With summer finally kicking off, now is the time to recommend your favorite summer reads, whatever that means to you!
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
I read The Way You Make Me Feel this spring and fell in love with it – I think this is a great book for every season, but it’s the perfect summer read. It has great food descriptions (Clara works in the Korean-Brazilian food truck her dad owns), beautiful summer atmosphere (it takes place in Los Angeles), friendships, a diverse cast, a cute romance, and the best dad in YA. This is probably my favorite contemporary I’ve read this year so far. I loved Clara’s narrative voice and her character arc.
Style by Chelsea M. Cameron
I just finished this book today and it’s pure gay fluff, which makes it perfect for the season. When I say fluff, I really mean it – it’s low-conflict, it’s cute, and there are no dramatic break-ups or cheating. It may be a coming out novel in which one of the two girls (who are both lesbians) is discovering her sexuality, but it doesn’t have any of the sad tropes commons in this genre (so: no one gets outed, no one gets bullied, and everyone is very supportive). Also, Stella and Kyle are the cutest couple ever.
Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw
Because nothing says summer like Lovecraftian Noir!
…I’m serious. I read it at the beach, it’s very short and I thought it was a perfect if somewhat unconventional beach read. Anyway, this is the story of a not-so-human, maybe monstrous detective. You don’t need to know anything about Lovecraft to read this – I know nothing but I’m always there for Lovecraftian fiction written by authors of color. The sequel, A Song for Quiet, it’s even better but heavier in tone, so I don’t feel like it would work as well as this one as a beach read.
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz
This was my favorite YA book I read last summer, and I feel like summer is the best season to read it. It’s a very atmospheric contemporary story set in Florida with eerie magical aspects. It’s about art and creative block and growing up, and it’s a beautiful story. Also, it has great bisexual representation and the main character is a Puerto Rican girl in love with her Italian-American best friend.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
One of my favorite contemporary romance novels. It’s about two Indian-American teens, Dimple and Rishi, who meet at a summer program for aspiring web developers. Their parents are arranging their marriage, but while Rishi is aware of it, Dimple isn’t, and to make matters worse, Rishi doesn’t know that Dimple isn’t – which leads to the most hilarious meet cute moment I’ve ever read. It’s a cute, quick read.