Ten YA Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag This Summer

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

This week’s topic: Top Ten Beach Reads For YA Readers  — for the contemporary readers

beach reads for teens and YA readers

(come back next week for a post on YA books to stash in your beach bag if you aren’t into contemporary reads and then adult fiction books the next week)

I’ve done a bunch of these lists throughout the years so I’m not going to include any that I’ve included in past years so you should DEFINITELY check those out because they are some of my all time FAVE beach reads — here & here.

Basically a TLDR for you for the above links: pack everything by Jessi Kirby, Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han and you will be GOLDEN. There are other recs in there too but these are my most reliable beach read authors in YA. Perfect mix of light and not so light elements that are just SO compulsively readable.

Anyways, on to another 10 YA books I’ve read since those lists that I think should be in your beach bag!

The Unexpected Everything

1.  The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson: This is the perfect blend of friendship and romance and hard family stuff and just would make such a great beach read. Honestly ALL of Morgan’s books would make great beach reads — they aren’t ~mindless~ beach reads but they just have this perfect amount of lightness mixed into them. Although I will probably tell you to read Second Chance Summer mostly in the privacy of your own home….or on a private beach because so many tears.


You Know Me Well

2.  You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina Lacour: This was a really great book about first love, friendship, beginnings and endings and that ever blurry idea of The Future. Also, highly recommend Nina’s book Everything Leads To You as a good beach read too!


A Study In Charlotte

3.  A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro: This was a really fun Sherlock retelling that uses that premise that Sherlock and Watson were in fact real people and their great great grandchildren end up going to the same boarding school and get pulled into a crime that they end up having to solve together. Super light and fun mystery, not my fave, but definitely a great one for the beach! (my review of A Study in Charlotte)


Just Visiting Dahlia Adler

4.  Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler: Oh man I loved this one and think it would be a great book to spend time with on a beach somewhere. It’s just such an authentic story about friendship and love and that confusing time when that next stage (post-high school) is staring you right in the face. So compelling and so compulsively readable — not to mention one of my most favorite contemporary YA books I read last year. (my review of Just Visiting)


The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

5. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler: Parts of this one made me bawl so read at your own risk on the beach if you are a big ol’ baby like me. But the setting of this one and just the FEEL of it I think would make a great beach read. It’s not altogether light and fluffy because it deals with some really hard things but I don’t know…I think it could make a great beach read (also I don’t read very many 100% fluffy fun books for some reason. See also: my call for funny book recs because apparently I just read sad books). (my review of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids)


the fixer Jennifer Lynn Barnes

6.  The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: This was a suuuuuper fun YA political thriller that I just DEVOURED on an actual beach last year. Like oh man, I lost track of time and could have gotten sunburned because of this book…but luckily Will reminds me to reapply sunscreen to my pasty skin haha. (My review of The Fixer)



Emmy & Oliver

7.  Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway: This one was so adorable but sad at the same time considering it was about two friends who reunite after 10 years because one of them was kidnapped by his father. I think it still makes a good beach read! It didn’t cut too hard to my heart but just enough that I probably wouldn’t be blubbering on the beach. Also think Robin’s books Audrey, Wait and Also Known As make fun beach reads! (my review of Emmy & Oliver)



The Start of Me and You Emery Lord

8.  The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord: THIS BOOK. It’s the most adorable ever. Seriously. Pack it in your beach bag. See also: Open Road Summer as a good beach read. Also enjoyed her book When We Collided but think these two make better beach reads. I recommended both ORS and TSoMaY to my teen cousins who always gobbled up Sarah Dessen’s books up on the beach and they LOVED! (my review of The Start of Me & You)



17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

9.  17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen: While this one seems like a cutesy romance by the title, it definitely packed in some really great things, in addition to the kissy element, about friendship and family — which is where the real meat of the story was. I think it would be such a good beach read! (my review of 17 First Kisses)



Something real by heather demetrios

10.  Something Real by Heather Demetrios: A book about a reality tv show family? Totally makes a good beach read but not because it’s light and fluffy but because it’s got some emotional drama written with such depth that feels so compulsively readable. Pretty thought provoking too…could even spark some interesting conversations with whatever company you are with! Always a plus! (My review of Something Real)


So tell me…what books do you recommend as some good YA contemporary beach reads?? I’m always looking for more!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
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. I totally agree with your go-to list of YA contemporary authors. I can’t wait to read You Know Me Well and Just Visiting. Benway, Lord, and Matson are faves of mine too. Happy beach reading, Jamie! Looking forward to your Adult Fiction recs too 🙂

    • Will be curious what you think of You Know Me Well and Just Visiting! 🙂 And yeah I need my go-to authors to write faster bc I’m running out of books by them!!! 😛

  2. I can see a few books on here that I really want to read. I love a contemporary all year around! 🙂

    • Yes same! Contemporary always tends to be my fave genre, though I read many other things, but man I especially love a good contemporary on the beach!

  3. Im reading You Know Me Well right now & LOVE Nina LaCour and David Levithan’s writing together so far!!! Also I WILL be reading Summer of Chasing Mermaids this summer. Sarah Ockler is one of my favorite authors of ever and I can’t believe there is a book by her that I didn’t immediately read!! I’m a failure!!

    • YES I love both of those authors individually and omg their writing together is just SO GOOD. I’m shocked you haven’t read that one either!!! I think you will love it!

  4. Contemporary seems like the go-to genre for summer reads! 🙂 Summer of Chasing Mermaids was fantaaastic. Also Something Real.

    • It always tends to be mine! Though I do tend to read a lot of it anyways but I just always find myself craving them in the summer!

  5. Love your list! I need to get my hands of The Unexpected Everything, A Study in Charlotte, Just Visiting and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids! I’m so glad pay day was Friday. I completely agree with your recommendation of Emmy and Oliver, so cute. I didn’t love The Start of Me and You so much but I’ve got When We Collide so I’m going to give that a go next. Yours is the second list I’ve seen Something Real on. Definitely need to investigate that one!

    Happy Reading!
    Rachel @ Paein-and-Ms4Tune

    • I’ll be curious what you think of When We Collided — I really loved it but it’s definitely been polarizing from what I’ve seen! And oh man yeah…read Something Real and then read her latest book I’ll Meet You There. I loved that one even more but I thought Something Real was a little better for a beach read as I’ll Meet You There made me sob at parts. haha.

  6. Great list!
    So looking forward to reading Just Visiting and The Unexpected Everything

  7. I want to read Morgan Matsons new book! I also plan to read A Study in Charlotte soon as well! Great picks!

    • It’s soooo good. Classic Morgan in that it’s really about so many different things in equal and wonderful way s– friendship, love, family, the future.

  8. I recently made a Top Ten TBR for summer list!

    Two of the books I have on there are the same, and another one is by the same author. I love summer reading.

    • Summer reading is the best! If only I had off like back in the day before I had to become an adult. WHY DID I NOT READ MORE WHEN MY SUMMERS WERE LAZIER AND FREEEEE.

  9. Did you read The Unexpected everything? All my friends at Instagram are raving about the book and cover. Great list

  10. I’m happy to see that you enjoyed You Know Me Well. I picked up a copy at BEA and hope to get to it this summer. Several others are on my TBR list as well, but who knows when I will get to them. It seems like my TBR list grows twice as fast as my read list.

    My TTT: http://jacquesbooknook.blogspot.com/2016/05/top-ten-tuesday-books-i-plan-to-read-at.html

  11. I want all of these 😀 I love a fun, contemporary book for the beach (or just summer in general). The Unexpected Everything looks so good. Adding to to my TBR. Thanks for sharing <3
    My TTT

  12. Something Real sounds like it might be a good one to check out! I just picked up Reality Boy because I thought it might be a good summer read–compulsive but a little raw, too. I like that mix in a book.

    My TTT: Top Ten Tuesday: beach reads!

  13. Another blogger recommended The Unexpected Everything a while ago, and I’ve really wanted to read it. As a cover hog, I’m LOVING these covers! Especially, Something Real. You’re like my own little YA bookstore. 😉

  14. I loved The Start of Me and You, that would be a great beach read! I want to read Emmy & Oliver too and can’t wait to start The Unexpected Everything!! Contemps are so great for the beach 🙂

  15. Such an amazing list – I’ve already added so much to my Amazon basket haha.
    Ours is over here if you want to check it out – http://twobookthieves.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/top-ten-beach-reads.html

  16. I have Unexpected everything on my list as well this week 🙂
    But wonderful list you made, so many cute contemporary YAs!

    My TTT: https://booksbeautifylife.blogspot.de/2016/05/top-10-tuesday-beachsummer-reads-tbr.html

  17. Cute picks! Those are all totally new to me ones! I’ve picked out a batch of Paranormal/Fantasy ones! Ones that I actually would like to attempt to read this summer! LOL!

    Here’s my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂

  18. Krystianna says:

    I actually just finished with The Unexpected Everything and I loved it so much! It was my first Morgan Matson book but I know for sure that it won’t be my last. I’ve been wanting to check out Emmy & Oliver for a while. Great list!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  19. I haven’t read ANY of the books on this list so excuse me while I go raid my library! Thank you so much for this post, I’ve been on the lookout for beach/summery reads and this is the perfect list! <3

  20. I JUST bought The Start of Me and You for my vacation and I’m so excited to start it! I’ve never read anything by Morgan Matson, but have Since You’ve Been Gone waiting for me ASAP.

  21. I love Something Real! Have you read any other Heather Demetrios? Great compilation, I could base my whole summer TBR on those I haven’t read.

  22. This is a fun list of beach reads, and I really support your inclusion of the ones that I’ve read! Of the ones that I’ve yet to read, I’m most looking forward to trying to read The Fixer – which sounds really fantastic 🙂

  23. Just added almost all of these to my TBR list! Love your recs <3