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7 Perfect Summer Reads You Can Complete On Holiday

·5-min read

Welcome to Hot Book Summer. From books about queer joy to snappy page turners you can read in a weekend, true crime books without the violence against women to Unbothered's picks of the best books written by Black women now, R29 has got your summer reading list sorted.

Your holiday probably looks a little different this year. Gone are the Greek beaches and Spanish tapas and in their place are prayers it won't rain and a yurt in the middle of Kent.

Still, that doesn't mean you don't need a holiday read; the kind of book you can pick up, stick your head in and emerge hours later, finished and happy, sunburned and satiated. When else do you get the time to sit and just read, if not on holiday?

Ahead, we've compiled a list of the best holiday reads to pack in your bag (or upload to your Kindle) to see you through your vaycay, no matter what the weather's saying.

Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.

<em><strong>If I Had Your Face</strong></em><strong> Frances Cha</strong><br><br>This summer spells a re-release for <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/if-i-had-your-face-author-frances-cha-interview" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Frances Cha'" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Frances Cha'</a>s excellent book about four 20-something women living in the same apartment building in Seoul. <br><br>If you thought being young in the UK was tough, spare a thought for these women who are navigating South Korea's class and honour system, normalised plastic surgery, obsessive K-Pop fandom, out of control rent prices and a whole bunch of bonafide Toxic Men (some things are the same everywhere). A fascinating read about life and friendship at the very beginning of adulthood. <br><br><em>Second edition out June 24 on Viking (or first edition out now) </em><br><br><strong>Penguin Books</strong> If I Had Your Face - Frances Cha, $, available at <a href="https://uk.bookshop.org/books/if-i-had-your-face-assured-bold-and-electrifying-taylor-jenkins-reid-bestselling-author-of-daisy-jones-the-six-9780241986356/9780241986356" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bookshop.org" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bookshop.org</a>
If I Had Your Face Frances Cha

This summer spells a re-release for Frances Cha's excellent book about four 20-something women living in the same apartment building in Seoul.

If you thought being young in the UK was tough, spare a thought for these women who are navigating South Korea's class and honour system, normalised plastic surgery, obsessive K-Pop fandom, out of control rent prices and a whole bunch of bonafide Toxic Men (some things are the same everywhere). A fascinating read about life and friendship at the very beginning of adulthood.

Second edition out June 24 on Viking (or first edition out now)

Penguin Books If I Had Your Face - Frances Cha, $, available at bookshop.org
<em><strong>Malibu Rising</strong></em><strong> Taylor Jenkins Reid</strong><br><br>Hands up who read (and loved) <em>Daisy Jones And The Six </em>in about five minutes back in 2019? Taylor Jenkins Reid's phenomenally popular, Fleetwood Mac-inspired novel was <em>the</em> book of the summer and is even being turned into a TV show by Reese Witherspoon.<br><br><em>Malibu Rising</em>, Jenkins Reid's latest summer offering, is just as delicious. Set this time in the '80s (<em>imagine</em> the costumes on the inevitable TV version), it follows the iconic Rivas and their famous end-of-summer party. A family of rockstar royalty, supermodels and surfers might look glamorous on the surface but party-goers beware, some very damaging secrets are about to come to the surface, with devastating consequences.<br><br><em>Out now</em><br><br><strong>Cornerstone</strong> Malibu Rising - Taylor Jenkins Reid, $, available at <a href="https://uk.bookshop.org/books/malibu-rising-the-new-novel-from-the-bestselling-author-of-daisy-jones-the-six/9781786331526" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bookshop.org" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bookshop.org</a>
Malibu Rising Taylor Jenkins Reid

Hands up who read (and loved) Daisy Jones And The Six in about five minutes back in 2019? Taylor Jenkins Reid's phenomenally popular, Fleetwood Mac-inspired novel was the book of the summer and is even being turned into a TV show by Reese Witherspoon.

Malibu Rising, Jenkins Reid's latest summer offering, is just as delicious. Set this time in the '80s (imagine the costumes on the inevitable TV version), it follows the iconic Rivas and their famous end-of-summer party. A family of rockstar royalty, supermodels and surfers might look glamorous on the surface but party-goers beware, some very damaging secrets are about to come to the surface, with devastating consequences.

Out now

Cornerstone Malibu Rising - Taylor Jenkins Reid, $, available at bookshop.org
<strong><em>Something New Under the Sun</em></strong> <strong>Alexandra Kleeman</strong><br><br>From the writer of <em>You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine</em> comes a dystopian eco-mystery.<br><br>Patrick Hamlin's novel is being turned into a movie and he's been flown to Hollywood to help make it. Living the dream, right? Wrong. The film stars the unruly Cassidy Carter, teen star turned chaotic tabloid darling (think, Lindsay Lohan back in the day), and he's got little-to-no-say in how the film is made.<br><br>But something's gone awry with Los Angeles' water and the movie appears to be involved. Teaming up with Cassidy (did we mention her teen fame came from a <em>Veronica Mars</em>-esque detective show?), Patrick becomes determined to get to the bottom of the murky goings on.<br><br><em>Released August 19 on Harper Collins</em><br><br><strong>Harper Collins Publishers</strong> Something New Under the Sun - Alexandra Kleeman, $, available at <a href="https://uk.bookshop.org/books/something-new-under-the-sun/9780008339111" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bookshop.org" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bookshop.org</a>
Something New Under the Sun Alexandra Kleeman

From the writer of You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine comes a dystopian eco-mystery.

Patrick Hamlin's novel is being turned into a movie and he's been flown to Hollywood to help make it. Living the dream, right? Wrong. The film stars the unruly Cassidy Carter, teen star turned chaotic tabloid darling (think, Lindsay Lohan back in the day), and he's got little-to-no-say in how the film is made.

But something's gone awry with Los Angeles' water and the movie appears to be involved. Teaming up with Cassidy (did we mention her teen fame came from a Veronica Mars-esque detective show?), Patrick becomes determined to get to the bottom of the murky goings on.

Released August 19 on Harper Collins

Harper Collins Publishers Something New Under the Sun - Alexandra Kleeman, $, available at bookshop.org
<em><strong>Seven Days In June</strong></em><strong> Tia Williams</strong><br><br>Super-successful erotica author Eva and high-brow literary author Shane are the hot new couple in the Black literary world. But there's more to their 'new' romance than meets the eye.<br><br>Over seven days, Eva tries the romance everyone's rooting on for size but with a past like the one Eva and Shane have, what chance is there of being the couple the world wants them to be?<br><br><em>Out now</em><br><br><strong>Quercus Publishing</strong> Seven Days In June - Tia Williams, $, available at <a href="https://uk.bookshop.org/books/seven-days-in-june-the-sexiest-love-story-of-the-summer-and-reese-witherspoon-book-club-pick/9781529418965" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bookshop.org" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bookshop.org</a>
Seven Days In June Tia Williams

Super-successful erotica author Eva and high-brow literary author Shane are the hot new couple in the Black literary world. But there's more to their 'new' romance than meets the eye.

Over seven days, Eva tries the romance everyone's rooting on for size but with a past like the one Eva and Shane have, what chance is there of being the couple the world wants them to be?

Out now

Quercus Publishing Seven Days In June - Tia Williams, $, available at bookshop.org
<em><strong>The Startup Wife</strong></em><strong> Tahmima Anam</strong><br><br>For fans of Dave Eggers <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2017/05/152539/the-circle-mae-annie-friendship-emma-watson" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Circle" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Circle</a>,</em> Anna Wiener's <em>Uncanny Valley </em>or anyone that got deep into the <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/04/9704296/elizabeth-holmes-trial-delay-coronavirus-theranos-scam" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Elizabeth Holmes Theranos debacle" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Elizabeth Holmes Theranos debacle</a>, this sharply observed take on startup culture follows what happens when software coder Asha writes a code for a platform that strikes it big in the tech world. <br><br>The only trouble is, when the app 'WAI' becomes the Next Big Thing, it's Asha's husband Cyrus who is being being hailed as the new Messiah of the tech world, not Asha. But that's just how collaborations work... right? Can their relationship survive the fame and scrutiny that comes with being Silicon Valley darlings?<br><br><em>Out now</em><br><br><strong>Canongate Books</strong> The Startup Wife - Tahmima Anam, $, available at <a href="https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-startup-wife/9781838852481" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bookshop.org" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bookshop.org</a>
The Startup Wife Tahmima Anam

For fans of Dave Eggers The Circle, Anna Wiener's Uncanny Valley or anyone that got deep into the Elizabeth Holmes Theranos debacle, this sharply observed take on startup culture follows what happens when software coder Asha writes a code for a platform that strikes it big in the tech world.

The only trouble is, when the app 'WAI' becomes the Next Big Thing, it's Asha's husband Cyrus who is being being hailed as the new Messiah of the tech world, not Asha. But that's just how collaborations work... right? Can their relationship survive the fame and scrutiny that comes with being Silicon Valley darlings?

Out now

Canongate Books The Startup Wife - Tahmima Anam, $, available at bookshop.org
<em><strong>Sunset </strong></em><strong>Jessie Cave </strong><br><br>The first novel from comedian and actress Jessie Cave might look cheerful from the cover but be prepared for an articulate and insightful read about grief.<br><br>Sisters Hannah and Ruth are polar opposites; Hannah is hardworking with a great job, the perfect boyfriend and is a wonderful big sister. Ruth is single, chaotic and not quite sure what she wants to do with her life just yet. Despite this, the two are close, in the way that only sisters can be. But an incident on holiday is about to change everything.<br><br>Written in the aftermath of Jessie's brother's death, with the audiobook narrated by her sister Bebe, <em>Sunset</em> manages to be both conversational and accessible while providing a poignant platform for talking about loss.<br><br><em>Released 24 June on Wellbeck</em><br><br><strong>Wellbeck Publishing</strong> Sunset -Jessie Cave, $, available at <a href="https://uk.bookshop.org/books/sunset-9781787395299/9781787395299" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bookshop.org" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bookshop.org</a>
Sunset Jessie Cave

The first novel from comedian and actress Jessie Cave might look cheerful from the cover but be prepared for an articulate and insightful read about grief.

Sisters Hannah and Ruth are polar opposites; Hannah is hardworking with a great job, the perfect boyfriend and is a wonderful big sister. Ruth is single, chaotic and not quite sure what she wants to do with her life just yet. Despite this, the two are close, in the way that only sisters can be. But an incident on holiday is about to change everything.

Written in the aftermath of Jessie's brother's death, with the audiobook narrated by her sister Bebe, Sunset manages to be both conversational and accessible while providing a poignant platform for talking about loss.

Released 24 June on Wellbeck

Wellbeck Publishing Sunset -Jessie Cave, $, available at bookshop.org
<em><strong>Honey Girl</strong></em><strong> Morgan Rogers</strong><br><br>Booksmart and unadventurous, Grace Porter (PhD in astronomy completed) heads to Vegas in search of the badly behaved, wild weekend she's never experienced.<br><br>She doesn't expect to get drunk and marry a woman in a Vegas chapel, but sometimes these things just happen. Back home, struggling to find a job and crushed by the weight of her parents' expectations, Grace flees home to spend the summer with her new wife in New York. But she's about to put that old sentiment to the test: can you ever really love someone if you haven't learned to love yourself yet?<br><em><br>Out now</em><br><br><strong>Park Row</strong> Honey Girl - Morgan Rogers, $, available at <a href="https://wordery.com/honey-girl-morgan-rogers-9780778311027/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Wordery" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Wordery</a>
Honey Girl Morgan Rogers

Booksmart and unadventurous, Grace Porter (PhD in astronomy completed) heads to Vegas in search of the badly behaved, wild weekend she's never experienced.

She doesn't expect to get drunk and marry a woman in a Vegas chapel, but sometimes these things just happen. Back home, struggling to find a job and crushed by the weight of her parents' expectations, Grace flees home to spend the summer with her new wife in New York. But she's about to put that old sentiment to the test: can you ever really love someone if you haven't learned to love yourself yet?

Out now


Park Row Honey Girl - Morgan Rogers, $, available at Wordery

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