Summer Reading List 2024

I’ve already read so many books this year that would be perfect for summer reading lists. These are the kind of books that you start reading and don’t want to put down; the kind of books that are perfect for reading by the beach, or the pool, or out on a patio somewhere. All of these are recent or upcoming releases that are the epitome of summer reading to me!

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Of course, I had to include a book with “summer” in the title! Justin and Emma both have the same “curse” – every time they break up with someone, their ex goes on to find their soulmate. When the two connect over a Reddit thread, of all things, they start chatting, and decide the solution to their problem is simple – they need to date each other, break up, and then they’ll be free to find their own soulmates. And what starts as a joke ends with Emma changing her travel nurse plans to go work in Minnesota, so she and Justin can put her plan into action. While they claim they’re dating to put an end to their curses, Justin forgets about that after their first date, pretty much. But Emma has a lot of baggage and trauma in her past, and isn’t necessarily read to commit to anything the way that Justin is. There’s a lot of heaviness in this book, but I love the balance of romance and real.

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Emily Henry is, in my opinion, the queen of summer reading. Her newest book centers around Daphne, who unexpectedly finds herself living with a new roommate, Miles, after her fiance and his girlfriend leave them to be together. They both are living separate lives within the apartment until they each receive a wedding invitation to their exes upcoming wedding, get outrageously drunk together, and Daphne RSVPs yes to the wedding… saying that she’s going with Miles, who she’s now together with. Fake dating (or really, “fake” dating) ensues, as Daphne and Miles start to slowly warm up to each other and Daphne starts to build connections in a town where her whole community had been connected to her ex. As always, my favorite thing about Emily Henry’s stories is that there’s a lot of real-life things in the plot – struggles and baggage – separate from the romance – Funny Story delves into how much we’re shaped by trauma and our past.

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren (which is actually a duo, not one person!) is another author who writes incredible cute romcoms. And The Paradise Problem is set on a super bougie private island, which makes it perfect for summer reading. Anna and West got legally married in name only to give them access to housing at UCLA that they couldn’t otherwise afford, then quickly went their separate ways. Anna is an artist who just got fired from her job at a corner store, whereas West is one of the heirs of a family who owns a large chain of grocery stores. Anna is surprised, to put it mildly, to find West at her door, reminding her that they’re technically still married and asking her to come with him – as his wife – to his sister’s wedding before they divorce for real, all so he’s able to access his trust fund and do the work he really wants to do. Anna is quickly thrown into a world she couldn’t have ever imagined – in ways both good and bad – and starts to get to know West for real for the first time since she’s known him, and she finds out maybe being his wife would be a nice thing after all.

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

I am basically making this book my entire personality this summer; I loved it that much. I’m convincing all my friends to read it too, so please count yourselves among that group! It’s set on Price Edward Island, where Lucy goes to meet her friend Bridget one fateful summer. But before Bridget arrives, Lucy meets Bridget’s brother Felix… except she doesn’t know that this mystery man is her best friend’s brother. After sharing a night together, the two realize their connection to Bridget, and promise to never repeat that night. But both of them keep finding it very hard to keep their promise! This book is full of Anne of Green Gables references, and those books meant so much to me when I was younger (and honestly, they still do today!). Reading it brought me back to the magic of Anne and Avonlea in a new way, and I loved it so much. Pour yourself a glass of vinho verde to enjoy while you read.

Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

(This will be out on June 4.) Annabel Monaghan is another author who writes incredible books to read during summer. I love that the characters she writes about are real, and messy, and have their own history to deal with. Ali is recently divorced, has been living in sweatpants, and is a professional organizer who feels like her life is an absolute mess. One day, though, she puts on “hard pants,” takes her dog to the dog park… and he proceeds to “mark” a handsome stranger there. Ali and the man start chatting, agree to go on a date, and she thinks maybe she has the perfect summer romance ahead of her. But of course, nothing is ever quite that simple or clear cut, especially when the stranger turns out to be NOT a stranger after all. I think this is my favorite of Annabel’s books so far, and love how the romance is intertwined with the rest of Ali’s life and story.

Such a Bad Influence by Olivia Muenter

This is the only book on my list that isn’t a romance, but it was so compelling that I didn’t want to put it down, which makes it a perfect summer book in my opinion. Evie is a super famous influencer who started as a child, when she went viral after her mom posted a bittersweet video of Evie that catapulted her into the public eye. Her sister, Hazel, stayed completely out of the family’s Instagram and online presence, and has always worried about Evie being so online. One day, in the middle of going live on Instagram, Evie abruptly cuts the video, and then just… disappears. Hazel is convinced that something terrible has happened, and drops everything in her life (which, admittedly, isn’t much) to try to hunt her sister down – and learns along the way that she doesn’t know her sister nearly as well as she thought she did. This book is such a fascinating, smart look on influencer culture, and the ENDING?! Incredible.

The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

(Thiss will be out on June 11.) You won’t be shocked based on the title to learn that this is a romcom, and I really loved it. Emma dreams of making it in screenwriting, but has been making a living by writing while also teaching at the local college, and being the primary caregiver for her dad after he was injured years earlier. But her agent calls her one day, offering her the opportunity to re-write a script for a rom com (her favorite!) with legendary screenwriter Charlie Yates… but she has to go to LA for six weeks for the job. It’s too good of an opportunity to pass up, so she pushes down her guilt and her anxiety as her sister agrees to move in to care for their dad, and off Emma goes. Except, when she arrives, she learns that Charlie has no idea she was coming and doesn’t really care about making the script, either – he just want to make it ok enough to move on. Eventually, he agrees to let Emma stay and work on the script, and Emma is determined to spend the next six weeks changing his mind about romcoms, and about love. The way this book covers both romantic love and familial love is really, really special.

How To End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang

Helen is a best-selling author whose book is about to be turned into a TV show, and Grant is one of the writers (and co-executive producers) on the show. But Helen and Grant also know each other from years earlier, when they went to high school together, and were connected by a tragic moment that affected both of them. Now years later, Helen is doing her best to be cool and indifferent to Grant, but finding it more and more impossible the more time they spend together. The two have to figure out if there might be a future for them, even with the hidden secrets in their past. This isn’t a light love story – the two main characters are tied together by a trauma – but it’s a very real, compelling story. I listened to this on audiobook and loved that there were different narrators for Helen and Grant.

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