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Summer book recommendations to kickstart your holiday reading

Summer: a time to relax, go on holiday, and of course, read. Now that the academic year has come to an end, there is finally enough time to read those books you’ve been wanting to read, but haven’t had time to. Whether you enjoy light-hearted rom coms, well-written prose, or even a bit of non-fiction, there is bound to be something out there for you to enjoy. Here’s a selection of books to read this summer. 

The first book that comes to mind when I think of summer reading is Skios by Michael Frayn. Set on the idyllic fictional Greek island Skios, it follows a group of characters whose holidays intertwine in the most comic – and often unexpected – ways. Skios is pure farce, and is bound to make you laugh out loud, more than once. Whether you enjoy it while sipping a cocktail on the beach, or sitting in your garden with a glass of iced tea, Skios is bound to make these long summer days a little brighter still. 

And of course, summer wouldn’t quite be summer without a bit of romance, which is why One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston makes the perfect summer read. One Last Stop is a sapphic romance between August, a twenty-three-year-old girl who has just moved to New York, and Jane, a mysterious yet charming punk-rocker who is – quite literally – from the 70s. One Last Stop is the perfect cross between a mystery novel and a rom-com, and it expertly provides the diversity so many novels are lacking. If you’d prefer something a bit more political, Red, White & Royal Blue also by Casey McQuiston is also excellent, telling the story of the star-crossed romance between Alex, the First Son of the United States, and Prince Henry, the Prince of Wales. Both novels are impossible to put down and are sure to provide some much-needed entertainment this summer.

Whether you enjoy it while sipping a cocktail on the beach, or sitting in your garden with a glass of iced tea, Skios is bound to make these long summer days a little brighter still

However, if you’d rather read something a bit more down to earth, I’d highly recommend The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green. This is a complete departure from the coming-of-age cheesy novels he is known and loved for. Instead, The Anthropocene Reviewed is a book composed entirely of reviews. Although the premise of the book may not initially sound like something worth reading, I found myself pleasantly surprised, and read the entire book in an afternoon. Green reviews a wide variety of things – from Diet Dr Pepper, the hot dog eating competitions, to the QWERTY keyboard. The way Green intertwines reviews of seemingly random objects and events with his own anecdotes and experiences is nothing short of genius, and it is something both long-term fans of John Green and new readers alike will no doubt enjoy.

Another book I had to recommend is Katerina by James Frey. Set in present-day Los Angeles, and Paris in the 90s, Katerina tells the story of a young writer – who is very clearly based on Frey himself – and Katerina, an up-and-coming model. Katerina is a maelstrom of love, sex, dreams, drugs, regret, and the bittersweet pain of growing old. By the end of the novel, you too will want to book a flight to Paris and live the same hedonistic lifestyle as the characters in the novel. But until that happens, you can live vicariously through them – or at least that’s what I did.

One Last Stop is the perfect cross between a mystery novel and a rom-com, and it expertly provides the diversity so many novels are lacking

Finally, this wouldn’t be a list of summer reads without E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, which has recently become extremely popular on social media, particularly on TikTok, or as it is sometimes known, BookTok. We Were Liars tells the story of four friends – the Liars – and their summers on their family’s private island. While everything about them seems to be perfect, the reader soon finds out there is something much, much darker beneath the surface. Because it’s so suspenseful and fast-paced, this is the kind of book you cancel plans for. An unmissable summer read which should be on everyone’s bookshelves before the summer is over. 

No matter what you do this summer, it cannot really be summer without some quality reading time, and of course, a good book. All of these books are truly excellent, and will certainly serve as the perfect companion to combat boredom this summer.

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