My Top Five Books of the Summer

This summer, I read a hundred books.

It wasn’t for a contest, or to fulfill a New Year’s resolution. It wasn’t even that I was trying to get back into the swing of reading regularly. It was literally just the result of having a very long commute to work, which averaged about two and a half hours each way.

Basically, I was just really, really, really bored.                 

Thankfully, I had an e-reader app on my phone and a plethora of books downloaded for this exact moment. My to-read pile had turned into more of a to-read mountain, and I was grateful for the opportunity to finally whittle it down a bit. Admittedly, not all of the books I read were instant favourites, but there were quite a few that left a lasting impression on me.

Because I doubt most people will have 5+ hours of uninterrupted commute time per day to read (and if you do, save yourself), I’ve painstakingly narrowed down all those favourites to my top five books of the summer. Check them out below!

1. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This book. THIS BOOK. This was one of the first books that I read this summer and it basically set the bar too high for anyone else to reach. The quick, SparkNotes-version summary: The Prince of England and the First Son are bitter enemies, but through a series of mishaps and PR scandals, they’re forced to play nice and end up falling in loooove. Featuring an amazing cast of supporting characters, tons of representation and a killer plot, this book was not only probably my favourite read of the summer, but also my favourite read in literal years. Pick up a copy now, I promise you won’t regret it!

2. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

I read this book during a thunderstorm on a late-night train ride, and it honestly set the perfect tone for the whole read. Truly Devious takes place at the Ellingham Academy, an uber-prestigious boarding school with a mysterious past. When Stevie, a wannabe detective, gets accepted to the school, she immediately sets about trying to discover the truth about what happened years before. The only problem is that the mysterious force that wreaked havoc all those years ago doesn’t seem to be finished, and it’s back with a vengeance. This book literally left me on the edge of my seat the entire read and all of the plot twists were exceptionally done. Reader beware, it is a trilogy and the final book hasn’t been released yet!

3. Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

I have to admit that I was skeptical of this book at the start, and for good reason. A story of a girl and her friends trying to raise money for their marching band while dealing with small town life might sound like the biggest cliché ever, but somehow Emma Mills makes it work. Her characters are so fleshed out and real, and her settings are so unbelievably detailed that it is easy to imagine this book as your own life which makes all of its twists and turns that much more shocking to find out. Don’t judge this one by its cover!

4. Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

I’m not usually a mystery girl, in fact, I normally stay as far away from scary stories as I can. However, Two Can Keep A Secret drew me in from the first page and kept me guessing the entire time, even if none of my guesses ended up being correct. This story follows Ellery, who moves back to Echo Ridge - the town where her mom’s twin sister was killed - to live with her grandmother. After another murder puts the town on the map, Ellery sets out to find who was responsible, but the killer isn’t finished yet.

5. Love à La Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

This book is the perfect light summer read in my opinion! Taking place in Paris, the story follows Rosie and Henry - two teen chefs accepted into a prestigious French cooking academy. Competition is intense though, and the two attempt to figure out how to balance school, adventures, and their potential blossoming romance with mixed success. It’s perfect for fans of Chopped or The Great British Bake-Off, and the magical setting will make you want to hop on a flight ASAP. Pick up a copy and get ready to start craving dessert!

Happy reading!