Ten Books to Read This Summer…

Three dear friends have asked me for summer reading recommendations, so I thought rather than repeating myself, I could just direct you here. Sue, Helen, Sian, here you go – a mixture of YA and literary fiction - in the order they appear on my shelf or Kindle:

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

I can’t recommend this highly enough. It’s one of those rare books – like Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne – that I immediately re-read on finishing.

The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

A sultry holiday read that is subtle and complex as well as sexy. Helen Walsh captures brilliantly the nuanced and changing dynamics of family tension as lines are crossed forever.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, this memorable novel isn’t like anything else I can think of. It’s compassionate and wise and funny about the big stuff (death, depression) and the small stuff (chocolate, pets).

Wake Up Happy Every Day by Stephen May

A hugely enjoyable novel – pack it now or grab it at the airport. A funny, moving and thought-provoking examination of family, love and what really makes us happy.

Never Ending by Martyn Bedford

This brilliantly structured YA novel examines grief and guilt, following the death of a teenage boy on a family holiday. The tension builds, but the recollection of the crucial event is held back right until the devastating climax.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

A rich, sprawling historical novel that never quite lived up to its first promise for me, but is still well worth a read.

Virginia Woolf in Manhattan by Maggie Gee

The title and premise alone are enough to convince me! And in the hands of such a brilliant novelist, this combination makes for one of my favourite books of the year.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

The final part of the young adult fantasy trilogy with its unforgettable cast of characters: human, angel and chimera. A deeply satisfying conclusion.

Blue by Lisa Glass

Another perfect summer read: a young adult romance with a surfer-girl heroine, her heart-throb with a past, and a breathless double-peak climax, all combined with lots of satisfying surfing detail.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The perfect antidote to Twilight: vampires made all fresh and new in post-apocalyptic USA, with a complex, resourceful damaged heroine who isn’t afraid to act.