As soon as I saw this topic, I knew where to start. There are 2 books that scream "summer vibes" to me above all else:
But, I've already talked about these a lot. So instead, this is the measuring stick I used to put together my list.
Disclaimer: the books below may not all take place strictly in summer. Some I don't know, some I can't remember. I decided to focus on covers more than plot, although of course ideally the book would have both, but I came up with so many that I had to make it a double feature. I debated whether or not I should add commentary or let the covers speak for themselves, and I probably chose wrong, but I can't resist a good opportunity to get overly verbose.
In the first half, I focused on books with a lot of greenery that gave me that really intense "I want to spend all day outside" feeling. Part II is where you'll find all the swimsuits and other cute outfits that make me want to take destination vacations, flaunt my cutest wadrobe options, and generally act like a teenager with zero responsibilities again -- or at least read a book that lets me feel like I am.
1. The Moon and More - Sarah Dessen
Besides the above selections, and honestly even more than The Unexpected Everything, this is the most summer-vibes book of all time. So summery I almost bought it new, with no research, as a special start-of-summer treat -- but luckily I didn't, because the love triangle sadly ended up annoying me so much I couldn't even finish it.
2. 99 Days - Katie Cotugno
The title refers to the length of a summer break, and that + the general summer vibes of this cover (which are even more apparent when taking the endpages into account) are largely why I read this book. Absolutely Baffled why anyone would rerelease it in that bland illustrated cover way when the photo collages are the best thing about her books.
3. The Secret Language of Girls - Frances O'Roark Dowell
Bare feet in the grass, with a friendship anklet?? That's an instant middle-school-summer feeling.
4. Last Chance for Paris - Sylvia McNicholl
Aaaand I'm ready to hit up a state park and go hiking.
5. Somebody Everybody Listens To - Suzanne Supplee
I actually get more of a spring vibe from this but it's never a bad time to gaze at this pretty cover, which is actually one of my all-time favorite covers of any book ever, and the story about a girl trying to break into the country music business holds up.
6. Once Upon a Road Trip - Angela N. Blount
Are you getting a sense yet of how much I love covers featuring girls with trim waists and long hair, a.k.a. what I dream of looking like from behind? If not, you definitely will by the end. (I do sort of have the hair, but it's no longer as thick as I would like) Anyway, the point is, road trips are emblematic of summer.
7. Echo Island - Edward Karlow
I bought this book (for $1) because of the cover. Have not read it yet and sense it will not surpass 3 stars (because the reviews say there is some weird magic/special-powers twist to an otherwise realistic contemporary story??), but look at that lakeshore dock! I want to go to there. And wear her outfit.
8. Where I Belong - Gwendolyn Heasley
This just makes me wanna spend summer out in the country.
[Edit: oh my god. I can't believe I didn't even think to look for a single horse book when I know I have some that qualify. D'oh!]
9. The Reece Malcolm List - Amy Spalding
She's wearing the perfect outfit and she's doing the perfect summer activity: lying in the grass with a (note)book.
P.S. I highly recommend this book/author.
10. My Life as a Country Album - L.J. Evans
Haven't read it yet but the cover is a large part of why it's on the TBR. So many summer activities. Even the idea of them being framed as Polaroids feel summery. (The new cover, on the other hand, I would not look twice at.)
The Last Forever - Deb Caletti
I love this shot so much that I literally cropped it for use as my avatar on a short-lived healthy food/exercise/summer aesthetic inspiration sideblog on Tumblr.
2. Pretty Bad Things - C.J. Skuse
Haven't read this, but I just added it to my TBR because my brain took one look at the sunglasses and went SUMMER ROAD TRIP OUT WEST NOW. Said brain is actually so hyped it's been making up its own story based on this image for days.
3. In Honor - Jessi Kirby
This book did NOT live up to its potential but god, I love this cover. I was so excited to read it based on this cover. That cover still tricks me into thinking it's worth rereading (which is why I wrote a review explicitly warning myself about that).
4. Breathing - Cheryl Herbsman
Coastal Carolina setting, very sweet and slightly age-mismatched YA romance, and a cover that screams "don't you want to be her, right there??"
5. Boy Heaven - Laura Kasischke
Another book where the cover is both the reason I read it and the best thing about it. (see my short-n-sweet review for why)
6. Starlet - Randi Resifeld
This book is super basic and I never read its sequels even though it ends on a cliffhanger, but I would literally live in a bikini with that body.
7. Unbreak My Heart - Melissa Walker
Come sail away! Come sail away! Come saaaail away with me, I can hear this cover of a book I haven't read calling to me.
8. The Summer After You + Me - Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
I actually found this while looking for summer-vibe covers, and read it for that reason. (the setting is lovely; the people aren't)
9. For Real - Alison Cherry
This cover makes me smile, and if you wanna read a novel length, professional-quality Amazing Race fanfic with original characters, this is your ticket (there is a special twist/theme that makes it not quite a carbon copy of TAR, but in practice, it ends up pretty close).
10. The Disenchantments - Nina LaCour
Haven't read this one but that is a summer outfit if I ever saw one. Actually, half the reason I haven't read it yet is that the disconnect between that cover and the male narrator is too jarring. I just wanna make up my own story about this girl and her band. The other half of the reason is the top review: This cover screams Fun in the Sun! This blurb screams Road Trip and Music! So I was going into this expecting a light, fun, read. It's nothing like that. It has its fun moments for sure, but the story is very sad bordering on depressing with a deep "finding oneself" message.
Your Turn: Which cover is your favorite? And/or, have you read any of these?
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