See, I'm one of those readers who has a few books I break out every summer without fail. For example, I HAVE to read Pride and Prejudice every year. I don't know why--maybe it is that sixteen-year-old inside reliving the summer I had to read it for school--but summer just isn't summer without Mr. Darcy. There's a few books that have been added to my personal "favorite summer reads" list, and I've asked a few friends for their input, too.
Now, what makes a book qualified as a 'summer read?' Well, I think the answers to that will be as varied as their are genres and reader preferences, but for me, I think a book set during summer, on a beach, around a summer job, or perhaps even just a warm location definitely works. And if it has summer or beach in the title, they definitely get a look. Lighter toned books, such as romantic comedies or quirky books also could fit here. But I don't stop there--I also look for books that fit more of the "coming of age" theme, books that you might have to sink into a little, think and explore with the characters, the pace and flow maybe a little slower to fit that languid summer feel.
These are the kinds of book that could fit the description, but what make up my FAVORITE summer reads? For all of you just dying to know, I've compiled my list on Goodreads and list just a few highlights here for your reading enjoyment (click the Goodreads link for my full list, which I'll keep adding to!)....and be sure to add YOUR favorites in the comments!
- How to Ruin A Summer Vacation (and the rest of the series....my favorite is How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation) by Simone Elkeles. If you're a fan of Simone's Perfect Chemistry series, you definitely want to give this series a try!!!
- Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door books 1 and 2) by Jennifer Echols. Such a fun, sweet read!!!
- The Summer I Turned Pretty (along with It's Not Summer Without You, and We'll Always Have Summer) by Jenny Han. Dude, if you haven't read this series....just do it. For real. Like now. :)
- 13 Little Blue Envelopes (and The Last Little Blue Envelope) by Maureen Johnson. This series has it all--summer, awesome protagonist, romance, travel, and adventure.
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (the whole series) by Ann Brashares. If your only exposure to this series has been the movies (which don't get me wrong, I adore), you must read this series! No list about summer YA books would be complete without it, and you get to go so much deeper than two hours will allow. I <3 this series!
- The Summer series by Katherine Applegate. This series is HUGE, but I absolutely love it. Start with Beach Blondes, then Spring Break, Tan Lines, and finally, Sun-Kissed Christmas.
- Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt is one of my favorite books of all time, and it takes place during the summer before freshman year at college. Score!
- Love Story by Jennifer Echols. Yes, Ms. Echols makes my list again, and in all honesty, all her books could pretty much be here, but this selection is for the older YA crowd and is just sooooo perfect. Sigh.
- Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley. Here's one of my selections that doesn't really take place during summer, but it does take place in Texas where it feels like summer year round practically (*grin*), and the languid pace and yummy romance fits perfectly with what I look for in my summer reads.
- Bloom by Elizabeth Scott. Another non-summer, but perfect coming-of-age, beyond beautiful story.
- Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series) by L. M. Montgomery. Bring back the innocence of your childhood with these books, and other classics, too. Why not dust off Little Women, or Pride and Prejudice like me? Sense and Sensibility is fun, or maybe Jane Eyre?
The YA Bound girls chime in with their favorites--most were already on my Goodreads list, and the rest have been added!:
- Eileen: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. That one was so good and also Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door :)
- Trish: Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard
- Kelly: If I Can't Have You by Lauren Hammond is a great summer read. Also, The Last Little Blue Envelope (or any in the series) by Maureen Johnson is great for summer.
- Nereyda: Wanderlove is beautiful! My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (Rachel's note--reading this now and totally concur!), A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger, Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Easy by Tammara Webber, most of Abbi Glines books, Simone Elkeles books, Nyrae Dawn books, Graffiti Moon
- Lisa T. Bergren (author of the awesome River of Time series and Glamorous Illusions, one of the books on my Summer Goodreads List) just read and loved LEGEND by Marie Lu and is onto ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre ....can you tell she's prepping to write her own dystop? (*grin*)
- Cindi Madsen (author of the upcoming All The Broken Pieces and Demons of the Sun ) says most anything by Sarah Dessen tops her list of summer must-reads
And now it's your turn! Tell us YOUR favorite, not-to-be-missed Summer Reads!