4 Summer Reads for a Post-Exam Season De-Stress

So, school’s out but you still want to keep your mind active over the long summer break? Reading for pleasure is one of the easiest, most enjoyable ways to do this and is scientifically proven to ‘lower stress levels and depression’. Because of this, I’ve gathered some of my friends to recommend their favourite books to read in the warmer months. Here are the top picks…


The Girl Before by JP Delany 

Perfect for lovers of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, this psychological thriller is sure to prove completely unputdownable (yes, that’s a real word!). The story follows an eerie architect who only rents out his minimalist apartment to attractive single women. When his new tenant, Jane, moves in, she starts to discover the dwellings unsavoury, mysterious past and begins to fear how her story will end. This novel has been awarded positions on both the Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller lists and was adapted into a film in 2017 so, make room to give it a read this summer. 

The Girl Before is available from Amazon for £4.50.



Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell

This collection of 8 short stories is perfect if you like to dip in and out of reading, rather than embarking on a whole novel.  Each tale has a supernatural, fantasy spin on it with subjects ranging from a boy who finds artefacts from the future in a bird’s nest to 2 vampires living in a sun-drenched lemon grove, trying to quench their thirst for blood. If you have a busy summer, this is the perfect book to occasionally open as it does not require you to keep up with the same characters and plot. 

Vampires in the Lemon Grove is available from Amazon for £8.56.



Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

If you haven’t already read this worldwide sensation, this summer is the perfect chance to do so! The book was made into a film in 2016 starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, cementing its popularity as a must read. Following the story of a cynical man who was paralysed in a car accident and his eternally optimistic carer, the book is a certified tear jerker. So, whilst you should definitely make time to read this novel, maybe save it for indoors (when it inevitably rains) rather than by the pool on holiday!

Me Before You is available from Amazon for £4.50.



How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Now, onto a personal favourite of mine. This novel is perfect for fans of both literature and history as it cleverly weaves both subjects together. Tom Hazard, the protagonist of the story looks to be an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher. We soon find out that, due to an obscure disease, he has actually been alive for hundreds of years. Readers will set off on a journey back in time through Jazz Age Paris and Elizabethan England, discovering Toms fascinating past and the trials and tribulations he faces with his weird illness. I know I’m biased but if you read one thing this summer, make sure it’s How to Stop Time!

How to Stop Time is available on Amazon for £4.49.