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Your Summer Reading List: The Hottest Books of 2024

As the sun shines brighter and the days get longer, there’s nothing quite like diving into a good book to escape the heat. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or relaxing in a hammock, a captivating read can transport you to another world.

We’re convinced that there is nothing better than a great book that has amazing world building in it. You know the books that you read and feel like you have been transported to the scene that’s on the page. Those are the perfect books to read during the summer because you can travel without even leaving your home! Then there are the books that are actually set in the summer or in locations that feel like summer. It’s hard to beat a summer read, that’s for sure!!

We’re excited to share our top picks for the hottest books of 2024! Some we’ve had the pleasure of devouring already and others are new releases we can’t wait for. From gripping thrillers to heartwarming romances, these are the stories that will keep you hooked all summer long. Grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot, and let’s explore the must-read books of the season!

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summer reading list 2024

Take Me Away: Escape To New Worlds With These Top Reads

While world building goes very well with series, there are some books that do a great job at immersing you in the world in one book as well. These are books that may or may not take place in the summer, but they provide escapism, which is perfect for this time of year.

1. Done & Dusted by Lyla Sage (Meadowlark, Wyoming – Rebel Blue Ranch)

done and dusted book
via Kelly Clark

I didn’t have any interest in ranches, until I read both Done & Dusted and Swift & Saddled this year. Through Lyla Sage’s writing I truly felt transported to Rebel Blue Ranch in each book.

The way they talk about the ranch, both the family and found family vibes, and of course the cowboys, make this series unputdownable. The third book Lost & Lassoed will be published on November fifth. 

2. Things We Never Got Over Series by Lucy Score (Knockemount, VA)

lucy score
via Kelly Clark

If you like romances with a bit of action thrown in, you’ll love the Knockemount series from Lucy Score. Don’t let the size of the books fool you, I flew through Things We Never Got Over, Things We Hide From The Light, and Things We Left Behind. I loved the small town of Knockemount and all the townspeople and main characters of the story.

3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (Cousins Beach, NC)

the summer I turned pretty
via Kelly Clark

For all the YA book lovers, this one’s for you. I got introduced to this series through the TV show on Amazon Prime. Then I decided I needed to read the series too and I’m so glad I did. Each of the books in The Summer I Turned Pretty Series are such quick reads and perfect for the summer. If you’ve read them already I have to know, are you Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah? Let me know in the comments.

4. Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Sunshine Falls, NC)

book lovers by emily henry
via Marina Crouse

I’ve loved everything that Emily Henry writes, but this one specifically just transports you right to this small town. At least it does in my opinion. I love a small town romance just as much as I love an enemies to lovers trope, and Book Lovers has them both. You also get strong family vibes as the main character, Nora, has traveled to Sunshine Falls with her sister.

5. LO FI by Liz Riggs

Lo Fi by Liz Riggs
via Nicole Booz

When you think Nashville, you might first think country music, but Liz Riggs is here to remind you of the indie music scene that thrives in the city’s grungy dive bars, sold out venues, and exclusive parties. 

LO FI is a smart and sexy literary rom com that will have you flying through the pages, rooting for Al Hunter as she navigates professional mishaps, sexual escapades, new and complicated friendships. Louise Kennedy exclaims the novel “has the intimacy of a Sally Rooney novel and the raw yearning of a Lucinda Williams song.” Perfect for fans of Nick Hornby’s novels, or Daisy Jones and the Six!

Summer Vibes In A Book

The following books are perfect reads by the pool or at the beach, or maybe at home while you are wishing you are at the pool or beach. Wherever you find yourself this summer, these books are sure to bring along the best vibes this season.

1. Just For The Summer by Abby Jimmenez

just for the summer
via Nicole Booz

What would you do if everyone you date finds “their person” after you two break-up? That is the reality for both main characters in Just For The Summer.

If they date each other their bad luck should cancel out right? See what happens in Jimmenez’s latest book. This book had me giddy and laughing at one point and wanting to cry the next. I am confident that it will be one of my top reads of the year.

2. Every Summer After by Carly Fortune

every summer after

This book is told through six summers as we watch the main character’s grow up and fall in love. Something happened that broke them apart and sent Percy away from the lakehouse and out to the city. Now in the present day she is headed back home where she’ll have to confront her past and see Sam again after years of no contact. Every Summer After was a cute friends to lovers romance that had me feeling nostalgic for the summers I spent growing up. 

3. This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

this summer will be different
via Nicole Booz

Lucy is the tourist vacationing at a beach house on Prince Edward Island. Felix is the local who shows her a very good time. The only problem: Lucy doesn’t know he’s her best friend’s younger brother. Lucy and Felix’s chemistry is unreal, but the list of reasons why they need to stay away from each other is long, and they vow to never repeat that electric night again.

4. The Summer Of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther

the summer of broken rules

Meredith’s family’s annual game of assassin at Martha’s Vineyard during a summer wedding is the perfect chance to honor her sister’s legacy, and finally join the world again. But when she forms an alliance with a cute groomsman, she’s at risk of losing both the game … and her heart.

I haven’t read this book yet but it’s on my list to read this summer. It’s set in Martha’s Vineyard in the summer during a wedding. Talk about a great summer read.

The newly single main character gets thrown together with a cute groomsman so there is bound to be some great banter there. I’m excited to read The Summer of Broken Rules this summer, will you be reading it too?

5. Trinity Point by Tyra Lynn

Trinity Point

Parker Neeley had the perfect man, an amazing job, and an apartment that screamed “I have my life together, what’s your excuse?” She had everything any girl her age could wish for, but when her fiancé dumps her for his high school sweetheart, she sees her life slowly unravel at the seams.

This is one of my recent reads. I could definitely see it as a beach read too. Our main character’s life just unraveled as her fiance dumps her and she quits her job. When she gets offered to house sit at a beach house on the East Coast she jumps at the chance. What ensues is three months of figuring out what she wants, friendship, and even love. Trinity Point is a great all around summer read.

6. Diving In by Bianca Miller

diving in

Georgia Windsor has a good job in New York, a charming best friend, and a perfectly adequate man, but she also has an undeniable urge to control it all. She’s planned every last detail of her entire life, allowing for no surprises to throw her off balance, and she’s not about to shift her trajectory now.

But life has a funny way of changing our plans.

Diving In is a story about coming back home, self-discovery, and of course love. I haven’t read this one yet, but it is a must read for me soon. The cover of the book just screams summer. This is a debut novel for Bianca. I’m excited to read it soon. 

7. You With A View by Jessica Joyce

you, with a view

Noelle Shepard is unemployed, living with her parents, and grieving the loss of her beloved grandmother when she discovers decades-old photos of Gram and a smitten man, tucked alongside a love letter. She creates a TikTok to search for the mystery man, which goes viral, and she’s shocked when his grandson responds—a man who happens to be her high school nemesis, Theo Spencer.

If road trips are more your style for summer fun, you’ll love You With A View. This is a cute enemies to lovers story with a mix of family secrets that start the main characters on a two-week adventure they will never forget. I definitely got the travel bug after reading this one, and can’t wait to start planning trips this summer.

8. The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka 

the roughest draft

Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten book topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven’t spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.

How would you handle writing a romance novel with someone that you have hated for three years? That is what the main characters in The Roughest Draft have to figure out as they spend time together in Floridia to write the last book that is due with their contract. I haven’t read this book yet, but the writer in me can’t wait to read it this summer.

9. Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan

same time next summer

Sam’s life is on track. She has the perfect doctor fiancé, Jack (his strict routines are a good thing, really), a great job in Manhattan (unless they fire her), and is about to tour a wedding venue near her family’s Long Island beach house. Everything should go to plan, yet the minute she arrives, Sam senses something is off. Wyatt is here. Her Wyatt. But there’s no reason for a thirty-year-old engaged woman to feel panicked around the guy who broke her heart when she was seventeen. Right?

In Same Time Next Summer Sam has to make a choice between her fiance and her first love. What was supposed to be going back home to look at a wedding venue turned into something completely different. See how the story ends with me as I read it this summer.

10. Happy Place by Emily Henry

happy place by emily henry
via Marina Crouse

This second chance romance is my favorite Emily Henry book. It’s centered around one last week-long vacation with friends, only Harriet and Wyn’s friends don’t know that they broke up months ago. They decide to fake-date for the week, which can lead to disaster or something beautiful. Happy Place will take you through so many emotions, but it’s such a great story.

11. Malibu Rising by Tara Jenkins Reid

malibu rising

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

Malibu Rising is one of Tara Jenkins Reid’s wonderful books. It centers around a group of siblings and an epic party that they are throwing one summer night. If this sounds intriguing to you, you should read it with me this summer.

12. Funny Story by Emily Henry

funny story by emily henry
via Nicole Booz

Yes, Emily Henry has made her third appearance on this list. What can I say, she creates great summer reads. Funny Story is her latest book, and what I am currently reading as I am writing this. In this opposites attract book, the opposites in question are their exes ex, and they are roommates. I’ve heard nothing but great things from this book and I’m sure my opinion will be the same.

12. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

the unhoneymooners

Being fake newlyweds with your enemy can’t be that bad, can it? That is the predicament that the main character, Olive, finds herself in. Olive’s sister is getting married but the whole wedding party, besides Olive and the best man, gets food poisoning. So they set out on the honeymoon and somehow have to pretend to be newlyweds. The Unhoneymooners seems like an interesting read and I can’t wait to find out what happens.

Historical Fiction and Thrillers That Will Have You On The Edge of Your Seat

1. The Woman on the Bridge by Sheila O’Flanagan 

the woman on the bridge
via Nicole Booz

In a country fighting for freedom, it’s hard to live a normal life. Winnie O’Leary supports the cause, but she doesn’t go looking for trouble. Then rebel Joseph Burke steps into her workplace. Winnie is furious with him about a broken window. She’s not interested in romance. But love comes when you least expect it.

Joseph’s family shelter fugitives and smuggle weapons. Joseph would never ask Winnie to join the fight; but his mother and sisters demand commitment. Will Winnie choose Joseph, and put her own loved ones in deadly danger? Or wait for a time of peace that may never come?

Ireland’s tumultuous independence struggle is the backdrop for an unforgettable story of courage and heartbreak, in which heroes are made of ordinary people. Inspired by the story of Sheila O’Flanagan’s grandmother, The Woman on the Bridge is the unmissable, compulsive new novel from a bestselling author.

2. A Very Lively Murder by Katy Watson

a very lively murder
via Nicole Booz

One murder mystery movie. Three Dahlias. And a whole cast of suspects…

Ex child star Posy Starling is finally filming her dream role – Dahlia Lively in The Lady Detective movie. But things take a nightmare turn when a prop weapon is replaced with the real thing – with almost fatal consequences for her fellow Dahlia, Rosalind King. There’s something very wrong on the set of The Lady Detective – which means it’s time to call in Caro Hooper, so the three Dahlias can investigate.

In between filming scenes, signing autographs for locals, photoshoots on set and jetting off to France for an impromptu party, the three Dahlias do what they do best – surreptitiously sleuth. And very soon the evidence starts to point towards one particular co-star…

But before they can prove it, a murder rocks the production. And this time, with a storm raging, the river flooded and the bridge washed out, there are no police to rely on so it’s up to the three Dahlias to stop a murderer in their tracks… before another victim is claimed.

3. All Fours by Miranda July

all fours by miranda july
via Nicole Booz

A semi-famous artist announces her plan to drive cross-country, from LA to NY. Thirty minutes after leaving her husband and child at home, she spontaneously exits the freeway, checks into a nondescript motel, and immerses herself in an entirely different journey.

Miranda July’s second novel confirms the brilliance of her unique approach to fiction. With July’s wry voice, perfect comic timing, unabashed curiosity about human intimacy, and palpable delight in pushing boundaries, All Fours tells the story of one woman’s quest for a new kind of freedom.

Part absurd entertainment, part tender reinvention of the sexual, romantic, and domestic life of a forty-five-year-old female artist, All Fours transcends expectation while excavating our beliefs about life lived as a woman. Once again, July hijacks the familiar and turns it into something new and thrillingly, profoundly alive.

4. The Lady Waiting by Magdalena Zyzak

the lady waiting
via Nicole Booz

One bright Los Angeles day, a young Polish émigré named Viva is driving along the freeway when she’s flagged down by a dazzling, disheveled woman in green chiffon.

The woman is Bobby Sleeper, a fellow Eastern European and an erstwhile art gallerist with a mysterious background and even more mysterious filmmaker husband. Within days the couple hire Viva as their assistant, then enlist her as an accomplice in an improbable scheme involving a long-lost Vermeer masterwork, a multi-million-dollar reward, and several shadowy ex-husbands.

5. The Women by Kristin Hannah

the women by kristin hannah
via Nicole Booz

Women can be heroes. When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these words, it is a revelation. Raised in the sun-drenched, idyllic world of Southern California and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing. But in 1965, the world is changing, and she suddenly dares to imagine a different future for herself. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

Kristin Hannah never disappoints and this book is no exception. Prepare the poolside tissues, you’re going to shed some tears.

New Releases We’re Excited For

1. There Is a Door in This Darkness By Kristin Cashore

There Is a Door in This Darkness By Kristin Cashore

“Wilhelmina Hart is part of the infamous class of 2020. Her high school years began with a shocking presidential election and ended with a pandemic. In the midst of this global turmoil, she also lost one of her beloved aunts, a loss she still feels keenly. Having deferred college, Wilhelmina now lives in a limbo she can see no way out of, like so many of her peers. Wilhelmina’s personal darkness would be unbearable (especially with another monumental election looming) but for the inexplicable and seemingly magical clues that have begun to intrude on her life—flashes of bizarre, ecstatic whimsy that seem to add up to a message she can’t quite grasp. But something tells her she should follow their lead. Maybe a trail of elephants, birds, angels, and stale doughnuts will lead Wilhelmina to a door?”

Non-Fiction New Releases

The Twentysomething Treatment: A Revolutionary Remedy for an Uncertain Age by Meg Jay, PhD

via Nicole Booz

I found this to be insightful. I love that she used real conversations with her clients to show examples of what twenty-somethings struggle with. There is a lot of actionable advice in the book as well, and if anything, it’s going to get you thinking about your life, what you want it to look like, and how to make it through your twenty-something years. I think parents of twenty-somethings would benefit from reading this as well.

There is a young adult mental health crisis in America. So many twentysomethings are struggling—especially with anxiety, depression, and substance use—yet, as a culture, we are not sure what to think or do about it. Perhaps, it is said, young adults are snowflakes who melt when life turns up the heat. Or maybe, some argue, they’re triggered for no reason at all. Yet, even as we trivialize twentysomething struggles, we are quick to pathologize them and to hand out diagnoses and medications.

Medication is sometimes, but not always, the best medicine. For twenty-five years, Meg Jay has worked as a clinical psychologist who specializes in twentysomethings, and here she argues that most don’t have disorders that must be treated: they have problems that can be solved. In this book, she offers a revolutionary remedy that upends the medicalization of twentysomething life and advocates instead for skills over pills.

Adulting: A Young Adult’s Guide to Financial Security to Help Set Goals, Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck, Avoid Burnout, and Find Fulfillment in Your Life and Career by Marie Jimenez

Adulting E-Book

Imagine stepping into the world of adulthood equipped not only with hope, but a master plan. My new book is more than an Adulting manual. It’s a comprehensive blueprint for thriving with actionable steps in personal finance, career development, and critical life skills. It transforms challenges into stepping stones and dreams into achievements covering every facet of adult life.

What books are you escaping to this summer? Let me know what I need to add to my TBR in the comments.

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog (budding-joy.com) where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She's a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved. Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she'd love to co-own a dance studio.

Website: budding-joy.com