthday to arrive, she befriends Shay, a girl who doesn’t want the operation and runs away. When the government discovers Shay has run away, they force Tally to go out into the wilderness and find her or be an ugly forever. I love this series so much. It’s a really great narrative on beauty, self-image, and the societal pressures to conform. It’s also just a really fantastic science fiction series with strong female characters and lots of action 🙂
11.22.63 by Stephen King
I watched the Hulu mini series that’s based on this book and knew I had to read the book too! It’s one of the best stories I’ve seen/read in a long time in that it discusses the question of “what would you do if you went back in time? What would you change?” as the main character, Jake, goes back in time to prevent the assassination of JFK. To be honest, it’s less about the assassination of JFK and more about the characters which is what I loved most.
For the Fantasy Lovers:
The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman
This is definitely my favorite series of the past year. Quentin is an accomplished student by all accounts, but he’s miserable and secretly obsessed with a children’s book series. When Quentin is admitted to a secret university of magic, he thinks all his dreams have come true. The truth of the magical world is darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. This story is like Harry Potter + Narnia + Shitty Real Life all rolled into one. The characters are brilliant and the story is incredibly dark (so definitely only for adults or late teens). You will enjoy this if you like Harry Potter and other fantasy novels. I feel like this series was written for all the mid-20’s millennials who enjoyed Harry Potter and haven’t found anything as good since. I reviewed The Magicians trilogy HERE ♥
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
This was one of those books that took me ages to get into. I bought it and I love Neil Gaiman so I kept reading it, but it has a slow start and it’s super weird in the beginning. It gets really good about 1/3 to midway through. The story is very strange, like all Gaiman books, but definitely worth the read! Just released from prison, Shadow has had a rough life and it gets even worse when he discovers his wife has been killed in a car accident. On his way home to her funeral, a man named Wednesday sits next to him on the plane and he seems to know all there is to know about Shadow.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
This was a a fun read! It’s a strange and eccentric stor. The story centers around Richard, an unhappy office worker, who finds a girl named Door bleeding out on the sidewalk one night. He takes her home to help her and finds she’s being hunted by two men. Once Door leaves, Richard discovers he’s been wiped from existence.
Merrick by Anne Rice
An adult fiction horror novel about witches in New Orleans, Merrick is a voodoo witch called to raised up Claudia, the dead vampire girl from Interview with a Vampire. Without giving too much away, this is an awesome book about witches in NOLA and if you’ve read other Anne Rice books , you will see familiar characters make appearances.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Nick’s wife, Amy, disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. The entire town and her doting parents begin a search for her and suspicions of Nick grow by the day. This is such a fantastic mystery novel with the BEST study of complex characters and great plot. I reviewed Gone Girl in a book favorites post HERE.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
This one is a bit unconventional to be categorized under chills, but it gave me the chills! Guy lives in a world where firemen burn books and television rules. His wife, Mildred, spends all day spending time with her “TV family.” When Guy gets to know his neighbor, Clarisse, he is shown a different point of view of a time before books were burned which changes his entire perspective. It’s very politically and socially charged and super wordy, but a great read. It’s a total classic and a must-read.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Santiago is a shepherd boy who dreams of treasure. He ventures to the Egyptian desert to find it and meets many characters along the way. This book reads a lot like a biblical story or fable. It’s very short, but rich in content and the story can be so thoughtful that you’ll want to stop and think/talk about it. It’s a great book to read if you have someone to discuss it with or are in a book club. It’s a book that has a story which is really about the meaning of life. It’s one of my favorite books because it’s so positive, quotable, and much of the story can be related back to your own life.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Stranger is a French novel (translated) about an ordinary man who gets caught in the middle of a murder on an Algerian beach, but really it’s a narrative on society and the meaning of life, emotions, etc. It’s extremely wordy and though it’s short, it feels long and has a lot of content which, just as The Alchemist, is best suited for discussions with others in a book club or among friends. It’s not a favorite, but it is a classic and it certainly makes you think.
For YA Lovers:
Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
This is a more recent read that I really loved! The first book in a series of books about Jacob, a boy who had a special bond with his grandfather over fantastical tales of levitating girls and invisible boys. When his grandfather is mysteriously murdered, Jacob seeks answers I love how the author weaves fascinating (authentic) old B&W photographs into the story. It’s brilliantly done and the story was really enjoyable and easy to read.
Fearless series by Francine Pascal
This is probably my favorite “espionage” type series. It focuses on Gaia, an orphan teenager who can’t feel fear. I don’t want to give too much away, but the story is awesome and set in the 90’s. It’s a great story for teens and adults, in my opinion, though it can be a little cheesy at times.. They are very easy to read while on a plane, by the pool or at the beach.
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
This is a recent read from, fantasy author, Holly Black! The story centers on Hazel and her brother who live in the town of Fairfold, a place where humans and faeries coexist and where the horned boy lies asleep in his glass coffin. Hazel thinks he’ll never wake up until one day he does. This book, especially, and the Modern Faerie Tales series are all about fairies.
The Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing
This is probably my favorite fantasy series out there. There are 13 books in the entire series. My friends and I would anticipate every book release and read them as fast as we could in middle school and high school. We would write notes to each other in class about the plot and what we thought might happen to our favorite characters LOL. Can anyone relate? The plot of the series is 4 friends discover they are the daughters of the Greek goddess, Selene, sent to earth to protect mankind from an evil called the Atrox. They are all gifted with special abilities. I talked about it HERE.
For Self-Improvement & Cooking:
Wellth by Jason Wachob
This book is about creating a life rather than basing your success on the amount of money you make or your career. It’s written by the founder of MindBodyGreen and was SO insightful! Definitely need to read if you enjoy philosophical self-help books 🙂 I previously talked about it HERE.
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
Jen Sincero has written one of the most down-to-earth self-help books EVER in You Are A Badass. In it, she shares her personal experiences, actionable steps, and tips to help you feel better about yourself and accomplish your dreams 🙂 I also talked about it HERE.
I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson
This is a cookbook/lifestyle book about eliminating sugar from your diet, complete with recipes and steps to take. It’s pretty awesome and an easy read, especially if healthy living fascinates you. I haven’t been successful at eliminating sugar from my diet, but it did help me understand the extent I was having sugar and how to greatly reduce the rate I was ingesting it at. Also, the recipes!
What Are Your Favorite Summer Reads?
Do Any of these Make the List?
Come Chat With Me!
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*Affiliate links in post; Not all links are affiliate. All books were purchased by me except for Wellth which was provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review!