My Top 5 Summer Reads

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Hello everyone!

Wow, is it summer already!? Summer is absolutely my favourite season of the year. I love basking in the sun! I love walking outside in T-shirt and shorts! I love summer activities like hiking and road trips!

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I am always drawn to reading sweet and light-hearted novels during these warm and sunny months. After reading Kristin‘s posts about her favourite summer reads, I was inspired to create my own list. Let me know what books you love to read during the summer!

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When I first picked up Emmy & Oliver, I stayed up late into the night and couldn’t stop turning the pages. Emmy, Oliver and their group of friends hooked me from page one. I love the relationship dynamics in this book and the hint of romance. I also love that this book takes place in California where there is plenty of sunshine and surfing! If you love the childhood friend trope, then this is the book for you.

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Can we ever talk summer reads and not talk about Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda? I loved reading about Simon, Leah, Abby and Nick, and I loved the tension and the suspense asΒ Simon tries to figure out Blue’s identity. This book has an impeccable sense of humour and also put me on the edge of my seat. There aren’t many books that I finished in one day, but this is one of them!

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The Upside of Unrequited is another sweet YA romance. I am in love with the cast of diverse characters and the fun and light-hearted vibe that is perfect for the summer. Molly is our adorable female MC who has been unfortunate when it comes to love, and I couldn’t help but root for her to succeed.Β If you love stories with relatable and realistic characters, this one is for you.

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(Okay, all right. I am cheating a bit because I haven’t even finished reading it yet, but it’s definitely giving me that summer vibe and I can’t not include it.)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is about a road trip- the last trip that Monty will have before he is forced to run his father’s estate (his worst nightmare ever.) I love the slow-burning romance and that childhood friend-trope in this book. Monty is lazy, full of himself, and not your conventional hero, but I can’t help but love him and cheer him on!

I feel like I must talk about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before again and again, but I just love this series so much. Lara Jean is one of the most relatable heroines I’ve read. I love the adorable romance that spans this series, as well as the relationships between Lara Jean and her friends and family.

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What is your favourite season? What books do you plan to read this summer? Any recommendations?

50 thoughts on “My Top 5 Summer Reads

  1. Somya Sahni says:

    Lara Jean is absolutely the best πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™ I love Peter but if in distant future she ends up with John McLaren I will be fine with that too.

    And you know you are right she was very relatable. Because we teenagers spend a lot of time at home only and that’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Somya! Yes Lara Jean is such a wonderful series! I also liked John McLaren and at one point I was thinking (and hoping) that Lara Jean would end up with him. However I like Peter as well πŸ™‚
      I am so excited for the Netflix adaptation which is coming out soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. MichaelK says:

    Summer is actually my favourite season for a variety of reasons one of them having some more free time to read. I don’t believe there are summer books but the extra bit of free time allows me to read some of the more long, not easily flowing books.
    I don’t have any recommendations for a perfect summer read but do try some fantasy!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marie says:

    Oh Emmy & Oliver, I’m so, so happy you enjoyed that book, it does give all of the summer vibes, right? I loved this book so much ❀ I also really like your other choices there, Lara Jean and Simon vs. are perfect for that time ❀ I can't wait to read The upside at some point, it sounds so good! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sophie Li says:

      It definitely does Marie! I am glad that I read Emmy & Oliver. Thank you for the recommendation ❀
      I am really looking forward to the Lara Jean Netflix adaptation which will be released soon! Do you have Netflix in France?!
      Hope that you'll read The Upside one day. It is one of my favs by Becky Albertalli πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sieran Lane says:

    OMG! I didn’t realize that the Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was a gay romance! πŸ˜€ Okay, now I put it on my to-read list, and will probably buy it later, or at least put it on an Amazon wish list. Yeah, ever since I got into LGBT romances, I have simply lost interest in straight romances–unless one or both protagonists are transgender. Sometimes I feel bad about losing interest in cis straight romances (they just don’t excite me anymore!), but well, our tastes do change over time.

    Recently, I started reading Josh Lanyon’s gay romances, and wow, she likes to write mystery and crime fiction. I love the combination of LGBT romance and mystery. So far, I’ve only read two novellas and one short story by her, but I’m interested in reading her novels too. So much to read!! πŸ˜€ Today, I bought and began reading a book that was on my wish-list for a while. It’s Verbalize: Bring stories to life and life to stories by Damon Suede. He was guest-posting on my friend’s blog, so I was curious. Plus, it has been some time since I read a writing craft book. ^^ I’m so excited!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sophie Li says:

      Yup the Gentleman’s Guide is a gay romance. It is a cute and light-hearted read for the most part. I love the comedic moments. Hope that you enjoy this one when you get the chance to read it πŸ™‚

      Sounds like you are discovering some new authors which is great πŸ™‚ Let me know your thoughts about Josh Lanyon’s novels. I don’t think I’ve read a LGBT romance/mystery before though I would love to give it a try πŸ™‚
      It’s also been a while since I read a book about reading. The only one that I’ve read is Stephen King’s On Writing which is amazing (though the part about publication is slightly outdated). Keep me updated about whether you find Verbalize to be helpful πŸ™‚

      Also, you should have received an invite to our Camp Nano cabin!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sieran Lane says:

        Just joined your cabin! πŸ˜€ I bought The Gentleman’s Guide. ^^ It sure does sound promising.

        Verbalize is interesting, but I don’t agree with some of it. I also think that some parts are too wordy, yet are inadequately explained and lack concrete examples. The author seems to be a bit too in love with his writing, which is understandable, as he is extremely eloquent and uses many metaphors. I like his writing style on the whole, as I enjoy flamboyant prose, but even I’m getting impatient with how excessively verbose it can be.

        However, I am learning a lot through my disagreements with some of his ideas, haha. This is one thing I improved on in fiction-writing: I don’t blindly accept what the authors of writing craft books say anymore! Partly because I’ve seen much more of the literary world and because I’ve become a far more confident writer than before. Soon, I’m going to update my list of specific things learned in fiction-writing, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        Yay! Glad that you joined us! Hope you enjoy the Gentleman’s Guide!

        Hmm glad to hear your opinions about Verbalize. It makes sense that you question these books more now that you have experience in writing. Do you have any favourites or recommendations when it comes to writing craft books?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sieran Lane says:

        I read more of Verbalize, and it’s getting better, with some more examples from fiction now. Plus, I realized that for some sections I felt were under-explained, he elaborates on them in later sections… He did mention in the intro that the chapters build on each other, but the average reader would probably expect him to elaborate more the first time he brings up the topic! Still, I’m glad he did explain more later on.

        Oh yes, I’m disagreeing on a lot, for example, I think he’s oversimplifying some things. At the same time, I think our different backgrounds predispose us to think in different ways. He spent twenty years or so in writing scripts for movies. I’m a psychology major and a counselling and psychotherapy student. It makes sense, I guess, for him to view characters as forces and devices, and for me to view characters as unique people. A great thing about this book is that my disagreements are triggering so many blog ideas for me!!! I’m learning a lot about writing too. There were some exercises in the book that I found interesting, and through doing them, I feel that I understand my characters even more deeply than I did before.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        That’s great that you are finding this book useful even though you don’t agree 100% with this writer’s point of view.
        Very interesting how a person’s area of study or work can affect their approach to writing! I am not surprised that you are a psychology major because of the content on your blog πŸ™‚ Do you feel that having a background in psychology helps you in developing characters? I am a pharmacist which always makes me eager to write about the medical side of things. Sometimes I have to restrain myself haha πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sieran Lane says:

        Yeah I was a double major in psychology and English literature back in undergrad. Even I could see that in my literature classes, I would constantly write papers on psychological stuff, while my classmates might focus on something else, like history, sociology, or politics, lol

        Yes, I’m obsessed with psych, haha, especially in the realms of counselling and psychotherapy (which is why I’m in this program now). I’m taking a long time writing my next blog post, lol! Just writing a tiny bit of it at a time. It’s difficult when I’m trying to write my WIP novel fast. My blog posting speed has gone way down. XD

        Oh definitely. I think psychology majors are extremely fortunate in that almost everything we do involves people, i.e. psychology. Both what I learned from my psych undergrad degree and from my counselling courses, are directly contributing to my knowledge of how to write my characters with more depth and insight. You can even tell from my list of specific skills learned in fiction-writing, that there is a distinct focus on psychological things, haha. It’s not just about the knowledge either. It’s that being a psych major predisposes you to see the world in a certain way. For instance, I can’t stop thinking about how different people’s beliefs influence their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in different ways. So sometimes we would want to change our beliefs to live a happier life.

        This is not to say that folks in the psychology field know more about people than those who are outside the field, though. I think having a psych background would make you have certain biases, assumptions, and blindspots as well that a non-psychology major may not have. (Even in this last sentence, I talk like a psychology major, lol.)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sophie Li says:

        Sounds like you enjoy the field you’re in now which is great. I can feel your passion about psychology in your blog posts and the way you write in general πŸ™‚ That’s great that it helps with crafting characters in your novels. I can imagine that having an interest in understanding people helps you understand your characters as well.

        I am a newbie when it comes to psychology (having taken psych 101 in first-year undergrad haha) but I like to use the MBTI test to get to know my characters better.

        Blogging takes up a lot of time, doesn’t it? I find that I have less time to write now compared to before because of blogging. However now I am trying to strike a good balance because I love both πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sieran Lane says:

        Aw, I’m happy to hear that my love for psychology shows in my posts and even in the way I write. 😁 Yeah I think psychology majors have an edge where we can pull out theories and research findings from our courses to understand our characters! Though again, I’m very careful to emphasize that psych researchers, and certainly psych students, can have some blind spots that people outside the field may see more clearly. For instance, I think many psychology researchers and professors have a tendency to oversimplify things, and they can be very naive when it comes to the vastness of human diversity.

        Oh I love the MBTI! I’ve taken the test many times in my life, and I’m always ENFP, lol. How about you?

        Yeah how do we balance blogging time and writing time? We also need to read novels, and if we want to, read writing craft books.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        These days I am INFJ, though in high school I used to be INTJ haha. That’s cool that you’re ENFP πŸ™‚

        Yeah! Being a writer/blogger is hard! I try to plan out the amount of time I spend blogging and writing each week. For example I limit how much I spend on blogging (or else it would suck up all my time!) so I have a bit of time each day to write. Unfortunately on some days writing becomes my lowest priority which makes me sad!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sieran Lane says:

        Oh I forgot to answer your question. Well, on my Goodreads book shelves, I have one shelf that’s called “story writing or on literature.” Most of the books there are on the writing craft. I think they’re all great in different ways, but I especially liked the Word Painting and Active Settings books, because I find setting descriptions the most challenging, mostly because I’m very impatient and barely describe anything (my visual imagination is also very limited.) But I know that readers would want more details than what I’m offering them, lol.

        We talked about story structure before, and James Scott Bell’s book on plot structure has some good ideas.

        I think I reviewed many, if not most, of these books on Goodreads, so you can see my more detailed thoughts there, lol. Note that my writing beliefs may have changed since I posted these reviews, though.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sophie Li says:

        I’ll take a look πŸ™‚ Sounds like you’ve read quite a few books on writing craft which is great. So far I’ve been relying on a steady stream of youtube videos on writing, but I think reading some writing craft books can be helpful for me! I’ll have to work on settings, descriptions and plot structure as well πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sieran Lane says:

        Yeah I read way too many writing craft books in my teens, such that I spent less time actually reading and writing novels, lol. There were some writing craft books I read that I don’t remember the title of, so they aren’t on my Goodreads shelf. But now I spend most of my time reading and writing stories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sieran Lane says:

        Yeah my dad, and some other people, believe that you can become a great writer just by reading tons of books… No. You need to ACTUALLY WRITE a lot too, lol. It’s good that you and I know this, haha. Practice makes perfect!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Omg I had to google it when you mentioned this! I knew there was going to be a Netflix adaptation but I didn’t realize it was going to be released so soon!! I am SO excited to see it πŸ˜€ Now I have to get Netflix again haha….

      Like

  5. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a perfect summer read. It’s the road-trip and all the travel Percy, Monty and Felicity do that make this an ultimate summer read for you (and now you’ve read it/are reading it you agree even more right?!)
    Also yes to Simon Vs. and The Upside of Unrequited. YA contemporary is always perfect for the summer and Becky Albertalli is one of my favourite YA contemporary authors!
    Great list Sophie. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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