Rad Reads

10 amazing vacay (or stay-cay) reads for summer

Whether you're spending sunny days chilling in your backyard or hanging at the beach this summer, now is the perfect time to kick back with a riveting read. With so many amazing genres, one of them is sure to spark your interest. Check out these ideas for book inspo and dive in!

The childhood throwback

There are some books that *never* get old, no matter what age you are. The summer season is the ideal time to revisit these reads and take an idyllic trip down memory lane. Try Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin or the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Sometimes, you need a little bit of childhood comfort to remind you that everything is going to be okay.

The lesser-known classic

Everyone's heard of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery—and for good reason! These coming-of-age tales are much-loved classics that have been passed down for generations. But have you ever picked up Alcott's Eight Cousins or Montgomery's Emily of New Moon? These novels may be less popular, but they're still just as engaging and relatable as their more well-known counterparts.

The fast-paced rom-com

Summer is the perfect time to dream about getting swept off your feet by a swoon-worthy sweetie. Pick up a light, feel-good book that will feel like a breath of fresh air after a long year. Some irresistible romances we heart are I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo, Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon or P.S. I Like you by Kasie West. We're sure you'll fall in love from the first word.

The one to satisfy your wanderlust

After a year of being inside, we're def ready to go explore the world. While that trip overseas might have to wait a little longer, check out books set in your dream travel destinations. Athens, Venice, Tokyo, Paris—the options are endless! Not sure where to go first? Try Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin, Wanderlost by Jen Malone or Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean.

The one that's set in summer

No #FOMO here—now you can hit the beach just like your fave characters. Check out a much-loved friendship tale like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, a star-studded Cali story like Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson or a relatable summer job novel like Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian (that *might* just leave you craving ice cream). There's nothing like relaxing in the sun with a sweet smoothie, SPF (ofc) and a refreshing, summery read. 

The one you've had on your list for years

Now that school's out, there's no better time to catch up on those books you've *always* wanted to read. Whether you've had the Lord of the Rings series on your radar forever or hope to check out Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming, it'll feel great to finally cross it off your list. Plus, with a less-packed summer sched, you'll be able to dedicate more time to enjoying the book.

The action-packed fantasy one

Prepare for mystery, suspense and more with a fantastical fairytale or sci-fi saga. Try The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard or Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (which is now a Netflix series). These will definitely keep your attention all summer long by introducing you to new casts of characters and stunning settings.

The inspirational one about overcoming adversity

Reading about how others handle even the toughest situations can empower you to overcome challenges in your own life, too. Books like I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai, Wonder by R.J. Palacio and All-American Girl by Robin Ha are all moving and meaningful picks about young people who persisted even when times were dangerous, scary or difficult.

The historical page-turner

Reading novels set in other time periods is almost like time-traveling—except you don't have to leave your bed. Plus, they often feature sweet romance, amazing action and unique characters that you'll remember long after you're finished. Try Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, The Stars in April by Peggy Wirgau,The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky or The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee. Prepare to be fully immersed in worlds different than your own!

The one based on your fave movie

Everyone knows that romantic teen movies like To All The Boys I Loved Before were books first. But what about spin-off novels based on your fave flicks? Get ready to jump back into the lives of your #1 characters with Star Wars: The High Republic: Out of The Shadows by Justina Ireland, The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz or HSMTMTS: The Road Trip, also by Melissa de la Cruz (yes, TV shows definitely count too). We love *any* excuse to step into galaxies far, far away, the magical land of Auradon and the halls of East High.

Which book will you read first this summer? Tag us in your #bookstagram posts on Insta @girlslifemag

Top image: @humankindbookclub. All GIFs via GIPHY.


by Ariane Faro | 5/18/2021