Summer means summer reads, and who better to give us the dish on the hottest summer books than a group of industry insiders? The BookSparks team takes their wine straight up with a book garnish and has never met a '90s song they don’t like. (Um, YES AND YES.) Take it away, Team BookSparks!
It’s officially summer, which means relaxing by the pool and reading a good book! Check out these 9 must-read YA books that you will not want to miss out on. From suspense, to romance, to drama, there’s something for everyone!
Bear Witness by Melissa Clark (7 April 2015)
After Paige Bellen’s life was turned upside down when her best friend was kidnapped from an innocent slumber party and later found murdered, she is expected to continue on as a typical teenager now a sophomore in high school. Expected to deal with the obstacles of day- to-day life such as, her closest friend moving out of the country, a messy relationship with her boyfriend, and her family constantly handling her with kid gloves, Paige isn’t confident she can move forward in life. Narrated in reverse chronological order, readers learn about Paige and her best friend’s friendship leading up to the terrible crime.
There are few things more horrifying than a kidnapping and seeing the events of this abduction and murder play out from the best friend’s point of view will hook you from start to finish.
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller (2 June 2015)
Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants a life full of adventure. She lives in a small town in Florida with her dad and four-year-old brother, spending most of her time going to school, working, and taking care of her family. But when she meets two handsome cousins at a party, she may finally have found her chance for adventure. The attractive duo invites Arcadia and her friend on a road trip that starts out as a fun and sexy journey, but quickly becomes dangerous when the girls discover that one of them may not be who they claim. They may even have deadly intentions.
Looking for a YA fix for your Gone Girl and Girl On The Train obsession? This unpredictable, daring and dangerous read will make your skin tingle and take you on a road trip less traveled.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (6 June 2015)
Fourteen-year-old Audrey struggles with an anxiety disorder that constantly disrupts her life, and is only making slow progress with Dr. Sarah. However, when Audrey meets Linus who happens to be her brother’s gaming teammate, she feels a connection she has never felt before. Audrey feels comfortable talking through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to before. As their friendship grows and a romantic connection develops, Audrey’s recovery gains momentum helping not just her, but her family too.
This is such an exciting release for summer. If you’re a big fan of Shopahollic and also love YA, Sophie Kinsella brings us the best of both worlds.
Those Girls by Lauren Saft (6 June 2015)
Alex, Mollie, and Veronica are entering their junior year of high school in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they are "those girls.” They’re best friends and the ultimate party girls of the school, but how well does everybody know them? And how well do they actually know each other? Alex has joined a band without telling anyone and is love with the boy next door. Mollie is in a relationship with the popular (and possibly sociopathic) boy with a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved; literally, figuratively or physically. Will this be the year that the three best friends are tied together forever, or tears them apart for good?
There are few things more mysterious than a teenage girl’s mind and we love how this book allows you to explore all the deep, dark corners of a high school girl’s mind.
Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips (9 June 2015)
Seventeen-year-old Melanie is beautiful, and her entire life revolves around her beauty. Her controlling mother has been dragging her to auditions since she was four, but that is never the life that Melanie wanted. However, when Melanie is involved in a freak accident leaving her with facial lacerations that will require plastic surgery, she wonders if this is the answer to her prayers. After seeing Melanie’s altered face, her mother ships her away to Montana for the summer until the plastic surgery can be performed. While hiding from everyone she knows, Melanie meets Sam who is nothing like the boys in Hollywood. What happens over a mere 36 hours of Sam and Melanie meeting changes their lives in ways they never thought possible.
If you’re tired of beach-y summer reads, this escape to the beautiful Montana landscape will take you on a cooler trip with a story that’s beautiful inside and out.
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (16 June 2015)
Samantha McAllister looks just like the other popular girls in her high school class, but hidden behind her perfect makeup and straightened hair is a secret that none of her friends know; she has Purely-Obsessional OCD consumed with dark thoughts and worries. Samantha second-guesses every move, thought and decision she makes, and it doesn’t help that her friends turn toxic at the sight of a wrong outfit, lunch or crush. But when Sam meets Caroline, she finally starts to feel “normal.” After being introduced to a Poet’s Corner filled with a tight-knit group of misfits, Caroline slowly begins to feel at home, until she finds a new reason to question her sanity.
This story is Dead Poet’s Society meets Mean Girls meets Perks of Being a Wallflower. If you’re looking for a new band of outcasts to cheer for this summer, start here.
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (23 June 2015)
Emmy and Oliver were planning on being best friends, or maybe even more, forever. That is until their futures were ripped apart after Oliver disappeared. Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life and travel without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let go ever since Oliver had disappeared. All these years, Oliver thought that his dad was the good guy, until he found out that he was behind his kidnapping and kept him on the run. Discovering this secret, and finding himself returning to his old hometown has Oliver's heart racing and thoughts swirling. As the two are reunited, they must face the messy and confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime.
This is one of the biggest books of summer and a must read for anyone who loves the tragic combination of love, loss and betrayal.
The Accidental Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (18 August 2015)
For some unavoidable and inexplicable reason, every October Cara and her family become accident-prone. Some years are worse than others, like when her father died, and other years are just cuts and scrapes, but this year — it’s going to be a bad one, but not for the reasons they think. During this accidental season, Cara will learn that not all scars left behind are physical, and that there is a long-hidden family secret underneath the scrapes and bruises. This year, Cara will fall desperately in love, find the truth out about the adults in her life, and finally uncover the dark origins of the accidental season.
We can totally sympathize with being clumsy, but The Accidental Season takes this to a whole new level. Not every summer book has to be sunshine and warm sand. We love this hard knock read as a change of pace.
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick (18 August 2015)
Tim is the boy most likely to find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, and Alice is the girl most likely to not date her brother’s party animal best friend. Nothing would be scarier for Alice than to fall for Tim, and it wouldn’t be smart for Tim to fall for Alice. However, Alice starts to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. Finally, when these two crash into each other, they crash hard. But when Tim’s wild pass comes back to haunt him, Alice finds herself caught in the middle of something that no one could have predicted.
Summer wouldn’t be summer without a star-crossed love story. If you’re looking for a Romeo & Juliet meets Eleanor & Park read, this unlikely love pairing will fuel your need for a summer book fling.
So what will y'all be reading this summer? Share your picks in the comments!