So I know I’ve been hiding under a rock for months now, but I’ve emerged with SO MANY BOOKS and there are a few I have been dying to talk about. The selection I’ll be talking about today are specifically SUMMER READS – they all just belong in your hands on a beach somewhere. So, whether you’re planning an end-of-summer getaway or like me, just planning on sitting in a park and imagining you’re on a beach somewhere else, these books should put you in the right frame of mind.
1. Bunny by Mona Awad
When I think of summer, I think of fun and that is why Bunny by Mona Awad tops this list. This is probably the most fun I’ve had reading a book in months. It’s a playful mix of satire, MFA humor, and drama, described as “The Vegetarian meets Heathers” or once I heard someone call it “a light-hearted Secret History.” It’s marked as literary fiction and I’m obsessed with the prose, though it definitely blurs all kinds of genre lines.
The novel is set in at a fictional, prestigious, New England MFA program where protagonist, Samantha Mackey encounters a clique who all call each other “Bunny.” It’s a little bit spooky, and beautiful, and also hilarious.
2. Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
Okay, so this one is a little more winter than summer, but in all the winter scenes I was so glad I was sitting on a very sunny bench. Wild thriller Social Creature sits pretty at #2 on this list because for me, I love summer vacations and this novel transports you to the epic parties of New York City. This book is full of real places in New York that actually exist – it’s New York as I know it and it’s a lot of fun.
So, Social Creature is a book in the spirit of The Talented Mr. Ripley, set in the social media age. It’s a compelling thriller about a chance encounter where a struggling writer meets a charming socialite.
3. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
So, I want to preface this with the statement, there are horror stories on this list, but despite the title, I wouldn’t consider My Sister, The Serial Killer to be one of them. There’s murder and lots of it, but it’s so darkly funny it feels about as frightening as Showtime’s Dexter. This is a book too that needs to be made into a TV series. It’s full of plot-twists, sister-drama, and romance.
In My Sister, The Serial Killer, protagonist Korede gets a call to help her sister Ayoola hide a body. What else are sisters for? But there’s tensions bubbling up that have been there for years. Ayoola was always the favorite sister. It’s only natural that she’s getting away with murder.
4. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Now for something really scary, but also summery? I don’t know. The Shining was always one of my favorite vacation getaway reads, so now I’ve got to recommend The Cabin at the End of the World by horror-master Paul Tremblay. I love horror and this book is terrifying. It’s got an ending I didn’t see coming and a plot that kept me reading late into the night.
I don’t want to ruin one piece of this book so just imagine you’re in a remote, scenic cabin in the woods for a well-deserved vacation and then, that four cryptic strangers are trying to break in.
5. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
Mostly Dead Things finishes this list because, I confess, I haven’t actually read it yet! But it’s one I’ve been dying to get my hands on since it first came out. It’s gotten some rave reviews from my writer friends, the Moon-birds and that’s good enough for me. From what I hear, it’s a humorous and eccentric novel about love, loss, and family that includes quite a bit of taxidermy.