If you’re like us, when we set out on a beach or poolside vacation, we want an easy, fun, light read! We’re looking for a book that’s not too thick, doesn’t make us think too hard, but is still well-written and enjoyable. Spending time with your nose in a page-turner is one of our favorite ways to pass a few hours while soaking up the sun’s rays (and re-applying sunblock every couple of hours, of course!). Come get lost with us, and check out our favorite books to read while on vacation.
Emily Henry is the queen of rom-coms, which is why we have not one, not two, but three titles by her on our list (and no, it’s not too many). First up is Beach Read. With a title like this, there’s no wonder why this book is on our list!
Beach Read by Emily Henry
In this classic enemies-to-lovers trope, two writers from different genres end up spending the summer at neighboring beach houses. To prove that their respective genre is more difficult than the other’s, they challenge each other to write a book from the other person’s genre. As “research” (cue the summer romance!) for their respective in-progress books, they spend time together to learn each other's writing process. As their books come along, so do their feelings for one another. This book is a delightful read you can easily breeze through!
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Our next Emily Henry read is her latest publication, and this book is everything! Happy Place is about love — and not just romantic love (though it is about that, too) but love of a place, of a time, of friendship, of life, and so on. It’s the necessary heartbreak that coincides with everything good in the world. In this story, the two main characters were seemingly the perfect couple…until they weren’t. They broke up, but their whole friend group still thinks they’re engaged! They must keep up the ruse to spare hurt feelings. (But that always goes well, doesn’t it?) Pick up this book if you’re looking for a raw and relatable story about love, relationships, and friendships.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Our final Emily Henry book on the list is People We Meet on Vacation. This heartwarming novel revolves around two people who, despite their wildly different personalities, became best friends in college. The story unfolds between alternating timelines between their past vacations and the present, revealing the ups and downs of their friendship (and perhaps some unspoken feelings). Through its witty banter, this book is a captivating tale of friendship, love, and self-discovery, bound to leave you feeling hopeful and ready to plan your next vacation adventure.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This contemporary romance takes you on an exhilarating journey through politics, love, and self-discovery. The story follows the First Son of the United States and the Prince Of Wales. Caught in a long-standing rivalry-turned-friendship, this novel delves into deep topics while still keeping it light and refreshing. This book is a heartwarming love story that challenges societal norms and celebrates the triumph of love over adversity. We are all in on this charming LGBTQ+ rollercoaster of a story!
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Yes, yes, and yes again. Part of Your World is a masterpiece, in our opinion! Written by Abby Jimenez, this story is so well-crafted, you’ll be fully immersed in the plot within the first few pages. A female doctor from an award-winning family in medicine meets a small-town man who works harder than most and cares and loves for his neighbors. It was only supposed to be a fling; their lives are too different for it to ever work out long-term…or are they? This captivating story will stir up all sorts of emotions, leaving a lasting impact and proving that true love knows no bounds.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune is a poignant and beautifully crafted debut novel that explores the complexities of family, friendship, and the power of memories. The story follows three friends whose lives are forever changed by a tragic accident during their teenage years. Now, as adults, they reunite at the lake house where the accident occurred, hoping to find closure and confront the ghosts of their past. Its lyrical prose will tug at your heartstrings as the book delves into themes of grief, guilt, and the enduring bonds of friendship. Through the shifting perspectives of the characters, you’ll be taken on an evocative journey that navigates the nuances of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit. Read this book if you’re looking for a heartrending and powerful exploration of the ties that bind us and the healing power of confronting the past.
It Happened One Summer Hook by Tessa Bailey
Looking for a sizzler before you cool down in the water? It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey is a delightful Schitt’s Creek-esque romantic comedy that follows the adventures of a socialite who finds herself exiled to a small coastal town in the Pacific Northwest by her estranged father. Determined to make the most of her summer, she tries to rehabilitate the old family bar. As she meets the locals, she instantly clashes with the town's surly sheriff. This heartwarming romance is a perfect beach read, with its witty banter, lovable characters, and the power of love to heal past wounds and open new doors. Tessa Bailey delivers a charming, feel-good story that will leave you with a smile on your face and a longing for more summer adventures.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is yet another hilarious and captivating romantic comedy. Be prepared for mishaps, misunderstandings, and unexpected love. After her sister and husband become ill at their wedding from food poisoning, the main character is reeled into taking the non-refundable honeymoon vacation — with her nemesis, the brother of the groom. As they reluctantly embark on this non-honeymoon adventure, there is undeniable chemistry. Through a series of comical and heartwarming escapades, they slowly begin to see each other in a new light and discover that first impressions aren't always accurate. This entertaining read reminds us that love can blossom in the most unexpected places.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
We had to include at least one book by well-known author, Taylor Jenkins Reid. Malibu Rising will transport you to the glamorous world of Malibu in the 1980s. The story revolves around the famous Riva siblings who host an annual end-of-summer party that becomes a legendary event attended by Hollywood's elite. As the party unfolds over the course of one night, secrets, and long-buried family tensions surface, threatening to shatter the Riva family's carefully constructed façade. Taylor Jenkins Reid weaves a mesmerizing tale that alternates between the present and the past, uncovering the Riva family's turbulent history and exploring the complexities of love, ambition, and the burden of fame. With its vivid characters and richly atmospheric setting, Malibu Rising is a captivating and emotionally resonant novel that celebrates the strength of family bonds and the enduring power of hope, even in the face of life's darkest storms.
Time to Plan Your Next Beach Vacation!
We love each and every book on this list! They are the perfect length and don't require too much mental focus. Allow yourself to be carried away with these 9 perfect reads on your next vacation!