Hot Summer Reads Roundup

Summer is About to Heat Up with These Hot Summer Picks!
Home  |  Best Of The Journal   |  Hot Summer Reads Roundup

Hot Summer Reads Roundup

Hot Summer Reads Roundup

It’s June! We have officially made it to summer, and it’s finally time for some rest and relaxation in the sun with some good books. There’s truly nothing better than heading to the beach, the mountains, or even your backyard with a fun book in hand ready to soak up the sun. As you gear up to make it the best summer ever, be sure to pick up one of the books listed below. I’m excited to give you brookies our hot summer reads roundup in no particular order!

1.  Sun Kissed  by Kasie West 

Image via Goodreads

After a betrayal from her best friend that leaves her reeling, all Avery wants before senior year is to experience the perfect summer. Avery isn’t too keen on the idea that her parents decide to whisk her and her sister away to a family camp where they’ll spend the whole summer where Avery’s idea of a perfect time doesn’t exist. With her intense sister and lack of wifi along for the ride,Avery’s convinced that her summer will not be one for the books. But when she meets Brooks, a very cute but very off-limits staff member, Avery soon learns that even a boring summer camp can hold passionate surprises. 

Why You Should Read It:

This book is perfect for a cute, lighthearted read as you’re soaking up the sun on a beach somewhere! Sun Kissed is a relatable yet adorable story about a laid-back heroine ready to break out of her shell and figure out what her passions are. Chock full of swoony romance between two musically gifted characters, this book will give you major Dirty Dancing vibes. A remote family summer camp? Check. A quiet main character with some hidden skills? Check. An enigmatic love interest who believes in the main character’s full potential? Check, check, check! 

2. Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Image via Goodreads


When the school’s most prominent football star, Chase Harding, begins flirting with popular girl, Lara, her dreams are basically answered. Getting the attention of Chase has been what Lara’s wanted for three years – and now she finally has it. However, Lara can’t seem to stop thinking about last summer with a girl named Jasmine. As Lara tries to shake off the memories of an all too perfect summer, they catch up to her quickly as soon as Jasmine walks through the doors to Lara’s high school. Lara has everything she’s ever wanted, a good group of friends, a cool job, and now Chase. But if she has everything she’s been dreaming of, why can’t she shake the thought of Jasmine?

Why You Should Read it: 

Popular girl starting senior year off with a bang. A secret summer fling crashing into her life at the weirdest possible time. Sound familiar? Well, this Grease-inspired book is a heartfelt rom-com that explores the power of first love, self-discovery and growing up. After living in her best friend’s shadow, it’s refreshing to see the character development Lara had throughout the story as she figures out her dreams and passions. If you’re looking for a love triangle trope, you’ll find it in Cool for the Summer. As Lara navigates her new relationship with Chase, she also has to figure out her feelings for Jasmine. After all, last summer did mean something for both of them. Lara’s story propelled forward as Jasmine helped her in getting out of her comfort zone. This story holds a lot of key messages for youths as they live in a world where being themselves is the best possible thing they can be. 

3. Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

Image via Goodreads

Calling all Jane Austen fans! Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass is inspired by Austen’s very own Persuasions as it follows seventeen-year-old Reyna trying to navigate the highs and lows of epic first love. Two years ago, Reyna’s mother passed away and to make matters worse, her first love, Aiden left the island they live on to pursue his music career. Now, as everyone around Reyna, including her father, plans to move on with their lives, Reyna is trapped to keep the family seaside resort, the Plumeria, up and running to adhere to her father’s wishes. When Aiden comes back into her life to stay at the Plumeria as a VIP guest with his Grammy-nominated band and L.A. socialites, the memories of their past life together comes crashing back to Reyna. Now Reyna must deal with running the resort, a fast-approaching future, and lingering feelings for Aiden, all while still coping with the loss of her mother.

Why You Should Read it:

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass is a delightful book filled with romance and real-life lessons. I may have taken a particular interest in it because I’m usually drawn to those swoon-worthy musician romances, and shy yet talented Aiden stole my heart! This book is a fresh take on first loves and second chances in YA fiction and the gorgeous seaside resort that Reyna’s family runs will have you longing for those sunny beach days. What I loved most about this story was how relatable the main character, Reyna, is.  As readers, we get to follow along with her journey as she learns to deal with the grief of losing her mother while being in such a transformative time in her life. Reyna and Aiden’s relationship is one to root for, even with their primary heartbreak, but if you’re looking for an excellent angsty summer romance, be sure to pick up Where the Rhythm Takes You!

4. The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Image via Goodreads



Let’s throw in a little thriller, shall we? Alexa Donne’s The Ivies follows the story of a popular female friend group assigned to get into some of the most elite Ivy League schools in the country, and they will do anything to get in. When one of the Ivies ends up dead after a Harvard acceptance, the daunting murder mystery begins, and with these girls being as ruthless as they are beautiful, no one quite knows who to trust. 

Why You Should Read it:

The Ivies is nothing short of a thrilling page-turner with an abundance of twists and turns. A good murder mystery can always occur in a school, and Claflin Academy was the perfect setting. An elite private school filled with cunning, rich kids who will do whatever it takes to get to the top? Sign me up. The star clique of this story, The Ivies, gave off intense Pretty Little Liars vibes that had me wondering if “A” was going to show up at the next turn. Olivia, our main character and the “extra friend” of the Ivies, shares an intense narrative as she begins to investigate the murder of Emma, another Ivie. As I read this story, my theories were constantly being debunked, confirmed, then debunked again. Talk about a roller coaster ride! Or, a roller coaster ride filled with a tension-filled atmosphere, cunning and ruthless female characters, and some extremely brutal motives

5. It Goes Like This  by Miel Moreland


Image via Goodreads

It’s not every day that a band formed in middle school blows up into a phenomenon. But Moonlight Overflow, a queer pop band formed by Gina, Celeste, Steph, and Eva, did just that. They had it all: unforgettable songs, unbreakable bonds, and all the fame. But when a sudden falling out causes the band to come to an abrupt end, their music isn’t the only thing that crashed and burned. Gone was their everlasting friendship, as well as Eva and Celeste’s spectacular romance. The band members go their separate ways, pursuing different paths, but when a nasty storm devastates their hometown, the four ex-best friends come back together for a final show to help their roots. Soon they’ll learn that maybe their dynamic was never meant to fall apart, and as past feelings begin to resurface, these four friends will figure out where they’re meant to be

Why You Should Read it: 

It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland takes the phrase “we’re getting the band back together” to a whole new, lighthearted level. This story was absolutely delightful and is written in multiple POVs; you get to fall in love with each character. The best thing about the multiple POVs was that you got to see each friend’s perspective and experiences, and you were able to feel everything they were feeling. Each character is unique in their hopes, dreams, passions, and when they came together, it was like everything was right in the world. This story holds a lot of representation that connects the readers with being true to who you are while also being understood. All four main characters identify as LGBTQ, and it was genuinely celebrated throughout their journey. It Goes Like This was indeed a heartfelt read that perfectly balances a light and wholesome feel with deep feelings and navigating growing up in an intense world. 

It’s Time for Books and the Beach

All of the books above are certified beach reads! I don’t make the rules! These stories are packed to the brim with fun and lighthearted content that will make your summer days just a little bit better. We all can use some quality, heartfelt content after the very long winter we just had, so let one of these books be your sunshine on a rainy day! These authors have created compelling stories that will have you powering through each page in a matter of hours. So, be sure to check out these hot summer reads as you get out there and enjoy the well-deserved sunshine. Enjoy your summer, folks, and keep reading!

Interested in hosting a BooknBrunch event with one of our Hot Summer Reads? Learn more by clicking here!

Brittany Amalfi

Brittany Amalfi is a 20- something- year- old developmental specialist living in Massachusetts where she loves all things New England. Brittany is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing, and working on her young adult fantasy novel. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, working with awesome kiddos, and spending time with friends and family.

Favourite book: I can only choose one? Shadow and Bone by Leigh bardugo
                                 Favourite brunch spot: Primavera

Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming by Antonio Michael Downing (344 pages)


Summer is here and we're Hot For Food All Day by Lauren Toyota (256 pages)