Favorite Reads for Summertime (Prepping for Summer #1)

Summer officially hits the US on Tuesday, June 20th. Are you ready for summer reading? If you're not and you need some recommendations, I've put together a series of posts to help you out (I'm friendly like that). Welcome to the first post in my Prepping for Summer Series!

It seems I always have a book or my Kindle with me when it's summertime. Sometimes I have some time to kill while the kiddos are taking swim lessons. Sometimes I'm lounging by the pool. Then there are vacations (this summer, it will be camping) when there's downtime and I want to read.

Of course, since I'm a book blogger, I still read all the time regardless of which season it is, but summer always feels different. The kids are out of school. The days are warm. I just feel more relaxed overall (except when it's 120 and I don't want to live in Arizona!). I also generally want to read lighter books (romance just calls to me) or really exciting books (bring on the action and kick-butt heroines!) during the summer.

Now I know not everyone has identical tastes for what they want to read while lounging on the beach, by the pool, on the deck, or wherever you'll be reading this summer, so I've compiled a list of favorites in different genres so you should be able to find something that is just right for you (click on covers to go to my review or Amazon)...


Young Adult

Kasie West. I already talked about romance calling to me in summertime and Kasie is one of the best YA romance authors to turn to. I've read all her books (and they're all clean, so appropriate for anyone), but I'm going to share a few favorites here (including one that has a little scifi twist to it that even you non-romance readers would go for).


Cinda Williams Chima. I talked about action-packed stories with kick-butt heroines... Cinda does this really well. My favorite series from her is Seven Realms (would recommend for 16+). It's four books, but well worth the investment in time. I think I almost died during the fourth book from the intensity, but I LOVE these characters and she is amazing with her plots.


Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This is another author that is amazing with her characterizations and plotting. She also doesn't sugar coat and is quite candid. For you adults who love adult fantasy, this is one series you should dip into YA for. It's also a great book for those who love impossible heists.


Jennifer E. Smith. I adore her books, but The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will always be my favorite. I think I just can't resist that English accent and the very hilarious dialogue that occurs on an airplane.

Heist Society series by Ally Carter. These are super fun and on the lighter side while still having plenty of depth from all the twists and danger lurking at every turn. I don't know anyone who has read this series and not liked it (this one is also clean, so anyone can read it). These are quick reads, so double plus there. Talking about this series just makes me want to read it again, so maybe I'll just skip out right here...


Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards. This is a book I read back in 2013. I've never forgotten it. It is still the first book that comes to mind when I think of reading a YA psychological thriller. I love how it plays with the character's mind, which in turn plays with the reader's. It's a story that is shrouded in mystery and you can feel the intensity grow and grow until the climatic end.

Find Me by Romily Bernard. If you're looking for another good YA psychological thriller, this is one of them. There are twists and turns and you can't help but root for the protagonist, who is one tough and extremely smart girl. A definite page-turner.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. I loved this fabulous fairy tale mash-up. There's a prince, a witch, a frog who isn't what he seems, and a girl who changes everything. Truly enchanting (pun intended).

Adult Romance

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. If you follow my blog or my Instagram page, you've probably seen this one around. It's one of my all-time favorites. Historical romance that is sweet, funny, swoon-worthy, and has a touch of danger. I've had friends who don't normally read romance who love it.

Seeking Persephone and Friends and Foes by Sarah M. Eden. All of Sarah's Regency romances are good, but these two are my favorites.


Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale. I really love both of the books in this series (Austenland is the first book), but I like this one the most. Either would make good summer reading though.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her books are my guilty pleasure (I do skim some things when she gets too detailed in the bedroom and with the swearing). She has fabulous characters and plots and always makes me literally laugh out loud. There's a girl in a beaver costume in Natural Born Charmer (how does she come up with this stuff???) and a mattress scene in Call Me Irresistible where the heroine gets stuck... I'm full out smiling now. 


LDS Romance

If your LDS and looking for some books in this genre, I'd highly recommend Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor (a fabulous rom-com) and Obsession by Traci Hunter Abramson (a romantic suspense).


Christian Fiction

Looking for some contemporary inspirational romance? The Porter Family series by Becky Wade is fabulous! There are so many good authors in this genre though, so I'll also mention Susan May Warren, Melissa Tagg, Denise Hunter, and Katie Ganshert.


The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer. This will always be an inspirational romance favorite. There is so much heart in this book and there's this mother who has had it rough, with this tough shell, and a guy who is willing to break it. There's lots going on in this story too and I loved every minute!

I also have to mention Katherine Reay in the inspirational fiction category. Her books have some romance, but it's not really about that. I love them all, but Dear Mr. Knightley and Lizzy & Jane will always have soft spots in my heart.


To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander. I love all Tamera's books, but this is a favorite. She did so well in conveying some of the struggles of the South after the Civil War and weaving in this beautiful romance.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen. All of Julie's books are good, but this will always be a favorite.

Deeanne Gist. If you're looking for some major swooning and some good laughs, check out A Bride in the Bargain. It's an old release, but I laughed and equally blushed repeatedly. I'd recommend the rest of Deeanne's books as well.

If you're looking for inspirational YA, I LOVE Jenny B. Jones' There You'll Find Me! It's so, so good. There's romance, but there's a lot more going on in this one, and the ending... Perfect.

Another inspirational YA is The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan. This one is historical and is equal parts mystery and romance with a fairly intense ending. It was also a really fun read with some fabulous dialogue.


And last, but not least, the list wouldn't be complete without a few of my favorite classics to re-read: Rebecca by Daphne du MaurierPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (I re-read this at least once a year), Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (another one I re-read every year), The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. You can't go wrong with a proven classic.


And, you YA fantasy lovers, don't hate me for not including Sarah J. Maas or Marissa Meyers. They are also favorites of mine. I didn't include them here because their series are pretty hefty (high page counts and multiple books in each series).  

How many of these have you read? Did I pick any favorites or add a new read to your list? And check back next Friday for 2017 releases that are on my summer reading list!

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