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Treat Your Shelf – Best Summer Reads

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

Summer is approaching fast and every person needs a solid list of good books to curl up with in a hammock, to dive into at the pool, or to indulge in while tanning. To help filter out books better for other seasons or circumstances and filter in all the best summer reads, here is the perfect list of books that will leave you taking off your sunglasses and grabbing your readers. Here are the top ten books you should definitely read this summer vacation.

1. We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

Written by insanely talented and technically skilled author Nina Lacour, this book is the embodiment of a summer camp with all the drama, emotion, growth, and humor. The protagonist is relatable and the story of an adolescent leaving their old life behind is inspiring, thought-provoking, and emotional. This story is one of those books you cannot put down, and its summerly tone makes it a great companion for summer travels.

2. All the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth Church

This book is a historical fiction novel and is anything but dry and dull. The story is a ray of light and is a fantastic story of growth and hope intertwined with a tragic past of a woman and the attributes of reality. Overall this novel is a well written and descriptive story with a lovely message of strength, determination, and resistance.

3. That Summer by Sarah Dessen

This novel is by an incredibly versatile and talented author full of passion for writing which seeps through the pages and engages the reader effortlessly. The story unfolds during a very busy and eventful summer for a young girl who is struggling with family troubles and growing up. This is a very unique perspective and a new take on the stereotypical coming of age stories that is worth a read this summer.

4. Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

An insightful and culturally aware novel that encompasses a culture and region often overlooked in the literature. This story follows a man named Tracker who is a hunter in Africa. The story is tangled with local legends and folklore and the region’s mythology making the tone similar to magical realism. As these fantastic elements merge with the realistic events throughout the storytelling these two marry nicely and maintain the books integrity and a clear and concise voice. 

5. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep is one of my personal favorite summer reads. With a gripping plot, a mysterious atmosphere, and a well-crafted environment and phenomenal characters, this novel is a masterpiece. The writing style and voice is sophisticated and detailed, the plot original and unique, and the characters dynamic and complex. With a mysterious and haunting curse plaguing a town, a handsome stranger from outside of town, a risky romance, a witch hunt, and captivating characters this fantastical story will enchant any reader.   

6. The Center of the Universe by Ria Voros

This book captures curiosity and sense of familial mystery that is unmatched. The teaser which is “What if your mother just vanished?” says it all. A young girl whose celebrity mother just vanishes one day is all someone has to hear to be intrigued by this dazzling plot. As family secrets unfold and the story grows the characters grow with it, a beautiful and insightful take on a coming of age novel with a hint of mystery.

7. When I was Summer by J.B. Howard

Another thrilling read with a realistic situation and a relatable curiosity this novel stands out and redefines family and growing up. As the protagonist searches for their birth parents and the story unravels the reader becomes entwined not just with the story but in the family itself.

8. Turtles all the Way Down by John Green

Easily one of the most realistic depictions of mental illness ever to grace the pages of a book. Invest in some personal growth as well as checking in on yourself with this mental health influenced read perfect for a relaxing day at the beach. This book highlights mental health and helps break stigmas and will definitely be a book that grows on you as well as helps you grow into a more informed and thoughtful reader and person. Enjoy some complex thoughts and a unique plot with genuineness and heart that anyone can appreciate.

Enjoy an adventure by reading during your relaxation time. Venture through various books and try out something interesting and different you might not normally pick up. Travel through time and places and invest yourself in unique stories and charismatic characters. Overall enjoy a summer vacation that doesn’t limit you to the boundaries of a beach or pool but allow yourself to travel through many places storytelling and books.

Gray is an English and Education double major at Drexel! In addition to writing for Her Campus, she is a member of ENC. She loves to read, write, cook, bake, and volunteer.
Her Campus Drexel contributor.