Top 5 Summer Reads

There’s nothing like going down to the beach on a nice hot day and reading a book. Call it “summer flings”, or “beach reads”. No matter where you are, at your community pool or just sitting in your backyard getting your tan on, a good book can make your brain feel like it’s on a vacation. 

Some new and upcoming books are arriving just before summer break. No matter what your summer reading style, you’re bound to find something you love. Here are my top 5 summer reads: 


1. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

This book was published January 12, 2022.  The small-town romance between grumpy Knox and cheerful Naomi will have you rooting for their happy ending even if Naomi’s evil twin is not. Knox Morgan doesn’t tolerate drama, especially in the form of a standard runaway bride. Naomi Witt is on the run. Not just from her fiancé and a church full of well-wishes, but from her entire life. Although if you ask her, Naomi’s riding to the rescue of her estranged hot mess of a twin, Tina, to Knockmout, a rough-around-the-edges town where disputes are settled the old-fashioned way… with fist and beers. Usually in that order.  To badger Naomi, her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves behind something unexpected: the niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now she’s a guardian to an eleven-year-old-going-on-thirty with no car, no money, and no plan.  There’s a reason this bearded, bad-boy barber doesn’t get involved with high-maintenance women, especially not Type-A romantic ones. But since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least Knox can do is help her out of her jam. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble, he can leave her alone and get back to his quiet, solitary life.  At least that’s the plan. 

2. Happy Place by Emily Henry

Published: April 23, 2023. A couple who broke up months ago pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in the glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York bestselling author.  Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college- they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, and lobster and rolls. Except, now-for reasons they’re still not discussing-they don’t.  They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.   Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood: and soak up the people who understand them most.  Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale, and this is the last week, they’ll all be together in the place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid- back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week… in front of those who know you best? 

3. Icebreaker by Hannah Grace

Published: November 22, 2022, He’s the one thing she couldn’t plan for. Anastasia Allen has worked her entire life for a short time at Team USA. It looks like everything is going according to plan when she gets a full scholarship to University of California, Maple Hills, and lands a place on their competitive figure skating team. Nothing will stand in her way, not even the captain of the hockey team, Nate Hawkins.  Nate’s focus as team captain is on keeping his team on the ice. Which is tricky when a facilities mishap means they are forced to share a rink with the figure skating team-including Anastasia, who clearly can’t stand him.  But when Anastasia’s skating partner faces an uncertain future, she may have to look to Nate to take her shot.  Sparks fly, but Anastasia isn’t worried… because she could never be like a hockey player, right? 

4. The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Published: 2009  When each summer begins, Belly leaves her school life behind and escapes to Cousins Beach, the place she has spent every summer of her life. Not only does the beach house mean home away from home, but her favorite people are there; Susannah, her mother’s best friend, and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has been chasing Conrad for as long as she can remember, and more than anything, she hopes this summer will be different. Despite distractions from a new guy named Cam and lingering looks from Conrad’s brother, Jeremiah, Belly’s heart belongs to Conrad. Will he offer his to her? Will this be the summer that changes everything? 

5. Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter                                                                      

Published: May 4, 2021, Liz Buxbaum has always known that Wes Bennett was not boyfriend material. You would think that her next-door neighbor would be a prime candidate for her romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only proven himself to be a pain in the butt, ever since they were little. Wes was the kid who put a frog in her Barbie Dreamhouse, the master who hid a lawn gnome’s severed head in her little homemade neighborhood book exchange.   Flash forward ten years from the Great Gnome Decapitation. It is Liz’s senior year, a time meant to be rife with milestones perfect for any big screen, and she needs Wes’s help. See, Liz’s forever crush, Michael, has just moved back to town, and -horribly, annoyingly- he’s hitting it off with Wes. Meaning that if Liz wants Michael to finally notice her, and hopefully to be her prom date, she needs Wes. He’s her in.  But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love- and rethink her own perception of what Happily Ever After should look like.