5 Summer Throwback Books to Add to Your Bookshelf

Have you already finished all of your summer reads? Try checking out these popular books from the past few summers.

Recommendations Young Adult

Though there’s never a bad time to read, summer may arguably be the best; the sun is out and so is school. If you’ve found yourself with a shortage of recommendations for summer reads, look no further! Whether you’re looking for a mystery or an exploration of family dynamics, you’re sure to find a new favorite summer reading book on this list.

1. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Though Malibu Rising was recently published, coming out in the summer of 2021, the novel is set in 1983. The story, written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, follows a set of siblings as they navigate lives full of secrets and romance in pursuit of an epic summer party. Amazon reviewers praise the book for its use of historical fiction, so if you’re looking for a summer read to transport you to another time period, this book is for you.

2. One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak

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If you’re in search of a little bit of mystery this summer, throw it back two years with Brenda Novak’s One Perfect Summer, published in 2020. This novel, which is set in California’s Lake Tahoe, draws in readers with complex characters and an enticing premise: a family-centered mystery surrounding a woman and sisters she didn’t know existed.

3. Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky

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If you like a little scandal in your books, look no further than Very Nice, a 2019 novel by Marcy Dermansky. Set not on beaches or by lakes, but in Manhattan, Connecticut, and the Midwest, Very Nice follows a college student entangled in an increasingly complicated affair with her professor. It’s a story involving a mom, her daughter, and a whole lot of drama.

4. What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan

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Take a trip to Shanghai with Lucy Tan’s 2018 novel What We Were Promised. Tan explores complex themes of class and gender through the Zhen family. Well-written and thoughtful, this novel looks at what home means as the family moves from America to China. It is a fantastic read, perfect for the summer reader looking to dive deep into themes of family dynamics and meeting interesting characters.

5. Same Beach Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

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Last but certainly not least is Same Beach Next Year, a novel written by Dorothea Benton Frank and published in 2017. Is there any better way to enjoy your summer than relaxing with a romance? An island vacation brings two couples together and watches their friendship stand the test of time. Amazon reviewers love Same Beach Next Year for Frank’s characters. The novel is a testament and an ode to friendship and the bonds of summer.

In a sea full of beach reads, it can be hard to pick a favorite. From scandalous dramas to unraveling mysteries, there’s something for everyone to read this summer.

For more summer reading recommendations, take a look here!