Ahh, summer. A quiet, peaceful, relaxing time for frolicking and rejuvenating your spirit. The mere thought of it elicits a dramatic sigh and conjures up images of pristine, sandy beaches dotted with the occasional umbrella.
Of course, that dreamy scenario isn’t usually what reality looks like. Instead, during summer months, local beaches swarm with hoards of eager, sun-loving individuals who aren’t necessarily in the mood to unwind. It’s a difficult thing to relax, after all, when you’re dodging stray volleyballs and scouring the land for a postage stamp worth of sand to call your own.
But no matter, summer brings warmth and sunshine, vacation, and the opportunity for idle time when you can get lost in a book and forget all about that beach volleyball that just bounced off your head.
Which is why we’re recommending something lighter this month; digestible, delicious, satisfying reads you can tear through over the course of a weekend–maybe even less. Ahead, our five favorite lighthearted summer reads with engrossing plot lines that make for easy reading during a hot summer day. Whether you do so poolside, indoors, or on a sandy beach is up to you.
A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out
This novel is bound to draw comparisons to The Devil Wears Prada but there’s actually something new here. Sally Franson’s A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out follows the struggles of Casey Pendergast, a flawed heroine working in the cut-throat advertising industry. Reviewers have praised the sharp, funny dialogue. Plus, the protagonist deals with an internal struggle we can all relate to. She was once a book-loving English major with ideals, but now she’s grappling with the very real question: How do you stay true to yourself while climbing to the top?
Does sitting on the beach while reading a book set in a beachside community sound like too much? We say no. In Lighthouse Beach, author Shelley Noble sets the stage with a wedding that’s cut short after a group of friends discover the groom philandering nearby. The group of four women, all with different, unlikely backgrounds, pack into an old van and head to Lighthouse Beach. Each character’s story add layers and subplots that create a believable and enjoyable journey of self-discovery.
When Life Gives You Lululemons
From the author of The Devil Wears Prada comes the follow-up tale of one of the story’s most beloved (and cutthroat) characters, Emily Charlton. In When Life Gives You Lululemons, the ex-assistant to fashion editor Miranda Priestly has decamped for the suburbs in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she feels like a fish out of water. It’s against this backdrop that Emily, who is trying to revive her career as an image consultant, finds a client like no other: Karolina Hartwell, the wife of a senator with presidential ambitions who was just publicly dumped.
The Wedding Date
The Wedding Date features a setup lifted straight out of a rom-com (or built to be optioned promptly, depending on how you look at at). Alexa Monroe is the chief of staff for the mayor of Berkeley. Drew Nichols is a pediatrician from Los Angeles. The two meet-cute when they get stuck in an elevator together. After some chit-chat, Drew ends up asking Alexa to be his date to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. Hijinx, overthinking, and awkwardness ensue.
My Lady’s Choosing
If you loved those choose-your-own-adventure books from your childhood, then you’ll no doubt enjoy My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel. The book places you as a penniless heroine operating in 18th-century society, and asks you to navigate courtship season at your own peril. There’s a cast of varying and memorable suitors who make for fun, interwoven plotlines. As is the magic of other alternate-ending books, you’ll likely end up revisiting the book to try out different scenarios.