Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Favorite Summer Reads and Recs

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 with 34 comments
Around these parts, we're kind of dying for summer. Not necessarily the heat of it because Jen's from the lovely state of Texas where Spring lasts two weeks and then the 100° days follow immediately. But both of our girls will be out of school -- both are going to be 1st graders in the fall, yay! -- and we can relax our routines a little bit, maybe fit in some more reads along the way.

And whether you're reading books about summer, vacation, or just reading books during summer, summer reads tend to be some of the most fun. Summer romances, road trips, beach settings...it doesn't get much better than that. So, we thought we'd collaborate to bring you a list of some of our favorite summer reads of all time.



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The Art of LaineyMy Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)The Summer I Became a Nerd

Jen: I just ADORED The Art of Lainey! It's such a cute summer read that has a lot more depth than you might expect. In fact, all three of my summer picks are similar in that respect. My Life Next Door is STILL one of my favorite contemporaries to this date. And I couldn't pass up a nerdy read like The Summer I Became a Nerd. Honestly, the genuineness of each of these novels is something I search for in every contemporary read.

April: I have not read any of these yet, though I do have My Life Next Door in my must read this summer pile. Like I will drop shit so I can get it done, because I've heard nothing but good things about it. I hope to get to the other two as well, but honestly, that probably won't happen. Not enough time in the day.

This is What Happy Looks LikeAlong For The RideOn the Fence

April:  I know This Is What Happy Looks Like wasn't liked as much by the public as her other book was, but as far as summer reads, I thought it was perfect. Along for the Ride was actually my very first Dessen book and I loved it. It just screams summer. I'm only a few percent into On The Fence. I had full intentions of getting it read while on our cruise last week, but time just did not allow. I can already tell I'm going to love it, so I couldn't not add it! :)

Jen: Along for the Ride was my first contemporary on audio, and I still consider it one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books, but I've only read four to date, so I'm sure that'll change eventually. :) I am still loving the quirkiness of Jennifer E. Smith's books and hope to get to her newest one soon. I only just started On the Fence, but I'm already in love with it. But that's nothing new...I've loved every Kasie West book so far.

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Open Road SummerAmy and Roger's Epic DetourHow My Summer Went Up in Flames

Jen: April and I read Open Road Summer together earlier this year, and it was love at first read. This book is THE perfect summer read: romance, friendship, music, a road trip. It's got it all. Of course, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour comes in a close second for me. I haven't read as many road trip books as I would have liked, but this will always be a favorite. How My Summer Went Up in Flames wasn't the story I was expecting, but it was still so fun...and I LOVE that girl's shoes on the cover! =)

April: Yes!!! Open Road Summer is perfect! I've not read the other two, I plan on trying Amy & Roger's Epic Detour on audio soon though. Soon means like hopefully before fall. lol. I think our pitiful collection of road trip recommendations means we need to read some more from this category.

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The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . . #2)Nantucket Blue (Nantucket, #1)Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)

April: The Summer series by Jenny Han is absolutely amazing. It has everything you could ever want in a YA contemporary. I will pimp those books till I die. I just finished Wish You Were Italian while on vacation last week and it was so cute. Nantucket Blue, I read that one last year, Nantucket Red is soon on my to read list.

Jen: I haven't read the Summer series by Jenny Han yet, but it's in the works thanks to my wonderful co-blogger gifting it to me for my birthday. :D Wish You Were Italian was absolutely adorable, and it made me crave gelato like no other book before it. There's a pint of vanilla bean in my freezer right now because of it. :P The Nantucket books were fun but also a touch sad, but overall I really like how this duology played out.

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Jen's TBR

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy: The Summer I Turned Pretty; It's Not Summer Without You; We'll Always Have SummerWhat I Thought Was TrueSince You've Been GoneBroken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1)A Midsummer's Nightmare
Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2)From What I Remember...In HonorSecond Chance SummerUnbreak My Heart

Ha, this is a very ambitious summer TBR pile, but if the audio's available from my library for any of these, that would make this a lot easier. I actually own quite a few of these already, so that won't be a problem. It's just a matter of making this summer about reading what *I* want to read rather than what I feel like I should be reading, i.e. review copies. *le sigh*

April's TBR

Second Chance SummerSince You've Been GoneMy Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)
What I Thought Was TrueNantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)How To Fall

LoL, I am not nearly as optimistic as Jen is, though I see Unbreak My Heart and that should be on my list as well. I've been wanting to get to that one. I have full faith that Jen can read all those summer books. I will have to enforce it. Review books are great, but you gotta take time to read what you buy as well. I don't know how it is for everyone else, but I don't read as much in the summer. I tend to get distracted by all the outdoor things to do. So I need to break up my review books with books I've been dying to get my hands on. Maybe Jen and I should challenge ourselves to read at least 5 of these summer books from our lists. Then post about how badly we failed when fall comes. lol







What books are on your summer TBR list? Plan on reading any of the ones we have listed here? Have any recs for us? :D



34 comments:

  1. I love your recs and your to-read lists!! From What I Remember... is the perfect summer book. It's funny and cute and road-trippy. What I Thought Was True is DEFINITELY on my summer TBR!! So is Since You've Been Gone. I also totally recommend My Life Next Door. That's one of my all time favs!

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    1. I've had From What I Remember on my shelf since it came out, but it's so large! I keep promising myself I'll get to it. I'm glad you loved it...puts the pressure on me to follow through. :) And, yes, My Life Next Door is SO good...I'll make sure April gets to that one ASAP.

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    2. I really need to try From What I Remember! And I can'not freaking wait to read My Life Next Door and What I thought was True. My friend Jess and I are going to buddy read them back to back as soon as she gets settled in with her new baby girl. :)

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  2. ALL THOSE FLUFFY READS THAT I WANT TO READ. I own a couple of them too, so I might want to pick them up and read them. Your TBR's look amazing and I hope you enjoy them! The books that are on my summer TBR. I'm not sure. I have first 3 Dutch literatures to read so if I'm done with those, I can start thinking about books on my TBR. I have some Summer reads on my shelves, so they will definitely be read!

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    1. Right? I have so many others on my Summer TBR, but these are the summery fun ones that I MUST make time for. I hope you make time to get to some of your summer reads, too!

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    2. I'm with Jen, these are only the fun summery ones on my list. I have many others I have to read too, so hopefully we'll both get some of these in along with our review books. :)

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  3. My Life Next Door is the best book I've ever read! I loved it so much. I can't wait for What I Thought Was True. How My Summer Went Up In Flames was such a good book too! Awesome list!

    Emily@Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

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    1. MLND is pretty awesome...might have to re-read it again! :D Or just get to What I Thought Was True so I can experience that awesome writing again. :) Hope you get to read some summer books!

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    2. Oh my gosh, everyone is making me soo freaking excited for My Life Next Door. Soon soon!!! :)

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  4. Great post! I am having some issues with Lainey and have paused that one for now. My Life Next Door is a favorite. Most Sarah Dessen books are perfect summer reads.
    Can't wait for summer to start!

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    1. Oh, I hope you end up picking Lainey back up...it was such an unexpectedly awesome read. I was so afraid it was going to be more like Shut Out by Kody Keplinger, but it was so much better.

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    2. Dessen is awesome for summer reads. I've been listening to the audio books lately, really putting me in the mood for summer! We have barely any freaking leaves yet up on the mountain where I live so I'm just living in my books. lol

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  5. I haven't read any of these. I think the very last Summery Contemporary I've read was The Notebook several years ago.....I really should try and read some this year though. Take a break from all the Dystopians and Horror. Maybe read by a poolside as well. Ah, I can almost feel the sun now.

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    1. Huh, I've never actually read a Nicholas Sparks book. I've tried not to watch any of the movie adaptations, either, but I was sick one day and caught The Notebook. It wasn't as bad as I expected, I guess. :P I'm rather liking all the contemporaries I've picked up lately. I definitely needed a break from dystopians, but I'm still on board with all the fantasy. :)

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  6. This post is beautiful. Excuse me, while I immediately drive to the beach. ;)

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    1. I know, right? I need some beach time, STAT. And all of the summer reads I can carry! :D

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    2. Isn't it!!! I was drooling over it while Jen was setting it up. The gifs and the graphics.. Ahhh I can't wait for summer! :)

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  7. That looks like a great list of books to get you in the summer groove. I haven't read even one of these! (But then I'm not a big contemp reader)

    I think a road trip book sounds fun - I'll check out the ones you listed in that theme. Thanks for the recs.

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    1. Until the last year or so, I rarely read contemps either, but I'm kind of addicted now. They're just good palate-cleansers after lengthy fantasy novels. And they're kind of fun for the most part. :)

      I feel like I've read more road trip books than we listed here, but I couldn't think of anymore as we were working on the post. But I've got plenty on my Summer TBR.

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    2. lol I remember when Jen was the same, I had started reading the contemps a bit before her and she was wary, but now she can't put them down. :)

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  8. I LOVE summer reads! I've loved so many of these and most of the rest are on my TBR. Especially now that it is sunny I'm really feeling a fun light romance! I just read Second Chance Summer and loved it although I cried like a baby at the end. I also just got Since You've Been Gone and had them both signed so I'm hoping to read it soon. Loved My Life Next Door and have What I Thought Was True to read. On The Fence was amazing! My perfect read. I haven't read any Sarah Dessen yet but I have tons of them. My friend loves them so I got them to read but haven't had a chance yet.

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    1. I am LOVING On the Fence, and I'm only about 20% in. It is definitely going to be a favorite. And, man, you've been hitting up those signings, haven't you? I'd love to have Morgan Matson's books signed. Here's hoping you get to read a ton of summer books soon! :)

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    2. I"m really looking forward to Second Chance Summer. I keep putting it off though because of the tears I know will come, but it takes place right where I live, so I have been curious about it. Plus so many people say it's great.

      And yes!! Try Sarah Dessen!! So far I have loved every one I've listened too. Especially Just Listen and Lock and Key

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  9. The Summer I Turned Pretty! Yes yes yes. Okay, so I've only read the first book, but it was so good! That book definitely defines what is a perfect summer read! I've yet to read a Huntley Fitzpatrick book, but I'm DYING to. Great recommendations, ladies!

    -Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping to get through the whole Jenny Han series really soon since April bought them for me. They're kind of a top priority, especially since so many think it's the epitome of summer books. And you really need to read My Life Next Door...such a great summer book and so real. Happy summer reading!

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    2. ooh You should read the last two. I just adore that series so much. I cannot wait for Jen to read it. :) And she cant wait for me to read My Life Next Door. lol

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  10. What a FUN post! Summer is absolutely my favorite season, and there's nothing like the "perfect summer read" (better than the little black dress, am I right?). There's something about summer romances - it brings out the nostalgia feeling unlike anything else.

    You list some pretty wonderful books - What I Thought Was True, My Life Next Door, and The Summer I Became a Nerd are all books I've loved. I'm really looking forward to reading On the Fence, The Art of Lainey, Since You've Been Gone, and Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour. :)

    Golden by Jessi Kirby is a great road trip book if you haven't already read it, and I highly recommend Wanderlove for traveling. :)

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  11. Thank you for putting this together, ladies! I've only read one of these so I have a whole pile to look forward to.

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  12. I definitely don't need help in my gelato cravings, buuuut, totally want to try Wish You Were Italian! I'm jealous of you all soaking up summer. *simmers in winter-ness* BUT I WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU. And I'll read summery books until I get it back. ;) Haha!

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  13. So many I still need to read.

    All things Dessen are good & most Echols books. Elizabeth Scott's Stealing Heaven is good.

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  14. Thanks for the list! My Life Next Door is my favorite summer read and I really enjoyed Nantucket Blue! I'm reading What I Thought Was True now and liking it so far. It hasn't hooked me yet like her first book but love the writing style and details for all character especially the extras.

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