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

The weather is getting warmer and that means that finals are approaching. But after that, we can all share a sigh of relief for the return of summer and with that the return of our free time. So whether you’re reading on the beach, by a bonfire, at a coffee shop, or cozying up in your bed, here are five recently or soon-to-be published books that you should pick up over the summer. 

1. Funny Story by Emily Henry

Emily Henry is a very popular author, with her books getting lots of praise on TikTok. Her other books, Beach Read and Happy Place are fan-favorite summer reads. Her new book Funny Story is a book about two opposite people, Daphne and Miles, who end up living together. Their one connection, Daphne’s now ex-fiancé, left her for Miles’ now ex-girlfriend. The story follows these two as they try to coexist or avoid each other in their less-than-ideal and especially awkward situations. It has also been said that fans of New Girl will enjoy this book. Funny Story is most likely going to end up being one of the most popular books of the year, and it comes out on April 23, 2024, just in time for summer reading. 

2. The Fury by Alex Michaelides  

This book came out at the beginning of the year, but I am currently reading it and thought I would include it. It is the perfect summer mystery. The chapters are very short and easy to fly through. The perspective the story is told from is also very engaging and makes you feel like part of the story. The story takes place on a private Greek island, where after what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend, a member of a famous friend group is killed. There are secrets and betrayals all being told through a possible complicit and unreliable narrator. The setting of the book is very reminiscent of the movie The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. If you find it hard to actually finish books, I would recommend picking The Fury up. 

3. There’s Always This Year by Hanif Abdurraqib 

First, I need to preface that this novel is very different from the others mentioned; this is not the typical light-hearted beachy summer reading recommendation. However, if you’ve been feeling like you’ve been binging too much Netflix or watching too many TikToks and want to read a more insightful book this summer, this one’s for you. The main theme of this memoir is basketball, something we here at the University of Connecticut love. Specifically, part of the book chronicles Hanif’s upbringing in Ohio and viewing the success of the breakout star Lebron James. However, this isn’t just a book all about Lebron, there is also lots of introspection about how we view ourselves and others when we’re on a team. Overall, Hanif Abdurraqib seamlessly weaves together analysis on so many different topics. Beyond basketball, the author also makes many enlightening points and critiques about American society and pop culture. 

4. The Reappearance of Rachel Price by Holly Jackson 

This book is for the true crime lovers. A teen mom went missing when her child was only two years old. That child, Bel, the main character of the book, has grown up and her mother is now miraculously back. The only catch is that she has come back with a full documentary crew to share details about her disappearance to the world. There are lots of suspicions about what happened and what is true. The action continually picks up throughout the story and the unreliable characters will keep you questioning. This is a very fast-paced and entertaining read. 

5. Just for The Summer by Abby Jimenez 

The main character of this book, Justin, has a chronic problem: he’s not “the one” for anyone, and any girl he dates seemingly finds “the one” right after they break up with him. Suddenly, a woman reaches out to him who seems to also have this curse. They make a plan to date each other and then break up so they can then both go on to subsequently find the one for themselves. However, things get more complicated, especially when family drama gets involved. Overall, the two are left questioning if they are actually the one for each other and if fate brought them together. Abby Jimenez is a fantastic author who is quickly gaining popularity and this book is sure to not disappoint. 

Happy Reading!

I’m wishing everyone a fun and relaxing summer. Hopefully, these recommendations of highly anticipated books by beloved authors have inspired you to relax and pick up a book, even if you’re not typically a reader.

My name is Caroline Lufitz and I am a student at UConn. I am a political science major.