Everywhere you look this time of year, there are amazing summer reading lists featuring new releases in every genre. This list is a little different. I want to spotlight some past releases that I’ve loved and will fit your need for the summer, no matter your mood.
Consider this the Summer Reads Throwback Edition!
If you’re craving: A Take No Prisoners Heroine
Read: The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Times are rough for people with uteruses right now. A lot of people are feeling justifiable rage and pain and sorrow over things happening in the real world, and that may leave you craving a heroine who is furious and powerful and who will burn this whole place to the ground if that’s what she feels is necessary. Maybe she’s a tiny bit villainous, too, but that just makes me love her more.
Meet Adelina of Marie Lu’s Young Elites series (start with The Young Elites). Adelina’s had turn after turn of bad stuff happen to her, and she’s ready to fight. No matter the cost. She definitely falls under the “unlikeable” heroine category, so if that’s your catnip, I cannot recommend this series enough!
If you’re craving: A twisty, dark YA story
Read: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Sometimes you just need to immerse yourself into something a little less glittery. We Were Liars is not a happy book, but it really hits the spot if you’re looking for a lyrical, beautifully told story of family secrets and trauma.
We follow Cadence as she tries to unravel what happened last summer and why it caused her life to turn on its head. Her well-off family spends their summers on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts and, well, I can’t say much without spoiling it, but you soon find out that the Sinclair family has more secrets than most, appearances are deceiving, and no one can be trusted.
If you’re craving: A binge-able fantasy series
Read: Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
Michelle Sagara has a way of weaving a story that’s impossible to put down while feeling a little like you’re in a fever dream. This series centers around a young woman, Kaylin, who fled a troublesome past and no works for the city guard in a world where the major races have come to a tentative peace under the rule of a dragon king.
The thing is, Kaylin isn’t what she seems, even if she doesn’t really know the extent of her powers or where the markings on her body came from. Now children are dying in the same way they did 7 years ago (the reason she fled her old life), and she’s dragged back into the investigation. The series follows her as she conducts various investigations and works with the different races in order to prevent an old enemy from rising.
Get ready to binge read!
If you’re craving: An Old School Historical Romance
Read: The Magnificent Rogue by Iris Johansen
Sometimes you’re feeling a little nostalgic over the summer, and this book really hits the spot if you’re looking to recreate that feeling fictionally. Old school romances can be hit or miss when read through the filter of current times, so some hold up better than others.
This is the first romance I ever read and, surprisingly, it holds up relatively well to the test of time. And it’s a SCORCHER, esp for that time. The things the hero does with heather (he’s a highlander, naturally) are straight up scandalous.
If you’re craving: A book that makes you long for winter
Read: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson
This book is an enemy to lovers romance that takes place in a truly amazing fantasy world. Neighboring kingdoms have been at war for three years, and now a marriage will finalize their treaty—one of the Summerlea king’s daughters (collectively known as The Seasons) will marry Wynter, the conquering king. Throw in a wedding night switcheroo, a hero with a literal heart of ice, and a heroine finally learning how to step into her own independence and power, and you have a book that’s just brimming with goodness.
This book has so much catnip in it, it should come with a warning. The next book in the series, The Sea King, is just as good, and the rest of the series promises to hold true to that standard. I cannot recommend it enough!
So there you have it! These are my five throwback recommendations to pad your summer reading. Go forth and buy/check them out from your library!