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Featured Review

My Summer Romance Reads

I find that summer is the perfect time to get lost in a book, with the sun blazing and a tan awaiting outside, along with parents constantly nagging you to get out and enjoy the weather, the usual distractions from reading are few and far between.

If you’re like me then, you’ll find a certain pleasure in aligning the seasons in your books to the seasons in outside. You’d be hard-pressed to find me reading a Christmas book in the summer or vice versa. However, sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect summer book to read, one just summery enough, but not lacking in all the usual stuff that I want from a novel.

Therefore, since I have spent so many summers lying around and reading in the sun, I find myself fit to give some young adult book recommendations that are perfect for this summer.

The Summer of Us

Cecilia Vinesse (Hachette)

American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she's nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they're going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe. But when old secrets come to light, Aubrey and Rae's trip goes from a carefree adventure to a complete disaster.

If you aren’t traveling this summer, then what better way to live vicariously than through a book? I loved navigating my way around Europe with these loveable characters, whilst watching them grow and learn about themselves along the way. An easy read, full of travel, friendship and love this is a quintessential summer book and perfect for anyone who longs for their own exciting and more than slightly emotional road-trip.

The Twelfth Day of July

Joan Lingard (Penguin)

The Twelfth Day of July is first of Joan Lingard's influential Kevin and Sadie books, set in Belfast during the Troubles.

Sadie is Protestant, Kevin is Catholic - and on the tense streets of Belfast their lives collide. It starts with a dare - kids fooling around - but soon becomes something dangerous. Getting to know Sadie Jackson will change Kevin's life forever. But will the world around them change too?

Although one wouldn’t usually turn to classics for a light summer read this novella (being only 162 pages) is perfect for a pool-side read. Fast-paced and thought-provoking, the book is the first in the 5-part series detailing the protagonists’ eventual love-story.

If you’re looking for something a little different from the usual summer romance, then this tense and striking book is for you.

The Last Summer of Us

Maggie Harcourt (Usborne)

The air smells of hot, dry grass trampled underfoot. It smells of diesel, of cider and cigarettes and burgers and ice cream and the ends of things. The end of the summer.

The end of us: of Steffan and Jared and me.

This is the story of a road trip.

The story of three best friends crammed into a clapped-out car full of regrets and secrets, on a journey that will change their lives for ever.

A story of love, lies, grief, friendship and growing up.

A story you'll never forget.

‘The Last Summer of Us’ is one of my favourite books in general, let alone for the summer. Perhaps it’s because the characters are very similar to people in my own life, or perhaps it’s because of the bittersweet feeling to the book that perfectly reflects on how it feels to move, whether it’s to a different country, or a different part of your life, but either way this melancholy yet also hilarious book emanates everything that a person moving to a new place will feel. This sweet book is brilliant for anyone who’s ever had to experience the melancholy of moving on.

The Square Root of Summer

Harriet Reuter Hapgood (Panmacmillan)

Last summer, Gottie’s life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died, and Jason left her - the boy to whom she lost her heart - and he wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time - back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then . . .

During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.

‘The Square Root of Summer’ is such an endearing book. Once again, this book is about love, friendship and most of all, moving on. As so many books in this list reflect, Spring may be the season of new beginnings, but Summer is the season of saying goodbye, as any teenager will understand.

This bittersweet novel perfectly conveys all that, as well as talking about grief and the importance of family. Another beautiful book perfect for a blurry summer day.

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