Summer 2015 Beachy Fiction Preview: Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Sara Shepard, and More Authors to Take to the Beach

Summer 2015 Beachy Fiction Preview: Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Sara Shepard, and More Authors to Take to the Beach

If you’re anything like us, packing for a vacation means that you fit your clothes in a carry-on and your books in a suitcase. But you can only take so many books, so which precious few earn the honor of accompanying you on your trip? Well, we have a few recommendations. From light romances to addictive page-turners, these reads are ideal for the beach but perfect no matter where your summer takes you. We’ve got a mix of young adult and adult titles to toss in your beach bag, though if you’re still craving more, be sure to check out the rest of our summer previews.

Young Adult

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Part of Your World

After an accident takes away her voice, Elyse watches as her dream of becoming a singer vanishes before her eyes. Desperate to get away, she leaves the Caribbean for a seaside town in Oregon where she can silently blend into the background. Most people are ready to let her do just that, but not Christian. It seems as though the quiet Elyse is the last person this playboy would set his sights on, but he sees something in her that no one else does, and pushes her to find new ways of expressing herself. Much more than just a love story, this book explores all of the ways a person can be silenced, while also following a character learning to live with a new and life-changing disability. With parallels to “The Little Mermaid,” this moving contemporary novel is a must-have for any trip to the beach.

On shelves: June 2


Like It Never Happened

Sex, sin, and the Devil

Aspiring actress Rebecca Rivers knows drama. She’s been cast as the lead in each one of her school’s plays, but when she lands the starring role in The Crucible, she decides that the only drama in her life should be the theater. She’s ready to shake her old reputation and start anew, but her past isn’t done with her just yet. Life imitates art as rumors circulate and threaten her budding relationship with fellow actor Charlie Lamb, as well as her place in the Essential Five, the name she and her thespian friends call themselves. Accusations fly, drama ensues, and readers are sure to love every moment of this wild ride.

On shelves: June 2



And I loved you every mile

They say opposites attract, and it couldn’t be more true in Anna BanksJoyride. Carly Vega works hard and keeps her head down, saving every dime she makes in the hopes of helping to bring her deported parents back from Mexico. Arden Moss is the son of the town sheriff. Once a football superstar, Arden broke away from the life everyone expected him to lead after his sister died. This read doesn’t shy away from heavy and important issues, but still shows these teens being teens as they go out on midnight rides and execute Robin Hood-style pranks.

On shelves: June 2


The Good Girls

Bad girls do it well

The chilling conclusion to Sara Shepard’s Perfectionists duology is dripping with the same tension-filled drama as the first. It all started when Mackenzie, Julie, Caitlin, Parker, and Ava began talking about people they’d like to kill… and how they’d do it. Not your average high school English class discussion, though the girls seemingly meant no harm. But intent is irrelevant when the bodies start piling up. Now, with a teacher dead, the girls must uncover who is committing these murders before they become the next victims. With the adaptation of Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars back on TV, this book is the perfect thing to pick up while you wait for next week’s episode.

On shelves: June 2

A School for Brides

Make me a match

The perfect introduction for anyone unfamiliar with Regency romances, this novel takes place at the Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy, a school meant to prepare young women between the ages of 12 and 19 for married life. With five girls of marriageable age ready and waiting, the school’s only problem is the town’s lack of eligible bachelors. But the ladies’ luck turns around when a potential beau breaks his leg on the property and needs to be brought into the school to recover. When his friends come to check in on him, chaos and comedy ensue. Fans of Patrice Kindl’s Keeping the Castle will adore this companion novel, though any new readers can jump right into this fun and charming romance.

On shelves: July 14


A Little in Love

On my own

Broadway fans, your time has come. Inspired by Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Susan Fletcher tells the story of 16-year-old Eponine Thenardier. Born into a family of con artists and thieves, she’s been taught from a young age to look out for number one and to take advantage of others. While she craves her parents’ approval, in her heart, Eponine hates that she makes a living off of cheating others. She longs for something greater than the life she’s known, and when she meets the charming Marius, she feels as though she may just have a chance. Fans of the show know just where her love and life will lead, though any unfamiliar are in for a compelling story of a girl willing to do anything for love.

On shelves: August 25



Royal Wedding

Here comes the… princess

Did you grow up with The Princess Diaries? Did you have dreams about discovering you were actually a princess? Did you harbor secret resentment when you didn’t receive a tiara in high school? If so, you’re in luck. Royal Wedding is the adult installment in Meg Cabot’s beloved series, and it has all of the quirky humor and warmth of her previous works. Princess Mia has finally found a prince worthy of her, but a scandal threatens to derail their planned nuptials. Plus, political intrigue in Genovia means things are far from stable at home. Meg Cabot will delight longtime readers and newcomers alike in this long-awaited novel.

On shelves: June 2

In the Unlikely Event

The sky is falling

For readers who are surprised to see Judy Blume in the “adult” section of this preview, never fear: This is a versatile book that will also appeal to the YA set. Here, Blume takes on the plane crashes in Elizabeth, New Jersey, (where Blume lived) during a stretch of 58 days in 1951-1952. These tragedies took the lives of 116 people, and Blume’s book grapples with the events of that winter by commingling fact and fiction in a blend that will both grip and educate the reader. Protagonist Miri Ammerman will charm you almost immediately, and invite you into the world of the 1950s, whether you were alive then or not. Diehard Judy Blume fans: This is not a book to be missed.

On shelves: June 2


Dinner with Buddha

A spiritual journey

Some of you may remember Otto Ringling from the earlier installments of this quirky series from Roland Merullo. After losing his wife in the second book in this series (called, you guessed it, Lunch with Buddha), Roland is still grappling with the meaning of his own pain. In his search for answers, he goes to a retreat in North Dakota. Merullo’s novels are certainly unconventional–few authors marry earnest religious discussion with plot arc in this way, but we think this book is the perfect companion for a day at the beach. You’ll leave feeling entertained, well-rested, and maybe a little bit wiser, too.

On shelves: June 2


Maybe in Another Life

Coulda, woulda, shoulda

Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you’d accepted that last drink from the handsome man at the bar last weekend? If so, Taylor Jenkins Reid‘s latest, Maybe in Another Life, is the perfect read for you. The chapters alternate between possible outcomes: accepting that drink that one night, or just heading home. The ramifications of that seemingly small decision ripple for the remainder of the book, and will make the reader question the role of free will and fate in his or her own life. This tale of parallel universes, missed opportunities, and the pursuit of fulfillment will keep you spellbound until the very last page.

On shelves: July 7

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

A secret ingredient

Here at Bookish, we heard this book being buzzed about at a BEA party, and we’re happy to announce that we’re jumping on the bandwagon. This debut novel from J. Ryan Stradal follows the extraordinary culinary career of a young woman named Eva who rises to fame in the supper club scene. The characters woven into the chapters of this novel are just as vibrant and unique as the ingredients in Eva’s dishes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll wonder how soon dinner will be ready. Don’t miss this much-hyped novel.

On shelves: July 28

The Marriage of Opposites

Trouble in paradise

Alice Hoffman fans, rejoice! The beloved author of 2014’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things is back with a new yarn that won’t disappoint. This engrossing novel will whisk readers away to the West Indies in the 1800s, where, in a robust Jewish community, a woman named Rachel must reckon with her past and her future. Love and intrigue abound, and readers will encounter ghosts and mermaids alike in this sophisticated and beautifully-written tome. This book is perfect for losing yourself on a summer afternoon at the beach. If you want to avoid a nasty case of sunburn, best to ask someone else to remind you to reapply sunscreen. You’ll be too busy to remember.

On shelves: August 4



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