Beach Reads For Your Summer Vacay

Crime thrillers and high-brow classics have their place, sure, but it’s not the beach. Summer reading is all about whimsical romances and easy-breezy page-turners. If you’re after something light and fun to flick through while reapplying sunscreen, read on for our list of beach-approved books.

When Dimple Met Rishi, By: Sandhya Menon

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Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to have an arranged marriage, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, "Why not?"

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

When Dimple Met Rishi reads like a rom-com. It’s got a tooth-achingly sweet love story, more laughs than an episode of "Parks and Rec", and will even make you shed a tear or two – what more could you want? OK, OK, I’ll continue. This book also covers important topics like coding, feminism, self-confidence, and Indian culture. It is a cute and fun YA darling that also makes important statements about issues contemporary college students face, and encourages every reader to be their kick-ass self.  

Talking As Fast As I Can, By: Lauren Graham

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In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of "Gilmore Girls" and "Parenthood" reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new "Gilmore Girls," where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

This is your go-to if you’re a "Gilmore Girls" fan after a quick read. Reading Graham’s autobiography feels like you’re chatting with the ultimate cool mom, Lorelai Gilmore, and covers everything from her childhood in Japan and living on a houseboat, to falling in love with her "Parenthood" co-star. Plus, if you listen to the audiobook, you can hear Graham talk as fast as she can.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, By: Becky Albertalli

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Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

If you liked the recent blockbuster "Love, Simon", you’ll love its original incarnation. Firstly, Simon Spier is possibly the greatest YA character ever. He’s funny, sassy, and loves Oreos – what more could you want? Ok, here’s more. He’s incredibly realistic, is supported by a slew of equally realistic characters, and is a fantastic example of LGBTQ+ representation. The inclusion of his email exchange with the mysterious Blue lets the reader further inside the head of this fully fleshed-out protagonist, so much so that I’ll bet you all the quarters I need for laundry that you’ll close this book wishing you could be his best friend.

The book ends on an awesomely positive note, sending a really great message to all readers, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community. An incredibly important book, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is one that will help a whole lotta readers out there.

Air Kisses, By: Zoe Foster Blake

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After Hannah Atkins, the magazine world’s most unlikely beauty editor, is dumped for the local TV weather girl, she adopts some hardcore rules to attain the Perfect Life.  She will learn how to blend her eye makeup so she doesn’t resemble an over-emotional beauty queen. She will triumph over the catty mag-hags waiting to see her trip in her new-season Jimmy Choos. She will not drunkenly disgrace herself at achingly hip PR launches. She will not accidentally go home with inappropriate men.

If you haven’t heard of Australian author Zoe Foster Blake, prepare to leap onto the bandwagon right now. The journalist, app creator, skincare company founder, and Instagram caption expert is quite the hit Down Under and you’ll realise why after reading her first book. Inspired by her own time as a beauty columnist at Cosmo, Air Kisses offers readers a chick-flick style insider look at the glitz and glamour of the magazine world. Follow hot-mess Hannah Atkins – who I’m sure we can all relate to – as she navigates Sydney’s social scene, the pressure and cattiness of her career, and a hectic love life.