Summer is HERE, and that means it’s time to grab some shades, a picnic blanket, and your best beach read for some outdoor reading time in the lovely warmth and sunshine.
As far as I’m concerned, ANY book can be the perfect summer read, as long as you enjoy reading it. But if you really want something with a beachy, summery feel to it, we present to you our list of the 14 Ultimate YA Summer Reads for 2014. (Get it? 14 books for 2014!)
The Sound by Sarah Alderson
A sleepy beach-town. A nanny from the UK. Sexy bad boys. And a crowd of rich kids with some seriously dark secrets. This book has EVERYTHING I love about a summer read, and it’s basically the perfect book to read this time of year.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (series) by Jenny Han
Perhaps one of the most quintessential summer reads — Jenny Han’s Summer I Turned Pretty Series offers readers a rich trilogy of romance and love triangles and coming of age, spanning multiple summers over three whole books. Pick up all three books in this series for some serious binge-reading.
Inland by Kat Rosenfield
A mysterious call to the sea is at the heart of this creepy and moody thriller, that walks along the genre lines between contemporary, magic realism, and paranormal. You may never be sure where along those genres Inland falls, but you won’t care because it’s just so damn gorgeous.
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
The mysterious murder of a young woman captivates the people in a small town, during a pivotal summer in one girl’s life. A sort of un-coming of age saga unfolds, as life in this sleepy town is turned upside down by unexpected violence.
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
A coming-of-age story with elements of John Green, J.D. Salinger, and Stephen Chbosky, Schneider’s story is just the sort of book you want to read about during the long, hot summer days. This book perfectly captures all the anxieties and angst of high school, packaged prettily in a set of quirky characters and charming plot points.
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
One incredible day at the beach, and two lives forever changed. Lisa’s beautiful novel-in-prose is a captivating story about facing our fears, and making peace within ourselves — and finding romance at the same time. A quick, lovely read, The Day Before is the perfect book to take with for a day trip to the coast.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The perfect summer plans are shattered when Emily’s best friend Sloane disappears without a word. Fortunately, Sloane has left behind a bizarre to-do list, which Emily is sure holds the key to finding Sloane, if only she can cross everything off the list. Not too hard, right? Sure … as long as you don’t mind kissing strangers and skinny dipping.
Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael
Set on the North Carolina coast, this book follows the unfolding saga of one teen boy and the twin brother he never knew about — who also just so happens to be the son of a powerful senator. What happens when he goes in search of this long-lost family sets the stage for this moody and beautifully-written character examination.
Clarity by Kim Harrington
The Cape Cod setting in this paranormal thriller takes center stage, as clairvoyant teen Clare tries to piece together the murder of a tourist in her sleepy seaside town. A sequel, Perception, is also available.
The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan
A surfer girl on the California coast has her world turned upside down by the discovery that her mother was a mermaid. Madigan’s take on the mermaid mythology is lovely and captivating, but her characters’ lives on land is perhaps even more compelling. I loved every page of this book.
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
A tiny tourist town in Maine is turned upside down by the arrival of a movie crew — but that’s nothing compared to the upheaval in Ellie’s life, when she learns that the hot teen star of the film is also the secret pen pal she’s been corresponding with. With her own secrets to protect, their turbulent romance is a delightful summer saga to read about.
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Taking place in Indonesia following the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, Sea is an achingly beautiful portrait of love and survival, and moving on after the most horrific devastation. Kling wrote the novel based on her husband’s first-hand accounts of recovery work in Indonesia following the tsunami.
The Summer of Skinny-Dipping by Amanda Howells
Don’t let the cute title and breezy cover fool you – this book is full of intense feels and heartache. A gut-wrenching novel, I devoured this book in one sitting when it first came out, and I still think about it every summer.
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
A gripping story about finding your place in the world, and learning to stand still after a life of running, Where the Stars Still Shine is one of those books that grabbed me from page one and never let go. The touristy Florida beach town setting just adds to this book’s mood, making it a perfect summer read.
For the comments: What other books would you consider the perfect summer read? Tell us below!