- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book spans the decades of the life of Evelyn Hugo, a retired Hollywood icon. After 70 years of silence, she relates the story of her life and her many marriages to a reporter. The sun won’t be the only thing that has you sweating while reading this book. It is a myriad of heartbreakingly tragic moments of loss, love, friendship and family that does not make for the easiest beach read. Jenkins Reid’s raw representation of what it meant to be a member in the LQBTQ+ community, as well as Cuban American, is impossible to be ignored under the harsh spotlight in the 1950’s.
- Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend
I actually did have the pleasure of reading this on a beach. I can tell you that this middle-grade novel — which is about an unlucky girl who gets sucked into the most wacky, imaginative fantasy world — is a perfect choice for when you hit the sand. I’ve never read a book that has reminded me of Harry Potter to such an extent, while standing on its own two feet as a fantasy novel: full of giant talking cats, dragon riders, and dangerous trials.
- Summer of Salt, by Katrina Leno
Every time I think of summer and the beach, my mind is inadvertently brought back to this book. This is a whimsical tale of a family in which every female member is blessed with a magical ability, crucial to them being able to protect the strange island they live on. It’s a heartwarming tale about finding yourself, and is truly magical realism at its finest.
- Persuasion, by Jane Austen
I had to put a classic on this list, and although the latter half of this book takes place in perpetually rainy Bath, I still think it’s a perfect pick for the beach because it’s a lot lighter compared to Austen’s other books, following the story of two young lovers who meet many years later and try to give love a second chance.
- The Shades of Magic Trilogy, by V. E. Schwab
This one is for all the fantasy lovers out there. The series follows a man who can travel between four parallel London’s, and the antics that ensue when he smuggles an artifact out of one London to another. It may not be a quintessential beach read, but it is a hilarious, fast paced series with witty dialogue and characters that you will find yourself rooting for till the very end.