Summer Reading Recommendations: The YA Edition

Instead of doing one mega summer reading recommendations post, I wanted to spread the summer reading love around and do recommendations in stages. While last week I shared summer reading recs based on what I read in 2019, today I’ll be talking about all the YA books that are perfect summertime reads. 

When I think of YA summer reads, my mind instantly goes to Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door. My Life Next Door was THE hot book of 2014/2015, especially on BookTube. In honor of this post, I actually reread My Life Next Door during my beach and pool days this week! It wasn’t as amazing as I remembered it to be – it definitely moved down from a 5 star to a 4 star read because it really didn’t provide solutions to the book’s conflicts – it still is a really great atmospheric summer read, as it takes place in a Connecticut beach town. I never read the companion novel, The Boy Most Likely To, so I actually might give it a read this summer! 

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon – Althought it doesn’t come out until July 28th, you better adjust your summer reading plans now to include Rachel Lynn Solomon’s upcoming novel, Today Tonight Tomorrow. Taking place on the last day of senior year, enemies Rowan and Neil must pair together to win their senior class game. This book’s swoony romance and adventure provides for a fun way to fulfill some wanderlust this summer. 

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett – I am a firm believer that all of Jenn Bennett’s YA contemporaries make for perfect summer reads, but Starry Eyes especially does so! The book follows best friends turned enemies Zorie and Lennon’s group camping trip gone wrong. 

Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll – One book that I always wish got more love is Jen Doll’s Unclaimed Baggage – how can its adorable cover NOT grab your attention! I actually read Unclaimed Baggage on vacation two summers ago. It is such a unique summer contemporary, following three teens and unlikely friends working at a lost luggage store for the summer.Read More »

Weddings & Waffles: Save the Date Review

Summary: Charlie Grant’s sister is getting married this weekend at the Grant family home, and much to Charlie’s excitement, it’ll be the first time in a long time that she’s reunited with her four older siblings. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend together before the house is sold and the last Grant is off to college in the fall. But Charlie’s perfect weekend is shaping up to be a disaster.

Well for starters, there’s the unexpected dog with a thing for howling, an alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

With one mini disaster piling up on one another over the course of three chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she’s ever imagined about her family and realize that keeping up with the past doesn’t make for keeping up with the future.

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Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Morgan Matson’s Save the Date was easily my most anticipated read for Summer 2018. I truly believe that it’s not summer without a Morgan Matson book (2017 sent me looking for rereads), and Save the Date was here to save the day with a story about one family’s crazy wedding weekend! After loving Sarah Dessen’s Once and For All and being the Say Yes to the Dress fan that I am, I was more than ready for a wedding-inspired book from another favorite contemporary author. 

If you haven’t gotten sick of the word ‘wedding’ yet, then never fear because I loved the emphasis on Linnie’s wedding through the entire book. Save the Date is separated into three major sections, highlighting the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Grants’ wedding weekend. It was fun to see Charlie constantly save the DAY time and time again, with the adorable Bill at her side. Not to of course take any of the spotlight away from Waffles, the Grant’s temporary dog in promotion for the ending of Eleanor’s comic strip. Grant Central Station was another unexpected aspect of Save the Date to me, but I loved seeing the Grants come to cartoonish life through the strips from Eleanor/Eric Sailer.

And never fear Morgan Matson fans, because there are plenty of references to Morgan’s past books in Save the Date! All of Morgan’s book have something to do with Stanwich, Connecticut, and in this case, Stanwich is the home of the Grants and their last minute wedding to-dos. Along the way, we also get to see a few characters from The Unexpected Everything and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. And how could we forget Captain Pizza or Indoor Xtreme or Mogran’s latest addition, Swift Tailors?? While we don’t get to spend too much time with her, I really enjoyed Charlie’s best friend, Siobhan, who I want to say is named after fellow YA author, Siobhan Vivian.

If you enjoyed Morgan’s The Unexpected Everything and Second Chance Summer for its focus on family, you’ll love Save the Date for all the time we get to spend with the Grants. Above all, this book is truly about family, as we see the Grants through good, bad, and straight-up crazy times. I absolutely loved the Grants’ banter, and I’ll be the first to admit that J.J.’s humor stole the show for me (even though we all know that Waffles is the true star). And no worries, like Morgan’s other books, the ending of Save the Date left me with tears in my eyes and starting my countdown until another Morgan Matson book!

I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.Thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club  for selecting me to participate in this tour!

About Morgan Matson 

Morgan Matson_credit Gina Stock_previewMorgan Matson was born in New York City and grew up there and in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, but halfway through a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she received her M.F.A. in Writing for Children from The New school and worked as an editor for YA novels. She received a second M.F.A. (for reasons that made sense at the time) in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her novels have been translated into dozens of languages, and published all over the world.

Morgan’s first novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, was inspired by her love of road trips, snacks, and the quest for the perfect playlist. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.

Her second novel, Second Chance Summer, was inspired by her experiences spending summers in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was the winner of the California Book Award (YA category) and was named to the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults List, selected for the Oklahoma Sequoya List, and selected as a School Library Journal Best Book.

Her third novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, was published in 2014, and was a Publisher’s Weekly and international bestseller. It was named to the YALSA Teens Top Ten list, and the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award List.

Morgan’s fourth novel, The Unexpected Everything, was published May 3rd, 2016.

She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Murphy.

Tour Schedule

June 4th

June 5th

Aimee, Always– Q&A and Creative Option

June 6th

The Readers Den– Review

June 7th

Andi’s ABCs– Creative Option
Latte Nights Reviews– Review & Favorite Quotes
JustAddAWord– Review & Book Aesthetics

June 8th

Fangirl Fury– Review
The Book Slayer– Review & Favorite Quotes

June 11th

June 12th

June 13th

Never Too Many To Read– Creative Option

June 14th

My Thoughts Literally– Review & Favorite Quotes
Vicky Who Reads– Review

June 15th

JennReneeRead– Review
The Book Nut– Review & Playlist
A Perfection Called Books– Review

Giveaway

(June 4-June 21)
Rafflecopter Giveaway

  • 3 winners will win a copy of Save the Date
  • US ONLY
  • Please read the rules in the rafflecopter

What’s your favorite Morgan Matson book? Are you excited to read Save the Date? Share in the comments!

My Favorite Summer Contemporary Books

summercs.jpgContemporary books set during the summer time are among my favorite types of books. There’s just something about them that makes me want to run to the beach or spend days by the pool (which I end up doing 99.9% of the time)! Listed below are some of my favorite contemporaries set during my favorite season.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson– Frankly, any of Morgan Matson’s novels are great summer contemporaries, but I do love Second Chance Summer the most (even though it caused me to cry A LOT). After they receive devastating news, Taylor and her family decide to spend one last summer together at their lake house in the Poconos Mountains.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares– The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants will always have a special place in my heart because it was one of the very first YA book series that I read. All of the books in the series take place during the summer, with the pants traveling between Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget throughout their various locations. If you’re also looking for some summery films, I definitely recommend checking out this series’ film adaptions as well.

My Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickMy Life Next Door isn’t just about a summer romance, as it really incorporates family (which I often adore in most if not all young-adult books that I read). Samantha Reed wonders what it’s like to be a member of the Garrett family, her loud and messy neighbors, until she starts dating their son, Jase. Jase and the Garretts embrace Samantha into their family, and Samantha finds herself not only in love with Jase, but the whole family.

The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han– I marathoned Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty series last summer and I’m still so happy that I did. While there’s some different vibes from her To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, Jenny Han again proves that she’s one of the queens of young-adult contemporary, writing about Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad’s summers at their beach house. This series has had some really pretty cover changes, but I recommend getting the 3-book bindup from Target (bargain+super summery cover).

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord– One of my recent favorite summer contemporaries, The Names They Gave Us follows Lucy’s summer working at a summer for troubled kids and teens. Lucy is struggling herself, between her mom’s cancer coming back, her recent break-up with her longtime boyfriend, and trying to connect with her faith as her mom’s health gets worse. The Names They Gave Us is a great summer contemporary for its setting and its emotion-filled plot. I have a full review here.

What are some of your favorite summer contemporaries? Share in the comments!