Bleahh – it’s super hot, way too humid, and your friends are all busy working or on vacation. What’s a collegiette to do to beat the heat, other than escape into the air conditioning or into the water? Nothing makes a better companion during your summer adventures, be they by the pool, in the sand, in a comfy chair at home or during a dull moment at your job than a good book. Check out some of Her Campus’s favorite summer reads that provide the perfect summertime escape.
Perfect for the pool or beach!
If you’re spending the day buried in the sand or relaxing by the pool, a nice, light read is the perfect companion to accompany a pleasant day once you run out of magazines to flip through.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Senior year in France may sound like a dream, but for Anna Oliphant, the novel’s protagonist, senior year en France is a veritable cauchemar (a real nightmare, for you non-French speakers). Dive into Perkins’s debut novel and enjoy the ups and downs as Anna falls in love with more than just the baguettes served up in those Parisian cafes!
Hit Reply by Rocki St. Claire
What could be easier and more enjoyable to read than a novel written entirely in emails, texts and instant messages? Hit Reply tells the story of three women and their triumphs and pitfalls in the romance department in a super fun, couldn’t-be-easier to read format!
Dress Rehearsal by Jennifer O’Connell
Lauren Gallagher, Boston’s hottest cake baker is loving the single life. Too bad it’s about to be interrupted by not one, but two guys who appear to be nothing but trouble! Enjoy your slice of the action poolside with a book that’s lighter and fluffier than the frosting on one of Ms. Gallagher’s fictional cakes.
A glimpse of the real world
The key to happiness and enjoying life isn’t just found in fiction. Break out of your comfort zone and explore the real world through the lens of the following non-fiction authors.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
If you enjoyed Fey’s witty Sarah Palin impersonations on SNL, you’ll no doubt enjoy her latest project, Bossypants. In her autobiography, Fey chronicles what it was like to grow up (spoiler alert: she went through that awkward, gawky stage just like the rest of us!), go to school, move to Chicago, her big break with SNL, and her successful career from there on out, all written with her incredible wit and sense of humor.
My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family by Zach Wahls
Hot off the presses is a book celebs like Ellen DeGeneres are calling “a resounding testament to individuality and the power of family in all forms.” A video of University of Iowa Campus Cutie Zach Wahls testifying before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee last January went viral on Youtube. All the commotion surrounding his testimony prompted Wahls to further chronicle just how awesome his parents are in this inspiring book all about the power of family, regardless of how the word is defined.
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
What makes people happy? The answer may just surprise you. After a startling epiphany in quite the surprising place, Rubin, the book’s author, spent a year traveling, determined to unlock the key to one of nature’s most plaguing, but enjoyable emotions.
Even if your summer romance forecast is a bit bleaker than you’d hoped, it’s still fun to be swept off your feet by one of these gorgeous (and unfortunately fictional) guys!
The Perfect Chemistry series: Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, and Chain Reaction, all by Simone Elkeles
Talk about a hot romance for the summer! All three of the Perfect Chemistry novels tell the stories of the Fuentes brothers, three Mexican-American boys struggling to break free of past histories of violence and gang connections to make a better life for themselves, their families, and their newfound girlfriends. Each book is filled with a romance steamier than even the hottest summer day guaranteed to keep you turning page after page until you’ve polished off the series.
Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler
Critics call it a modern day “Romeo and Juliet,” but we just call it hot! The chemistry between Cal and Elliot is unbelievable as their story unfolds in chapters that switch back and forth between the voices of the two characters. If there’s one novel that will make you believe in summer love lasting more than a few months, it’s this one!
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
This book will make you believe in love peeking through, even in the bleakest of circumstances. Nelson’s novel follows Lennie, a girl haunted by the death of her older sister. What will Lennie do when forced to choose between her sister’s (gulp) former fiancé who helps her remember the person she was, or the new boy who just might help put the past behind her and move onto a happier future?
Fifty Shades of Gray by E L James
Brains, wit, and a flawless façade may prove too much for Fifty Shades’ protagonist Anastasia Steele. The lit student discovers more about herself and the man she quickly becomes entranced by in this novel that promises to be way hotter than the summer sun.
Prep for next year
It’s never too early to start thinking about how to make next year your best one yet! Check out some of these awesome books geared towards making you a great student and an even better person.
How Do You Work This Life Thing? By Lizzie Post
If there’s anyone qualified to offer up advice to college students, it’s the great-great-granddaughter of manners expert Emily Post. How Do You Work This Life Thing? offers advice about any sticky situation that could arise in the four years spent on campus, from deciding where to order the next take-out meal from and how to pay for it to college dating and hook-up advice.
Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World by Leslie Simon
Learn how to take over the world with a book its author labels “a call to arms for every girl who has ever obsessed over music, comics, film, comedy, books, crafts, fashion, or anything else under the Death Star.” Check out Simon’s list of movies, books, games, websites, music, and more that cater to all of our inner-geeks.
Been There, Should’ve Done That by Suzette Tyler
You have a whole summer to start memorizing all 995 tips Tyler disperses in her self-help book, the perfect read for every collegiette! Think about what you’d like to improve on for the school year ahead, and check out Tyler’s hilarious advice for virtually any situation you could possibly find yourself in!
School-approved (and even recommended!)
Many schools across the country require all incoming freshmen to read a prescribed book in preparation for different discussions and activities once the year gets underway. Even if freshman year is a hazy memory, check out what some younger collegiettes across the country will be reading this summer.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
Students at the University of Missouri in Columbia will be reading this book written by an award-winning journalist who profiled six different citizens of North Korea for 15 years as the country went through major changes. Demick’s book gives readers an eye-opening portrait of what it’s like to live under one of the world’s strictest rulers in one of the world’s most oppressive countries.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Duke freshmen are expected to devote at least a portion of their summer paging through Patchett’s novel that chronicles a fictional researcher’s journey deep into the jungle. The book is meant to interest students with a variety of majors and interests, meaning it’s a great selection for Her Campus’s 2012 booklist as well!
Shade it Black: Death and After in Iraq by Jess Goodell with John Hearn
Goodell and Hearn will give freshmen at the University of Miami in Ohio an up-close and personal look at what goes on beyond the description of different military actions the U.S. has undergone in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. Their new book questions what happens when the battle’s over for American soldiers, and what their deaths suggest about the war itself.