25 Summer Beach Reads

By Kelley Boymer
7 Jun 2022

I don’t know if there is anything I love more than reading (including reading book reviews). It’s like when you spend an hour watching previews and then go to bed without having ever watched a movie. It’s so fun to see the potential in each story and get a taste of the characters and plot lines. With summer in full swing and all the sand, sun and ocean vibes ahead, what better time to pick some good beach reads? Whether you are into steamy-romance, juicy-dramas, humorous-lightheartedness or suspenseful-mystery, I’ve picked a little bit of something for everyone. Today, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites and some on my wish list for this summer (plus crowd-sourced recommendations from all of you!). Do you have a favorite beach read or one on your wish list for this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

25 Summer Beach Reads

My Favorites

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

I just finished The Paris Apartment and it was another favorite suspense, murder mystery. With twists and turns at every corner. Jess shows up after being down and out on her luck to crash with her brother in his new pad in Paris. Upon arrival Jess discovers her brother is missing. And she must take it upon herself to figure out what happened. As she begins to question the people in his building, the lies and secrets unfold and suddenly Jess’ own life is at stake.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

So I must admit, I was a bit embarrassed when I found out Verity was a young adult book… I had just read it in 24 hours and was raving about it to all my friends. But, I will vouch that young adult or not, Verity is incredibly steamy, suspenseful and the perfect page-turning beach read. If you are into murder mystery, romance and twists and turns, then Verity is exactly what you need for your next vacation read! Verity Crawford is a famous author injured and unable to complete her book series, her husband, Jeremy hires an author, Lowen, to come stay with them while finishing the series for his wife. Things quickly get weird as a budding romance begins between Jeremy and Lowen. And Lowen begins to suspect something is not right with Verity. This was a fun, quick read that you will fly through!

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Reid is my all-time favorite author and I couldn’t wait for the release of her newest book, Malibu Rising this past winter. Set in Malibu, California, Malibu Rising tells the story of an epic party hosted by a famous family full of a juicy past, present secrets and an unknown future. As the night unfolds, so do the secrets that each family member has kept and their future as a tight knit family is threatened. You will love this page-turner set overlooking the infamous Malibu beach, your perfect beach escape.

Big Summer By Jennifer Weiner

In Big Summer, instagram influencer, Daphne Berg is shockingly asked by her ex-best friend to be her maid-of-honor. After a devastating fight and 6 years without communication, Daphne is challenged to decide and navigate this reconciliation. Addressing issues like body image, female friendships, social media and unfair cultural expectations put on females this story begins as a friendship novel and transforms into romance and finally mystery and suspense. You won’t want to miss the ending!

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Set at a summer beach house, what better juicy summer read than The Paper Palace. The Paper Palace is a forbidden romance that is both sexy and sultry and heartbreaking all at once. It tells the story of a “happily” married mother and the rekindling of a childhood romance that was never explored. Elle must decide whether she should continue her life with her husband and children. Or risk losing everything for her best friend. This story made me feel guilty, aroused, perplexed and completely entwined in Elle’s love triangle and the secret that changed her life forever. Warning: this story includes details of sexual abuse.

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was my first and favorite Taylor Jenkins Reid read. Reid’s point-of-view writing style is my absolute favorite, switching between different character perspectives and keeping you engaged and on your toes. Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, tells the story of fictional Hollywood star, Evelyn Hugo, through her interview with journalist Monique Grant. Reader’s experience Hugo’s life unfold through both Grants perspective as well as Hugo’s own flashbacks. This historical fiction tale is both romantic, suspenseful and “twisty and turny” as Evelyn’s story unfolds and intertwines with those around her.

Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing is one of those books that I wish I could reread for the first time a million times over. It’s just so good. The imagery, characters, plot. It is all-consuming and page-turning in that heart-wrenching, suspenseful, poignant way. If you haven’t read Where the Crawdads Sing yet, put it at the top of your list. And I will live vicariously through your first time experience with this beloved book. Set in North Carolina, Where the Crawdad’s Sing, tells the story of a girl who after a tumultuous early childhood, raises herself amongst the deep marshes of the south. She grows up and falls in love, twice. But things go awry and she must save herself once more. The movie is actually coming out this summer, produced by Reese Witherspoon. And starring Daisy Edgar Jones (Normal People) who is perfectly matched as Kya. I can’t wait!

Finding Freedom By Erin French

This autobiography reads like a fictional page-turner because French’s story is so tragic, yet honest, humorous and inspiring all at the same time. You root for French the whole way and cringe at every mishap. Erin French is the chef and owner of The Lost Kitchen, a TIME world dining destination. And critically acclaimed restaurant in the small town of Freedom, Maine. In Finding Freedom, Erin French tells her story of growing up in Freedom. Living on a farm and working at her families diner from a young age. French shares her struggles with young motherhood, addiction and abuse. And how her dream of providing love and solitude through food helped her overcome it all.

On My Wish List This Summer

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

Reading the book blurb for This Time Tomorrow already makes my heart soften and tears well up a bit. It tells the story of Alice, who on the eve of her 40th birthday feels things are going pretty well in her life, despite her father’s condition worsening. She awakens the next morning transported back to her 16th year. And with a new perspective is able to re-examine her relationship with her father and the choices she made. Described as “poignant”, “delightful” and “exceptional” this would make a lovely beach read for those looking to laugh, cry and everything in between.

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor

Beautiful Little Fools was recommended by a friend who described it as a female take on The Great Gatsby during the highly romanticized jazz age. Taking place in the buildup to the tragic events in 1922, this story weaves together the perspective of three women who all face devastating consequences due to Gatsby’s romantic obsessions.

The Bookshop in the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Taking place in the Scottish countryside, The Bookshop in the Corner is a fun-loving series for all book lovers. It tells the story of Nina, a librarian turned bookmobile. Who travels the Scottish countryside sharing stories with everyone she meets. Along the way she begins to share and create her own stories with those she crosses paths with. This story seems charming, sweet and a perfect light read for a sunny day on the beach. And it’s a series. So you could enjoy the gift that keeps on giving all summer long!

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

A family tragedy leaves Patrick, the children’s gay uncle, with his niece and nephew for the summer. Patrick quickly learns the true responsibility of parenting. And the effect this humbling experience has on his own life. Described as a “funny and heartwarming beach read” and “A moving, feel-good summer escape” The Guncle seems like a no brainer for your next beach adventure.

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

Weiner has been named by the NYT as “the undisputed boss of the beach read” and her newest release, The Summer Place, does not look like it will disappoint. In The Summer Place, Weiner uses her personal love for the outer cape to tell the tale of a family struggling through backlash from the pandemic and trying to return to “normal”. Described by USA Today, “The Summer Place is so good, it will be on every beach this summer. [It] gets at the core of just how life’s twists and turns, choices and moments can consume us – and how beautiful that entanglement can be, despite the hardships…with its Cape Cod setting that evokes seashells, cool water, melting ice cream and summer bliss, it’s sure to be the must-have beach bag item this year.”

More on My Wish List & Reader Favorites

What are you reading this summer? Let us know in the comments!

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11 Comments

  1. Caitlin wrote:

    Love this post! Always into a good book/podcast/article round up – Recently read the Court of Thorns and Roses series which is a bit more fantasy but was super fun and easy to breeze through!

    6.7.22 | Reply
    • Thanks, Caitlin! Court of Thorns and Roses sounds fun I will have to check it out! Happy summer reading 🙂

      6.7.22 | Reply
  2. Lauren wrote:

    I love Elin Hilderbrand books in the summer (28 summers was a recent favorite of mine). Also looking forward to reading Crying in the Hmart, as it’s been on my library loan list for a while!

    6.8.22 | Reply
    • I also love Elin Hilderbrand! Such classic summer beachy reads. I haven’t heard of Crying in the Hmart. I will check it out! Thanks for sharing 🙂

      7.18.22 | Reply
  3. Sue wrote:

    I just finished summer island which was so good! Explores mothers and daughters and first love.

    6.10.22 | Reply
    • Oh great rec! I love Kristen Hannah and have been wondering about this one. I will add it to my list. Thanks for sharing, Sue!

      7.18.22 | Reply
  4. io games wrote:

    KENDALL REID is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 books. Her stories are filled with romance, adventure, mystery, and a whole lot of love.

    6.18.22 | Reply
  5. nerdle wrote:

    Summer is an ideal time to dig into a good book. But what should you read? The season is famous for its beach reads, but there are other options too.

    7.15.22 | Reply
    • Yes, it is fun to switch it up between beach reads. Thanks for the reminder! So many options it is hard to choose!

      7.18.22 | Reply
  6. Over 20 of KENDALL REID’s books have been New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. Her stories are chock full of love, adventure, mystery, and romance.

    3.7.23 | Reply

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