Top 5 Wednesdays: Summer Starts!

I guess this is one of those times where Top 10 Tuesdays and Top 5 Wednesdays tend to overlap. Last week’s Top 10 Tuesday was about books that are on my TBR for the summer. Technically, today’s topic is a little different since it’s books that would put you in the mood for summer, but to me that’s basically the same thing. I would generally try to read any books that put me in the mood for summer during the summer anyway. When I think of summer books, I tend to think of anything that involves beaches or warm weather, but also books that tend to be quicker readers, like contemporary romances or thrillers. Obviously, any book that is set over the summer would also be a good fit. For this week’s topic, I decided to focus on books that are on my TBR instead of books that I’ve already read, and hopefully that will give me a bit of a push to pick them all up this summer. One kind of strange thing I’ve noticed recently is that even though August is clearly party of summer, I tend to think of June and July as more of the time for “summer” books while August seems a little more questionable. I realized that recently when I was looking ahead at some of the books I want to read in July, and found that they didn’t seem like as strong a “fit” for August as they do for July, if that makes any sense. I think I’ve gotten my mindset a little too locked into reading seasonally this year, and it’s throwing things off a bit.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary


I think I actually have this book down on my list as one of two options for a prompt, so I’m not 100% sure yet that I’ll be getting to it this year. If I do though, it is a book that definitely screams summer to me since I always tend to associate road trips with summer. When I was younger, my family would always drive 6 hours away to visit my grandparents over the summer, so that’s probably why I have that association. This book is about a young woman named Addie who had fallen in love with Dylan four years ago when she was the on-site caretaker over the summer for the villa where he was staying. Two year ago, their relationship ended and they haven’t spoken to each other since. Their lives collide again, literally, when the two of them get into a car accident on the way to a wedding, and since Dylan’s car is wrecked, they are left with no choice but to drive to the wedding together, along with his best friend, Addie’s sister, and a random person from Facebook who was looking for a ride. As they drive across the country, Dylan and Addie are forced to finally confront what happened to tear them apart and decide whether they had made the right decision. I didn’t even realize that the characters in this book had met over the summer, which makes it even more of a summer read! The Flatshare was one of my favourite books last year and I’m really looking forward to reading more by this author.

2) Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell


Fantasy is not usually my go-to genre over the summer, but this is another book that involves a road trip so that alone made it seem like a summer read to me. After defeating the villain, Simon is struggling to figure out who he is now and coping with the trauma of what they all went through. Convinced that he just needs a change of scenery, Simon, Penny and Baz end up on a road trip across America which becomes complicated when they receive a distress call from Agatha who needs their help. It’s actually been quite a while since I read Carry On so I might need a bit of a refresher before I pick up the rest of the series. I read Carry On all the way back in April 2019 so it’s safe to say I don’t remember too much at this point. I’m actually waiting for my copy of Any Way the Wind Blows to arrive before I pick this one up, but that’s still at least a couple of weeks away. Based on the little I’ve seen from the reviews of this one, it’s actually a much darker story than I expected. I thought it was just going to be a fun road trip book, but it seems like there will be a lot more to it than that. I was very late to the hype on Carry On but ended up loving it, and I hope to enjoy this one just as much!

3) Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter


I don’t think anything about this book screams summer necessarily, but for some reason it is one that I’ve been saving to read until then. I suspect it’s because the cover art shows the necklace falling underwater, which my mind naturally associated with beaches. I also really like to take at least one thriller with me when I go on vacation over the summer, so that might be part of the reason too. I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere this year, but this is definitely the kind of book that I would have chosen to bring with me. This book is about a woman named Claire whose older sister Julia had gone missing 20 years ago. When another girl goes missing, Claire is convinced that this case is linked to her sister’s, and she begins to search for the truth of what happened to them. Like many thrillers, the synopsis for this one is vague and I’ve purposely avoided looking too closely at any reviews because I don’t want to risk spoilers. I’ve spoiled myself by accident many times by trying to find a tiny bit more detail about what a thriller is about, and it’s always so frustrating. I’ve only read one of Karin Slaughter’s books so far, but I loved her writing, even though it can be very graphic, and I’m excited to try more.

4) Well Played by Jen DeLuca


I feel like I’ve mentioned this book a lot lately, but it is definitely one that is the perfect fit for summer. This book follows Stacey, who never thought her summer fling Dex could turn out to be the one since she’s never felt much of an emotional connection to him. When she receives a surprisingly sweet email, she’s not sure what to think anymore and is looking forward to coming face-to-face with him when the Ren Faire starts up again in the summer. However, once the Faire returns, Stacey soon realizes that the man she’s been emailing is not Dex! As I may have mentioned before, I’m a little skeptical of this one because it feels like the synopsis gives everything away. One of my biggest pet peeves in books is when the synopsis is too detailed (but also when it’s too vague), because it just feels like it ruins any surprise. I really enjoyed Well Met when I read it last year and I especially love the Ren Faire setting, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of that. This book is the perfect choice for summer since it is set over the summer, but it is also a quick and (probably, although it’s hard to tell sometimes with recent romances) fluffy read, which is what I tend to look for in the summer.

5) Parachutes by Kelly Yang

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Again, nothing about this book necessarily screams summer but I’m pretty sure the palm trees in the background of the cover are what made me think of it. I bought this book on a whim from Book Outlet since I already had it on my TBR, and I’m excited to give it a try. The title refers to teenagers who are sent to live and study in the US while their parents stay in Asia. This book is about a girl named Claire whose parents send her to live in California with strangers while they remain in Shanghai. Claire is thrilled with her newfound freedom, especially when Jay, another “parachute” asks her out. Dani, Claire’s new host sister, is determined to get into Yale and not thrilled with suddenly having Claire under her roof. When Dani’s debate coach starts to work with her privately, her plan unexpectedly goes off course and although the girls have been trying to avoid each other, they soon find themselves brought together by their experiences. I’ve only just noticed that this book comes with some pretty heavy trigger warnings, which is definitely not something I expected based on the cover. It seems that this one will be a lot more serious than I expected, but it also sounds so good. I think it will also be a great choice for summer, especially when I have some time off, because it’s on the long side for a YA contemporary at almost 500 pages!


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