Rad Reads

5 summer books to channel the ultimate vacay vibes

The looong days of geometry problems, history essays and group projects have officially come to an end: You made it to summer vacation!

Whether you're spending the summer jetsetting to foreign lands or chilling at home, it is officially time to do everything you've put off during the school year (movie nights with your besties, brunch dates, relaxed morning jogs). If you're in need of some summery vibes—or just want to escape reality for a while—we've got you! Check out our book recs that will take you on the vacay of your dreams and provide you with inspo to make this summer the best one yet.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson


Morgan Matson is a go-to for books full of summer vibes, and Since You've Been Gone brings them in earnest. It follows Emily, who is dealing with the fact that her best friend just moved away without notice. The only thing her bestie left behind is a summer bucket list, full of items like "dance until dawn" and "apple picking at midnight." Emily decides to complete the list, bringing forth new friendships, lots of self-discovery and a little bit of romance.

Channel these vibes: This book is your sign to make a summer bucket list! Grab your BFF and your fave gel pens and start brainstorming some fun activities to make this the most epic summer ever. Who knows—maybe you'll meet some new friends (and perhaps crushes?) along the way!

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord


In Emery Lord's novel, protagonist Reagan goes on a cross-country road trip with her BFF Dee, who's on tour (did we mention Dee's a famous country music star?). Reagan is focused on spending some time with her bestie and having fun at her concerts as she recovers from a breakup, but Matt Finch (the tour's opener) shakes up all her plans. She has to learn how to balance her friendships and new romance all while navigating the world of celebrities and discovering who she is.

Channel these vibes: Follow in Reagan and Dee's footsteps by embarking on your own life-changing road trip with your crew. Head out on a drive to the beach (or even just to a local park!) with your besties by your side and the perf soundtrack blasting—you'll be having an amaze "Open Road Summer" of your own!

The Summer of Broken Rules by K. L. Walther


This book is *the* summer book. It features Meredith Fox, who is going to Martha's Vineyard for her family's annual vacay...and her cousin's wedding! Dealing with the loss of her sister, Meredith is ready to win the fam's traditional game of assassin to honor her memory. But with old friendships, new romances, grief, a huge family and wedding chaos in the way, well, it's going to be quite the adventure.

Channel these vibes: Make your summer all about family and friends (and maybe a sprinkle of romance!). Take these warm months as a time to reconnect with your fam, and then gather everyone up for an awesome game of Assassin. Bend the rules if you must and seek out every opportunity for fun.

You Have a Match by Emma Lord


Emma Lord's novels are iconic, and You Have a Match is no different. It tells the tale of Abby, a photographer who takes a DNA test and learns that she has a sister. Through a The Parent Trap-esque plan, the two long-lost sisters meet up as counselors at a summer camp and get to know each other...But their plans quickly go awry when they realize just how different they are. All the while, Abby has to manage her romantic feelings for her BGF and figure out what other secrets her parents may be hiding.

Channel these vibes: You might not have a long-lost sister out there, but you can still have an Abby-like summer. Take this summer to develop (or discover!) a hobby like photography or cooking. Go outside of your comfort zone every once in a while and be open to making new friends. And if you really want to channel Abby's epic summer, attend or work at summer camp—you're sure to make plenty of amaze memories!

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


Morgan Matson has to get a second shoutout for The Unexpected Everything, which truly has *everything*. This novel is all about Andie, a politician's daughter who is on track to have an epic summer in a competitive pre-med program. Unfortunately, her dad has gotten caught up in a political scandal, resulting in her recommendation letter being revoked and her summer plans crashing and burning. With her summer wide open in front of her, Andie learns to accept the opportunities that the unexpected brings—whether that be working with dogs, befriending a super cute boy or mending her relationship with her dad.

Channel these vibes: This summer, be like Andie: Let go of your plans and expectations and take on new opportunities. Open yourself up to all the possibilities summer brings—especially if it's a truly epic town-wide scavenger hunt with your besties. You might unexpectedly find yourself having the best summer ever!

Follow us on IG @glbestiebookclub for more book recs!

Check out these posts for more bookish content:
☀️5 books to read if you can't wait for summer
☀️Add these books with mental health rep to your TBR
☀️What you should read next, based on your fave song from The Tortured Poets Department

Top and slider image: @brooke.pv


by Maggie Salter | 6/7/2024