Summer Reads

I like to read a great deal. But I should elaborate that I absolutely cannot stand poorly written or jargon-directed dialogue; I like rich vocabulary, thick story lines that tantalizes the reader and lurches you in the story, and fluid transitions. If it's too choppy or too easy to read, then I get bored with it far too easily. I like to submerged in the plot, as if I am third party observing its events. With summertime around the corner and burgeoning warm weather, it's a pure pleasure to sit outside, languidly placed under a tree, and read. Perhaps it's reminiscent of past times, but it's relaxing to sit and grow anxious in whatever story you're in. In the summer, believe it or not, I tend to gravitate towards summery themes--girl goes somewhere for the summer, girl visits old summertime locale and falls in love with a local boy, etc. Here are some good reads for under the hot, scorching sun.

1. Along for the Ride

This book has everything a young girl dreams of having in a summer: a blossoming romance with a handsome local boy, friendship with the girls in a small, seashore town, as well as uncovering your own identity while enjoying the vista. If there is a definition of a summer novel, this is it. Readers will not be disappointed.

2. The Great Gatsby
Granted, it's not set in the summer, but it's the roaring '20s. As well a man courting a married woman because he realizes he is deeply and ardently in love with her. Need I say more?

3. The Last Song
Okay, I admit, the film adaptation did not do this book justice, putting aside any animosity I harbour towards Miley Cyrus and focusing on the fact that she did not express in the inner angst or turmoil that Ronnie has. Or the fact that the character was about as shallow and insipid as Cyrus herself. However, the plotline, including her love with Will as well as her deep love for her father, shine in this beacon of a novel. In true quintessential Nicholas Sparks premise, it will break your heart and make you want to fall in love. Also, the backdrop of a small seaside town in Georgia makes you want to find yourself a nice Southern boy.

4. Faithful
Set in the turn of the century, it's about a young girl who is forced to relocate halfway across the country due to low income in high society where she falls in love with a dashing boy in Montana. It's a young girl's journey to discover who she really is and who she wants to be. A beautiful story beautifully written.

5. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series
These four (soon to be five!!) books are an excellent summer read because not only does it take place during the summer, but the interlocking plotlines surrounding each girl--Lena, Tibby, Brigit, or Carmen--makes you feel as though you are experiencing it with them. It will make you laugh, cry, and love all over again.

6. The Summer trilogy (The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's not Summer without You, and We'll Always have Summer)

Jenny Han captures a story in her own way. Following the life of Isabel, "Belly" is in love with two boys: two brothers of the name Conrad and Jeremiah. Over the period of four years (and three summers at a summer resort), she must choose with whom she wants to be with: Conrad, the first love and only real love, or Jeremiah, her best friend and love (albeit differently than that of his brother). Such an addicting read because we all want to fall in love with two alarmingly handsome boys and have them pine for you...(or perhaps it's just me). It's all about the decision of the heart: will it be who you're comfortable with, been surrounded with your whole life, and mesh well together or will it be the one you love, even if everyone is saying you should be with the other brother? When you love someone, you can't erase it. And in this story, it's evident.

7. Pride & Prejudice (Insight Edition)
Everyone has a guilty pleasure; mine is Pride and Prejudice. In this edition, there are tidbits on the side, offering movie insight, definitions and descriptions of life in 19th century England. It brings life and energy to a literary classic. Plus, who doesn't love the subtly sexy and brooding Mr. Darcy?

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