With summer break on the horizon, most people are probably dreaming of beaches or bonfires with friends — though considering the circumstances of the past year, it might be more viable to stay inside and occupy yourself otherwise (or just with hopes of a successful summer). Here are several great books to dig your nose into this coming break:
"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid
If you’re looking for an unconventional historical romance, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” is the book for you. Gone are the days of the only romantic books taking place in the past being the heterosexual and way too smutty kinds with pirates or princes with their shirts off on the cover.
“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” is full of old Hollywood glam, a story that’s both heart-wrenching heart-warming and excellent LGBTQ+ representation throughout the whole story.
The novel follows the titular elusive starlet as she describes her never-been-heard-before life story to a journalist. Her career as an actress and her life-long friendships (and yes, her seven husbands) are only some of the road bumps and successes in her life. Some of the book can be a little dark, especially considering the time frame it’s set in, so a list of triggers can be found here.
"Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
“Little Fires Everywhere” is sure to satiate any need for a book with plenty of nuance, depth, and good old fashioned suburban drama. Recently adapted into a Hulu show starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, “Little Fires Everywhere” is as popular as ever — and is worthy of a read before you ever decide to binge-watch the show.
The book’s focus is on the story of two families: The wealthy, privileged, typical picket fence Richardsons, and the Warrens, a free-spirited, unconventional single mother and daughter duo.
The drama that ensues when the Warrens move to town will have you on the edge of your seat, and it adeptly handles the interwoven dynamics and hot-button topics, like transracial adoptions, that occur in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The list of the book’s triggers can be found here.
"My Best Friend’s Exorcism" by Grady Hendrix
Horror fanatics, this one's for you. This novel serves both the “Stranger Things” fueled '80s throwback craze, and appeals to anyone who loves a little creepiness in the books they read.
“My Best Friend’s Exorcism” is a fantastic read about, you guessed it, protagonist Abby Rivers and her best friend Gretchen Lang in their sophomore year of high school — where after a long, painful night spent in the woods, Abby begins to suspect Gretchen is possessed.
“My Best Friend’s Exorcism” not only has a strong friendship and some sometimes downright disgusting-and-or-terrifying horror moments, but also it has a lot to say about the lives, expectations and dynamics among young women.
While not for the faint of heart, if you spend your nights watching slashers or ghost-hunting flicks, “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” is a fantastic way to go from screen to page without losing any shock factor. You can find a triggers list here.
"The Guest List" by Lucy Foley
If murder mysteries are more your speed than romances or horror novels, then “The Guest List” is the perfect read for you. Told from alternating perspectives and wrought with tense and intriguing relationships, "The Guest List" is both a psychological thriller and a classic Agatha Christie style "whodunnit" that will leave you wondering who you can trust, and if there’s any unreliable narrators.
When a wedding set off the coast of Ireland goes terribly wrong and a dead body is found, all of the staff and guests are left to scramble to figure out who would do such a thing — and what kind of danger it means they’re in with no ferry coming to rescue them.
If you love biting your nails in suspense, family drama and plenty of twists and turns, “The Guest List” is for you. A list of triggers is available here.
Whether you want to get swept up into the lives of glamorous Hollywood stars or potential killers, reading a good book is a great way to keep yourself busy and entertained over a much needed summer break. While a return to classics or favorites is always nice, these books are sure to join those stand-bys on your shelf after you give them a read.