Summer has finally arrived, and with it a much-needed break away from the seemingly endless barrage of assignments and exams. Free from academic commitments, June offers a great opportunity to read, whether it’s a book set aside during springtime or something entirely new.
There is no better way to unwind after a stressful semester and embrace the upcoming summer months than by having an immersive reading. Even if you’re stuck at home or work, an exciting summer day or vacation often lies in the right book pages. From Cape Cod to the Amalfi Coast, this month’s picks epitomize the promise of summer perfectly—complete with legendary parties, go-to cruises, and spirited romance.
“Paper Palace” by Miranda Cole Heller
A wonderful blend of romance and psychological fantasy, Miranda Cowley Heller’s debut novel “The Paper Palace” has attracted a lot of attention since its release last summer. It instantly became a New York Times bestseller, and actress Reese Witherspoon chose the novel for her fame book club last July. Cowley Heller definitely knows how to write a page-turner – while “The Paper Palace” is her first book, she has developed and supervised several popular shows such as “under six feet” And the “sopranoas a former president of soap operas and senior vice president of HBO.
Set on Cape Cod in August, the story unfolds of Elle – a married middle-aged mother – with her lifelong friend Jonas under her husband’s noses. The next day, Elle must choose between the life she created with her beloved husband Peter and the life she once dreamed of with Jonas before a tragic event completely derails their lives. Cowley Heller expertly combines the experiences that led Ellie to this moment, so readers arrive at her decision with a full understanding of its complexity and consequences.
The novel, written in devastatingly beautiful prose, takes into account the place of desire and secrets in the past and present, as well as its ability to determine one’s future. Readers should be aware that this book contains descriptions of abuse, rape, and sexual assault that can be difficult to read.
“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
From the author of “Daisy Jones & The Six” and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” – both I enjoyed Huge popularity on TikTok – comes ‘Malibu Rising’. As is typical of Taylor Jenkins’ Redd, her seventh novel is set in California, specifically Malibu, breathing life into the superficial feelings of what a celebrity’s life seems to be. However, rather than detail events spanning several decades as in her earlier novels, Jenkins Reed refreshes readers familiar with her writing by closely following a life-altering summer day.
“Malibu Rising” focuses on siblings Nina, Hud, Jay and Kit from the famous Riva family leading up to Nina’s highly anticipated end-of-summer party every August. Despite playing as a host, model, and surfer, Nina finds herself not quite in a party mood since her husband recently left her. Hood has always been a burden to his brother Jay, while Jay hopes that the girl of his dreams will appear, and Kate invites a shocking guest without telling anyone.
In the end, Jenkins Reid shows that when one family keeps these many secrets, it’s only a matter of time before it all catches on fire. She brilliantly reflects the limitations and excess of celebrity in her writing, so the novel is read as the story of it all – the perfect scandalous summer read.
“One Italian Summer” by Rebecca Searle
Rebecca Searle’s “One Italian Summer” follows a New York Times bestseller on the heels of her popular 2020 novel, In Five Years. She focuses the complexities of relationships in all their forms in her writing, making her books deeply documentable. While the beauty of friendship that attracts opposites takes center stage in In Five Years, the strong mother-daughter bond takes center stage in One Italian Summer.
In the wake of her mother’s death, Katie finds herself on a plane bound for Positano, Italy, embarking on the vacation they’ve been planning together for years alone. However, once she reaches the Amalfi Coast, she feels her mother’s spirit all around her in the food, geography, and friendliness of the locals. To Katie’s astonishment, a turn in time allows her mother Carol to actually appear in the flesh – thirty years old and thriving again – and Katie seizes the opportunity to spend time with the young woman she once was several seasons ago.
Written in original, heartbreaking prose, this novel by Searle deals with how to move forward after the loss of a loved one. Against the backdrop of a wonderful summer in Italy, Serle reassures readers that the ones they love never leave.