Do you have a goal to find your next favorite book this summer, but you’re not sure where to start searching? Look no further than my top ten recommended summer reads! You’re sure to find the top ten books to read this summer.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Both a coming-of-age novel and a murder mystery, Where the Crawdads Sing sheds light on neglectful familial relationships, deteriorated romantic relationships, and the beauty of the marshland. “Kya” Clark, our main character, grew up in the marshlands of North Carolina. Alone for most of her life, she soon realizes that the missing link in her life is love. She finds it in two different men, one of whom, Chase Andrews, is later found murdered. “Kya” is suspected of killing him and put on trial. Leading up to her arrest, the author fleshes out her past, a complicated, but captivating account of a rough upbringing in the swamp with no education and no one to take care of her but herself.
Click here for a full review of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Quincy Carpenter, the sole survivor of a mass murderer worthy of a horror movie, joins the ranks of the Final Girls with two others: Sam and Lisa. Sam survived the attack of the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn and Lisa survived the knife of a college dropout during an attack on her sorority house.
They provide some support for one another, but they have never met. Quincy is doing well until Lisa is found in her apartment, apparently having committed suicide. Sam arrives at Quincy’s doorstep with the intention of figuring out what really happened to Lisa. When things don’t add up, especially when it comes to Sam’s stories, she finds herself in a race against time to figure out what happened when her friends were murdered and what really happened to Lisa. Not only is this one of my recommendations for the top ten books to read this summer, but one of my favorite recommendations in the mystery genre.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
A memoir written about Walls’ childhood that shaped her as a person today. Walls writes about her parents’ beliefs that they did not need most of the aspects of modern society and often lived a nomadic lifestyle across most of the Southwest. Her family eventually landed in West Virginia where her father grew up. Walls and her three siblings found the tenacity to survive as her mother considered providing for her family less important than painting and reading, and her father often disappeared for days when he was drinking. Walls eventually found a way to leave her home and start a life for herself.
Click here for a full review of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
Circe by Madeline Miller
If you read The Odyssey in high school, you might remember Circe. The witch who transformed Odysseus’ men into pigs. When he convinced her to turn them back into men, he and his crew were stuck on the island for years. In this book, Madeline Miller tells the story behind the mysterious Circe. Her story is arguably a lot more interesting than what you might remember reading in high school. Circe is born to Helios, god of the sun. But when it’s discovered that she has the power of witchcraft, Zeus banishes her to an isolated island. Over the years, she encounters many of the famous figures in mythology. Such as the Minotaur, Daedalus and his son Icarus, and of course, Odysseus. At the end, she must choose if she really belongs with the gods or the mortals.
The Dry by Jane Harper
Set in a small farming community in the Australian outback of Kiewarra, a family of three is found murdered during one of the worst droughts the community has ever seen. The suspect is the family’s father, who appears to have committed suicide. Federal Police Investigator Aaron Falk visits for the funeral of his childhood friend and the family’s father, Luke Hadler. During his visit, Falk reluctantly extends his stay to investigate the deaths of the Hadler family, which threatens to surface a secret he and Luke buried during their childhood years.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Wavy, an eight-year-old girl, who is raised in a difficult home of substance abuse and drug dealing meets and falls in love with an older man, Kellen. He is an ex-con who works for her father selling drugs. The story follows them as they navigate their relationship, even if it is technically illegal. Not only is this one of my recommendations for the top ten books to read this summer, but one of my top recommendations hands down.
Click here for a full review of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood.
Every Day by David Levithan
This is the story of A, a person who wakes up in a different body each day. The story begins when A wakes up in the body of a teenage boy named Justin. When A goes to school, he meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. There is an instant connection and A realizes as he is able to access Justin’s memories that he and Rhiannon have had a rough time in their relationship lately. A invites Rhiannon to ditch classes and go to the beach instead. After a fantastic day with Rhiannon, A decides he must do everything in his power to get back to Rhiannon as often as possible. David Levithan tells the story of how A and Rhiannon attempt to figure out a way to stay together, or if their plans to stay together will ever really work.
Click here for a full review of Every Day by David Levithan.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
In the future, when humans have left Earth to colonize habitable planets, Patrick Ness brings us a story about a pre-teen boy, Todd, and his dog, Manchee, who reside in Prentisstown on an alien planet called New World. Prentisstown consists of only men, who claim all the women and most of the men of the town died during a great war with the local native inhabitants, called Spackle, around the time of his birth.
During the war, Todd is told that the Spackle released a “germ” that caused the deaths of the women and created the “noise.” The “noise” is the sound of everyone’s thoughts, including that of animals. When Todd learns a secret about the town and its history, he runs away just days before his thirteenth birthday. The story follows Todd and Manchee as they discover the truth behind the town’s past and what really happened to the citizens of Prentisstown and New World.
Click here for a full review of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
This is the story of Luna, a baby girl chosen as the yearly sacrifice to the Witch in the forest just outside the Protectorate. But when the Witch, Xan, finds her in the woods, she takes Luna under her wing. Despite the beliefs of the citizens of the Protectorate, the Witch is actually kind and caring. She takes each baby “sacrifice” every year, feeds them starlight, and gives them to a new family in a nearby city. Instead of feeding Luna starlight, Xan accidentally feeds her moonlight and enmagicks her.
Xan decides to keep Luna and raise her as her own. To keep Luna safe, as well as those around her, Xan locks Luna’s magic away deep inside her until her 13th birthday. Everything culminates on Luna’s 13th birthday, when a citizen of the Protectorate is determined to kill the Witch. I would recommend this book as one of the top ten books to read this summer for students in middle school.
Click here for a full review of The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Anthony Peardew collects and keeps lost items. He collects lost items because forty years ago, the same day he lost a valuable keepsake given to him by his fiancee, Therese, she unexpectedly passed away. Since then, he sought consolation in rescuing the lost objects of others. During his twilight years, he realizes his goal to reunite the objects with their owners remains unaccomplished. When he passes away, he bequeaths his mission to his assistant, Laura, along with his house. The story focuses on Laura, as she picks up where Anthony left off, documenting each object and putting it online in an attempt to find the owner.
Click here for a full review of The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.
There you have it – my top ten books to read this summer. Have you read any of these great summer reads? What did you add to your TBR (to-be-read) list? If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it! You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.