Ten Beach Reads for Summer 2024

Guest Writer // Camryn Lehr

As the temperature grows warmer and the sun starts to shine, the clues that summer is here become apparent. And you know what summer means. . . beach days! Every beach day requires an exciting book to read as you dip your toes in the sand. If you need some book recommendations to kick your summer off, never fear, I have the answers here: 

1. Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan 

Genre: Romance
Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Written by Kevin Kwan, the author of Crazy Rich Asians, Lies And Weddings follows the main character, Rufus Leung Gresham, who is the future Earl of Greshambury. Although Rufus’s family appears to be as rich as kings, they are secretly broke. Rufus’s Mom proposes that Rufus attend his sister’s wedding and seduce a rich woman into marrying him. At the wedding, Rufus has three options: a royal bloodline, a billionaire, and the girl next door. Lies And Weddings is a book filled with sex, betrayal, and love. 

2. While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory

Genre: Romance
Goodreads Rating: 3.7/5

Written by a New York Times bestselling author, Jasmine Guillory, While We Were Dating follows the structure of a romcom. Ben Stephens and Anna Gardiner book an ad campaign together, and their chemistry is immediate. As the flirting game begins, neither one takes it very seriously until Ben requires Anna’s help with a family situation. As the two become closer, they realize that their flirtation may be something more than they initially realized. 

3. The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach

Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 3.6/5

Written by an author living in New Zealand, Sascha Stronach, The Dawnhounds is a story about magic, queerness, and bravery. Yat Jyn-Hok is an ambitious police officer. One night, Yat travels to a gay club, which leads to a demotion at her job. As a patrol officer, Yat travels the streets and is consumed by visions of different conversations and a particular romantic partner. While this is happening, Yat stumbles across a dead body and is suddenly jumped by two men who end up killing her. As the plot thickens and the mystery becomes evident, Yat comes back to life with superpowers. This book is a thriller and fantasy story that will be impossible to put down. 

4. Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Genre: Romance
Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Written by bestselling author Tia Williams, Seven Days In June is a second-chance love story that “manages to capture within its pages an entire spectrum of Black spirit, joy, humor, and redemption,” according to Goodreads reviewer Yun. This book comes with trigger warnings of addiction and self-harm. In the past, Eva and Shane met and hung out for seven days before they were ripped apart. But for those seven days, they manage to tell each other secrets they’ve both been holding in. Fifteen years later, they are both accomplished authors, and they meet again at a literary event. Is their romance a thing of the past, or can Shane and Eva fall in love all over again? 

5. Just by Looking at Him by Ryan O’Connell

Genre: Comedic Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5

Written by writer, actor, director, LGBTQ+ and disability activist Ryan O’Connell, Just By Looking at Him is a book about a successful television writer, Elliot, who is also battling with an alcohol addiction and cerebral palsy. Elliot is prone to cheating on his boyfriend and can’t seem to stop repeating mistakes. Elliot ultimately decides to start making better decisions, but his path is difficult as fighting one’s ghosts and demons is hard to do. Although this is a more serious beach read, it is a captivating story. 

6. Happy Place by Emily Henry

Genre: Romance
Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Written by the famous author of Beach Read, Emily Henry, Happy Place tells the story of Harriet and Wyn. The pair broke up a couple of months ago; however, they never told their friends. As they gear up for a vacation with their closest friends, Harriet and Wyn realize that they will have to pretend to be together the entire trip. They end up sharing a bedroom and trying to fight off feelings for each other. This book centers around themes of friendship, adulthood, and, of course, love. Taking place in Maine, Happy Place will definitely entertain you. 

7. The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir by RuPaul

Genre: Memoir
Goodreads Rating: 3.9/5

Written by none other than the famous American drag queen RuPaul, The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir tells RuPaul’s story in a straightforward way. Although this is RuPaul’s fourth book, the book showcases RuPaul in a new light. RuPaul is known for being a dazzling drag queen, but this memoir goes beyond his fame to tell a story of his roots and his true life. It is a rollercoaster of different events and relationships. 

8. Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Genre: Literary Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.9/5

Written by Xochitl Gonzalez, bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming, Anita de Monte Laughs Last takes place in 1985. Anita de Monte has risen to a small amount of fame through her artwork, but after she is found dead, her fame explodes. After the initial shock wears off, Anita de Monte’s name is forgotten, until Raquel stumbles across her work. Raquel is an art history major working on a project for her final thesis. She finds many connections between her own life and Anita de Monte’s life. A story about justice, art, and female identity, Gonzalez writes an engaging, important story. 

9. I Hope This Doesn’t Find You by Ann Liang

Genre: YA Romance
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5

Written by Ann Liang, a popular young adult book author, I Hope This Doesn’t Find You is a book about academic revivals. Sadie and Julius have been at odds with each other since they were young; however, when Sadie’s hate emails about him are sent out to the whole school, tensions begin to rise. Suddenly, Sadie starts to feel something other than hate towards Julius. I Hope This Doesn’t Find You is a book you can read in one sitting while enjoying every comical moment of Sadie and Julius’s bickering. 

10. Outdrawn by Deanna Grey

Genre: Romance
Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5

Written by Deanna Grey, whose self-proclaimed specialty is black girls falling in love, Outdrawn tells a story about ambition, talent, and love. Outdrawn follows characters Norah and Sage who have been competing through their comics since college. When they are forced to work on a project together, feelings start to become apparent. This book is a fun, cute love story.

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