Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey @ GingerReadsLainey on Youtube. This week’s T5W prompt is Top 5 Summer Reads – This can include beach reads, fun reads, or any book you associate with summer for whatever reason!
I really love this T5W prompt in particular, because thinking about the fact that summer is right around the corner always gets me in a better mood. For this prompt, I went with the top 5 books that I reach for whenever I’m in the mood for a light, summer-y read!
5. Summer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins
Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.
I just realized that Stephanie Perkins is featured twice on this relatively-short list – I guess this only goes to say that she really is the queen of cute contemporary! I feel like Summer Days and Summer Nights is almost too obvious of a pick, but that’s okay, HAHAH. Summer Days and Summer Nights is filled with (mostly) adorable and light stories – while there are definitely a few standouts and a few misses, everyone is bound to find a story in this collection that they’ll fall in love with. You can find my review of it here!
4. The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.
Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.
Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.
But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.
While this book doesn’t actually come out until June 7th (I received it as an ARC in exchange for an honest review, and a review will be up soon!), I would definitely list it as a top 5 summer read. Compared to some of the other books on this list, it’s not the most lighthearted read – it definitely has a lot of depth, has strong themes of nostalgia, and discusses the topic of loss in different forms. But it still left me feeling light, was a quick read, and was cute in a lot of ways. I would definitely recommend pre-ordering this/buying it once it comes out to celebrate the beginning of summer!
3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.
They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an adorable and lighthearted read – if I could describe it in a word, it would definitely be fluffy (but not shallow!). While it wasn’t one of my favorite books overall, it’s still definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone in the mood for a summer contemporary. You can find my review of it here.
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
+ the rest of the Anna books
Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?
Anna and the French Kiss, along with the rest of the Anna books (Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After), is, without a doubt, a cult classic – and honestly, rightfully so! Even for someone like me, who is generally averse to romance as a focal point in books, Anna and the French Kiss was an adorable and lighthearted read that left me feeling very warm and happy – which is basically all I can ask for from a summer read.
1. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um…
Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?
I feel like everyone is sick of me raving about Since You’ve Been Gone, but it’s definitely the first book that I reach for whenever I’m in the mood for a light, summer read that always leaves me feeling better. I love practically everything about it, and would recommend it to practically anyone – especially for those trying to get back into contemporary (I read Since You’ve Been Gone during a time where I was pretty disinterested in contemporary, and it definitely opened the doors for contemporary again). You can find my review of it here!