Looking for books to add to your Summer Reading List? Here are 16 books that I’ve added to my 2016 Summer Book List. You will find a mix of romance, YA Lit, mysteries, and more!
One thing I have gotten away from this spring is reading, and I miss it terribly. The most “reading” I have done this spring is finishing up the Red Rising series on Audible – which is amazing!!! Red Rising is one of my all time favorite series now and definitely worth a read (or listen in my case). My goal is to take time for myself this summer though to sit down to this new list of books and actually read. I love my Audible account, especially for driving and for when I’m cooking or working on projects, but nothing beats an afternoon on the couch with a book in my hand.
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“Just because something isn’t meant to last a lifetime doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant to be.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: A breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life. In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure. On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness. That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?
Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Why It’s on the List: Because sometimes in life, you just want a romance novel to enjoy at the side of the pool.
In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch
Synopsis from Goodreads: (releasing July 1st) Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday. But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets.
Goodreads Rating: 3.92
Why It’s on the List: I enjoy books that deal with both the past and present, especially stories that bring people back together. We are now farther removed from college that it is fascinating to see which connections or which stories come back up when we’re reunited.
The Choices We Make by Karma Brown
Synopsis from Goodreads: (release July 12th) Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, but Hannah can’t help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls. She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah’s heartbreak is overwhelming until Kate not only offers to be Hannah’s surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so. Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart.
Goodreads Rating: 4.45
Why It’s on the List: I’ve had friends that struggle with fertility, friends that find themselves pregnant faster than they expected and even friends who do not see themselves having children. So seeing how friends navigate these issues together to be supportive speak to me. But truly, I think this title stood out to me the most because I am pregnant right now.
Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristen Woodson Harvey
“No matter how prepared you are that the moment is nigh, no matter how anticipatory you have been, there is never a moment where the realization that this it it, my life is changed forever, doesn’t come as a bit of a shock.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies. Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health. But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems.
Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Why It’s on the List: Titles that deal with generational stories will always appear on my list.
The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner
“That was the thing about weddings: they forced family members to deal with one another, like it or not.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: Meryl Becker is living a mother’s dream. The oldest of her three beautiful daughters, Meg, is engaged to a wonderful man from one of the country’s most prominent families. But when her two younger daughters, Amy and Jo, also become engaged to celebrated bachelors, Meryl has to admit that three weddings is more than she and her husband, Hugh, can realistically afford. But when Hugh loses his teaching job, and Meryl’s aging mother suddenly moves in with them, a triple wedding is the only way to get all three sisters down the aisle. When the grand plan becomes public, the onslaught of media attention adds to Meryl’s mounting pressure. In the weeks leading up to the nuptials, secrets are revealed, passions ignite, and surprising revelations show Meryl and her daughters the true meaning of love, marriage and family.
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
Why It’s on the List: This definitely sounds fun for summer outside! As one of 3 sisters with very different personalities, I can’t imagine the chaos that would result from trying to plan a triple wedding.
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
Synopsis from Goodreads: Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond. Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
Why It’s on the List: I enjoy Emily Giffin and like to support local authors, and she comes from a neighborhood by my house!
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
“Knowledge is often a responsibility nobody wants”
Synopsis from Goodreads: Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan. But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed. In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.
Goodreads Rating: 3.91
Why It’s on the List: ddd
I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around by Ann Wertz Garvin
Synopsis from Goodreads: Everything is falling apart in Tig Monahan’s life. Her mother’s memory is going (dementia), her boyfriend is gone (Hawaii), her absent sister shows up long enough to have a baby (and then leaves again, without the baby) and her job as a therapist has disappeared after a contentious couples’ therapy session goes horribly and honestly sideways. Oh, and then there’s the whole thing about the family secret that nobody saw coming. But Tig is a survivor (she hopes) who manages to stumble and step her way to a new job, new truths, new outlooks and a new lease on life.
Goodreads Rating: 4.47
Why It’s on the List: We all know family can be exhausting and bring us to the brink of crazy, and I guess I enjoy reading other people experience the same type of crazy! 😉
The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda
Synopsis from Goodreads: Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated facade of her life. Will and his wife are fine as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class). Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple’s second act together empty nesting is often actually the end.”
Goodreads Rating: 3.97
Why It’s on the List: Something I look for in books is compelling female stories because I feel like they are often missing from media. This empty nest stage of life definitely seems to be missing so far too, but has a big impact on a lot of real families. I’m interested to see what Rouda presents for these women.
The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell
Synopsis from Goodreads: Abi’s barely left her bed since Joseph, the love of her life, dumped her, saying they were incompatible. When Joseph leaves a box of her possessions on her doorstep, she finds a bucket list of ten things she never knew he wanted to do. What better way to win him back than by completing the list, and proving they’re a perfect match? But there’s just one problem – or rather, ten. Abi’s not exactly the outdoorsy type, and she’s absolutely terrified of heights – not ideal for a list that includes climbing a mountain, cycling around the Isle of Wight and, last but not least, abseiling down the tallest building in town …Completing the list is going to need all Abi’s courage – and a lot of help from her friends. But as she heals her broken heart one task at a time, the newly confident Abi might just have a surprise in store
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
Why It’s on the List: This seems like a unique take on a coming of age story where instead of a child growing up, we have a woman who finally comes out of her shell and takes on new challenges.
Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello
Synopsis from Goodreads: Lauren Scott lives in ‘The most romantic place in Britain’, but her love life is about as successful as her mountain climbing skills. The man she’s obsessed over for two years has proposed to someone else – and her only solution is to save up for six months to go travelling, so she never has to set eyes on him again. But when her friends sign her up for a dance class – in the same historic hotel where her beloved dad worked and her most precious childhood memories were formed – Lauren makes a horrifying discovery. It’s been sold to a faceless budget chain, which has depressing plans in store. Worse, the entrepreneur behind it all turns out to be in the very same salsa class they’ve signed up for….
Goodreads Rating: 4.16
Why It’s on the List: ddd
Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow
Synopsis from Goodreads: When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it’s time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realizes there’s an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbor Tom… But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, and the possibility of love, the discovery of a long-hidden diary, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream and blossoming relationship fall to pieces?
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
Why It’s on the List: Summer Reading Lists are meant for easy, romance stories like this one because no one wants to be too serious reading in the sun poolside. Serious books are for cold nights in the summer and fall.
Last Dance in Havana by Rosanna Ley
Synopsis from Goodreads: Cuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he’s the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro’s army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana?
England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother’s untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulder to cry on – Grace’s career is in flux, she isn’t sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she’s begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo, a Cuban born magician.
Goodreads Rating: 4.19
Why It’s on the List: So yes, this also made it on the list for the generational stories. I also love that it seems to be a mother-daughter story which I think I’m ready to take on after losing my own mother this spring.
The Last Star by Rick Yancey
“We bear the unbearable. We endure the unendurable. We do what must be done until we ourselves are undone.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us. But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves. In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.
Goodreads Rating: 3.82
Why It’s on the List: This is the first story I am tackling so far on this list, and while I am not fully loving it as much as the first two, I am still compelled by the story and human dynamics. Plus, how can I not finish out the series which I have overall enjoyed?
America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
“Sons of a revolution fight for liberty. They give blood, flesh, limbs, their very lives. But daughters . . . we sacrifice our eternal souls.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
Goodreads Rating: 4.26
Why It’s on the List: I love historical fiction, especially stories that focus on the female perspective which is often missing from history. I also feel like American historical fiction is often lacking so I’m excited to see where this story goes.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?”
Synopsis from Goodreads: A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
Why It’s on the List: I always add at least one book onto my list based on recommendations from my blogger best friend Rebecca at Sugar & Soul, and this one definitely caught my attention!
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so many wonderful picks featured!
Kaira Rouda says
Thank you so much for including THE GOODBYE YEAR in your summer reading list! It’s a wonderful roundup! Happy summer!
Kristy Woodson Harvey says
Thank you so much for inckuding Lies and Ofher Acts of Love! I am so flattered to be a part of the list!! xo Kristy