As the warmth of summer blankets the earth and the length of daylight lingers, the spirit of adventure stirs in many of us. Yet, sometimes the most enchanting journey doesn’t require you to pack a suitcase or book a flight; it only asks that you flip open a book and surrender yourself to the world within its pages. Whether you’re planning on spending your summer lounging on sandy beaches, nestled in the cool shade of your garden, or simply curled up on your favorite sofa, we’ve got an exciting roundup for you. This year, dive into our list of “15 New Books to Read in Summer of 2023.” These fresh-off-the-press gems span genres and styles – from literary fiction to intriguing thrillers, thought-provoking non-fiction to epic fantasy – ensuring there’s something for every reader to enjoy.
15 New Books to Read in Summer of 2023
- “The Five-Star Weekend” by Elin Hilderbrand
- “Georgie, All Along” by Kate Clayborn
- “Meet Me at the Lake” by Carley Fortune
- “The Fraud Squad” by Kyla Zhao
- “Sorry, Bro” by Taleen Voskuni
- “Same Time Next Summer” by Annabel Monaghan
- “Lunar Love” by Lauren Kung Jessen
- “A Perfect Vintage” by Chelsea Fagan
- “These Tangled Vines” by Julianne MacLean
- “Carrie Soto is Back” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- “The Codebreaker’s Secret” by Sara Ackerman
- “The Stolen Coast” by Dwyer Murphy
- “Bad Summer People” by Emma Rosenblum
- “The Seven Year Slip” by Ashley Poston
- “Happy Place” by Emily Henry
“The Five-Star Weekend” by Elin Hilderbrand
Elin Hilderbrand’s “The Five-Star Weekend” leads our summer 2023 reading list. Unveiling a riveting tale of friendship, love, and self-discovery, it follows Hollis Shaw, who retreats to Nantucket following a life-altering accident. Four friends from various life stages accompany her on this healing journey. However, the serene retreat swiftly transforms into a melting pot of rekindled romances, surfacing secrets, and personal betrayals. From Hollis’s first love’s unexpected arrival to a mysterious stranger named Gigi, the plot thickens, making for an engrossing read. Amidst Nantucket’s captivating scenery, these women navigate their intricate relationships, promises, and heartbreaks in an unforgettable weekend.
“Georgie, All Along” by Kate Clayborn
The second recommendation on our summer reading list is “Georgie, All Along” by Kate Clayborn. This fascinating novel explores the themes of love, self-discovery, and reconciling with the past. Georgie Mulcahy, a dedicated personal assistant, is thrust into a journey of introspection after an unexpected turn of events. Upon finding a teenage diary filled with forgotten dreams, she embarks on a path of rediscovery in her hometown. Her quest, however, hits a roadblock with the appearance of Levi Fanning, the town’s reclusive former troublemaker. Through a series of shared experiences, Georgie learns to let go of her past and uncovers her true desires, leading to a heartwarming, honest, and deeply emotional narrative.
“Meet Me at the Lake” by Carley Fortune
This intriguing tale invites us into the life of Fern Brookbanks, who is grappling with unfulfilled dreams and the surprising return of Will Baxter, a man she met for only twenty-four hours but never forgot. After a decade, he reappears just when Fern is desperately trying to revive her mother’s Muskoka lakeside resort, a place she never wanted to return to. Although Will offers to help, Fern battles with trust issues as he appears to be hiding something. This poignant story questions whether Fern can rescue Will, the same way he rescued her years ago, all while navigating life’s unexpected turns.
“The Fraud Squad” by Kyla Zhao
Kyla Zhao’s debut novel “The Fraud Squad” is a riveting tale set in the heart of Singapore’s high society, the book follows Samantha Song, a working-class woman who infiltrates the wealthy elite in pursuit of her dream to write for a high-society magazine. Aided by her affluent friend Anya and Timothy, a disillusioned son of a wealthy family, Samantha finds herself living a life of borrowed glamour. However, the specter of a mysterious gossip columnist and her own fear of exposure threaten to undo her carefully constructed facade. A gripping exploration of identity and ambition, this book examines the lengths we go to realize our dreams, and the potential cost to our authentic selves.
“Sorry, Bro” by Taleen Voskuni
This vibrant queer rom-com presents the journey of Nar, an Armenian-American woman who, after a disheartening proposal from her non-Armenian boyfriend, decides to explore her roots. Driven by her mother’s eager matchmaking, Nar attends Explore Armenia, a series of cultural events. Instead of finding interest in potential suitors, she connects with Erebuni, a woman who shares her love for their culture and the witchy arts. As their bond deepens, Nar confronts her bisexuality and navigates the complexities of coming out. A heartfelt exploration of identity, culture, and romance, this novel celebrates the beauty of embracing one’s roots and authentic self.
“Same Time Next Summer” by Annabel Monaghan
It follows the story of Sam, an engaged woman who unexpectedly encounters Wyatt, her first love, during a visit to her family’s Long Island beach house. Wyatt and Sam share a history of teenage summers together until a heartbreaking split at seventeen. His presence and the familiar tune of his guitar ignite long-forgotten memories, causing Sam to question her past and her present choices. As the past unravels, Sam is forced to confront her feelings for Wyatt and decide between the safety of her planned future and the allure of a love she never forgot.
“Lunar Love” by Lauren Kung Jessen
Adding to our summer reading list is Lauren Kung Jessen’s debut rom-com “Lunar Love.” This delightful enemies-to-lovers story revolves around Olivia Huang Christenson, who inherits her grandmother’s traditional Chinese zodiac matchmaking business. Her life takes a surprising turn when Bennett O’Brien, creator of a modern dating app and L.A.’s most eligible bachelor, becomes a potential threat to her family’s legacy. The tension rises as they both agree to find a match for each other, with the rule that whoever falls in love first, loses. As the battle ensues, Olivia faces the possibility of losing not just her business, but also her heart. This charming read will appeal to fans of Helen Hoang, Jasmine Guillory, and Helena Hunting.
“A Perfect Vintage” by Chelsea Fagan
Next is “A Perfect Vintage” by Chelsea Fagan. This enthralling narrative revolves around Lea Mortimer, a highly successful consultant specializing in transforming French country estates into boutique hotels. When she invites her recently divorced cousin and her daughter to spend the summer in the Loire Valley, her perfectly controlled life starts to unravel. The scenario becomes even more complex when Lea falls for the much younger son of her boss. Amid blooming affairs, family feuds, and betrayals, Lea faces the risk of not just heartbreak, but the implosion of her carefully crafted life. This compelling tale illustrates the allure and consequences of losing control.
“These Tangled Vines” by Julianne MacLean
Julianne MacLean’s captivating tale transports you to the lush vineyards of Tuscany, unfolding the mystery of a tragic family secret. Fiona, who harbors the secret of her late mother’s affair in Italy, discovers the existence of her biological father after his death, and learns about her inheritance and two half-siblings. Journeying to Italy, Fiona faces the challenges of navigating complex family relationships and sibling rivalries while unraveling the truth about her mother’s past and her own origins. Overflowing with the rich flavors and romance of Tuscany, this novel explores themes of love, secrets, sacrifice, courage, and the profound significance of family.
“Carrie Soto is Back” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “Carrie Soto is Back” brings forth the fierce character of Carrie Soto, a retired tennis player with numerous records and 20 Slam titles. Six years into retirement, she watches her record being eclipsed by a younger player, Nicki Chan, at the 1994 US Open. Fueled by determination, 37-year-old Carrie decides to come out of retirement and reclaim her record. Despite the age-related challenges and the skepticism of the sports media, she agrees to train with Bowe Huntley, a man with whom she shares an intricate past. As Carrie embarks on this epic final season, the narrative unfolds around the cost of greatness and a legendary athlete’s audacious comeback.
“The Codebreaker’s Secret” by Sara Ackerman
In Sara Ackerman’s “The Codebreaker’s Secret,” we are introduced to the brilliant codebreaker Isabel Cooper who, while working at Station HYPO in Pearl Harbor in 1943, aims to avenge her brother’s death and meets his best friend, a secretive pilot on a top-secret mission. This plot intertwines with the 1965 story of a fledgling journalist, Lu Freitas, who returns to Hawai’i to cover a grand hotel opening and investigates the disappearance of a high-profile guest. This investigation leads to a shocking discovery that unearths an explosive secret from the World War II era, a secret that only a codebreaker like Isabel can decipher. Combining historical fiction, suspense, and romance, Ackerman’s book promises an immersive reading experience filled with danger, love, and mysteries of the past.
“The Stolen Coast” by Dwyer Murphy
In Dwyer Murphy’s “The Stolen Coast”, we follow Jack, a clandestine operator in a sleepy Massachusetts coastal town, who aids fugitives in disappearing. The unanticipated return of Elena, Jack’s scheming ex-lover, disrupts his usual routine. Elena involves Jack in her latest plot: intercepting a multimillion-dollar diamond shipment. This heist novel, imbued with the spirit of Casablanca, infuses a fast-paced plot with sharp wit and stylish prose. As the editor-in-chief of CrimeReads, Dwyer Murphy offers an irresistible page-turner as heart-filled as it is drama-packed.
“Bad Summer People” by Emma Rosenblum
Our next pick is “Bad Summer People” by Emma Rosenblum which is a fascinating debut novel set on Fire Island, an exclusive summer haven, laden with deceit, backstabbing, and deadly intrigue. The narrative revolves around two dominant summer residents, Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker, and their manipulative exploits. Their husbands, Sam and Jason, nurture lifelong grudges and concealed secrets, while their single friend Rachel Woolf is on the hunt for love. The summer takes an unexpected turn when a body is discovered off the boardwalk. The stylish, subversive, and darkly humorous tale explores the hidden complexities beneath seemingly perfect lives.
“The Seven Year Slip” by Ashley Poston
Ashley Poston presents a quirky love story where time itself is the greatest adversary. Clementine, an overworked book publicist, forms a protective plan for her heart after a life-altering event – to stay busy, work hard, and find someone decent to love. All goes well until she meets a charming man with a Southern drawl in her late aunt’s apartment, a man who lives seven years in her past. As Clementine juggles this intriguing temporal paradox, she is confronted with the reality that love is not a matter of time, but timing. This novel, penned by the New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Romantics, offers a unique mix of wit and wisdom.
“Happy Place” by Emily Henry
Last but definitely not least on our list of summer reads is “Happy Place” by Emily Henry. Harriet and Wyn, once the quintessential couple since college, find themselves in a challenging situation. They have broken up but haven’t disclosed this fact to their best friends. This leads to a comedic and emotional situation where they share the largest bedroom at a Maine cottage, their annual vacation spot with their closest friends. Amidst salt-tinged coastal air, delectable food, and the comfort of friendship, they must act as if nothing has changed. The plot thickens as they struggle to suppress their lingering desires while also grappling with the looming sale of the cottage. “Happy Place” is a wise and glittering tale from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry about love, friendship, and the complex art of pretending. This book promises to leave you entertained, introspective, and perhaps longing for a coastal summer vacation of your own.