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

Picture this: your semester is coming to an end, half of your friends are gearing up to spend their summer in NYC, and the other half are heading home for the much-needed summer break. The weather is finally being kind to you, and all you want is a picnic blanket, a sunny spot, and a good book. “But Katie,” you may ask, “what book?” Look no further, because today I’m sharing some of my favorite books, perfect for your summer reading list (and a great song to compliment each one). Read one, read five, or read all of the above and then some more! Book girl summer is in, and the possibilities are endless.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Spoiler alert for this list: you might as well get familiar with Emily Henry’s name now, as you’ll be seeing a lot from her. Happy Place was released in April of 2023 and follows Harriet Kilpatrick, a surgical resident who finds herself in quite a sticky situation over a routine vacation with her life-long friends. Harriet must navigate shocking news from her best friend at her family’s lakehouse — their usual vacation spot — all while juggling her biggest task: pretending she and her ex-fiance are still in a committed relationship. With their friends’ big news, Harriet and her ex-fiance, Wyn, keep up their charade to prevent their group’s vacation from becoming centered around their own bad news. However, their act quickly becomes more challenging as they both struggle to recall why they called it all off in the first place. It’s a fake-dating trope in a romance novel…what could go wrong? Henry creates another dazzling but real romcom world in Happy Place, and it encompasses all the summer energy you’ll need to keep you company in the sun. Song suggestion: “Nobody Gets Me” by SZA

The League of Gentlewomen Witches by India Holton

If you’ve ever thought to yourself: I want Romeo and Juliet, but I want witches, and I want pirates, and I want crime… boy, oh boy, do I have a book for you. The League of Gentlewomen Witches takes place in a world where witches attempt to do good for the world while keeping their identities a secret. This simultaneously happens while Irish pirates, who don’t necessarily attempt to hide who they are or how much charm they have, exist in the towns. This novel follows the theft of an ancient amulet that the esteemed witch Charlotte Pettifer must recover. This happens to be the same amulet, of course, that the handsomely annoying pirate Alex O’Riley has also made his mission to claim. The novel is exceedingly witty, creative, and fascinating and holds its spot in books I wish I could read for the first time again. The banter between the two main characters is as addicting as the world author India Holton creates. While The League of Gentlewomen Witches is technically the second in the Dangerous Damsels series, it was the first I read that got me hooked and had me running to the bookstore to buy the rest. Song suggestions: “She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read is another novel in which Henry takes you to a world entirely raw and immersive. The novel hit shelves in 2020 and skyrocketed Henry’s sales. This clocks in as my favorite Emily Henry book, and even makes its way into my top five books of all time (which is no easy feat). The witty storytelling, captivating characters, and extremely entertaining plot are all snippets of what makes this book so great. Beach Read follows romance writer January Andrews as she discovers secrets about her late father’s life that bring her writing career to a halt. Over a summer of attempting to live in her father’s newfound house, January also struggles with her new neighbor, Augustus Everett: her long-time nemesis. January discovers Augustus’ gory, mysterious writing expertise from his own thriller novels may be more helpful — and more romantic — than she first thought possible. After striking a deal to work together, they must help each other find their writing spark and try not to rekindle a romantic spark in the making. Song suggestion: “Must Be Love” by Niall Horan

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars is yet another epitome of summer reading and an incredible story. The story is told by Cadence Sinclair, a 17-year-old who travels to the same island every summer to spend it with her impressive family. Cadence’s story unfolds as she explains past summers on the island, the ongoing family conflict, and an incident she doesn’t recall that left her with a head injury that she still feels the effects from years later. The novel is split into five parts and leaves you wanting more after each page, creating a world so intricate and fascinating you want to see it play out right in front of your eyes. With its twists and turns, reveals, and intricate characters, We Were Liars is a perfect psychological thriller that left me laughing, gasping, crying, and feeling every emotion a good book can pull from you. Song suggestion: “Ribs” by Lorde

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Coming to you with another Emily Henry written romance (shocker), People We Meet on Vacation is the pinnacle of summer reading. A friends-to-lovers, vacation-spot comedy, the novel takes you on a journey with main characters Poppy Wright and Alex Nilsen as they take one of their iconic summer vacations together, only this year there’s a catch. Poppy and Alex haven’t spoken to each other in two years after their 11-year friendship hit some iceberg-sized obstacles during their last trip together, and Poppy uses this vacation as a last attempt to patch things up. Poppy’s aspiring writing career, happy-go-lucky, impressive energy compared with Alex’s homebody, laid-back, quiet personality contrast perfectly in this book, and a short description couldn’t give these characters justice. One of the things I love most about Henry’s novels isn’t the classic romance component she displays so effortlessly, or even the impressive comedy that leaves me giggling (and sometimes cackling) at my book in public, but the incredibly intricate characters she creates in these worlds. Not only is a very real love story between Alex and Poppy unfolding in these pages, but also between Poppy and herself, and I think that’s one of the things that makes Henry’s novels stand out to so many readers. Song suggestion: “You Are in Love” by Taylor Swift

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo isn’t for the faint of heart — not only because of its incredible heartwrenching concept or its phenomenal storytelling but simply for the feeling you are left with after turning the last page. Taylor Jenkins Reid creates the character Evelyn Hugo, the primary character in the novel aside from Monique Grant, the reporter tasked with telling Hugo’s life story. While it sounds minuscule, this is no simple feat for Grant, as every reporter in the country has hoped to get the inside scoop about Hugo’s life but was denied. With each page turned the novel follows Grant’s task to finally unveil the secrets about the (love) life of esteemed film star Evelyn Hugo. Flipping back and forth between the present time and the events of her life as they happened, Grant explores Hugo’s life while attempting to uncover the real reason she wanted her as the reporter. Incredible characters are created and tears are shed as the novel takes us through Hugo’s life as a movie star, as a woman, and as a human. Song suggestion: “loml” by Taylor Swift  and  “Strange” by Celeste

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

My last Emily Henry book on this list is one we can all relate to at least in its title. It’s Book Lovers, published in 2022. This novel puts cheesy Hallmark movies to shame with its big city-turned-small-town, literary world rivalry, and good old-fashioned family conflict. Book Lovers follows Nora Stephens, a character who takes shape as the classic city girl who works too hard and cares too much for her clients. After being forced into a summer vacation by her sister, Libby, Nora attempts to handle life in a small town and comes to find out she’s not the only big-name city-goer visiting the town. Enter Charlie Lastra and his brooding, tortured self who would be a perfect candidate for a romcom meet cute if the two hadn’t already had a strong dislike for each other going for years. In Book Lovers, Henry once again provides us with such real characters who are tasked with raw conflicts throughout the novel. Whether it’s navigating the loss of a parent, the loss of a job, or the debilitating sense of the loss of love itself, Emily Henry will write it, and I will read it. Song suggestion: “Late Night Talking” by Harry Styles 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Last, but certainly not least, on this list is the ultimate summer reading novel: Percy Jackson. Whether you want to read the first book alone, the entire series, or all of the previous novels and the spinoff series, you can’t really go wrong here. Percy Jackson is not only the ultimate summer camp kid, but the novels also warmly encompass everything it means to navigate a world you feel like you don’t belong in. If you’re unfamiliar, The Lightning Thief is the first of many in the Percy Jackson series and introduces readers to Percy himself, a 12-year-old kid who finds out he’s among the group of demi-gods: the product of a God having a child with a normal human. Percy soon learns that not only is his heritage much more complex than he first thought, but also that he is now in a war with Zeus (yes, that Zeus) over his master lightning bolt, which he believes Percy stole. With the help of friends Grover and Annabeth, Percy works his way through difficult conflicts most of us couldn’t have imagined at 12 years old, let alone face head-on, with a signature sassy attitude. If you’re looking for an easygoing novel to get you through a summer vacation look no further, but don’t be too surprised when suddenly summer break is almost over, and you’re two series deep in Percy Jackson lore! Song suggestion: “You’re On Your Own Kid” by Taylor Swift

Katie Getz is a first year member of Pace’s Her Campus! Katie loves to write about all things pop-culture, current events, NYC life, music, & movies! She’s excited to be a part of Her Campus to be a part of such a positive community of people! At school, Katie is earning her Bachelors in Psychology, and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies! After college Katie is planning on earning her Doctorate in Psychology and becoming a therapist for adolescents. Over the summer she is working a camp for children with learning disabilities, and is excited for similar opportunities in the future! At Pace, Katie is the membership outreach chair for The National Society of Leadership and Success. She also co-hosts "ChicChatter" with a fellow HerCampus member. "ChicChatter" is a podcast at Pace's WPUB radio station! Outside of Her Campus, Katie is originally from a small town in Maryland, but now lives in New York City with her roommates and loves exploring the city any chance she gets. You can often find her wandering the city, or in a bookstore or record shop browsing for more books and records she doesn’t need - and constantly listening to Taylor Swift the entire time. If she’s not outside exploring with her friends, she’s probably binging New Girl again, or watching The Lorax and Dead Poets Society while she knits and browses on Pinterest!