Summer is here! But as you pack your clothes, choose a destination and book your flight, have you thought of which book to bring in your summer getaway? Enjoying the seaside, the warmth of the sun and the peaceful sound of the waves could also be enjoyed as you leaf through the pages.
Choose your poison:
#9, The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
“Moments, when lost, can’t be found again. They’re just gone.”
Belly is your resident summer-girl-next-door. Summer is where her life revolves, disregarding the rest of the other seasons. Annually, she visits Cousin’s Beach with her mother and older brother Steven, to spend time with her mother’s best friend Aunt Susannah and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremaiah. Once she turns sixteen, things started to change for Belly as she makes the shift from a girl to a young woman.
As Belly blooms, she is faced with the challenge of having to choose between the two brothers: Conrad, her eternal first love, and Jeremiah, the man she was set to marry.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is regarded as a beach favorite by many teen girls like Belly and is followed by two sequels, It’s Not Summer Without You and We’ll Always Have Summer.
#8, Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
“You may be slow to warm up, but once you do, you light up the whole room.”
Like France, hopeless romantics go to Italy for love. Love and Gelato is a story of drama, adventure and romance that will have you exhibit an unhealthy craving for gelato.
Lina’s mother has passed. As her mother’s last wish, Lina went to Tuscany, Italy to meet her estranged father. She was given her mother’s journal, one that she kept to track her journey in Tuscany in her prime years. Following the details of her mother’s diaries, Lina unintentionally discovers a fascinating world of hidden romances, bakeries faded to obscurity and breathtaking views of Italy.
All along her Italian travels as told by the youthful memories of her mother, she would also piece together the answers to her parents’ past that will change everything, especially herself.
#7, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
“Only the dead stay seventeen forever.”
A story about coming of age, romance and sex, Norwegian Wood is one of critically acclaimed author Haruki Murakami’s few leisure reads that features his more grounded writing.
Toru Watanabe recalls his past in the 1960s upon hearing Norwegian Wood by The Beatles. He started his recollection with his best friend Kizuki and his then-girlfriend Naoko, both of whom were Toru’s best friends in high school. Toru and Naoko would change for the rest of their lives when Kizuki commits suicide on his 17th birthday.
As a college student living in Tokyo, Toru meets and develops relationships with a few people — Nagasawa, whose friendship is bonded over a mutual praise of The Great Gatsby; Reiko, a prolific musician and Naoko’s roommate at the mountain in Kyoto; and Midori, Toru’s quirky and outgoing classmate that everything Naoko is not.
#6, November 9 by Colleen Hoover
“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”
November 9 follows Ben and Fallon as they meet in an untimely fashion, and soon find themselves immersed in a mutual attraction that eventually leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in Los Angeles together. After that fateful day, Fallon becomes preoccupied with the string of significant events in her life while Ben begins to seek her color and liveliness (read: Fallon is his muse for his upcoming novel) so they continue to meet on the same date every year.
They fall for each other and want very much to stay together until one day Fallon discovers Ben’s writings that will stain the perfection of their realities.
#5, A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
“Love. Really, it’s responsible for the most vulgar excesses.”
Set in the 1930s, Lily Dane and her family went to their annual trip to Rhodes Island to enjoy the seaside. During the trip, she unexpectedly bumps into the lives of Budgie Byrne, her ex-best friend and Nick Greenwald, her ex-fiance, who recently got married.
Drama ensues as Nick and Lily’s feelings for each other remain unresolved alongside with the truth about Nick and Budgie’s marriage surfaces. How are they all supposed to deal with their past?
- #4, Panic by Lauren Oliver
“But maybe you carried your demons with you everywhere, the way you carried your shadow.”
Panic may be compared to The Hunger Games due to its synopsis when the book is anything but. Panic is a contemporary romance that tugs at the heartstrings; ‘tis one’s for keeps as it talks about courage, friendship and love in risky situations.
The story is set in Carp, New York, a dead-end town residing in the middle of nowhere. A tiny population of 12,000, Carp’s townsfolk, namely teens Heather Nill and Dodge Mason, look for a way out of their dystopia by playing the legendary game of Panic. The rules are simple: win all the games until the end and in turn, you get to bring home a large sum of money.
Panic is a test of fearlessness — for Heather, the cash prize is a means to get her family out of poverty, while Dodge is playing for revenge with a well-kept secret that would give way to his victory.
Panic is an attention-grabbing standalone novel that will keep you hooked on questioning who you want to win. If you want, you can take this as a teen survival guide for your own shot at a brighter future.
#3, The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
“Love is fragile. And we’re not always its best caretakers.”
Of course, who could even forget Nicholas Sparks’ novels? If you were to choose which of NS’s books to bring, and you’re the type who likes to stroll at the seaside while having senti thoughts, this is just the right book.
Veronica and her brother, Ronnie, goes to Wilmington, North Carolina to spend the summer with their father. Having been emotionally affected by her parent’s divorce, Veronica has since become estranged to him. During their stay, she meets a guy named Will. As Veronica and Will fall for each other, her relationship with her father grows with a promise of restoration, later on realizing that it was stupid of her to ignore and treat him badly.
It’s an unforgettable story demonstrating love in its deepest forms — first love and the love between parents and children — as told by none other than the master beach read writer Nicholas Sparks.
#2, The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
“When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.”
The Zahir is a tale of pilgrimage just like Coelho’s earlier work, The Alchemist. With references to expired traditions and mystic romances, Coelho explores themes of obsession in relationships, love and life.
“Zahir” is an Arabic term meaning “obvious” or “evident”. In Islamic countries, the titular word is used to describe “beings or things which have the terrible power to be unforgettable, and whose image eventually drives people mad.” In simpler context, zahir can be synonymous to an obsession.
The story revolves around an unnamed best-selling author is obsessed with wealth and fame. His excessive indulgences eventually led to his wife, Esther, leaving him. She becomes his zahir as he embarks on a spiritual journey to find her.
#1, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
“Life doesn’t have to be so planned. Just roll with it and let it happen.”
With a charming innocence and the rush of juvenile first love feels all over, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is every girl’s reminder of their past, youthful pinings and embarrassing experiences in love that you had … or better yet, will have!
Lara Jean writes love letters for the guys she had crushes on as well as a few that she had loved — love letters meant for her eyes only. They were long kept, sealed and hid under her bed. Until one day, these letters were unexpectedly mailed to their respective recipients only to confront Lara Jean about how they felt.
From the author who brought us The Summer Trilogy, To All the Boys… is another addictive chick lit for hopeless romantics that will leave you wanting more.