Books That Will Potentially Be In MY Beach Bag This Summer (with YOUR HELP)

I’ve been doing some major outside reading already.


First it was at the park when it just started to get nice & the pool at our apartment obviously wasn’t open.


Then when the pool opened (HEAVENLY).

AND this coming weekend we will be making our first beach day trip of 2013 to the Jersey Shore and I’m already eyeing up my bookshelves (and Kindle) looking for some prospective beach reads! This weekend is one of many beach days/vacations of the summer and I MUST BE PREPARED.

Yesterday I gave you some books I’ve already read that I think would make good beach reads for YA readers.  Today, however, I want to share with you the books– YA and adult— that will be in MY beach bag this summer because I think they look like worthy beach reads. Would LOVE your input to help me prioritize!

adult chick lit beach reads


good summer beach readsteen beach reads




The Books Mentioned:

Spin by Catherine McKenzie: When Kate shows up drunk for her dream job at a magazine she obviously doesn’t get it. However, they think she would be perfect as an undercover assignment for their gossip portion and the assignment is to follow the an “It Girl” into rehab and get the scoop during the 30 day program. If she can get the scoop she’ll have a second chance at the job she wanted.


Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler: This one sounds so great. An unlikely pair, a 30-something hairdresser and her elderly client, take a journey to a funeral in Cincinnati — a funeral that was so important the old woman attended that would ask this huge favor. Along the way the old woman tells of her forbidden love that happened in Kentucky back in the 30’s and why this is so important for her.

Why Can’t I Be You? by Allie Larkin: Jenny has always bore an uncanny resemblance to another woman, Jessie, and when she hears somebody call her name in a hotel lobby she decides on a whim to pretend to be her. Jessie’s friends have not seen her in 13 years and have been looking for her and instantly Jenny, as Jessie, is reunited and warmly welcomed into her old group of friends where she finds great friendships, romance and also a big secret about Jessie’s past.

Chose The Wrong Guy, Gave Him The Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison: The main character was about to be married when the best man, who happened to be the groom’s brother, told her not to get married because he had been cheating on her for a long time. She chose to bail on the wedding and ran off with the Best Man whom it didn’t end up working out with in the end. Ten years later, the brothers are back in town for a wedding and all the feelings of that even come surging back.

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham: Um it’s Lauren Graham who has been a constant presence in my life between Gilmore Girls and Parenthood and I know she’s a smart lady who studied lit so I have faith that she has written an awesome book! Plus it sounds awesome!

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand: I was immediately hooked by this summary because, as a daughter who wasn’t able to have her mother at her wedding, I am so intrigued by the idea of the mother leaving a notebook with how her daughter’s wedding should go. Aside from that this sounds like drama-filled beach read with betrayal and scandal and probably pretty touching. Get in my beach bag already!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I’ve heard the romance in this one is TO DIE FOR. I had my own next door crush as a teen but it definitely didn’t sound as cute as this!

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise: The MC enters a competition to win money for college and the app she creates for it is “The Boyfriend Apps” which helps girls find boyfriends. I have a feeling this will be adorable and there HAS to be all sorts of fun with that premise.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: I love the premise of this one. The MC is not well off and she and her mom almost have a distrust of the wealthy. A boy,who is clearly rich, walks into her mom’s shop and they hit it off but she knows it will never work out because he is rich — even though he really understands her like nobody else. I love stories where these sorts of things are explored & opposites attract stories are always fun!

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: I’ve only heard great things about this one so far! Cricket is supposed to spend the perfect summer with her best friend on the beach and getting together with her crush until a tragedy strikes and the two girls are thrust apart and now Cricket is stuck cleaning houses all summer. There is a hint of some off limits romance and I’m just loving the prospect!

Rules of  Summer by Joanna Philbin: The MC, Rory, is working for a very wealthy family and has been warned about not socializing with them or getting involved with them which she learns is not so easy when she befriends their younger daughter who is having a secret summer romance with someone who her parents wouldn’t approve of.

The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen: Well, it’s Sarah Dessen so it makes sense it would be in my beach bag!

Losing It by Cora Carmack: Ok, well technically I guess this is considered New Adult rather than YA. It’s set in college and the MC is so sick of being the only virgin so she makes a plan to just have a quick one night stand to lose it but ends up leaving the guy in bed and not going through with it. She waltzes into class late the next day only to find that her new professor was the one night stand she bailed on.

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski: I love that this one focuses on a summer job! The MC is spending her summer as an intern at her local newspaper writing obituaries where she meets a cute boy and gets a dose of the real world.

Starstruck by Rachel Shukert: There is nothing more fun than a historical book with glitz and glamour and this one has it with its Old Hollywood setting and an aspiring actresses looking to make it big! Sounds like one of those juicy, dramatic reads.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen: I LOVE FLAPPERS! I read Vixen by Jillian Larkin on the beach a few years ago and I just can’t wait to read another series about flappers, speakeasies and glamour in the 1920’s NYC.

Reboot by Amy Tintera: When the MC died she came back to life as a Reboot and has super strength and intelligence & the longer you’ve been dead the less human you are. The MC is one of the strongest Reboot soldiers and is in charge of training the Reboots. She gets stuck on her latest Reboot who isn’t catching on as quick, has slow reflexes and is always asking questions but there is something Wren can’t ignore about him.

Parallel by Lauren Miller: At different points in her life Abby wakes up in a completely different version of her life — a parallel life that she switches in and out of at points whenever her parallel self makes new choices. I feel like I can’t even explain it fully so go read the description!

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan: I love David Levithan SO MUCH so any collab he is doing I will read! It’s about a boy who has literally always been invisible because of a curse until one day when the new girl in town actually sees him. They get involved romantically and start to look for a way to break his curse.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows: I honestly have no idea what this book is about but I’ve heard such good things about it that I bought it. I know there are dragons, that there are souls that reincarnate or something and a romance. But it sounds fantastical and awesome haha.

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza: This one is a sci fi book about a girl who finds out that she was born out of an experiment involving artificial intelligence. She knows too much and is on the run from a group who wants to kill her and those who want to study her and unlock the mystery behind her — which is more than they even know.


Help me prioritize!! Which ones have you read and you think I should add to the top of my beach read list? Did you discover any off my list to add to your beach bag??

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski | Book Review

How My Summer Went Up In FlamesBook Title/Author: How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
: Simon Pulse – May 7, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: None

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!


Rosie finds out that her boyfriend cheats on her and then he flaunts the girl in her face. The next thing she knows her ex’s car is on fire and she’s got a restraining order and, in trying to talk to him, is facing stalking charges. Her parents decide, to keep her from getting in any more trouble before the court date, to send her on a road trip across the country with their next door neighbor Matty, the sorta geeky boy next door, and his two friends. As the miles start to grow in between her and the situation at home she’s itching to get back and fix things and win him back — at all costs.

I’m really conflicted on this one. On one hand, especially as my gym read, How My Summer Went Up in Flames was precisely what it was supposed to be — a fun summer read with some entertaining and absolute LOL moments, some romance and a road trip! I read through it pretty quickly,  it was very enjoyable and I was always excited to pick it up — as excited as one could be excited  on a treadmill. But on the other hand, there was so much about it that irked me & pulled me out of it but it seems to probably just be a ME thing from all the rave reviews I’ve seen. All of my feelings are very all over the place… a lot of “I liked this BUT at the same time I didn’t.”

There were some really awesome parts of the road trip — some fun moments and also some self discovery moments where I wanted to hug Rosie. But on the other hand, this road trip was a lot like being stuck in the car with your annoying little sibling who keeps kicking the back of your seat — it makes it a little less enjoyable. Rosie was miserable for most of this road trip because she didn’t WANT to go and was all angsty about her ex boyfriend. That was hard for me to relate to because umm ROAD TRIP? The answer is enthusiastically ALWAYS. But whatever, I could go with it. But it was hard to actually ENJOY the road trip part of it because Rosie made 75% of it miserable because of her bad attitude. I’d be into the flow of their adventure and then she would pull me right out of it. LUCKILY, the boys and a sweet girl we meet along the way more than made up for it. They kept me reading during the moments when I thought I might push Rosie out of the car if I could. I seriously LOVED the boys. They were my favorites. I was really relieved in the moments when Rosie was ENJOYING the road trip and growing.

The romance! Ok, so there were some really swoony and cute parts. There were. The tension was written very well and I was so waiting for some kissing because of all the tension. But here’s the thing…throughout the book I felt like there was some MOMENTS where it felt like she liked or felt some maybe possibly confused feelings with each one of the guys in the car which I found weird considering everything that just went down with a breakup. I can’t explain it but there were parts where maybe they were goofing off and it seemed like there was tension with one guy or she’d be like “hmm he’s really kinda cute” and made me think, “OH is she going to go for him now?” There’s one kinda more OBVIOUS guy but there were just these weird moments I can’t explain without telling you. And then there’s a guy who comes into the picture and is suddenly smitten with her as well and the whole time I was confused as to WHY because there wasn’t much through the story where we saw any reason why she was so desirable or special.

Luckily there WERE parts where I felt like Rosie shined and I was like “Yeah,  I like this girl a lot — she’s feisty and can be fun and I GET her. ”  In those moments, I could see through the grumpy exterior and feel like I was getting to know who Rosie was and saw why people wanted to be friends with her — like how she talked on the phone to her dog or stood up for a friend. But, by the end, I still don’t think I quite got who she was or felt like I understood her though I feel like I was starting to.


Unfortunately, for me, How My Summer Went Up In Flames didn’t stand out. It had its moments and generally was entertaining and fun — the perfect type of summer read when you are craving something light that will take you no time to breeze through because it’s paced really well. I loved the secondary characters but there was a lot about the main character and her storyline that irked me and pulled me out of this romp across America. She had her moments where I was like,  “Girl, you rock!”  but never moved past that. It wasn’t that I DIDN’T like How My Summer Went Up In Flames but I just didn’t love it though I know SO many are going to not even notice the things that annoyed me. I did appreciate how realistic it was and that it wasn’t totally romance centric but it just never made me FEEL anything more than, “Ok, that was fun.” I will say that I will be picking up her next book Famous Last Words because I think she writes fun contemporaries.



Let’s Talk: Have you read this one??  Heard of it?  If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Was I the only one who was drawn out of the story for these things?



ALSO I don’t listen to a ton of country music but this song and video are HILARIOUS and Miranda is awesome and it totally reminds me of this book in ways as it talks about the “crazy” some of catch during a break up. Even a reference to matches 😛

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