5 Summer Books Worth Reading and Recommending

5 summer books you must read, wont be able to put down and will def recommend to others
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Can you believe that its the middle of July and summer is nearly coming to an end? I know a lot of parents cannot wait for school to be back in and I may feel that way when I have both kids of school age, but I am a bit sad that it’s creeping up to that time. I have so enjoyed having both my kids home with me this year! While its been trying on some days, its also been pretty fun too!

And now that the summer is nearing a close, I want to ask you- have you finished all those summer books you promised yourself you would read? Now is the time! Because I am absolutely a “go to gal” when it comes to books, I wanted to share a 5 Summer Reads you Must Read list! Keep in mind I read far more books than 5 over the summer (and year round) so it was pretty hard to narrow it down.

In the interest of just bringing you 5, I picked mostly books that are “one off” rather than series books. This way you can read at the beach, finish, and put it to rest.

5 summer books you must read, wont be able to put down and will def recommend to others

5 Summer Reads you Must Read

(in no particular order)

1) Wonder by R.J. Palecio 

5 summer books you must read, wont be able to put down and will def recommend to others

Wonder is a rare gem of a novel–beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart. August Pullman is a 10-year-old boy who likes Star Wars and Xbox, ordinary except for his jarring facial anomalies. Homeschooled all his life, August heads to public school for fifth grade and he is not the only one changed by the experience–something we learn about first-hand through the narratives of those who orbit his world. August’s internal dialogue and interactions with students and family ring true, and though remarkably courageous he comes across as a sweet, funny boy who wants the same things others want: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself. “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” From The Little Prince and R.J. Palacio’s remarkable novel,Wonder.–Seira Wilson

OK so I didn’t exactly read it this summer, but you should unless you are one of the million that already has. I actually read it on a book release and wow! It’s available in the kids section for most book stores and has won all sorts of reader awards like#1 in Childrens Diseases on Amazon and #1 NY Times Best Seller to name a few. Wonder stays with you and makes you re-evaluate everything you thought you knew about disabilities. The beauty of this book is that its written for any age and has a profound affect regardless of that age. It should be a book on every shelf of every classroom in America. Wonder is a seriously fast read with a seriously good plot.

2) PANIC by Lauren Oliver

5 summer books you must read, wont be able to put down and will def recommend to others

I have to tell you that I am not someone that ever reads the end of the book first.

I literally cringe when people tell me they start at the back and then go back to the front. But in this book…I may have sneaked a peek because I was so nervous for the character. I also read this book in a DAY. I was so engrossed in the story I could not put it down and kept wandering back till I closed it with a satisfying thunk. Lauren Oliver also writes a great series of books called Delirium and I recommend those too, but unless you want to be stuck in a long Hunger Games type drama for a bit, start here.

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2014: Imagine a game that required you to walk, on a dark rainy night, across a narrow plank 50 feet in the air between two water towers. What could be worth that or any of the other terrifying tests of reckless courage in the game of Panic? For Dodge and Heather, graduating high school seniors of Carp, population 12,000, winning means a $67,000 chance at freedom from their claustrophobic town. In Panic, Lauren Oliver’s characters are imbued with the emotional intricacy of teenagers hungry for both connection and new beginnings, some hiding secrets that blunt even the most frightening challenge the game can impose. Although there can only be one winner, a competition based on fear shapes powerful new relationships, understanding, and even forgiveness. —Seira Wilson

3) Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

5 summer books you must read, wont be able to put down and will def recommend to others

Quite timely, Little Mercies debuted just a few weeks ago in June, within the midst of a 100 news reports of parents leaving their kids in the car. The book follows the life of a woman who is a social worker and spends her time taking kids out of horrible situations. She then finds herself wrapped up the same legal system she has spent her whole life in, but this time as the suspect. I found myself having to put this one down a lot. The subject is so heavy, scary, and riveting- but it’s a must read for parents finding themselves talking about this all too often situation and never imagining themselves on the other side.

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for. 

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another. 

A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

4) The Selection by Kiera Cass

5 summer books you must read, wont be able to put down and will def recommend to others

I cannot tell you how many times I passed this book cover at Target and was like hmm, maybe, hmm, OK fine. I am so glad I did because I was not disappointed. This is the only “series” book that landed on my summer list but it’s because ALL three of the books (and a bonus mini story) are currently published. That way if you get engrossed (and you will), you can pick up all three up without stopping the story. The Selection is sorta a modern day old world take on a competition to win the heart of a prince. Its like The Bachelor with an old world twist- a dystopian fairy tale if you will.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

5) Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick 

5 summer books you must read, wont be able to put down and will def recommend to others

Amber is a fellow blogger so I have a soft spot for them- except don’t let my bias fool you. This book is one of those laugh out loud “yep, yep, yep” books that make summer reading fun and funny at the same time. I believe I fought back and forth with my spouse over this one for a bit and every time I wanted to tell him about a scene he was like…I already read it. Darn.

Good for spurts of time or to sit down and devour, this is a cute and quirky book that every parent should read and then gift on.  If you want a sample of her writing before you buy, head to her ultra funny blog- this is my favorite post. 

Of course you love being a parent. But sometimes, it just sucks. I know. I’m Amber Dusick and I started my blog Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures because I needed a place to vent about the funny (and frustrating) day-to-day things that happened to me as a parent. Turns out, poop is hilarious! At least when you’re not the one wiping it up.

This book won’t make your frustrating moments any less crappy. But these stories about my Crappy Baby, Crappy Boy and my husband, Crappy Papa, will hopefully make you laugh. Because you’re not alone. And sometimes the crappiest moments make the best memories. Parenting is wonderful! And also, well, you know.

Now do not be fooled into thinking those are the only books I think you should be reading. If you want some great series books, check out the House of Night, Evolution of Mara Dyer, Syrena Legacy, Grisha Trilogy, and the new start of Dangerous Creations (yep- the other side of Beautiful Creatures!) for some page turning action.

Do you have a book recommendation that should be on my shelf? I’d love to hear it!


This post was sponsored by Harlequin

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  1. says

    I’ve read Parenting- Illustrated with Crappy Pictures and I have Panic on my kindle but haven’t read it, but the other ones are new to me! Thanks for the recommendations, I’m almost done with the book I’m reading (All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner) so I’ll need a new book soon!

  2. says

    I love the Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures blog, but I didn’t know there was a book! This might be a good baby shower gift for new parents 😉

  3. says

    Lately I haven’t been able to read as much as I would like. I am definitely going to check out some of your recommendations!

  4. says

    The Selection sounds great! I limited my reading on vacation this year and I admit I missed it. I hope to catch up with some reading at home in the next few weeks!

  5. says

    I’m 3/4 of the way through Little Mercies right now. It’s soooo good, but really sad at the same time. I need to go finish that tonight so I can see how it all ends up.