Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.
This Wednesday’s topic is Summer Reads: With summer finally kicking off, now is the time to recommend your favourite summer reads, whatever that means to you! I think we all know what, for a lot of people, this question calls to mind many a YA contemporary or a romance to consume over summer. I wouldn’t say I’m immune to this phenomenon but I will say I am also the girl who read Bram Stoker’s Dracula sitting beside the sea in Spanish heat whilst on a family holiday. So… you know… I’m not the most consistently summer-y of readers in actual summer. That being said, I’ve covered this topic in some capacity quite a few times since I’ve started this blog (my Top 5 Wednesday Summer Reads from 2017, for example) so I’m just going to go ahead and recommend you some new, fun YA books that I’ve read since chatting about the topic around this time last year.
Since I seem to have read sooo many great things that fit the bill since I last did this topic in May 2017, I’m going to just go ahead and list all of the ones that didn’t quite make the Top 5 but are still really great summer reads because, hell, why not? Are you ready for it?
The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (my review)
Royals by Rachel Hawkins (my review)
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (my review)
Sourdough by Robin Sloan (my review)
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (my review)
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (my review)
Phew. Now onto the actual Top 5 Summer Reads.
5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Kicking this off with something not quite as fun and summery as some of the other reads but I stand by my choice all the same. Big Little Lies is certainly a page turner, which is what we all need during the summer, don’t we? This would be a perfect book to take on a relaxing summer holiday – the topics in it aren’t exactly sunshiney and cheery but I guarantee you it will suck you into its story and not let go until the final page.
4. Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt
Not only is Unconventional that fun YA contemporary you’re looking for, it’s also set over convention season so there’s a lot of scenes in stuffy, warm convention halls and conference venues – and you can definitely feel that setting in this story! As someone from the UK, it’s also great to get to read some UK YA and enjoy it as much as I did. If you like cons and are weirdly curious about the ins and outs and the behind-the-scenes running of one, then this is the summer read for you.
(If you’re curious to hear why I liked this book so much, check out my review.)
3. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
I don’t know whether this is just me but, whenever I read any of E. Lockhart’s books, I feel like there’s a strange kind of summery heat haze lying over all her characters and scenes. You’re never quite sure of the truth or untruth of any given situation, even (or maybe especially) if the narrator is telling you about themselves, which makes the whole experience extremely hazy and in a strange, abstract place where reality isn’t quite checking out as it should. To me, this entire tone is well suited to a summer read, and E. Lockhart’s books are certainly the sort of compelling page turners that you could find yourself lost in for a summer’s afternoon.
(Check out of my review if you’re keen to hear more about this one, though no spoilers, I promise!)
2. Circe by Madeline Miller
Maybe it’s something to do with the orange tones of the frankly stunning UK hardcover edition? Maybe it’s just because I associate anything Greek with sunshine? Whatever the reason, Circe earns its place on the list by being a rather bloody great book. It probably reads as more of a slow burn than any of the other books I’ve mentioned, but I think it deserves to be on everyone’s Summer TBR because Miller’s retelling opens up the myth of Circe as a witch and places her at the centre of her own story so she can tell it how it is.
(I also did a review for this one – head over here to take a peek.)
1. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Who doesn’t love a romp through Europe on the Grand Tour with a couple of dandies? This book is pure fun, from start to finish, and certainly something that can be gobbled up over a summery day, especially if you choose to read the wonderfully narrated audiobook. On this adventure we follow two best friends, Monty and Percy, and Monty’s sister Felicity as they meet with pirates and highwayman and all sorts of hijinks as they tour the Continent. This also actually touches on quite a few very real and very important issues regarding sexuality, women’s rights, education, abuse, and racism… so yeah, it also has a little bite to it amongst all the fun and larks running away from perturbed dukes and pirates.
That’s all for now folks – those were my Summer Reads recommendations for Top 5 Wednesday. What do you tend to read over summer – did you stick to a certain genre or do seasons/the weather actually not affect what you feel like reading? Do you have any fun summer reads recommendations for me? Be sure to link me to your Top 5 Wednesday post if you have one- I’d love to read it!