Summer is the perfect time to read those sugary sweet romances and contemporaries that have been collecting dust winter long. And publishers are well aware of what us YA fanatics are jonesing for, releasing all their fluffy reads in a three month window of dog days. At a later date I’ll do a post of pre-2016 releases that are perfect to take to the beach, but for now I’m merely counting down the newly publicated novels I’m most anticipating. Lots of these are by big name authors (Stephanie Perkins, Morgan Matson, and Kasie West to name a few) so across the spectrum there’s bound to be the perfect summer reading fling for you. So without further ado…
Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins returns to the young adult book world with another star studded short story compilation; Summer Days and Summer Nights. From sunset boat rides to romantic walks on the beach, 12 bestselling authors are sure to get our hearts a thumping with their tales of love. It has a totally new group of brains behind the operation, and I can say I’m personally most excited to read Leigh Bardugo and Nina LaCour’s contributions. When I finally get around to reading this (it comes out May 17th, by the way) it will be the first time I’ve read a book written in such a format. Needless to say, I’m excited! Especially when every Christmas I set out to read My True Love Gave to Me (this books predecessor), to no avail. Well the time is among us, and this summer season is perfect for me to work on a tan while getting my reading game on. Oh, and that cover? Don’t even get me started! I want to have it printed on a jumbo poster so I can hang it above my headboard and love it forever. I could go on and on but in conclusion: cool author’s, sweet romance, swoon worthy cover art, sign me up!
You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour
As I mentioned above, I’m super excited to read Nina LaCour’s contribution to Summer Days and Summer Nights. That’s nothing though compared to my anticipation over her latest novel with David Levithan. You Know Me Well (which comes out on June 7th) follows Mark and Kate, two high schoolers madly in love with their respective friend/acquaintance; neither of whom reciprocate the affection. In one night the unlucky in love combo becomes the best of friends as they navigate the gamut of emotions that come with first love. These two are some of my favorite authors, so naturally it’s safe to assume their combined efforts in awesomeness will be mind blowing, right? Myself and other bookworms seem to think so, with those lucky enough to receive an ARC already singing praises for the heart of this little contemporary. Just to name one thing about it that really gets me excited is the built in safety net this book has in regards to my most hated romance read trope. That being since our protagonists are gay (but also, yay for diversity) there’s no chance of the best-friends-turn-lovers cliche that is oh so loved by readers #not. Hopefully that isn’t the only case of exceptionally original storytelling though, and this one can be a summer read with serious heart.
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
For all my frequent perusing of young adult contemporaries, I’ve never actually read a Morgan Matson novel. I almost read Since You’ve Been Gone (which came out way back in 2014), but having heard mixed things about it I was unwilling to commit 500 pages of my bookish life to reading it. This time around though I’m committed to chalking up a space for The Unexpected Everything to fill in my next three months of reading. The story follows the summer of high school senior Andie in light of her father’s recent political scandal. Her whole world is turned upside down, and the carefully meticulous plans she guides herself by come crashing down. Of course that’s exactly when she meets resident hottie Clark, who shows her the beauty in the unexpected. I’ll be the first to admit I’m largely basing my excitement on cover lust, as the cover featuring dogs and an ice cream truck is right up my alley (and that of every other young woman considering a foray into Matson’s work- well played Simon & Schuster). However there are some other factors too, including what I feel is setup to be a great parent dynamic between Andie and her dad. I always love it when YA can stray from Missing Parent Syndrome and deliver something beyond a romantic or friendship based relationship. This one has already been released, so check it out and let me know your thoughts!
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Way back in November of 2015 I reviewed The Fill In Boyfriend (check it out here: you know you want to) to mixed feelings. It wasn’t the worst cutesy chick lit I’d stumbled across, but I needed something more. And while I’ll never claim to being the biggest fan of this sub genre, Kasie West left me with a feeling that she had more to give involving her writing. So that leads me to July 26, 2016, the day Point publishing releases P.S. I Like You. The unstoppable West (who literally writes two books a year) is this time tackling the romance behind good old fashioned secret admirer notes. More specifically we follow Lily, who after scribbling on a desk, returns to find her message returned. Whirlwind communication ensues, and when Lily find out her correspondent is a dude she begins falling for Mr. Question Mark. I like that West is giving herself a couple outlets with the story, as one of my major issues with Fill In was how single minded my focused she was on the relationship between Hayden and Gia. I needed something more and this plot line has all the workings to give me that little something extra.
It Wasn’t Always Like This by Joy Preble
For the most part I’ve kept this list exclusively geared toward the sugary sweet romances of the world. To round it out though I wanted to choose a read with a bit more by way of substance. It Wasn’t Always Like This (which came out May 17th) fit that bill perfectly. Influenced a bit by Tuck Everlasting, the story begins with love interests Emma and Charlie in 1916. The two sample an experimental polio vaccine that stops aging, only to find disastrous consequences in its wake. A fanatical religious group has just murdered their families, and through their modern day descendants will stop at nothing to finish the job laid out a century before. There’s a lot of different ways Preble could go with this one, but my money’s on her bypassing the “deeper” questions of immortality and instead making It Wasn’t a more action/romance centric read. This makes it perfect for those days when I’m at wits end with contemporaries and looking for a more atmospheric story without the length of my typical go too’s in historical fiction or sci-Fi. Since this one is already out, there’s no time like the present for me to finally read it.
What are your most anticipated summer reads? Any releases by your favorite authors coming out? Let me know in the comments!