HomeFeaturesBook ListsYour Next Favourite Beach Read

Your Next Favourite Beach Read

Favourite Beach Reads

What makes a great beach read? For me, it’s one that is easy to sink into requiring less mental energy, as my concentration seems to be at an all-year low in the summer, but is also escapist, comforting, and most importantly a beach read becomes all the better with water logged/stained pages, that smell of sunscreen and chip grease. Here’s an updated list of some new and old favs.

Garden Spells book coverGarden Spells

Written by Sarah Addison Allen

Published by Bantam Discovery

There hasn’t been a Sarah Addison Allen book I’ve picked up that I haven’t loved – her combination of magic, southern charm, small towns, and sweet romances is just my personal favourite blend. Which is why she features so heavily on my lists! But if you’re new to her, there is no better place to start than Garden Spells and the magical Waverly sisters residing in a small town in North Carolina. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Mary Jane book coverMary Jane

Written by Jessica Anya Blau

Published by Custom House

This is a recent favourite read for me and I honestly gobbled it up in huge gulps. I just didn’t want to put it down. If Now & Then was/is a movie you love, Mary Jane will be a favourite read. Centring on 14-year-old Mary Jane and her magical, eye-opening summer in 1970s Baltimore where she nannies for the 5-year-old daughter of the neighbouring psychiatrist, who has cleared his summer schedule to treat one patient – a famous rock star. When he and his movie star wife move in with the family, Mary Jane is exposed to drugs, addiction, carefree expression, and sex, altering the views she’s always known as she grows into the adult she wants to be.

Full review HERE.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Perfect CoupleThe Perfect Couple

Written by Elin Hilderbrand

Published by Little, Brown and Company

The Queen of the smart beach read right here, you can’t go wrong with Elin. The Perfect Couple has been my favourite read of hers so far, but you can’t go wrong with Summer of ’69, either. All her books are narrated by the same voice actor and they are fantastic if you’re looking for an easy to follow along audiobook recommendation! 

Full review HERE.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The House in the Cerulean Sea book coverThe House in the Cerulean Sea

Written by T.J. Klune

Published by Tor Books

I am so ridiculously happy to see how popular this book has become, rightly so. If you’re looking for a uniquely singular read that will fill you up with all the good feels and hope in humanity, then pick up this odd little tale of Linus, a case worker at the Department of Magical Youth and his journey to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six “dangerous” children – from a gnoses to a wyvern to the Antichrist – will teach him all about found family and finding your inner confidence. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Dial A for AuntiesDial A for Aunties

Written by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Published by Berkley Books

This one is just so much dang fun! Can’t wait for this to be a movie – can it please be a movie? – I thoroughly enjoyed all the familial dynamics & dramas, and the feisty, fighting, jealous, but always-got-your back titular Aunties definitely stole my heart … and left me desperately wanting a pack of hell raising Aunts of my own. If you’re someone who enjoys some maudlin humour and are looking for a different spin on the rom/com beach read, you’ll want to pick this up this summer! 

Full review HERE.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Maybe in Another Life book coverMaybe in Another Life

Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by Washington Square Press

Sure, there are romantic love stories going on here in this drama/contemporary that shows the importance of singular decisions and how they can affect the entire shape of our lives, but the true romance is the unbreakable friendship between Hannah and Abby, as we concurrently follow along the two paths Hannah’s life would take after a decision she makes one night at a party.  

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Early Morning Riser

Written by Katherine Heiny

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

I love this comforting, quiet story and if you’re someone looking for a beach read that isn’t your typical “pastel covered rom-com” (not that there is anything wrong with those!), you might want to grab this relationship-centred story that expertly displays that there is beauty in the quiet life, there are small hurts and great joys, and it doesn’t make it any less interesting than the flashy, scheduled-to-the-max, loud, hustle lives that we are encouraged to want. Read this one when you need a comfort and escape to the small town we all wish we lived in.

Full review HERE.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Felix Ever After book coverFelix Ever After

Written by Kacen Callender

Published by Balzer + Bray

Set in New York City during the hot month of June, this story of a transgender teen finding love and self acceptance as he navigates the tricky in-between time of “teen” and “adult” is a powerful, gritty, vulgar, messy, heartfelt, honest, and super tender contemporary YA love story that everyone can benefit from. 

Full review HERE.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Big Summer book coverBig Summer

Written by Jennifer Weiner

Published by Washington Square Press

This isn’t just your average “day at the beach” light read … although it absolutely makes a fantastic beach read … it has so much more going on under it’s pastel cover. I thoroughly enjoyed Weiner’s exploration of social media, Instagram, and influencer culture, presenting the many pros and cons that comes along with it. Never beating down, but also not shying away from calling out its hollow falsity. An excellent combination of intelligence, witty banter, complex and well drawn characters and romance … steamy romance. If you are also new to this author, I think this is a great place to start.

Full review HERE.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The SirenThe Siren

Written by Katherine St. John

Published by Grand Central Publishing

It’s hard to not love The Siren, a mystery thriller that is the perfect summery cocktail of beach read buzzwords: juicy, drama-packed, star-studded, revenge-filled, romance, sex, gossip, lies, tropical location, money, privilege and … murder?? 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Any purchases made via retailer links provided in this article may result in this site receiving a share of that sale.

Previous article
Next article
Welcome to And other tales. The little corner of the interweb where we don’t count cups of coffee, believe cancelling plans to stay home & read is just good life advice, refuse to acknowledge the calories in baked goods and will never judge you on the number of marshmallows in your hot chocolate or the size of your TBR piles. Curl up, get comfy and click through for book reviews, life chats, playlists, vegan & gluten free baking recipes, gift guides and more.

Newest Articles