Top Ten Best Beach Reads For Teens & Other YA Readers

toptentuesssTop Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Best Beach Reads (For Teens & Other YA Readers) <— my add on.

I wrote a post about “books that should be in your beach bag” back in 2011 on my other blog and so I don’t want to repeat any of those but I would definitely make sure you check out Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Anna and the French Kiss, Moonglass and all things SARAH DESSEN.

I will read anything on the beach but typically I DO try to pack what I think are good beach reads–  which I know is pretty subjective — but I typically love something that isn’t going to make me blubber on the beach. I do gravitate towards light and fun romance-y sorts of reads (have you seen my top 10 elements for a good fictional summer romance?) but also love something lighter but with substance. When I’m not doing the contemporary romance thing, I LOVE packing a book that will thrill me and keep the pages turning because, after all, I people watch A LOT on the beach and find myself getting easily distracted so the NEED for something to completely immerse me is KEY.

beach reads 2013


Also Known As by Robin Benway: It’s funny, light and about a teenage spy so you know it’s a lot of fun and perfect for a beach read. Love the main character!

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski: While this wasn’t by any means a FAVORITE book of mine, I really kept thinking how perfect of a beach read it would be with it’s road trip premise and its pretty quick pace. It was fun and light and just what you need for a beach read!

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith: This was just all around cute — maybe to the point of a wee bit cheesy…but CUTE cheesy. A breeze to read while lounging on the beach! (review to come)

Golden by Jessi Kirby: Golden is one of my new favorite books this year! I think this one probably is a little more thought provoking than the rest on this list (sure made me think!) but it’s still pretty light and had me turning the pages like crazy. If you were going to pick ONE off my contemporary list…I’d say pick this one! I know SOME people did cry with this one and it was a little emotional but no sobbing out of me!

The Rules For Disappearing by Ashley Elston: Light but also complex familial dynamics as the MC and her family are in the Witness Protection Program. It kept me reading like crazy at the gym with the way the mystery was inserted and woven through the great character development.

All I Need by Susanne Colasanti: This book was pretty much made to be a good beach read. Super light romance that starts with a summer romance and carries on through the rest of the year afterward which was a fun side of a summer romance to see. Wasn’t at all a perfect book by any means and I did have some things I didn’t like about it but I WISH I would have saved this one for the beach!



beach reads for teens

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: I think this alien apocalypse novel will make a great beach read for those looking for something thrilling! There was a great balance of action, character development and twists and turns and I was fully absorbed while reading it! Those pages couldn’t turn fast enough.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I think this science fiction retelling of Cinderella would make a great beach read! It follows the bare bones plot of the classic story and completely re-imaging it. It’s light and easy enough to follow as far as science fiction-y stuff goes so it would be a great addition to your beach bag!

Eve by Anna Carey: I had some issues with this one, not going to lie, but I CANNOT deny how addictive this book was. I might take the sequel with me to the beach this year!

Legend by Marie Lu: If you need something really action packed to compete strongly for your attention with all the distractions on the beach this one will definitely do the trick! One of my favorite dystopian series right now!!

YA romance beach reads


 Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty: I don’t often LOL but this book made me while I was on the beach and Will gave me many “you are being too loud” looks. It’s just a fun, perfect read…especially since Jessica Darling is a Jersey Girl and I was at the Jersey Shore so I could picture it all too well! One of my most favorite books ever! Megan McCafferty nails it!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: Sometimes I like to read books about the beach while I’m AT the beach and The Summer I Turned Pretty fit the bill. It’s light, has romantic tension but also deals with things that have substance.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: Read this one on the beach and it was PERFECT! If you are a travel nut with an insatiable wanderlust, pick this one up while you relax!

Over You by Emma McLaughlin and  Nicola Kraus: This one wasn’t my favorite  but I found it to be a REALLY fun, light read while I was on my honeymoon. Loved the premise of the MC perfecting this “get over him” breakup service. Finished it in an afternoon so that might make you feel productive on the beach?

What about you? What are some of YOUR favorite beach reads? Have you read any of these?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Yay! So happy to see The Summer I Turned Pretty and Wanderlove on your “tried and true” list! I made my list a “to-read” TTT, and those are both on it, along with How My Summer Went Up in Flames. Definitely excited to read them.

    My Top Ten

  2. Some awesome picks Jamie! I haven’t yet read How My Summer Went Up in Flames, All I Need or Sloppy Firsts, so I’ll certainly be adding them to mu beach reading pile. But I did love Golden, The 5th Wave and The Summer series!

  3. The Summer books topped my list I love those so much!
    My Top Ten

  4. Ah I love these reads! some of them I have read some of them I still need to read! I would add Nantucket Blue – which was such a cute read!

  5. I like how you broke this down into genres!!! 🙂

  6. Awesome picks! I’ve had to add some to my TBR pile. 🙂

  7. Jamie I agree with you a million % about Golden!!!! That book was fantastic. I shared with my friend that teaches high school English to share with her kids.

  8. Ooh great list! I like how you broke it up into categories/genres.

    I read The Summer I Turned Pretty and the other two in the trilogy and I absolutely adored it! Cinder was really good and I would also recommend it for the beach!

    I have the 5th Wave and it looks amazing! Will definitely add the others to my wishlist! 😀

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic
    My TTT!

  9. I’ve got to catch up on my 2013 contemporaries!! I can’t believe I haven’t read any of those – Definitely have some catching up to do!

    Top Ten

  10. That are some interesting books. I should really give The 5th Wave a try.

  11. Love your list! I think mine are all tried and true picks. Since they are my go to summer recommendations. I really, REALLY need The 5th Wave in my life sooo bad. But the due date is Friday so it doesn’t make any sense to buy it and get fully immersed in it and have a baby in the middle of it. 🙂 I’m trying to hold off lol. Baby is probably going to be fashionably late…so I probably have time to read it…Hmm.

    My Top Ten

  12. Great list! Love your dystopian reads:)

    My TTT:

  13. I’m currently reading Golden right now. It’s a free read on Pulse It. Really good!

    Here is my list:

  14. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I agree that it needs to be a page-turner story! I am easily distracted too.. oh hey, that bathing suit is cute! Ohh I think I want a drink! Did I put sunscreen on my shoulders?! hahah see! so I need a story that keeps me focused. Love your bonus picks!

  15. Oh! I want to read This is What Happy Looks Like 🙂 and love that you picked Sloppy First as a tried and true beach read 🙂

  16. Oohhh! Eve and Legend! Two of my absolute favorite reads!!

  17. Amazing list! So many books that I want to read!

  18. So many of those are on my list to read!! I’ll have to pull them out since I love a good summery read. 🙂 I do love Wanderlove and The Summer I Turned Pretty — perfect beach reads! 🙂 Oh, and This is What Happy Looks Like was great, too!

  19. If I read anything but contemp on the beach, I would have picked Cinder and Legend as well. STILL need to read The 5th Wave…maybe I could make that my first non-contemp beach read this year?

  20. I’d also add The Selection and The Elite. Both are fun and are wonderfully paced. I ‘d add them to my beach bag.

  21. Wanderlove is SUCH a good summer beach reading choice! I think anyone who enjoys travel or dreams of travel would really like it, because it’s so primarily focused on the beauty of that. The only foreseeable problem is that it will have you wanting to hop on the next plane to some exotic location!

  22. I put This Is What Happy Looks Like on my list, too, and I really liked The Rules for Disappearing. Great list!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  23. Oh Eve is a great choice – it’s not too complicated so it doesn’t matter if you get distracted by hot boys/cocktails/falling asleep. I’m going to read the next one in the series on a the plane home at Christmas – for all of those very reasons (although hot boys and cocktails are in short supply on long-haul flights!)

  24. I like how you are thinking outside of the typical chick-lit/romance type books. I loved The 5th Wave and cannot recommend it to enough people. The only issue I had with the book is the fact that I am going to die waiting for the next book to come out.

  25. I love how you included some genres other than contemporary, Jamie! For some reason I almost always think contemporary when I think beach reads — I wonder why?

    AKA, This is What Happy Looks Like and The Rules of Disappearing are all going on my TBR list now. I REALLY need to get my hands on Golden! I love how Golden’s title even matches the beach theme 😀

    My top 10 beach reads.

  26. Eeek I need to read How My Summer Went Up in Flames & Rules for Disappearing — I’ve had my eyes on them forever!

  27. WANDERLOVE is so perfect for the beach (I feel so stupid because I forgot to put that on my list). LEGEND would definitely make for a great beach read too!

    Fabulous choices!

  28. AMAZING list.
    I really want to read Wanderlove and it does sound like the perfect beach read.
    And you can’t go wrong with Legend and Prodigy. It’s one of my favorite series.

    My TTT

  29. I plan on reading Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Cinder, All I Need, and Sloppy Firsts this summer. Eve, AKA, and Wanderlove are all fantastic books!

    My TTT

  30. I love the variety and it’s great that you put so many different genres. I love all the dystopian ones especially and I love Cinder. I got Cinder sitting in my room too.

    Check out my TTT post!
    – Nova @ Musings of a Blogder

  31. I’ve only read Cinder and Eve (which were both good). A lot of these are on my list for this year though, so it’s good to know they are good. Great choices!

  32. Karen W says:

    My fabulous YA fiction find is “The Beat on Ruby’s Street” by author Jenna Zark ( The novel is about an aspiring poet, young Ruby Tabeata, who is growing up in Greenwich Village 1958. A book about the “Beat Generation” and how Ruby’s unconventional upbringing creates obstacles in her young life; a social worker, accusations of theft, and time in a children’s home. Ruby proves to be an old soul and her narration is honest and heartfelt. I think it’s a book covering a unique time period and a unique group of people “the beatniks.” A line that stands out for me from heroine Ruby is, “I guess you could say we’re trying to break out of the old world and start a new one.” I feel a lot of pre-teens, teens and adults will relate to Ruby and her difficult search to find her identity and her path in life. Ruby is a strong character and I feel this is a great book to share! Hope you enjoy


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