Where Bella, Edward, and Jacob are winter, Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah are summer. But what do you do when you’ve read all that you can read? Don’t worry, no need for tears, I got you. Fill your tbr with a fresh array of swoon-worthy love triangles, seaside flings, and warm-weather fun!
Why do all the best summer tales take place by the sea? Because ocean = sunshine, salty breezes, and sand between your toes, that’s why! While The Edge of Summer might not include the typical love triangle we all pine after, it does feature the complex challenge of balancing friendship, promises, and new love.
Saving the whales has been Coriander Cabot and her best friend Ella’s dream since elementary school. But when tragedy strikes, Cor is left to complete the list of things they wanted to accomplish before college alone, including a marine biology internship on Cape Cod.
Cor’s summer of healing and new beginnings turns complicated when she meets Mannix, a local lifeguard who completely takes her breath away. But she knows whatever she has with Mannix might not last, and that her focus should be on rescuing the humpback whales from entanglement. As the tide changes, Cor finds herself distracted and struggling with her priorities.
Can she follow her heart and keep her promise to the whales and her best friend?
I know I just said the best summer reads take place by the water, but I lied. They also take place at camp. As someone who attended overnight camp for 10+ summers, I know all about summer crushes and spent much time gossiping in leafy hideaways about the hottest new camp romances. (Embarrassing story: One summer I was madly in love with a boy named Lewis with Kool-Aid red hair, but unlike Randy, I was too much of a scaredy-cat to even speak to him.)
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim—who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?
If you’re here for friends-turned-lovers, you’ve come to the right place. (My fave kind of love story, btw.) Our Way Back to Always is the perfect whirlwind of childhood nostalgia, big emotions, and the sweetest romance ever. There may be big changes on the horizon, but now’s summer, so don your sunglasses and have some fun!
Luisa (Lou) Patterson grew up across the street from Sam Alvarez in the small, quirky town of Port Coral. They used to be inseparable–spending every holiday together, shooting silly YouTube videos, and rescuing stray cats. But then middle school happened, including the most disastrous (and embarrassing) serenade ever, and Lou and Sam haven’t talked in the four years since. Sam is now the golden boy with plenty of friends, while Lou is an introverted romantic who’s happy playing video games and writing fan fiction. But it’s also the summer before their senior year, and life is knocking on Lou’s door.
With her older sister having given up a scholarship to Princeton to have a baby and work at the local botanica, all of their mother’s expectations are now riding on Lou’s shoulders. She’s retaking her SAT’s, signed up for way too many AP classes, and her sights set on colleges with fancy names like Duke and Vanderbilt. But when she finds the bucket list she and Sam wrote together as kids, before Sam’s father was diagnosed with cancer, she’s shocked to see that she hasn’t accomplished any of the goals she’d set for herself. Go to a party? Nope. Pull the greatest prank of all time? Still no. Learn how to be a really good kisser? Definitely not.
Torn between the future that her mother, sister, and younger self planned for her, Lou sets out to finish the list, and in a stroke of destiny or fate, Sam decides to tag along. Still trying to stay afloat amid the grief of losing his father, Sam himself is staring down a future that feels all too close, and is coming far too fast. But with the bucket list to guide them, Sam and Lou might just be able to find a way through the future, and also a way back to each other.
Someone please send me away to a small Cape Cod town where I can have my own enchanted summer. If you like your contemporary with a touch of extraordinary, Sometime in Summer will have you weeping and whooping at each turn of the page. *Cue “Do You Believe in Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful*
Anna Lucia Bell believes in luck: bad luck. Bad luck made her best friend stop talking to her. Bad luck caused her parents’ divorce. Bad luck is forcing her mother, Miriam, to sell the family’s beloved bookstore. And it is definitely bad luck that Anna seems to be the only person in the world Miriam is unable to recommend a life-changing book.
When Anna finds out that she and her mom are spending two months in a New England seaside town called Rockport, she expects a summer plagued with bad luck too. But Rockport has surprises in store for Anna, including a comet making its first appearance in over twenty years and two new—but familiar—friends.
In what will prove to be the most important summer of her life so far, Anna learns about love, herself, and the magic that an ordinary summer can bring.
September is rapidly approaching, so if you’re feeling a back-to-school romance, look no further! This slow-burn, sporty love story is as sweet as grandma’s buttermilk pie and is enough to leave you with the warm and fuzzies weeks after the last page is turned.
Julian Jackson has a short to-do list for his senior year at Crenshaw County High School in Meridien, Texas: football, football, and more football. He knows he’s only got one chance to earn a college scholarship and make it out of his small town, and keeping his head down, his grades up, and his cleats on the field is that one chance. And then Elijah Vance walks back into his life, throwing all of his carefully-laid plans into a tailspin.
Elijah and Julian used to be best friends, maybe even on their way to something more than just friends. But three years ago, Elijah broke into the school to steal money from the coach’s office, and Julian was the one who turned him in. After that, Elijah and his family disappeared without a trace. And now he’s back, sitting at Julian’s grandmother’s kitchen table.
But time and distance haven’t erased all of their feelings, and Elijah knows that he finally has a chance to prove to Julian that he’s not the same person he was three years ago. But with secrets still growing between them and an uncertain future barreling towards them, it may be harder to lean on each other than they thought.
Yes, The Inheritance Games is arguably more of an autumn, cozy-in-a-blanket fireside mystery of a read, rather than a beach read… HOWEVER, the Hawthornes are the sunny summer days: A bright light to fill each and every void. Are they Avery’s pseudo-brothers? Are they her love interests? And which brother—daring Jameson or perfect Grayson—should she choose?
Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.
Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.