Finding Your Summer Soulmate: Book Edition!

Yippee! Summertime means no required reading for class (unless you’re enrolled in summer classes, of course), and eliminating seemingly endless textbook pages allows you plenty of time to read what you want. Chances are that you’re to-read list has been growing continually throughout the year and there’s something about sunshine, blue skies and, if you’re lucky enough, sandy toes and a warm breeze, that makes you crave the perfect poolside reading companion. Check out some of the following tips to find the quintessential summer read and see if any of our recommendations interest you!


Do your research

During this time of year, lots of magazines and newspapers publish lists with their recommended summer reads, usually chalked full of books with highly anticipated releases, as well as classic summer throwbacks (Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters, anyone?). Check out some of these lists and in addition to blogs (

are some of my favorites!) and asking your friends for recommendations. Maybe even reach out to your parents or grandparents--my mom is an awesome book critic and gives the best suggestions! 


Don’t be afraid of YA 

A lot of time we tend to think that books classified as “young adult” are strictly for people under the age of 16 and written with the intention of permanent residence in high school libraries. Sometimes, YA novels help us discover new things about ourselves or bring back memories from our own earlier days. Also, the genre is going through a huge growth spurt with authors like John Greene, Suzanne Collins and Ann Brashares taking risks by dealing with tough stuff, therefore make their pieces more realistic to today’s society. It’s nice to have a mix of genres on your list to keep you from getting bored. 


Become BFFs with the library

Being the avid reader that I am, there’s something about walking into the bookstore, a place so warm and welcoming, a place tinged with the scent of fresh coffee and leather bound papyrus that makes me instantly happy, regardless of my mood previous to entering. That being said, I allowed the bookstore to make a pretty hefty dent in my bank account last summer...books are more expensive then we often realize! The library allows you to try out new authors and novels without financially committing--nothing is worse then that resentful feeling you get when you end up not liking a book you spent $18 on.


Make a list

Goodreads is a book nerd’s dream come true. It’s a website that allows you to create lists of books you’d like to read, as well as classify books onto your own personal virtual shelves, such as “favorites” or “classics.” You can also search other user’s collections and connect with your friends--think of it as a social media site for book lovers! Another great feature is the app that lets you scan barcodes on books. I always take it with me when I go out in search of books to read! 


Here’s a little preview of my summer reading list--check out my complete list!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

“The story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.” C’ sounds like fictional gold to me.


Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield

Identical sisters with psychic abilities return to their hometown of St. Louis in the midst of earthquake season. As they grew up, Vi embraced her abilities while Kate tried her best to suppress them and lead a normal life. When the girls receive a premonition about a devastating earthquake that’s quickly approaching, they must reconcile their differences and learn to face the truth of their responsibility to others and themselves.

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

After a tragedy separates best friends Jules and Cricket during their summer in Nantucket, Cricket finds herself working as a maid instead of soaking up sun in her summer paradise and questioning her friendship with Jules in the first place...and then, of course, falling for someone completely off-limits. 

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

Beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings, weddings for passion, weddings for comfort and swearing off weddings for life, this novel follows four unique couples through the ups and downs of relationships over a time span of 100 years. This story also traces the history of diamonds in America and how they have become a symbol for our desire for everlasting love.

September Girls by Bennett Madison

Sam and his brother are spending the summer with their father in an isolated beach town that is unlike any other place. Time slows down and beautiful blonde girls who are attracted to him for no identifiable reason fill the town. When he begins to fall for one of the girls, one who is different than the others, she pulls away and he is faced with uncovering the secrets of the town and the girls who live there. 

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Hired as a maid for Hemingway’s second wife in Depression-era Key West, Mariella enters a world she’s never known. The admiration of a famous writer becomes leads to temptation and an invisible line that, once crossed, will put Mariella at risk of losing everything important to her. (I read Call Me Zelda by Robuck at the beginning of the summer and LOVED it--if you’re as intrigued by the lives of classic authors and their families as I am, also check out by Therese Anne Fowler!)

Everything is Perfect When You’re A Liar by Kelly Oxford

If you haven’t yet discovered the hilarious, one-of-a-kind twitter sensation, Kelly Oxford, now is the time (@kellyoxford)! I can’t wait to read her essays on growing up and life in general, which I have no doubt will be laugh out loud, witty, and to the point. As a side note, I may be a little behind with this one, but also be sure to check out Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns), which was perfect...Mindy Kaling is truly my spirit animal. 


Other favorites:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants #5) by Ann Brashares