The first day of fall isn’t until September 23rd so I still have time to sneak my summer reading list 2019 into your inbox! I’ve been reading like crazy this summer so I have so many books to share with you! Get your Amazon cart ready because there are a number of must-reads below. In this roundup, you’ll find some recent releases along with some books that came out before 2019 but that I just read. What are you reading right now!? Leave me a comment with any books you love that I need to read or send me a message on Instagram so we can chat about books! I love connecting with y’all about great reads!
Summer Reading List 2019
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
Summer of ’69 is the newest release from the queen of summer beach reads, Elin Hilderbrand. I’ve read a number of Elin’s books now because I love the settings on Nantucket! What makes this summer’s novel different is that it is Elin’s first historical novel. So, you know I raced to the bookstore to scoop it up! The story follows the Levin family in the rocky and eventful summer of 1969. Instead of uniting on Nantucket for the summer, the four children in the family all follow their own paths. The youngest in the family, Jessie, if left with her mother (who is distraught over her son’s deployment to Vietnam) and her overbearing grandmother. In the novel, you hear the perspective of all the women in the Levin family which makes for a compelling family drama. Secrets are exposed and relationships are tested while the historical events of the summer playout in the character’s lives.
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
I really loved the scope of this sweeping novel as it takes places over generations and tells the story of two sisters, Jo and Bethie, starting with their childhoods (in the 1950s). The sisters are completely different and follow completely different paths as their lives unfold – not the paths you would expect from them either (one dives into the counterculture of the 60s while the other resists it and settles down). This takes place despite the fact that the two girls experience the same family woes and traumas as children. It’s such an honest depiction that the characters really come to life. I loved reading about the women at different stages and in different roles in their lives… sisters, daughters, and mothers. Jennifer Weiner gives us a very relatable story that speaks to women of all backgrounds. The questions and struggles the sisters face throughout the book are timely in their setting (a few decades ago) as well as in present day. I promise that the story of these characters will engross you!
Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman
You will fly through this book! I love following Cambria on Instagram so I was waiting for this book to come out for months. It’s her debut novel which is pretty incredible! I’m so impressed. The novel tells the story of a group of friends throughout their four years of college in New England at Hawthorne College. The story is told through the eyes of the complicated character Malin. It jumps around a bit in time while Malin tells the different stories of her friends’ pasts including how they came to be friends. The most suspenseful past of all though is Malin’s, which builds throughout the novel through flashbacks. The root of the story is a suspenseful mystery that really keeps you turning the pages. The character study is so enjoyable and the college campus setting is right up my alley! I know you’ll love it too!
The New Girl by Daniel Silva
I love Daniel Silva novels! Of his 19 books centered around his legendary character, Gabriel Allon, I think I’ve read 15. If you love historical fiction, then these books are for you! Gabriel Allon is the chief of Israeli intelligence and, in this novel, is tasked with helping an unlikely ally find his kidnapped daughter. The unlikely ally in question is the crown prince of Saudi Arabia who turns to Allon in order to avoid the ransom demand that he abdicate his claim to the throne. This story could not be more timely in light of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and is full of insightful looks into the current political and religious state of Europe and the Middle East. I highly recommend reading this novel! P.S. my three favorite Gabriel Allon novels by Daniel Silva are The English Assassin, The Confessor, and A Death in Vienna. However, they are all wonderfully entertaining and gripping!
Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
Beatriz Williams is one of my favorite historical fiction writers. I love the female protagonist characters she creates! Within minutes, she always has me in love with and rooting for them. Summer Wives is Beatriz’s book from last summer but I just recently read it and thoroughly enjoyed it (I haven’t read her book from this summer yet, The Golden Hour). The main character of the book is actress Miranda Schuyler who travels to wealthy Winthrop Island one summer in anticipation of her mother’s wedding. By the end of the summer, tragic circumstances force her to leave the island until she returns decades later to seek justice and reveal secrets. The book spans the course of almost 40 years between 1931 and 1969, which is one of the reasons I loved the book so much! The back and forth between the time periods of the character’s lives and the detailed explanation of Winthrop Island and its inhabitants is wonderful.
The Friends We Keep by Jane Green
Three friends, Evie, Maggie, and Topher, are the best of friends during college. They pledge to never let that change. However, after they graduate, their lives begin to take different paths away from each other and different paths than what they each envisioned for themselves. This book is super character driven and I thought it was fun to read about a group of friends that consisted of two women and a man, instead of a group of all women. The book is also interesting because it covers a large span of time for the characters, not just their post college life in their 20s. After watching the characters live out their lives and make mistakes, they find themselves rekindling their friendships years later. Secrets begin to emerge but will they all be able to stick together and forgive each other? You must read to find out!
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
The Hating Game actually came out in 2016 so some of y’all might have read it. I have no idea why it took me so long to read this book. I had heard so many rave reviews about it but somehow it never made it to the top of my list. It wasn’t until the author, Sally Thorne, released another book that I wanted to read, 99 Percent Mine, that I finally decided I had to read The Hating Game (before I’d let myself read 99 Percent Mine). Thank goodness – The Hating Game is such a wonderfully fun read! Lucy Hutton hates her coworker Joshua Templeman. Really hates him. They engage in an ongoing battle to be the best complete with office games and challenges – anything to take the other down. When they both go up for the same promotion, things in the office turn upside down as they wonder how far they will take their need to one up the other. Tensions reach an absolute boiling point and the two question if it’s in fact not hate that they feel for each other. Steamy dreams, an elevator kiss, and game playing make this such a fun read! I promise, you will LOVE this book! I also recommend that you read it now because it’s being made into a movie.
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Protagonist Jessica Farris is looking for some easy cash so she casually signs up to be a participant in a psychology experiment about ethics and morality conducted by a Dr. Shields. She doesn’t know anything about Dr. Shields and assumes the experiment will consist of her answering a few questions before going about her merry way and forgetting about the experiment all together. However, the experiment quickly takes a turn and Jessica begins to not be able to tell the difference between reality and Dr. Shields’ experiments. As Jessica becomes more and more manipulated, her paranoia grows… you’ll have to read to find out what happens! Some books along these lines can be so predictable but I really didn’t see the twists coming.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
I’m such an easy scare so this crazy book really shocked me! You will absolutely not be able to put it down but you will simultaneously not believe what you are reading. The book is about a seemingly normal suburban family. The couple have been married for 15 years and become bored in their marriage (even though it is dysfunctional). They are hiding deep secrets and what they do to keep their marriage alive will keep you reading in the most twisted way. I hope the concept of this book stays a book and doesn’t materialize because it is insane! The book is anything but predictable right up to the very end! Read this one.
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
When my friends and I talk about dating, the concept of “ghosting” comes up again and again (come on boys!). Everyone hates getting ghosted and everyone hates hearing about their friends connecting with someone only to be ghosted. So, I was initially intrigued by the title of this book. The book is about the ultimate ghosting… or is it? Characters Sarah and Eddie meet and spend one glorious week together. Sarah becomes convinced that Eddie is exactly what she’s been looking for and falls head over heels for him. Eddie leaves for a trip and promises to call Sarah from the airport. However, the call never comes. Sarah cannot accept that she’s been ghosted and she begins to completely unravel and loose her mind a bit. She cannot shake the fact that she thinks she wasn’t ghosted and rather that something happened to Eddie. I admit that I enjoyed the second half of this book much more than the first half. So, if you find yourself getting over Sarah’s obsession with Eddie and what happened, keep reading and stick with the book. I had my own theories about what happened and I completely didn’t see the twist that actually happened coming! The truth comes out!
All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
All These Beautiful Strangers is a YA psychological thriller that isn’t completely believable but is completely addictive. As a seven year old, Charlie Calloway’s life turns upside down. Her beautiful mother disappears one day and never comes back. Charlie and her NYC real estate mogul father, Alistair Calloway, are left shocked at their lake house. Years later, the story progresses as Charlie is enrolled at the prestigious New England prep school, Knollwood, and is tapped by the schools legendary secret society, the A’s, to become a member. The A’s have control over the whole school from its staff to its students; however, no one knows who’s in the secret society except for the members themselves. In order to become a member, Charlie must complete tasks in a set amount of time that jeopardizes everything including her enrollment at Knollwood. At the same time, Charlie is grappling with her dark family history and her mother’s disappearance. She uncovers secrets about her parent’s marriage, her mother’s old high school sweetheart, and her father’s friendship with said sweetheart from when they were students at Knollwood. Charlie’s worlds begin to collide but can she handle the truth!? This is a great book to have fun with and get lost in!
When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
Heiress Beatriz Perez “ruled like a queen in Havana” until her family was forced to leave for Florida due to Fidel Castro’s revolution. Her family is determined to restart and secure their fortune but Beatriz misses her homeland so much that she becomes consumed with the idea of taking it back and of destroying Castro. In her earnest determination, she ends up joining the CIA in light Castro’s power growing alongside the rise of the Cold War. While she is all consumed with her mission, a man enters her life who she cannot have. A love story is thus tangled into Beatriz’s story, which makes her an even more complex and interesting character. The author does a wonderful job of developing Beatriz’s character throughout the book and it’s a joy to read! I really loved Beatriz and her strength!