While it's important for all non-essential workers to stay home as much as possible in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, we can all admit that staying inside so much makes us miss fresh air and sunshine. Since we can't head to the beach right now to revel in all the fresh air and sunshine we're missing right now, we decided to bring the beach to you. A page turning beach read isn't the same thing as feeling the sand in your feet and taking a dip in the ocean, but it will do the trick for now. If you wish you were at the beach instead of stuck inside, these books will definitely help bring some fictional sunshine into your life.
For those worried about how to purchase books in states and cities following shelter in place guidelines, there are multiple ways to safely buy one of these books (or any others that catch your fancy) while staying home. If you want to support your local independent bookstore, you can order a book for delivery via IndieBound. If you don't have a local bookstore near you, but still want to support independent business during the shut down, use Bookshop. Barnes and Noble will deliver or provide curbside pickup for online orders, depending on local guidelines. Amazon will continue to deliver books, as well, though they are prioritizing other types of orders at this time.
The Rumor by Elin Hildebrand
Jacket Copy: Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something's changed, and if there's anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it's a good rumor.
And rumor has it...
...that Madeline, a novelist, is battling writer's block, with a deadline looming, bills piling up, and blank pages driving her to desperation—and a desperately bad decision;
...that Grace, hard at work to transform her backyard into a garden paradise, has been collaborating a bit more closely than necessary with her ruggedly handsome landscape architect;
...that Grace's husband, successful island real estate developer "Fast Eddie" Pancik, has embarked on quite an unusual side project;
...that the storybook romance between Madeline's son, Brick, and Grace's daughter Allegra is on the rocks, heading for disaster.
As the gossip escalates, and they face the possible loss of the happy lives they've worked so hard to create, Grace and Madeline try mightily to set the record straight—but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.
Reader Review: "Filled with juicy gossip and a whole lot of scandal, this is a must have bead read! How I let this author slip by on my radar is downright horrendous. I want to grab all of her books and nestle them on my bookshelf. I want to pack them all up, go to Nantucket for the week, and read them all one by one." - Elle's Book Blog via GoodReads
The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner
Jacket Copy: Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it's paid off: at twenty-eight she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and the hard-won admiration of her father. But one moment of weakness leaves Marin unemployed and alone, all in a single day. Then a woman claiming to be Marin's half-sister shows up, and it's all Marin can do not to break down completely. Seeking escape, Marin agrees to a road trip to meet the grandmother she never knew she had. As the summer unfolds at her grandmother's quaint beachside B&B, it becomes clear that the truth of her half-sister is just the beginning of revelations that will change Marin's life forever. THE FOREVER SUMMER is a delicious page-turner and a provocative exploration of what happens when our notions of love, truth, and family are put to the ultimate test.
Reader Review: "THE FOREVER SUMMER is a bittersweet tale of family secrets, love, and forgiveness, with a perfect summertime setting. I enjoyed the multigenerational cast of strong female characters, and reading about how this group of strangers forged a bond. There were tears, heartache, and other trying revelations along the way. This was a great beach read, and the Provincetown location was beautifully described. Sounds like an amazing place to spend the summer!" - Book of Secrets via GoodReads
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Jacket Copy: It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
Reader Review: "The characters is this novel are freaggin fabulous! That is one thing I can always count on with Dessen, she knows how to create a believable and relatable character no matter the situation. And Auden is no exception. I reveled in her transformation throughout the story. Ultimately that’s what this story was a bout for me, some people might see it as a love story, but for me is was a story of transformation." - Kristi via GoodReads
The Vacationers by Emma Staub
Jacket Copy: For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan.
But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.
Reader Review: "I loved many, many things about this book—the food, the weather, the atmosphere, the dialogue, the sexy moments and the characters' wonderful little quirks." - Oriana via GoodReads
All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank
Jacket Copy: A sensational novel that follows the travels of one couple though a tumultuous summer. This is a story of people whose lives are changing a southern gentleman returning home to lead a more peaceful life and his talented New York wife who is not quite sure she is ready to make the transition. They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace, downsizing. And while they are doing this, they are getting glimpses into other people s lives over the course of a summer, holidays that will amuse, shock and transform them. This irresistible story is home to captivating characters as funny, complicated, and real as our best friends husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, friends and family who wrestle with the complexities, pain, and joys familiar to us all. Finally, we ll come to recognize the face of love, the kind that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. That leap changes them all.
Reader Review: "I say this every year, but it isn't summer until I've read the latest by Dorothea Benton Frank, and it's true for this year. Her books are the start of my summer and I always enjoy them...It's a fun read, I got through this in a weekend and I adored it, just like I've adored all of Dorothea's books. It's a solid summer read and I suggest it because Dorothea will never leave you disappointed!" - Sara via GoodReads
East Coast Girls by Kerry Kletter
Jacket Copy: Childhood friends Hannah, Maya, Blue and Renee share a bond that feels more like family. Growing up, they had difficult home lives, and the summers they spent together in Montauk were the happiest memories they ever made. Then, the summer after graduation, one terrible night changed everything.
Twelve years have passed since that fateful incident, and their sisterhood has drifted apart, each woman haunted by her own lost innocence. But just as they reunite in Montauk for one last summer, hoping to find happiness once more, tragedy strikes again. This time it’ll test them like never before, forcing them to confront decisions they’ve each had to live with and old secrets that refuse to stay buried.
Reader Review: "It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I worship Kerry Kletter’s writing. And if you’ve ever wondered why, just read this book. From the first sentence to the last, it’s a wrenchingly gorgeous, vital, lyrical, funny, and true-to-life portrait of four best friends. I love books about friendship. They’ve always been my favorite sort of books. And EAST COAST GIRLS has entered my canon of best friendship books ever written. It perfectly captures how the best sorts of friendships are their own universes, with their own languages, histories, triumphs, tragedies, and exasperations." - Jeff via GoodReads
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
Jacket Copy: Years ago, Nora Bridge walked out on her marriage and left her daughters behind. Now she is a famous talk show host. Her daughter Ruby is a struggling comedienne. The two haven’t spoken in more than a decade. Then a scandal from Nora’s past is exposed, and Ruby is offered a fortune to write a tell-all about her mother. Reluctantly, she returns to the family house on Summer Island, a home filled with frayed memories of joy and heartache. Confronting a past that includes a never-forgotten love, a sick best friend, and a mother who has harbored terrible family secrets, Ruby finally begins to understand the complex ties that bind a mother and daughter—and the healing that comes with forgiveness.
Reader Review: "Hannah always creates moving books and I love that her novels are set in the Northwest. Entertaining and satisfying, Summer Island is a compelling story about mothers and daughters. This novel like her others has an element of sadness and dissension but makes you enjoy the ending and root for the characters." - Mryna via GoodReads
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
Jacket Copy: In the summer of 1977, Victoria Leonard's world changed forever—when Caitlin Somers chose her as a friend. Dazzling, reckless Caitlin welcomed Vix into the heart of her sprawling, eccentric family, opening doors to a world of unimaginable privilege, sweeping her away to vacations on Martha's Vineyard, a magical, wind-blown island where two friends became summer sisters...
Now, years later, Vix is working in New York City. Caitlin is getting married on the Vineyard. And the early magic of their long, complicated friendship has faded. But Caitlin has begged Vix to come to her wedding, to be her maid of honor. And Vix knows that she will go—for the friend whose casual betrayals she remembers all too well. Because Vix wants to understand what happened during that last shattering summer. And, after all these years, she needs to know why her best friend—her summer sister—still has the power to break her heart.
Reader Review: "I read this book every summer, mostly because it does such a great job of capturing the essence of the season. (I actually prefer to read it when it's still a little cold outside so I can be transported to warmer weather, but for the past few years it's been so hard to find time to get it in!) Anyway, if you define a favorite book as one you want to read again and again, this is definitely one of my favorites." - Clare via GoodReads
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
Jacket Copy: Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.
So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens...in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.
Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for,The Weekendersis the perfect summer escape.
Reader Review: "This is the perfect beach read! Mary Kay Andrews has the unique ability to hook her readers into her stories from the get-go and this is no different with her newest novel, The Weekenders! Having read nearly all of her books, I knew when I saw this one that I had to read it. And I am so glad that I did because I absolutely loved this book. It has quite a bit of drama, mystery, and intrigue, but all of this is mixed together gives you a story that will keep you interested all the way through." - Elle's Book Blog via GoodReads
The Island House by Nancy Thayer
Jacket Copy: Courtney Hendricks will never forget the magical summers she spent on Nantucket with her college roommate, Robin Vickerey, and Robin's charismatic, turbulent, larger-than-life family, in their gorgeous island house. Now a college English professor in Kansas City, Courtney is determined to experience one more summer in this sun-swept paradise. Her reason for going is personal: Courtney needs to know whether Robin's brother James shares the feelings she's secretly had for him.
Time with the Vickerey family always involves love and laughter, and this season is no different. Vivacious matriarch Susanna Vickerey is celebrating her sixtieth birthday, but beneath the merriment, trouble is brewing. The family patriarch, Dr. Alastair Vickerey, is quiet and detached, while unspoken tension looms over oldest son Henry, a respected young surgeon. Warm and witty Robin, the most grounded of the siblings, is keeping a secret from her parents. Iris, the colorful baby of the brood, remains rudderless and in need of guidance. And the sexy, stunningly handsome, untouchable James--to Courtney's dismay--may be in love with a beautiful and vibrant local artist. As the summer unfolds, a crisis escalates, surprising truths are revealed, and Courtney will at last find out where her heart and her future lie.
Reader Review: "A light summer read. Great characters. terrific setting on Nantucket Island...just what you want to read on a lazy summer afternoon. I love these books for pure escapism." - Lynn via GoodReads
The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
Jacket Copy: Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.
As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother's overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother's fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.
But now the Sunshine Girls are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy are all going through crises of their own, their mother s illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears and they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all.
Reader Review: "I've been a huge Green fan for years and I always love when its time for her to release a new book. There is something about her writing and the easiness, the effortless flow that is like comfort food to me. The Sunshine Sisters was Green doing what she does best; crafting complex characters that virtually anyone could relate to while telling a story that is engaging and fun." - Amy via GoodReads
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Jacket Copy: Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.
Reader Review: "This is honestly one of the funniest books i have ever read. i was giggling like a dweeb pretty much throughout the entire thing. gosh, its such a depressing thought to know i will never be as funny as Olive and Ethan." - Jessica via GoodReads
The Last Summer by Anne Brashares
Jacket Copy: Riley and Alice, two sisters now in their twenties, and as fiercely different as they are loyal, have spent every summer at their parents’ modest beach house on New York’s Fire Island. Each year, they return to the house and community they have known since they were children—and to Paul, the boy next door. But this summer marks a season of change: budding love and sexual interest, an illness, and a deep secret force all three to confront the increasing complexities of their lives and friendships
Reader Review: "I loved this book. Every once in awhile I come across a book where the author writes--so much better than I ever could--the feelings I have. This was one of those novels." - Patricia via GoodReads