Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Picks for Beach Reads and My Summer Reading List

There have been a ton of fantastic "beach" reads this year and so many of them would be a great addition to your beach bag….it's hard to choose just one!  Here are my 2014 picks. If you are interested, check out my 2013, 2012 and 2011 picks.

If You Want a Book That Will Make You Smile:

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern is a delightful story and a feel-good read. Fans of Ahern will definitely want to pick up this heartwarming story about second chances and overcoming past mistakes.
To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han is a sweet story that focuses on first love, but it's so much more than that. It's a realistic story about finding your way in high school, learning to roll with the changes that come in life and essentially, facing life's problems head on. Plus, the family dynamic in this book is simply awesome. I loved it.
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan is a brilliant read. If you are a fan of John Green or Rainbow Rowell and you like your summer reads to be smart, funny, and well written, then check this book out.

If You Want a Summertime Mystery: 

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke is an emotional page turner.  With the secrets that unfold, the slow building romance and the exotic location, this novel makes for excellent summertime reading.
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - Although I didn't love this book as much as Matson's others, I still thought it was a fun summertime romp; plus, I enjoyed Emily's journey which required her to live outside of her comfort zone.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a haunting psychological thriller that is very well written and unique. If you like your beach reads to be a bit darker and mysterious, then pick up a copy of this one.

If You Want Delicious Drama:

The Heiresses by Sara Shepard - Is it a family curse or is someone actually out to get the Saybrook heiresses? Sara Shepard, the creator of Pretty Little Liars, gives us a deliciously entertaining adult read that's very Gossip Girl meets the Kennedys….let the drama ensue.

If You Want a Book That Captures Summertime Magic:

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a fresh breath of air in the young adult contemporary genre.  The characters are flawed, the situations are real, and the setting is the perfect beach town. Fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy this summertime romance.
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord - There's cute boys, best friends, country music, and an epic road trip. What more could you want in a beach read?
Nantucket Red by Leila Howland - If you haven't read Nantucket Blue and you love beach reads, then you must. This book is the follow-up and Howland knows how to capture summer life on an island as well as the uneasy time of transition that is the summer before college.

My Favorite Beach Reads From 2013:


A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams- This is my absolute favorite adult beach read of 2013. I loved the time period, the drama, and the beach community. This one is highly recommended.
All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue- This novel is one of my favorite 2013 beach reads of the year. It's about three girlfriends, deep-rooted secrets, and it takes place in Avalon, New Jersey…love it there!  The descriptions of Avalon are perfect and I felt like I was there.

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland - This book is so much more than just a light beach romance. The main character, faces some tough situations all the while trying to navigate through her grief, her issues with her family, her complicated romance, and put back together her friendship with BFF.   Plus, the setting of Nantucket was to-die-for.

My Favorite Beach Reads From 2012:

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson will tug at your heartstrings and have even those most stoic of reader's eyes brimming with tears; plus, it takes place at the Pocono Mountains, which is the perfect location for a summertime story.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzgerald- An adorable beach read about the cute boy next door and that one incredible summer = brilliant!
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter- This book would be perfect for vacation, especially if you are looking for a smart read. I consider it a "modern classic" and I highly recommend it. Oh, and did I mention part of it takes place on the coast of Italy? I mean, look at that cover! *swoon* 

My Favorite Beach Reads From 2011 and Older:


Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - A Dessen "classic" and a summertime read with substance. It's about that one summer that changes a person's life and there's a swoon-worthy male lead, too!
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen- Dessen knows how to capture the magic of summer and this is one of my favorites.  Dessen knows how to weave a coming of age tale that is both heartwarming and thought provoking. Plus, a beach read list wouldn't be complete without some Dessen novels!
Summer series by Jenny Han- There are three books in this series and if you know me, you know I'm obsessed.   As far as I'm concerned this series is the quintessential beach read and my all time favorite series. EVER. 
On the Island by Tracy Garvis-Graves- I highly recommend the juicy novel.  It deals with being stranded on an island and a whirlwind romance, which equates to beach read bliss. 
The Island by Elin Hilderbrand - This one is an absolute addicting tale about family along with an amazing setting….perfect for vacation!

And even though my "Summer Kickoff" feature is over, the fun doesn't end! You can plan on me reviewing the following books this summer, plus a few other novels I've been meaning to read.  If you want to learn more about these books, click the title and it will take you to its Goodreads page.

Young Adult/New Adult Novels:

1.  All Lined Up by Cora Carmack- Any book that could fill the void left by my beloved Friday Night Lights is a must read for me!
2.  Brazen by Katherine Longshore- I love her Tudor novels, so I can't wait to check out this book focusing on Mary Howard.
3.  Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana - I think the Back to the Future vibe of this book sounds like a lot of fun!
4.  On the Fence by Kasie West - This screams summertime romance, does it not?
5.  Magnolia by Kristi Cook- There's southern royalty, neighboring families since the Civil War and a romance…sign me up!
6.  Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita - It wouldn't be summer unless I read a book about summer camp!
7.  The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski - I didn't find the time to read this book when it came out, so I am excited to finally read this fantasy that many raved about.
8.  The One (Selection #3) by Kiera Cass- I can't wait to see how this series is going to end. It's my guilty pleasure. 
9.  Boys of Summer by C.J Duggan- I wanted to read this one last summer, but never got around to it. It seems like the perfect book to bring along to the beach or the pool with a cocktail.

Adult Novels:

1.  Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan- NYC during the Roaring Twenties? Yes, please.
2. The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin - I loved American Heiress, so I can't wait to check this one out. It's being described as the "true story of a nineteenth century Queen of Hearts and a cavalry captain, and the struggle between love and duty."
3.  Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore - It takes place in rural Ireland and is about a girl running away from it all….sounds like my kind of read!
4.  The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank- This book had me with the beachy cover and the South Carolina setting.
5.  Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky - Best friends vacationing at a coastal house in Maine makes for a great beach read.
6.  The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen - I meant to read this one last year, but never got to it, so I saved it for this summer. It's about college friends go on vacation to Jamaica…sounds right up my alley!

So, which books are you most excited to read this summer? Any books that you think I should add to my beach bag?  I hope you enjoyed my 4th annual Summer Kickoff. Keep your eye out for an international giveaway next week to officially end this feature.  Thank you for visiting! 


  1. Your summer lists are my faves! I bookmark them every year. I must check out The Best of Us - hadn't heard of that one before!

    1. Thanks, Leanna! :) That means a lot. I know, right?! I must read Best of Us this summer…maybe over vacation. It sounds like a good one. Thanks for visiting!

  2. This is a wonderful list! I just saved it on my comp so I can look at it again when I need to come up with a good beach read!

    1. Thank you so much, Christianna! I appreciate you checking it out. Thanks for visiting!

  3. What a fabulous list. I'm itching to hear more about Empire Girls.

    1. Thank you so much, Juju! I am excited to check that one out. I'll be sure to let you know. Thanks for visiting!

  4. This is a great list! All these books need to go in my summer to be read shelf. Thank you so much for the suggestions. The first author that comes to mind when I think of summer reads is Sarah Dessen. I'm glad you included some of her books on your list.

    1. Thanks very much, Brittany! :) Sarah Dessen is one of my faves! Thanks for visiting!

  5. Fantastic post! I've read a handful of these, and am so excited to read others. Yay for summer reading. Thanks for the fabulous list!

    1. I know, right?! After this winter, I am ready for summertime! Thanks for visiting, Natalie!

  6. So many wonderful books to pick from! Some of my favorites are Open Road Summer, To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Since You've Been Gone.

    I want to read Brazen, The One and Love and Other Foreign Words. I really liked The Winner's Curse and Empire Girls and I hope you enjoy them. If you haven't already read it, you might want to add That Summer by Lauren Willig to your list too and also Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews. If I hadn't already read an ARC that would definitely be on my summer reading list!

    1. I can't wait to read Winner's Curse and Empire Girls! I have The Summer on my TBR list…hopefully I can get to it. I love Willig! Save the Date does sound like a good one. I have a few Mary Kay Andrews novels on my TBR list….sounds like good summertime reads. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  7. Love the way you set up this post. You obviously are big on beach reads and know a lot of good recommendations.

    1. Thank you so much! Beach reads are my everything. :) Thanks for visiting, Erin!

  8. To All The Boys I've Loved Before is such a great story! And Dessen books are always fabulous for summer.

    I finished On the Fence recently, and it was really good! I hope you like it :)

    1. I hope to read On the Fence sooner than later, so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting, Lea!


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