The Hottest Beach Reads For Summer 2018
Time to escape whether you're off on holiday or planning a staycation.
If you hadn't noticed, it's summer and that means it's the perfect time to dip your toes into a new book or five.
Whether you want to escape into a dystopian fantasy world or are in need of a thriller to get your teeth into, check out our pick of the best new fiction to pop straight in your beach bag below.
From novels already being adapted into movies to the new novel from the author of The Devil Wears Prada, we guarantee there's a little something for everyone in there.
All The Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
Love Gossip Girl and Cruel Intentions? Meet 17-year-old Charlie, whose mother vanished from her family's lake house without a trace on the last day of summer 10 years ago.
Fast-forward to the present and Charlie is still haunted by the disappearance. Throwing herself into life at prestigious boarding school Knollwood Prep, Charlie finds distraction in the A's: the school's elite secret society well known for terrorising the faculty, students and their enemies alike. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.
As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life
A Semi-Definitive List Of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather met Death, her entire family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime—a fear that will eventually lead each and every one of them to their graves.
So far Esther's managed to escape the curse. She doesn’t yet have a great fear because she avoids pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, crowds—anything that might trigger a phobia is off-limits and is meticulously recorded in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.
But then she meets Jonah Smallwood in an encounter that leaves her swindled out of her phone and cash, but with an unlikely friendship. Together Esther and Jonah face their greatest fears, one debilitating phobia at a time, only to discover the the biggest fear they hadn’t counted on: love.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth
When Cameron Post's parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they'll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.
Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship - one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, Cam's ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to "fix" her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self - even if she's not exactly sure who that is.
With rave reviews from Sundance and the movie adaptation starring Chloe Moretz and Sasha Lane due to hit cinemas this autumn, this is a story everyone will be talking about come September so get in early and have a read now.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
This is a love story. It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.
Are We All Lemmings And Snowflakes? By Holly Bourne
Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there.
Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?
Sweet Fruit, Sour Land by Rebecca Ley
When a wealthy client visits Mathilde's dressmaking shop, she finds herself drawn into the only surviving circle of luxury left in a barren London. Attending parties offers a welcome escape from life governed by ration cards and a strictly enforced child policy.
Here she meets enigmatic government minister, George, and piano-playing Jaminder, with whom an intense friendship blossoms. As their relationship grows stronger, George's grip on Mathilde tightens, as she tries to discover where the illicit food is coming from, where women disappear to, and what price she must pay to avoid bringing a child into a cruel, ever-changing world.
This sharp exploration of a dystopian London that doesn't feel so far from our own is full of female friendship, feminism and delicious description.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and time with the man she might one day marry.
What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars and that she is about to encounter the strangest, craziest group of people in existence.
Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian jet set; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money - and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.
But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.
Despite the odds, one band's music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
Leah On The Off Beat by Becky Albertalli
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes centre stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.
When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers--magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.
Over the course of her last summer on the island- - a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird - Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.
The Looking Glass by Janet McNally
GIRLS IN TROUBLE. That's what Sylvie Blake's older sister Julia renamed their favorite fairy tale book, way back when they were just girls themselves. Now Julia has disappeared - and no one knows for sure if she wants to be away, or if she's the one in trouble.
Then a copy of their old storybook arrives with a mysterious list inside, and Sylvie begins to see signs of her sister, and their favourite fairy tales, everywhere she goes.
With the help of her best friend's enigmatic brother and his beat-up car, Sylvie sets out to follow the strange signs right to Julia and return to New York with her in tow. But trouble comes in lots of forms - and Sylvie soon learns that the damsel in distress is often the only one who can save herself.
The Loneliest Girl In The Universe by Lauren James
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone...
Florida by Lauren Groff
The New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies returns, bringing the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature.
A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character—a steely and conflicted wife and mother.
The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family.
But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women's movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world.
Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer - madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can't quite place - feels her inner world light up.
Then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she'd always imagined.
I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall
Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.
With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.
Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father...and she wants revenge.
I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state.
After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven't been able to confront, and together, they find their way back to who they're supposed to be.
The Wives by Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada #3)
Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.
Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognised the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.
Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.
Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface.