Summer Book Guide

From our friends at BookSparks

Summer is here and if you don’t have a summer reading list lined up yet, now is the time to start. This season brings much variety, including light romantic reads, dark family tales, and fun YA books. For those of you that use this time of year to catch up on your reading, we’ve included some of the best books this year has produced.


Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Twenty-nine year old Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. After living in six different cities and holding countless meaningless jobs, she finally returns to her hometown of Los Angeles and moves in with her best friend, Gabby. Shortly after returning to LA, the duo head to a bar where Gabby meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. A little after midnight, Gabby is ready to go home, but Ethan offers Hannah a ride later if she wants to stay. What happens if Hannah leaves with Gabby? What is she leaves with Ethan? With alternating chapters, this entertaining and face-paced novel unfolds two possible scenarios with stunningly different outcomes.


Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave 

Georgia Ford grew up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard and learned some very important secrets, like how many grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine, her mother’s secret ingredient in her lasagna, and the secret behind ending a fight. However, just three weeks before her wedding day, Georgia learns her beloved fiancé have been harboring a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever. Returning to her family vineyard in hopes of finding comfort, she discovers that her fiancé isn’t the only one who has been keeping secrets.


The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri 

The Sorrow family estate now sits in ruins ever since a series of murder in 1902 that shocked a small community. Now the ghosts of girls in white dresses roam the estate reliving the past on repeat. But when Frances Green Sorrow is born carrying the signs of the chosen one, it is believed that she can bring her family back from obscurity. However, Frances is no savior. Fleeing from heartbreak, Frances finds solace in New Orleans, only to end up married too young in attempt to live an ordinary life. But when her son disappears, Frances is forced to return to the life that she left behind exposing her darkest secret in order to find him and uncovering the truth of what really happened back in 1902.


Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips 

Seventeen-year-old Melanie Kennicut is beautiful, and her entire life has revolved around her beauty because of her controlling mother dragging her to auditions and casting calls since she was a toddler. However, when a freak accident leaves facial lacerations that will require plastic surgery on Melanie’s face, her mother banishes her to Montana for the summer. There, Melanie won’t be seen by anyone and her face will be able to heal. However, Melanie meets Sam, a Native American boy who is nothing like the Hollywood boys that Melanie is used to. What transpires over a mere 36 hours between the two changes both of their lives forever. 


The Ladies of Managua by Eleni N. Gage 

A fatherless woman and daughter of a former Nicaraguan revolutionary, Maria’s connection to her family is a complicated one. When she returns home to attend her grandfather’s funeral, three generations of women are forced to cope with loss, tragedy, and the past. Shrouded in secrets and grief, Maria attempts to understand her relationship with her mother, explore her romantic relationship with an older man, and cope with her grandmother’s fleeting mind. Between her grandmother’s insistence to relive lost love from over sixty years ago and her mother’s attempts to connect, Maria discovers the consequences and comfort within her family. 


Pieces by Maria Kostaki 

Set in Cold War-era Moscow, Sasha’s mother, Anna, abandons her to move abroad with her new husband leaving her with her grandparents. Five years later, Anna and her new husband reappear to give Sasha a “better life” in Athens, Greece. However, Sasha soon finds out that she is caught between a violent stepfather and a psychologically abusive mother. While Sasha longs for a new world, she turns to a life of invisible friends, even as she continues to want for something real.


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner is not to be missed. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris, where he works as the master of the Museum of Natural History’s thousands of locks. When Marie-Laure is six she goes blind, and when she turns twelve the Nazis occupy Paris and the pair must flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo. As they flee from chaos, they carry with them what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner, an orphan, grows up to become an expert at building and fixing crucial new instruments, which wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth. When he is given a special assignment to track resistance in Saint-Malo, Werner and Marie-Laure’s stories collide. 


A Different Kind of Same by Kelley Clink 

Kelley Clink’s brother Matt was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager and had once attempted suicide but failed. Kelley was diagnosed with depression at a young age and had once attempted suicide but also failed. Two weeks before his college graduation, Matt attempted suicide again and this time he succeeded. This book traces Kelley’s journey through grief, her investigation into the role her own depression played in her brother’s death, and, ultimately, her path toward acceptance, forgiveness, resilience, and love.


All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank

In this soul-touching novel, three amazing middle-aged women are forever bonded by another woman’s death. Through their shared loss the trio forge a deep friendship, constantly asking critical questions. Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Who was their friend? What did her life mean? How will they maximize on their happiness? Without realizing how close they all were to the edge, the trio finally triumphs and even discovers a newfound love. 


Summer By Summer by Heather Burch 

To get a fresh start before college, Summer took a job as a nanny for a couple vacationing in Belize. While she loves her boss, she can’t say the same for his son, Bray. Cocky and inconsiderate, Bray makes Summer feel like she’s a chore he has to put up with. Bray is everything she hates in a guy. On the other hand, every time Bray has to be around Summer, her dour, serious mood sets him off. The two find themselves on a dive trip gone wrong, and they are both stranded on a remote island. As they fight for survival, their differences seem to disappear and they find being together may be exactly what they both needed.