I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I like better than getting lost in a good book. But during the semester, I don’t have much time to do so. Between classes, studying and work, that doesn’t leave much time for reading.
But with summer right at our doors, we finally have more time to read! That’s why I decided to team up with a bunch of bloggers to share what our favorite summer reads are! I personally prefer reading contemporaries and NA during the summer as they are usually lighter reads, so this is what you’ll mostly find in this list. I made a list of my favorite books of the summer last year, if you’re looking for other recommendations! I tried to choose books that were different from the ones I shared last year.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it a few summers ago completely out of the blue, and I absolutely fell in love with it! I had seen the movie with Julia Roberts and had enjoyed it, so I thought I would read the book. When I went to my local library and saw this book among its shelf, I decided to give it a try.
Picking this book up is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re a wanderer at heart, looking for adventures or simply need to find your purpose in life, this book is perfect for you. Even if you’re none of the things stated above, you need to read this book! I think every woman should read this book at least once in their life.
Elizabeth has everything she ever wanted to have, as every modern American woman should: a husband, a country home and successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she’s consumed by panic and confusion. After a divorce and a depression, Elizabeth realizes that she needs to find her purpose, so she decides that she’s going to travel to three places to reconnect with herself: Italy, India and Bali. As we travel along Elizabeth, we realize that happiness is not always about wanting what you should, and that, sometimes, following your heart is the best decision you could ever made.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
I should just go ahead and call Morgan Matson the queen of cute, summery books. I only read two books of hers, but I definitely want to read her other work now! Since You’ve Been Gone is one of my favorite books, so I was eager to dive into Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour!
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
Matson was able to create not only an intricate plot, but she also made you want to read more. I couldn’t but this book down!
From the very beginning, you think you know what is going to happen: Amy’s mother developed a route for Amy and Roger to follow, and they have to be at destination in four days. She made hotel reservations for them and each stop has been already decided.
But then, Matson throws things off: they decide to take a detour. From that very moment, I was hooked! I needed to know what would happen to the characters and where they were going.
Even if the road trip and traveling are what seemed to be the more important part, there isn’t much sightseeing and visiting. The most important is what happens on the road. They both change and learn things about themselves through this adventure. Matson created two very interesting characters, and they are well developped throughout the book. She goes in deep within their back story and helps us understand them better.
Matson also created an amazing ambiance that you can feel while reading the book. There’s a certain vibe, feeling accompagnying the book (maybe it’s because of the road trip?), and it made me want to go on a road trip SO BAD. It’s not necessarily in the writing, though I love Matson’s style, but it’s sort of in the way the book is executed. The book has photographs, lists and doodles, etc. that helped creating a certain vibe. You can actually imagine yourself there, with them. It makes it feel more real and personal.
Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
This book was a pleasant surprise. I picked this book completely at random: the cover drew me in and made me want to read it really badly. I read this during my very first week at university and fell in love with it. It’s this hot and sexy romance that is perfect to read by the pool while laying in the sun!
The story features two main characters, from whose point of views the story is written. Emily has been told to fear the Reign of Terror for most of her life. She has always been in Florida and has hardly ever gotten out of her state, much less out of her country. She likes staying at home with her mom and her adoptive dad, has a good life with friends in high school and doesn’t really care for her biological dad, despite his efforts to stay in touch with her.
Oz, on the other end, is your average good looking bad boy. Since he was born, he has wanted to join the Reign of Terror (he grew up with the club), and his dream is about to come true, until Emily arrives in Snowflake. I love how much depth the author gave his character. Although he looks the part, Oz is not the bad boy you could imagine. He is good with kids, especially the ones with special needs, he is loyal to the club and would go to the end of the world for his friends and family.
The author was able to turn this cliché story into something deeper, more meaningful, and it’s beautiful. The story contain many plot twists that I would never have seen coming, and that made the book much more enjoyable. I was hardly able to put the book down because I wanted to know what would happen next.
One Day by David Nicholls
A Goodreads friend of mine recommended me this book, and I can never thank her enough for telling me to read it. I had seen the movie before, but reading the book made me love Dexter and Emma’s story so much more.
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another.
Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.
This book is simply brilliant. It’s heart wrenching. It’s going to make you smile, laugh and cry, and it’s all worth it in the end. This book is beautiful and I urge you all to read it now!
Safe Heaven by Nicholas Sparks
I think it’s safe to say that every book Nicholas Spark has ever written is the perfect summer read. I have only read a few of his books yet, but Safe Heaven is one of my favorite of his. Once again, I had watched the movie before I read the book
(I swear I’m not always like this), and it’s with great expectations (and a little bit of skepticism) that I dived into this book.
When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.
Nicholas Sparks has the ability to write beautiful stories, but they’re always a bit on the sappy side. I suggest you bring your tissues! This one isn’t as sad as some of his other stories, though. Yes, it brings a harder subject into light, but that’s something that I like about the author. The setting and the romance make this book the perfect summer read though!
Have you read any of these books? What are summer read recommendations?