Summer Reading Recs: Based on What I Read in 2019 Edition

My ideal summer reads are usually books that are on the lighter and fluffier side. I do delve into some heavier or longer books, but I tend to save a lot of my romance and contemporary reading for the summer time – which happen to be two of my most read genres or most read genre when you’re talking contemporary romance. I plan on having a few summer reading recommendations posts available over the summer. 

This first recommendations list will be based on the books that I read last year. I tend to end the reviews of my most loved summer reads with something along the lines of “this book is the perfect summer read,” or “make sure you bring this book along to the pool or beach,” so I wanted to create a one-stop recommendations list for those! 

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon – There’s Something About Sweetie stole my heart last June. Sandhya Menon’s Dimpleverse books all take place during the summer. The sweet romances make their summertime mood even better. While I highly recommend that you check out 10 Things I Hate About Pinky when it hits shelves on July 21st, especially for its lakeside summer vibes, There’s Something About Sweetie is my personal favorite because Sweetie and Ashish are such a cute couple. 

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen – Whenever I think of perfect YA books for summer, Sarah Dessen immediately comes to my mind. Although almost all of her books incorporate some sort of family element, The Rest of the Story is all about family, as Emma reconnects with with her grandma and cousins as she helps run the family lakeside motel. I think a fair amount of summer YA contemporaries take place at a lake, but this book felt super unique, not to mention cozy & atmospheric. 

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills – Famous in a Small Town is often a hit-or-miss for Emma Mills fans, but it was a hit for me! While the book does involve Sophie’s determination to get a county music star to help with a fundraiser, the book is really about Sophie and her friends’ final summer together before their senior year of high school. I’ve found that Emma Mills’ books aren’t so plot heavy, but rather focus on friendship and character development instead.  

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo – Somewhere Only We Know was another hit or miss book in 2019 for readers, but I LOVED it! While Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel will forever have my heart, I loved this book’s Roman Holiday-esque adventure as romantic interests Lucky and Jack take on Hong Kong. 

Maybe This Time by Kasie West – Never have I ever devoured a Kasie West book as fast as I did with Maybe This Time. I have memories of beginning this one while floating around the pool and then staying up way past my bedtime, sitting on the couch to finish it! Maybe This Time completed nailed its synopsis, following a girl who works for the town florist and the 9 events where she keeps running into her absolute enemy. It also has one of the few unlikeable protagonists I actually like. 

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne – The Wrong Side of Right came out in 2015, but its a YA contemporary not to miss out on! I think after loving Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue (another FANTASTIC book I read in 2019 and makes for an amazing summer read), I wanted more books somewhat centered around politics. The book follows Kate’s summer on the father she never knew’s presidential campaign and developing feelings for the son of the campaign enemy. I also recommend checking out Jenn Marie Thorne’s Night Music. 

Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna – If you’re looking for a mindless, but addicting read with Big Little Lies vibes, I can’t help but recommend Pretty Guilty Women. I just got my sister to pick this one up during a recent beach day and she’s absolutely obsessed! The book takes place during a destination wedding, where four women confess to the same murder. 

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker – K.A. Tucker’s The Simple Wild has been all over the contemporary-loving book blogging community. It doesn’t take place in the most summery-of-settings, so if you’re someone who’s looking to escape the heat, you’ll really enjoy this new adult romance that takes place in Alaska. 

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn – I recently reread You’d Be Mine and still believe it’s one of the best ‘on-the-road’ YA contemporaries, following country music stars Annie and Clay on their summer concert tour. This book definitely has darker themes and isn’t exactly a light and fluffy summer read, but it’s such a fantastic story. 

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Although there are plenty of YA and contemporary romance books on this list, I plan on making more summer reading recommendations posts based on books I’ve read before 2019! Making this list reminded me how much I’d also like to reread a much-loved YA summer contemporary, My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. 

What are your summer reading recommendations? Do you have any for me? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Share in the comments! 

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