Welcome to Top Five Friday! I wanted to begin a unique weekly post on my blog, so I decided that each Friday I would post my personal favorite “top five” books that relate to a specified theme. This week I will be recommending my top five favorite contemporary books to read in the summer!
Summer: school is out, sun is out, and, as most bookworms would agree, books are out. And there is no better book to read in the summer than a wonderfully written contemporary! Here are some of my favorite summer contemporary reads:
#5: Anna and the French Kiss
By: Stephanie Perkins
“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”
Anna and the French Kiss follows a high school student named Anna who is unwillingly swept off to a boarding school in Paris by her wealthy father to complete her senior year. However, when Anna meets Étienne St. Clair, she realizes that Paris might not be all too terrible, and that giving new experiences a chance might be worth a shot after all.
I read this book last summer on a plane ride and I really enjoyed it. Although the book doesn’t take place during the summer (it takes place over the course of Anna’s senior year) there is something truly magical about the city of Paris that gives the entire book a fun, summery vibe. One of my favorite aspects of this book is how easy it is to relate to the characters, even if your own circumstances are not exactly the same as the characters in the novel. The book has a really sweet romance too, and in my opinion, is a perfect summer read!
#4: Better Off Friends
By: Elizabeth Eulberg
“When you’re comfortable with someone, you don’t always need to fill the void with noise. I liked it when we would just be.”
Better Off Friends follows best friend duo Macallan and Levi from seventh grade to junior year as they grow up and learn about themselves and their relationship with each other. Eulberg tackles and perfectly executes the timeless question: can girls and guys just be friends?
This book is quite honestly adorable. It’s definitely geared toward younger teens, but I love it all the same. There is something extremely touching about Macallan and Levi’s friendship that makes this such a “feel good” book. I also am a sucker for books with childhood friends that fall in love, so naturally I loved this one. Better Off Friends is a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it.
#3: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
By: Morgan Matson
“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.”
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is a riveting road trip novel that follows the detours of Amy and her unexpected friend Roger as they travel together from California to Connecticut to move Amy’s car. This book addresses the topics of overcoming fears, putting peace to the past, and mending damaged relationships.
Amy & Roger’s is certainly a cute summer romance, but definitely deals with some heavier topics than the aforementioned novels. Amy struggles with heavy emotional trauma after her dad passes away in a car accident, and a good portion of this novel is dedicated to her overcoming that. This book (if you haven’t already guessed) has a prominent road trip aspect to it that is perfect for the summer. The author, Morgan Matson, actually took a road trip previous to writing this book, so it is very authentic! I would highly recommend this book for the summer.
#2: We Were Liars
By: E. Lockhart
“Be a little kinder than you have to.”
We Were Liars is truly one of those novels that is better to go into not knowing anything at all. It is one of my all-time favorite books, and I honestly think reading it in the summer enhances the reading experience. The important things to know going into this book are: Don’t expect a prominent romance. Do expect mystery, privilege, and suspense. Don’t go into this book looking for a mindless read. Do expect to be provoked with thought and blown away.
Just read it, ladies and gentlemen. Read it.
#1: Since You’ve Been Gone
By: Morgan Matson
“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”
Since You’ve Been Gone journeys through a summer of introvert Emily’s life as she attempts to find her best friend who mysteriously disappears, but most importantly, finds herself. Via a summer bucket list left by her friend, Sloane, Emily discovers so much more than what she ever bargained for. Since You’ve Been Gone is a book about friendship, bravery, and finding yourself that is brilliantly weaved throughout a stellar story. It has a gorgeous cover, too, so that’s a definite added bonus.
I could rave about this book forever, but I’ll save that for another day. However, I will tell you this book is definitely my favorite summer read (it’s my favorite contemporary ever) and I have never related to a book more than this one. It is truly amazing, and I highly recommend reading it this summer. You won’t regret it!