Hey everyone! I can’t believe how far we are into July. I’ve been doing so much prep for exciting things to come as well, as finding time to do quite a bit of reading. I wanted to share with you all some of my top beach reads for this summer. I’ve got some classic YA love stories, a YA thriller, a beautiful memoir and a spectacular why-done-it mystery that I’m sure you will all love.
The Day Tripper: My first two picks are for quick jaunts to the beach for some flash-tanning and relaxation. The first is The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (she wrote Everything, Everything, which recently became a movie!). In this story, two characters battle fate and reasoning to try and divine what the universe is up to. Natasha is a Jamaican-born science lover desperately trying to keep her family from being deported and Daniel is wondering if he should risk following his dreams and completely shattering his parents’ expectations of him. The universe decides they should cross paths, changing both their lives.
The second pick is The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. This one is an adorable adventure that follows Flora Banks as she braves the real world, despite her severe memory loss. She is spurned to leave home after a significant event sticks in her mind, for the first time in seven years. Flora is a little blundering, but brave and exciting and inspiring.
The Long Weekend: My pick for a good book to pack into your weekender as you cut the work-week short is Cristin Terrill’s second novel Here Lies Daniel Tate. This recent publication is a thriller that follows a lying teen who impersonates a former missing child and gets roped into trying to solve the murder of that same child, while trying to convince the family he is their long-lost brother. The narration is complex and the plot moves swiftly, complete with many twists and turns. Perfect for a weekend away.
The Week-Long Rental: If you’re going away for a week or more to the seaside (like I will be in August!) these books are perfect companions. The House on Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper is a brilliant memoir of a childhood spent in Liberia and an adulthood in the US. Helene’s family was at the top of the food chain before revolution overtook Liberia, causing her family to flee to the US, leaving behind her adoptive sister. Years later, Helene faces the choice of going back to her sister, and back to her former home.
The second mystery you can settle in with this summer is The Secret History. I read Donna Tartt’s novel during my capstone course at UMass and it instantly became one of my all-time favorites. Right off the bat the reader knows who is dead and who has done it, but the mystery is why? What did he do? Told in retrospect, the main character finds himself working his way into an elite group of Greek scholars at a Vermont University. The journey to discover why a murder took place is fascinating, complicated and sure to keep you enthralled. (Just don’t get too sucked in and forget to reapply sunblock.)