I’m back after a long time with something I haven’t done before. I’m bringing you a list of recommendations of 5 great books to read this summer. I’m almost halfway through my summer break and one promise I made to myself was that I would read more.
I’ve always loved reading, being able to easily finish a book in a couple of days. Over the last few years though, I’ve been so pre-occupied with other things and have let my reading slip.
Quick and easy women’s fiction used to be my go-to. I’m a huge fan of Marian Keyes, Jane Green and Catherine Alliot. I will write another post soon recommending some of their books.Over the last couple of years, however, I’ve enjoyed picking up more psychological thrillers. There’s just something about a slightly darker story that has me gripped. I love playing detective and patting myself on the back when I’ve got it right. I equally love it when I don’t manage to guess the outcome, that final twist.
So here are 5 great books to read this summer. I read some of these a while back but think they’re good novels to sink your teeth in to when you’re chilling in the garden or (dare I say it?) venturing abroad.
1. WE WERE LIARS – E LOCKHART
I read We Were Liars a couple of years ago now. It’s a Young Adult suspense novel published in 2014. I literally sat down one Saturday afternoon and devoured it in one sitting. It’s a really easy read but that doesn’t make it any less gripping.
The novel centres around the wealthy Sinclair family who spend every summer on a private island. The four ‘liars’ are Cadence our narrator, her teenage cousins Johnny and Mirren, and Gat, the outsider.
E Lockhart keeps you hooked till the very end on a story that centres around family, secrets, deception and mystery.
2. EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU – CELESTE NG
I first picked up a Celeste Ng novel on the recommendation of a friend who had read Little Fires Everywhere. We’re both fans of Liane Moriarty, the author of Big Little Lies. And she told me that as I’d enjoyed that so much, I’d love Little Fires too.
And of course, if Reese Witherspoon recommends something in her Book Club, I’m there! So I read Little Fires Everywhere last summer and loved it. Of course, I watched the miniseries on Prime Video too but in my personal opinion, the book is always better than the adaptation.Everything I Never Told You is actually Celeste’s Ng’s first novel but I read Little Fires first. Celeste’s writing style is easy to follow but I love the pictures she paints.
It’s a story about a mixed-race Chinese-American family in the 70s. Lydia, their middle daughter, is found drowned in a lake. The police rule it as suicide but her family thinks it was murder.
For me, this novel was heartbreaking, maybe because I’m the parent of a teenage daughter. And it had me examining the destruction a parent can cause in their child’s life. A must-read.
3. THE CATCH – T.M. LOGAN
I picked up The Catch a couple of weeks ago on a Wednesday afternoon and was done with it by Friday. I think it was one of those novels I could easily have finished in one sitting but of course, being on summer break with the kids, that rarely happens!
T.M. Logan wasn’t a writer I was familiar with before and it was nice to read a novel by a male author. Not that it matters as long as the story is good but like I said earlier, over the last few years, I’ve read a lot of women’s fiction.
The story centres around Ed, who meets his daughter’s boyfriend for the first time. He immediately senses something is off and that his daughter is in danger. And so he sets off on a mission to find out more about Ryan and the secrets he is hiding.
It had everything I want from a thriller – suspense, tension, a parent faced with a moral dilemma and of course the big ending (no spoilers, of course!).
4. WATCHING YOU – LISA JEWELL
This was the first time I’d read a Lisa Jewell novel too. I came across her via one of my friend’s Instagram stories and started searching through all of her books. I decided to start off with Watching You, published in 2019.
It was bought at the same time as The Catch, and just like with that novel, I finished this in under two days. It’s a story that starts with a dead body and is told from the standpoint of three characters.27-year-old Joey moves back home to Bristol with her new husband. But soon she becomes obsessed with her neighbour, the headteacher of the local school. What she doesn’t know is that while she is watching him, someone else is watching her.
I was literally left guessing ‘whodunnit’ till the end. So if you’re after a real page turner, you won’t be disappointed.
5. THE HONEYMOON – TINA SESKIS
My final recommendation is The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis, another author I discovered for the first time. I read this on holiday to the Dominican Republic in 2018 and it’s definitely a poolside, beach or garden read.
Jemma is on honeymoon – two weeks in a five-star luxury resort in the Maldives. But her husband suddenly disappears off the island. Where is he? Jemma isn’t actually a likeable character, in my opinion. But I quite liked that about the book. I didn’t care that I didn’t like her or believe her version of events.I did want to solve the mystery though and there are several twists to throw you off the scent.
And the ending? I didn’t see that coming in the slightest! Some people might think it’s a bit far-fetched but it is definitely creative. I found myself zipping through this book and will definitely be reading more from Tina Seskis.
Let me know your thoughts on these books. Have you read any of the titles before? If you do pick up something on my list of recommendations, please drop a comment below and let me know what you thought.
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