One of my favorite past times over the summer is to cozy up to a good book. Whether it’s on the beach or in the comfort of my own home, there is just something so relaxing and comforting about a good read, but it must be able to capture my interest within the first chapter and make me want to stay up to the wee hours of the night and early morning in suspense, hoping to find out what happens next.
This reading list will deliver all of that and more and consists of ten books you will not be able to put down this summer. Whatever your preference of genre, there is sure to be at least one book to pique your interest. Maybe one of these hot titles will even convince you to branch out into other genres that you’ve been reluctant to try before.
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As a teacher, this tragic yet thrilling tale really hits home. I see many of the same struggles faced by the main character, Hannah Baker, within my own students. While many critics have claimed that this book glamorizes suicide, I believe the opposite. The author meant to bring awareness to teens, teachers, and parents about the signs of suicide and the daily struggles our teens face today.
This dark, compelling read digs deep into the petty cruelty bestowed upon a newcomer looking for a fresh start. Hannah Baker is faced with ridicule, deceit, and mental and physical anguish so painful that it caused her take her own life. Now she seeks to expose the thirteen people who drove her to her final decision through a set of audio cassette tapes.
This exquisitely written tale of two sisters set in France during WWII will bring you to tears on multiple occasions. The author, Kristin Hannah, writes this epic novel with such detail that it allows your imagination to set the scene and capture the hardships and drama during this historical time. You will not want to put this book down, and it will give you a newfound appreciation for all the ladies and gentlemen who put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms.
If you loved The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and you are looking for more of her material to dive head-first into, then you will enjoy Firefly Lane. This powerful tale of unlikely friendship between two girls, turned women will make you laugh and cry. Tully and Kate are very different, but their friendship is ignited when they realize that they are exactly what each other is missing in their lives. Over time, their lives take on different paths, but they always seem to find their way back to each other. This story is a reminder that the very one who can tear you down can also be the one to heal you.
If you’ve already read the Nightingale and loved it, then you will also love this compelling, page-turner that allows you to examine WWII from a fresh perspective of three women. In their quest for love, freedom and second chances you will be moved by this memorable novel inspired by the lives of real women across multiple countries during a frightening time in our world’s history. You will be moved to tears, and the author does a terrific job with character development.
This little gem of a book won the Pulitzer Prize, and you will be moved by this story of a blind French girl and a German boy set in France during WWII. Marie-Laure and her father are forced to flee Paris to live with her reclusive uncle in Saint-Malo. Her father, a museum employee, is trusted with one of the museum’s most valuable and precious jewels. Werner is a boy of many talents, which awards him a spot at the academy for Hitler Youth. He is sent on a special assignment where he ends up in Saint-Malo and meets Marie-Laure. This book is beautifully written and you will find it tough to put it down.
This may be one of my all-time favorite books. Each chapter will leave you begging for more and wondering what could possibly happen next to the main character, an Italian youth named Pino Lella. This heart wrenching story is based on a real war hero’s account of WWII in Italy. Pino risks it all by helping Jews escape to safety in the Swiss Alps, but when he turns eighteen, he’s forced to enlist with the German Nazi forces.
Instead of taking part in the horrors of the war brought on by the Germans, Pino becomes an Allied spy inside the German High Command. You will be amazed by Pino’s bravery and you will become instantly absorbed by this inspiring tale set in the middle of one of the most horrific times this world has ever seen.
Imagine waking up on the gym floor not knowing how you got there or what happened to your picture-perfect life. This is exactly what happened to Alice when she’s whisked off to the hospital and discovers that her marriage has fallen apart, she’s 10 years older than she remembers and she has three children, only one of which she remembers. Alice must now try to piece together what she’s missing from the past ten years and decide whether her memory loss is actually a blessing in disguise and if there is way to start over.
This #1 eBook bestseller is a true love story that will appeal to readers that are fans of Nicholas Sparks. Tina Craig is trapped in an abusive relationship with her drunk of a husband. When she finds a mysterious letter in a coat pocket at a thrift store she volunteers at, she is compelled to find the woman to whom it is addressed to and deliver the message within that letter. Billy Stirling is the author of that letter and it is meant for the love of his life and mother of his child expressing his love for her before he leaves for war. Unfortunately, she never receives the letter and her and her baby’s lives are forever changed.
Imagine being married to the most horrific serial killer possible and not even know it. This is exactly how this story begins for Gina Royal, wife to Melvin Royal and mother of their two children set in Wichita, Kansas. After a car accident exposes Melvin’s lair, Gina and her kids’ lives are turned upside down and are never the same again. They have had to move, change their names and begin again on multiple occasions to escape threats from Melvin’s followers and those seeking revenge for his wrongdoings.
Gina worries that she will never lead a normal life again where she will be able to trust another man with her heart and her kids until she comes to Stillhouse Lake. This book will not disappoint and its twists and turns will keep you awake at night. This is also Book 1 of a series. Stayed tuned for the release of book 2 in December 2017. Pre-order your copy here.
Ove is a reclusive 59-year old, Saab-driving widower who has a plan to kill himself. Truth is, ever since his wife died, a part of him has died also and he feels that life is no longer worth living. A young couple and their two young children move in next door to Ove and delays his suicide plans. This feel-good novel sends a charming message. You will find yourself laughing, crying and sympathizing with Ove and his life struggles. This book would be a great choice for book clubs, and it’s an easy read that will add a bit of sparkle to your summer vacation.
All of these books can be found on Amazon in the Kindle store, some of which are free with a subscription to Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 per month. If you are an avid reader, this is a heck of a deal and you can cancel anytime.
What have you been reading lately? Leave your recommendations in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!