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Culture > Entertainment

5 Books to Read at Your Next Beach Day

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

Picture this: you’re lounging under the warm sun, the ocean breeze blowing through your hair, and the sounds of the waves and happy screams of people enjoying the beach all around you. You might be content with watching the activities happening, but you might also want an entertaining activity that leaves you unplugged. 

The perfect activity? Reading, of course.

For me, the best type of book for the summer or to read on a beach is a fun romcom or another contemporary book. They’re lighthearted, easy to read, and they often fly by fast. Here are my top recommendations for books to take with you for the beach this summer!

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

As a Goodreads Choice 2021 winner, this book is loved by many for a reason. It follows Alex and Poppy, two best friends who travel together every summer. An unfortunate incident, however, leaves them without contact for two years. To get herself out of the rut she’s in, Poppy decides on one last vacation with Alex, which he agrees to. I think there’s no better book to read on vacation than a book about vacations. With lovable characters, funny banter, and a sweet romance, People We Meet on Vacation NEEDS to be added to your beach-read list.

To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne never fails to write a good romance book, especially one that can be read in one sitting. This story has one of my favorite premises: the main characters falling in love both in real life and online. This book follows Gracie, who takes over her dad’s champagne shop following his death, putting aside her own dreams and passions. Sebastian wants to buy the struggling shop to convert it into a parking garage. This sounds simple enough, but Gracie doesn’t want to let go of her dad’s life work and dream. Her break from the stressful reality comes in the form of “Sir,” someone she matched with on a blind dating app and is starting to fall for. The catch? He’s Sebastian, the man she can’t stand in real life. This is an incredible feel-good romance that will have you relaxing and smiling on the beach!

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

The premise of this book is something I’ve never seen before. What if you could find your soulmate using your DNA? Dr. River Peña is GeneticAlly’s founder and supposed soulmate to Jess Davis, a single mother and statistician. Jess is lonely, but a series of absent fathers in her life leaves her hesitant to enter the dating scene. The 98% match with River forces her to put herself out there, only to find that there’s love in her future. This book is different from usual romance books, and so adorable. All the characters are lovable, and there’s excellent chemistry between River and Jess. It’s definitely a book that can be enjoyed under the sun! 

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen

Liza Yang agrees to help her mother, owner of Yin & Yang Bakery, with their annual junior competition. There she finds that all the contestants are boys who were handpicked by her mother as suitable boys for Liza to date. I recommend having a snack nearby while reading this book, because all the talk of baked goods will make you hungry. While this book looks like it’ll promise an easygoing romcom, it turns out to be so much more (in a very good way). There’s a lovely romance between Liza and James, one of the contestants. But there’s also focus on friendships and navigating mother-daughter relationships. By the end, your heart will be content and you might be a little hungry, but it’ll be worth it to read this story. It’s also worth nothing that this is a young adult book.

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

If you’re looking for something a little bit darker than a romcom, this book is perfect. Described as a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder,” You’ll Be the Death of Me follows three estranged friends: Ivy, Mateo, and Cal. One day, they arrive late to school and decide to ditch, but end up following another student who gets murdered. They each have a connection to the murdered student and their own secrets. McManus never fails to deliver a mystery/thriller book that is always entertaining; there are wonderful friendship dynamics, complex characters, twists and turns, and a reveal at the end that I didn’t see coming. It’s not a very dark book, and there are plenty of light-hearted moments to make this book fit into your beach day reading list!

I hope that at least one of those books has caught your interest, and that you’ll enjoy it on your next beach day!

Sally Adil

U Ottawa '25

Sally is a third year Biomedical Science student at uOttawa. When she's not studying, she's reading romcoms and watching k-dramas.