Page-Turners to Read this Summer | On the Daily EXPRESS

6/21/19

Page-Turners to Read this Summer

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In the past few weeks I've had a few friends and family members reaching out to me for book recommendations in real life. I do monthly book reviews here on the blog, but I know it can be time consuming to go through the archives looking for a recommendation. So I thought I'd try to help out with that process by sharing a summer reading list here today. Let's get to the details!
First of all, I wanted to explain how I made these selections. These books don't all take place in summer (though some of them do!) and they aren't all recent releases. I went through my monthly reviews from the past year-ish and made a list of titles that really stood out to me as being memorable and engaging reads. They all hooked me into the plot pretty easily and kept me turning those pages! I narrowed down my top picks into three general categories to make it easier for you to select something that suits your reading mood. Some books could be categorized more than one way so I tried to mention overlapping categories. I recommend checking out the the details before you write off an entire category!

Suspense/Thrillers:

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson.
This book is about....Neighbors playing cat-and-mouse. One suspects the other of murder, but knows if she comes forward no one will believe her because of her own troubled past.
Why I recommend it: This author has a way of writing engaging, very normal-seeming characters who have dark secrets that make you think this could be your own neighbor! The plot grabbed me within the first couple of chapters and kept me on the edge of my seat. Even though as readers, we know think we know who did what between the neighbors, the way it plays out is very suspenseful and exciting.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
This book is about...Laurel's teenage daughter disappeared one day after school and her life fell apart. As she tries to move on years later, we get some insight into the mystery of her daughter's disappearance.
Why I recommend it: While as readers we learn the truth about the missing daughter much sooner than the main character (because we get multiple perspectives from different characters), it's done in such a way that you are still in suspense as to how and when Laurel will figure it out herself. It's not done in the annoying way where the answers are in front of the main character's face and they seem to ignore the obvious clues. It's hard for me to put into words why this book is so suspenseful and engaging. It's just all in the way the author builds the characters and their relationships and backstories. It really stands out to me as one I could not put down.

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
This book is about...Georgina is paying for a serious mistake she made as a teenager after keeping it hidden for over 14 years.
Why I recommend it: The author did a great job of building the characters and making readers question who to to trust. We know from the start that Georgina was somehow involved in the death of her high school friend, but we aren't sure just how involved she really was. The story alternates between past and present timelines as we get answers. I will warn you this book had some pretty gruesome stuff. I'm not really a fan of that type of content, but the book was entertaining enough to get me to push through or skim over those parts (which were relatively short anyway) to find out what happened.

Romance:

Verity. by Colleen Hoover
This book is about...Lowen is a writer who is asked to finish out a book series for another author (named Verity) who has been in an accident and is unable to complete the work. Lowen finds out more about Verity and her husband than she ever intended.
Why I recommend it: If you want a book that you can't look away from in the same way you can't look away from a train wreck, get this book. And when I say train wreck, I don't mean it in a bad way. I just mean the the characters are creating a train wreck in their lives and there's a lot going on where you're saying, "Why are you doing this!?!" There are times I hated certain characters yet I still could not put it down. It was so twisted in parts I couldn't believe what I was reading, but I had to know what would happen next! Colleen Hoover never shies away from sexual content but this was by far her most graphic and is the most R-rated of any book on today's list. It definitely has upsetting content and yet the writing style and story are so engaging you can't stop! I put this under romance but it's almost equal parts suspense/thriller.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
This book is about... a love quadrangle between 1930s college students who meet and fall in love, then reunite many years later in a summer vacation town when things in life haven't turned out the way any of them expected back in college.
Why I recommend it:  This is a quintessential "summer read." If you want something easy to get into with elements of romance and complicated friendships and community drama...look no further! This will make you crave everything about summer. This book wouldn't necessarily make an all time favorites list like some of the others here, but for a summer reading list it needs to be on here!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
This book is about... Lucy struggles to get along with her co-worker and hates the fact that she's attracted to him even though she can't stand his personality. They compete for everything, but of course there's some underlying sexual chemistry between them.
Why I recommend it: If you like chic lit by authors like Sophie Kinsella, you will probably enjoy this. I found it similar to her style, only sexier. It has romance and humor and sexual tension all in one! It's easy to get into and just pure fun for the whole ride!

Action + Adventure:

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta
This book is about... A boy witnesses a crime and needs unconventional witness protection in the mountains of Montana.
Why I recommend it: Unlike others on this list, I wouldn't say this grabbed me from page one since there's a bit of set up to the plot. But it still didn't take long (less than 20% on Kindle) to get get to the meat of the plot and have me hooked. And once you're in, it's intense! This is one that could also be classified as suspense, but I put it under Action/Adventure because there's a lot of wilderness stuff going on. I honestly wouldn't have expected to enjoy that since it's not my thing in real life, but it was really well done. And despite all the action and adventure, the characters and relationships were also well developed so that added to my enjoyment. I rarely read anything that I think men would enjoy, but this is one that I could see my husband and possibly my teen son enjoying as well.

If She Wakes by Michael Koryta
This book is about... A deadly car accident leaves Tara in a coma, but the insurance investigator (Abby) suspects it wasn't an accident at all. Abby seeks answers, putting both women in danger.
Why I recommend it: This is a fast-paced, action-packed, yet fairly realistic and not too gruesome story. As with the previous book by this author, the characters and their backstories and relationships are also really well developed, so it hit all the right marks for me. Again this could also be considered suspense, but it has a healthy dose of car chases and gun fights and that sort of thing. So it if were a movie it would be more like a "Mission Impossible" than a "Sixth Sense."

Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
This book is about... A school teacher grieving the loss of his son ends up with some unlikely companions for a summer on the road in his RV.
Why I recommend it: It's so hard to describe what makes this book so good, but I will just say that I have recommended it to my mom, my sisters and my sons and everyone has enjoyed it! My youngest was ten when he read this and he ranked it in his top five books of all time because, "it didn't try to teach you a lesson, it was just a good adventure." This book can appeal to all ages and genders with its excellent character development, adventurous story, and feel-good quality. I did think the second half was a bit slower than the first and there were other things I could nitpick, but the overall experience and good memories I have from this book were well worth it to me. Bonus points for this one since it is technically a "summer" book for most of the story!

That does it for my list of recommended reads for this summer, but if you've read all of these or just need a few more ideas, you're in luck! Four of my blogger friends are joining me today with their recommendations too! Click on any of the images below to check out their summer page-turner selections! And if you enjoyed today's post, make sure to check back next Friday when we'll be sharing our top audiobook recommendations for your summer road trip!



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9 comments:

  1. Take me with you is one of my all time fave. I just got jar of hearts, excited to read.


    xo
    Pinksole

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  2. Great list and I am going to see if I can request A Hundred Summers from the library now! Thanks for a great list!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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  3. A Hundred Summers is one of my favorite books and I just finished Jar of Hearts and loved it! I need to add the others to my library list! Have a great weekend Gina!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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  4. I got Then She Was Gone for my birthday last year. I really need to get round to reading it already!

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  5. I just requested Before She Knew Him.
    Jar of Hearts was disturbing, for sure, but it was a true page turner!

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  6. So many of these look really really good! I'm hoping to have a chance to read a bit while on vacation in 2 weeks. I'm in the middle of False Step right now and it's pretty good!

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  7. I’ve read 3 of these but I’m so happy to see some goods ones here for my summer reading. We leave on vacation next Saturday and I want to get lots of reading in. xo

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  9. I went on a Lisa Jewell kick last year - I like that kind of domestic/family mystery that she does so well, and it's always fun to find an author with a good backlog of stuff to pick up :) I haven't ready any Sally Thorne but have been meaning to - good reminder!

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