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21 of the Best Beach Reads for Summer 2024


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best summer beach reads"
best summer beach reads
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

Arguably the best way to spend the summer is by the water, whether that means beachside, lakeside, or poolside. Whatever summer looks like for you, we hope you get the opportunity to catch some rays, unwind, and relax a bit. No summer waterside activity is complete without the essentials like sunscreen, your drink of choice, and the perfect book to sweep your mind away for a while. Of course, we’re talking about the beloved category of beach reads. The page-turners that leave you wanting more. The spicy will-they, won’t-they pieces that we can’t get enough of. And maybe even a low-stakes thriller here and there. 

A good beach read is relatively easy to find. A great beach read is readily accessible. But the perfect beach read? Well, here’s where we come in. That’s right, we’ve found all of the best books to accompany you to the seaside, patio, or pool deck. We’ve got your classic love stories to have you rooting for the couple going up against all odds. We’ve got spicy recs you might want to pick up again after bedtime. Plus, we included some of our favorite recent memoirs too.

Whether you’re planning a summer trip or staying put, you’re going to want a book by your side. Check out these beach read recommendations you won’t be able to put down.

The Best Beach Reads for Summer 2024

funny story summer beach reads
Emily Henry
Funny Story

Can’t get enough of Emily Henry’s books? You don’t have to! Get your hands on her latest book about a girl named Daphne who gives up her whole life to move to her fiancé’s hometown. Soon after, he realizes he’s in love with his childhood best friend Petra. Now, single in a small-town with nothing but her dream job, Daphne turns to the only person who can understand her situation: Petra’s ex, Miles. How strong will their unlikely bond grow? Read to find out!

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the idea of you summer beach read
Robinne Lee
The Idea of You

If you’ve watched the film adaptation starring Anne Hathaway but haven’t read the book yet, you’re going to want to immediately. Follow along as 39-year-old mom Solène reluctantly tags along with her daughter to see her favorite boy band. Little does she know, she’ll have a chance encounter and form an undeniable connection with one of the hunky band members—even though he’s nearly two decades younger than her.

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summer beach reads
Lyla Sage
Swift and Saddled

Did Beyonce’s Cowboy Carter put you in your cowboy era? Then this one’s for you. The latest book in the Rebel Blue Ranch TikTok famous series, Ada Hart is as independent as can be and trusts no one but herself. The interior designer gets her dream job at one of the largest ranches in Wyoming. On one of her first nights in town, she finds herself at a dive bar locking eyes with a hunky cowboy. They share one kiss and part ways—that is until she realizes he’s her new boss.

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this summer will be different best beach reads
Carley Fortune
This Summer Will Be Different

Carley Fortune’s latest novel is here just in time for summer. In This Summer Will Be Different, Lucy is the tourist vacationing at a beach house on Prince Edward Island. Felix is the local who shows her a very good time. The only problem? Lucy doesn’t know he’s her best friend’s younger brother. Lucy and Felix’s chemistry is unreal, but the list of reasons why they need to stay away from each other is long, and they vow to never repeat that electric night again. But that’s easier said than done.

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the getaway list
Emma Lord
The Getaway List

Riley has spent all of her high school years trying to please her mom and losing herself along the way. The only solution she can think of to finding herself again is to visit her childhood best friend, Tom, in New York for the summer. A long time ago, the duo co-authored their very own “Getaway List”—a list of all the adventures they wanted to do together. After reuniting, the two set out to check off everything on their list. But Riley quickly realizes it’s not all fun and games when her heart gets involved.

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summer beach reads
Emma Rosenblum
Bad Summer People

Fire Island is exactly what you’d expect from an upscale summer tourist town. There’s social politics and drama around every corner, but never anything malicious—until now. When a body shows up dead on the boardwalk, we quickly learn that everyone has something to hide.

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best beach read books
Rebecca Serle
Expiration Dates

A new release from the celebrated author of In Five Years and One Italian Summer comes another heartwarming story you’ll want to read this year.

In Expiration Dates, we meet Daphne Bell. For over 20 years, Daphne has received a slip of paper each time she meets a new love interest that has their name and a number that explains the exact amount of time she’ll have with this man. She’s been waiting and waiting for a slip of paper with no number on it when she meets Jake. Is this fate telling her he’s the one? As their love story unfolds and things get more complicated than she could have ever imagined, she starts to wonder if maybe fate got it wrong this time.

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one true loves
Taylor Jenkins Reid
One True Loves

We love a novel that makes us wonder: What would I do in this situation? Emma was lucky enough to have two great loves of her life: Sam, her adoring, ever-supportive fiancé, and her late husband, Jesse, who was lost at sea three years ago. As she’s beginning to plan a new life with Sam, Jesse is found alive. Now she must choose between the two people she loves most.

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summer beach reads
Tara French
The Hunter

After retiring from the Chicago Police Department, Cal Hooper moves to western Ireland. Here, he begins building a home with a local woman named Lena and a troubled teenager named Trey. Their quiet life is threatened when Trey’s estranged father comes into town. While all Cal and Lena want to do is keep Trey safe, she has other plans: her eyes are set on revenge.

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same time next summer
Annabel Monaghan
Same Time Next Summer

Age at 30, Sam has grown a lot since she was 17—so surely running into her high school love one summer won’t throw her life off track. But, despite being engaged to a celebrated doctor, seeing Wyatt back in their hometown brings back a flood of emotions. Sam has to make a choice between the man who broke her teenage heart, and her ‘picture perfect’ fiancé.

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love naturally
Sophie Sullivan
Love, Naturally

Presley Ayers is a city girl through and through, but she wants to surprise her outdoorsy boyfriend with a vacation to a picturesque lodge in the forest. When he dumps her instead, she’s determined to go it alone. Handsome local Beckett Keller can tell right away that she’s a fish-out-of-water, so to speak, and has no time for it. Still, the two complete opposites can’t deny the attraction they feel for one another.

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best beach reads
Source: @stephonashelf
how to end a love story
Yulin Kuang
How to End a Love Story

Reese’s Book Club pick for May 2024 gifts us a spicy, emotional romance novel. A complicated and tragic accident pulls author Helen Zhang and screenwriter Grant Shepard apart for nearly 13 years. Now, facing working together, the two must navigate the past as well as very real, very current feelings.

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the summer of broken rules
K. L. Walther
The Summer of Broken Rules

Meredith Fox hasn’t been herself since she lost her sister, but she’s determined to rejoin the world at her annual family gathering in Martha’s Vineyard this summer. While in town, her family will be attending a wedding and playing a traditional family game that her sister loved. Meredith is set on winning the game in honor of her sister, but when she gets paired with a handsome groomsman, she quickly becomes distracted and at risk of losing more than just the game.

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summer break books
Lauren Graham
Have I Told You This Already?

Many of us know her as the beloved Lorelai Gilmore, and, as it turns out, Lauren Graham has quite the sense of humor, too! In her book of essays, she shares her life stories that are filled with hilarious anecdotes and plenty of sage advice that we can all take with us.

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summer beach reads
Amanda Peters
The Berry Pickers

If you like your beach reads with a side of heartfelt mystery, pick up this best seller. In 1962, a family ventures to Maine from Nova Scotia to pick berries for the summer. Their lives begin to spiral when their 4-year-old daughter goes missing. As a young girl grows up in an affluent family, she realizes something feels off, and spends decades uncovering the truth behind her life.

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it happened one summer
Tessa Bailey
It Happened One Summer

Wild child Piper is exactly what you’d expect from a wealthy Beverly Hills socialite—spoiled and a bit out-of-control. After landing herself a night in jail, she’s sent to small town Washington to run her late father’s dive bar. Here she meets a bearded sea captain named Brendan who underestimates her just as much as everyone else in town. Though the two couldn’t be more opposite, their attraction to one another couldn’t be more undeniable.

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the beach at summerly
Beatriz Williams
The Beach at Summerly

Take a mental trip back to the Cold War era in this new novel by celebrated author Beatriz Williams. Emilia and Olive spent the days of war very differently—while Olive traveled the world, Emilia was stuck at the seaside estate of Summerly taking care of her immobilized mother. As the two women grow closer, Olive encourages Emilia to leave Summerly and chase after her dreams. Her plans are halted when FBI agent Sumner Fox enlists her help to capture a Soviet spy who is stealing confidential information from the Summerly estate. Eight years later, Summerly is boarded up and Emilia has found herself working as a professor when she gets the news: the spy she helped capture is being traded for an American spy currently being held in the Soviet Union. The trade will happen on one condition, and it’s one only Emilia can fulfill. With it comes life-altering implications.

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summer beach reads
Kate Robb
This Spells Love

After Gemma gets dumped by her boyfriend, she enlists the help of her sister, aunt, and best friend, Dax, to make her feel better. The drunk night leads to them performing a love-cleansing spell. When it inevitably goes awry, Gemma wakes up the next day to find her life completely unrecognizable—including Dax not knowing who she is. To reverse it, she needs to win back his friendship, but it’s not long before she realizes she may not want to go back to being just friends.

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spring break books
Stacy Willingham
Only If You’re Lucky

Lucy and Margot couldn’t be more opposite. Lucy is larger than life, and Margot feels most comfortable in the shadows. Still, the two make great unlikely friends and become roommates their second year of college. Along with two other girls, they find themselves living in an off-campus house. Halfway through the school year things start to go very wrong—a boy from a nearby fraternity house is murdered and Lucy goes missing. Margot doesn’t know how, but she knows she must get her best friend back.

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new books
Beth Morrey
Clover Hendry’s Day Off

If Ferris Bueller was a premenopausal woman, his day off may have looked a little something like this. “No” isn’t in Clover Hendry’s vocabulary. She’s used to living her life for everyone else, and being the likable “yes” person. Until now. Follow along as she takes back her life, even if it means life as she knows it unravels.

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summer beach reads
Claire Lombardo
Same As It Ever Was

Readers of Lombardo’s The Most Fun We Ever Had will want to pick up her latest novel when it’s released in June 2024. This time, after a tumultuous childhood, Julia Ames is enjoying a quiet mid-life. She couldn’t prepare herself for the messy times ahead, including surprises from her kids and a seductive revival from her past. Will all of the changes derail the quiet life she’s looking for, or will it lead to something even better?

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