Summer Reads

The beach is one of my favorite places to read; you can sit there and bask in the sun while listening to the waves crash, and still be entertained by whatever is happening in your book. Or, if you can’t get to a beach, you can sit in your backyard and play a CD of wave sounds and pretend you’re at the beach! Either way, it’s fun to read a few “chick-lit” books during the summer. There are just so many good books that I didn’t know where to start, so for today I just chose ones that are about summer or a beach.

How the Other Half Hamptons by Jasmin Rosemberg: Part of the description of this book says, “One house. Forty strangers. Add vodka and stir . . .” Three best friends from Manhattan are expecting a summer partying with celebrities in the Hamptons, but when they arrive at their share house they find that it’s much less glamorous than they had hoped for! It’s an easy read about the twenty-something friends who attempt to find fun and love in the Hamptons.

The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares: This book is definitely sad at times, but it’s also very good. It’s set on Fire Island, where two sisters spent their summers growing up. Now, as twenty-somethings, they return and meet a man who was one of their friends from childhood. Will one of them fall in love with him? Or both of them? Goodreads.com says this about the two sisters and their friend; you’ll find out “what happens one summer when budding love, sexual curiosity, a sudden serious illness, and a deep secret all collide, launching the friends into an adult world from which their summer haven can no longer protect them.”

LoveHampton by Sherri Rifkin: The main character is a thirty-something workaholic from New York City, who ends up getting a makeover on a friend’s TV show and decides to revamp her personality to go with her new look as she tries to navigate the “unwritten rules” of the Hamptons. Will she find the guy she’s meant to be with? Will she decide she likes the new version of herself or will she change her mind before the end of the summer? What will happen if anyone discovers her “secret” about who she really is?

The Summer Trilogy: The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, and We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han: Isabel “Belly” and her family always spent their summers at the fictional Cousins Beach with her mom’s best friend and her family, the Fischers. In the first book, Belly is still in high school and starting to wish the Fischer boys would think of her as something more than a “little sister.” However, everything changes for all of them that summer when Mrs. Fischer has some terrible news. In the second book, the adults were thinking about selling the house. One of the Fischer boys called Belly saying that his brother had run away. They wanted to find him and spend their “last” summer together at the beach house. In the third book, Belly is in college and set to marry one of the Fischer boys. Has she made the right decision? Is he really the right brother for her? Can she love one of the brothers without breaking the other’s heart?

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume: I have to admit that I haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds good so I’ll have to read it soon. The description on Goodreads.com says, “Initially, the differences between Caitlin Somers and Victoria Leonard (or “Vix,” as Caitlin christens her) draw them together. Caitlin selects Vix to accompany her to her father’s home in Martha’s Vineyard for the summer, the two become inextricably connected as “summer sisters.” On the Vineyard, Vix and Caitlin first find love, then sex–and lots of it. Yet Blume soon moves beyond hot fun in the summer sun, tracing the romantic and familial travails of the two from pre-adolescence to adulthood. Solid Vix evolves into Victoria, an equally solid, Harvard-educated, Manhattan public-relations exec. Unpredictable Caitlin opts out of college and travels to Europe, where she has a string of short-lived affairs with a series of intriguing (in every sense of the word) foreigners. It is only after she returns to the Vineyard that Caitlin does the unthinkable, forever changing both her friendship with Vix and their lives.”

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells: Mia is 16 and spending the summer with her family and her cousins in the Hamptons. She and her cousins used to be really close, but now they seem more interested in their cell phones, magazines, and “cool” friends. Mia thinks the summer is going to be awful, until she meets Simon. She often sneaks out at night to go skinny dipping in the ocean with him, and he teaches her how to “let go” of all the things that are bothering her. This sounds like a light beach read, but there are some twists and it’s definitely sad in parts. According to a review on Amazon.com, if you’ve read The Great Gatsby you’ll find “many parallels in this novel and references to Fitzgerald’s famous story of what it means to be an outsider among insiders.”

I know I said I’d stick with the summer theme, but there are two other books I thought were worth mentioning. The first is Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, so maybe this summer I’ll actually do it! Authors like Jennifer O’Connell, Meg Cabot, Beth Kendrick, and Megan McCafferty share their stories of how the lessons in Judy Blume’s books helped them with situations they were faced with as they grew up. The other book is Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson by Maria Murnane. I read it last summer and I’m looking forward to the sequel, which comes out in November. Waverly is a twenty-something successful businesswoman, who has almost everything she wants, except a boyfriend. She was left at the altar and now has to start over, back in the dating scene. She often writes herself “Honey Notes,” which Goodreads.com describes as “her own brand of self-deprecating wisdom and pipe-dream for a line of greeting cards.” Will she have any luck navigating the dating world this time around? Will Honey Notes turn into something more than she expected? You’ll find out in this book, and be entertained by the funny tales from Waverly’s life.

I’m always looking for new books to read, so what are your favorite summer reads? Share them!

One thought on “Summer Reads

  1. Summer Sisters is really good! I read it about five years ago so I don’t remember all the details, but it was an interesting, compelling book :) The Judy Blume one with the other authors sounds great – Beth Kendrick is awesome!

    Oh, and totally agreed about how relaxing it is to read on the beach while feeling the sun and listening to the ocean crash against the shoreline. It is perfection personified. I am hoping the weather clears up down here so I can read in the sunshine instead of the rain (yes, I’ve been sitting on the beach in the rain, because it’s better than nothing!). I’m currently reading Laura Dave’s “The First Husband” and loving it. Great beach read!

    Thanks for your recommendations!!

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