Books to read this summer

With lab reports, essays and exams lurking around every corner, the last thing many of us want to do is go home and crack open an extremely long book. Who could be blamed? You have just spent an entire day memorizing facts and analyzing data. Nothing sounds less appealing than cracking open page one of Alexander Dumas’ thousand-paged novel, “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Even for those of us who have spent our lives forming connections with words on paper and imagining ourselves in worlds of fantasy, in the second semester of our junior year, we have decidedly been put into a slump. Fortunately, as we reach the final home stretch before days of sleeping till 11:00 a.m., the day in which reading becomes a reward draws steadily closer as well. Fortunately, many books are perfect to pull you out of your dismay and remind you that reading is truly a joy.


“Better than the Movies” by Lynn Painter

Whenever people first learn that I am a reader, the question, “What is your favorite book?” immediately follows. I often feel compelled to answer something academic and impressive, like Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and as much as I love that book, it is not the story I circle back to whenever I feel like smiling and blushing in the corner of my room at 2:00 a.m. That award would undoubtedly go to Lynn Painter’s “Better than the Movies.” And who couldn’t love hopeless romantic Liz Buxbaum’s story? Liz has spent the last several years head over heels for Micheal, a boy who moved away before she ever got a chance to talk to him. Now he is back, but to find an in, Liz must befriend her nemesis Wes Bennet, whom Micheal has unfortunately taken a liking to. Painter’s novel holds such a special place in my heart. It is quickly paced, full of lovable characters, very fun to read and one I lend out to my friends. I am thrilled that its sequel, “Nothing Like the Movies” is coming out Oct. 1. It gets 5/5 stars from me!


“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One of my favorite authors for summer reads is Taylor Jenkins Reid. Reid never fails to make a world with enticing plotlines and characters, which is what I find to be exactly what I need during the summer. A book by her that I cannot recommend enough is “Malibu Rising”. It follows the Riva family through alternate perspectives, focusing mainly on Nina Riva, and the family’s lives, jumping back and forth in timelines. The central plot point is what happened on the night of the Riva’s annual end-of-summer party in Aug. of 1983, and fills in the blanks as to why this was their last summer party, and how their house ended up being on fire. This book is always such a fun read for me because I love to look at the back of the book and look at all of the locations within the book, in comparison to the real-life Malibu that I grew up in.


“The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han is a classic summer read. Almost every person who has picked up a book for the beach has heard of and considered reading the series of ten romance novels. This is for good reasons. No matter how many times I read or reread these books, I never cease to feel the good vibes that flow from their pages. When tanning on the beach, that is the book you want to be reading. It is a light read, and an interesting one, something that is difficult to put down.


“Love & Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch

“Love & Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch follows 17-year-old Lina Emerson, as she is shipped off to Florence, Italy after her mother’s untimely death to spend the summer with a man she had never met until stepping off the plane: her father. “Love & Gelato” took me precisely one night to read, cover to cover. It is a fun, sweet and easy read filled with loveable characters, a beautiful setting and quick-paced plot. I particularly enjoyed the relationships formed between each character, as it is a perfect found-family trope, yet it still deals with the struggles that Lina goes through while attempting to fit into a new culture, yet at the same time mourning her mother. Additionally, there are many hidden aspects within the novel that surprised and delighted me. I went into “Love & Gelato” expecting it to be a sugary sweet young adult romance novel, and while it checked all of those boxes, it was also filled with mystery and heartbreak. “Love & Gelato” is a great book to read on vacation or by the pool, and I would highly recommend.

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