Beach Reads Perfect for Vacation

various book covers

Picture this: It’s the first day of your vacation. You are planning to spend the whole day on the beach, catching a tan and cooling off in the ocean. You might people-watch for a while, maybe take a little nap, but there are a lot of hours in the day to fill. What could be a better way to complement your relaxing summer vacation than a captivating beach read?

Whether you are a seasoned reader or a rookie looking to dip your toes into the beach read waters, we’ve got the perfect reading guide for you!

Trending Books

These books have taken the book world by storm this year, racking up thousands of readers and reviews.

Fourth Wing

By Rebecca Yarros

Rated 4.68 Stars on Goodreads

In this fantasy world of dragons, a twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to join the quiet and peaceful Scribe Quadrant, but when her mother, a Riders Quadrant general, forces her to join the deadly Basgaith War College for dragon riders, the odds are against her. She has two choices once she joins the Riders: graduate or die.


By R.F. Kuang

Rated 4.11 Stars on Goodreads

An aspiring author, June Hayward, has always been overshadowed by her successful peer, Athena Liu, but she seizes an opportunity after Athena tragically dies. Impulsively, June steals Athena’s latest manuscript, publishing it under a new identity, and finds the success she’s always dreamed of. But as June, now known as Juniper Song, faces mounting evidence and a brewing scandal, the question arises: what is she willing to do to protect her stolen success?

Love, theoretically

By Ali Hazelwood

Rated 4.26 Stars on Goodreads

Elsie Hannaway, a struggling theoretical physicist, works as a “fake girlfriend” alongside her teaching job to make ends meet. However, when she encounters Jack Smith, the broody and brilliant older brother of her favorite client and a physicist who has caused her mentor’s downfall, her conflicted emotions make her pursuit of her dream job at MIT a bit more challenging than she expected.

Divine Rivals

By Rebecca Ross

Rated 4.38 Stars on Goodreads

In a fantasy twist on You’ve Got Mail, two young rival journalists, both vying for a columnist promotion, begin to exchange anonymous letters, finding a deep and unexpected connection.
But as Iris Winnow strives to keep her family together, her correspondence with her rival Roman Kitt intertwines with their journey to the front lines, shaping the fate of mankind and their own love.


By Hannah Grace

Rated 4.06 Stars on Goodreads

A dedicated figure skater aiming for Team USA, is determined to win after years of hard work and sacrifices. However, when a misunderstanding forces her to share a rink with the hockey captain, their worlds collide, but she doesn’t even like hockey players…right?

Hello Beautiful

By Ann Napolitano

Rated 4.25 Stars on Goodreads

This emotional book asks the question: Can love make a broken person whole? William Waters escapes his troubled past through basketball and finds solace in Julia Padavano and her close-knit family. However, when the darkness of William’s history resurfaces, their carefully planned future and the unwavering loyalty between Julia and her sisters are put to the test, leading to a family rift that may determine their ability to reunite when it truly counts.


Take a look behind the curtain of public figures’ lives. These memoirs offer a glimpse into the world of a former child star, a writer, a musician, a former cult member and even a prince, but they also offer valuable life lessons, reflections and insights that are universal to any reader.

I’m Glad My Mom Died

By Jennette McCurdy

Rated 4.5 Stars on Goodreads

In her memoir, former child actor and iCarly star, Jennette McCurdy shares the heartbreaking and hilarious account of her struggles with eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother. Through unflinching detail, she reveals the toll of fame and the aftermath of her mother’s death, leading her on a journey of recovery, self-discovery, and finding joy in the simplest acts of independence.


By Prince Harry

Rated 3.92 Stars on Goodreads

In this compelling and emotional memoir, Prince Harry reflects on the profound impact of his mother’s death and how it shaped his life. From struggling with grief and anger to finding purpose in the military and ultimately navigating the challenges of royal life, Harry’s journey is a testament to the enduring strength of love and the pursuit of personal growth.

The Many Lives of Mama Love

By Lara Love Hardin

Rated 4.5 Stars on Goodreads

From soccer mom to opioid addict to a jailhouse shot-caller, Lara Love Hardin shares the harrowing details of her descent from the average suburban mom to a jail inmate and then her unlikely resurgence as a successful ghostwriter in a gripping memoir. From navigating the power dynamics of jailhouse politics to reinventing herself after release, Lara’s journey is a testament to the power of forgiveness and redemption, even in a system that makes it difficult to move beyond past mistakes.

Losing Music

By John Cotter

Rated 4.11 Stars on Goodreads

In this honest and enlightening memoir, John Cotter recounts his journey with Ménière’s Disease, a debilitating condition that leads to hearing loss, dizziness, and profound life changes. As he navigates the limitations of the American healthcare system and grapples with the narrowing possibilities in his life, Cotter reflects on the deeper questions of fate, meaning, and the taboos surrounding disability, offering readers a poignant and transformative perspective on their own lives.

When the World Didn’t End

By Guinevere Turner

Rated 3.8 Stars on Goodreads

In this captivating memoir, Guinevere Turner shares her experience growing up in the infamous Lyman Family cult and the complexities of leaving the only home she had ever known. From waiting for salvation on the supposed doomsday to the dark secrets and challenges she faced within the cult, Turner’s heartfelt narrative delves into the pain of her upbringing and the gradual realization of the harm inflicted by her childhood environment.

Beach Reads

Get into vacation mode with these beach and vacation based books. From romance to mystery, these books are the perfect read to pair with your beach time.

Happy Place

By Emily Henry

Rated 4.18 Stars on Goodreads

Harriet and Wyn broke up 6 months ago. But they still haven’t told their friends. When their annual weeklong vacation with friends comes around they pretend to still be together, because how hard could it be to pretend after years of being in love. Between lying to their friends about their relationship status and pretending to not notice how much they still want each other, what could possibly go wrong?

Same Time Next Summer

By Annabel Monaghan

Rated 3.95 Stars on Goodreads
An engaged woman is forced to confront her first love after fourteen years, but as they are reunited at her family’s beach house, memories and unresolved feelings resurface, forcing her to question her current relationship and make a life-altering choice.

Every Summer After

By Carley Fortune
Rated 4.26 Stars on Goodreads

Persephone Fraser is drawn back to her lakeside hometown after a decade, where she reunites with Sam Florek, a long-lost love. As they navigate the pain of past mistakes and the undeniable connection they still share, they must confront their choices and decide if their love can transcend the weight of their past.

Five Star Weekend

By Elin Hilderbrand

Rated 4.28 Stars on Goodreads

After tragically losing her husband, Hollis Shaw hears about Five-Star Weekends where one woman organizes a trip for friends from all stages of her life: her teenage years, twenties, thirties, and midlife. Hollis throws her own together in Nantucket, but as old feelings resurface, secrets unravel, and unexpected challenges arise, things get complicated. This captivating story explores friendship, love, and self-discovery against the backdrop of a memorable weekend.

Summer of Broken Rules

By K.L. Walther

Rated 4 Stars on Goodreads

Meredith Fox returns to Martha’s Vineyard for a family wedding after the death of her sister. As she participates in her family’s annual game of Assassin, she forms a connection with a charming groomsman, but the budding romance jeopardizes her chances of winning the game and potentially her own heart.

It Happened One Summer

By Tessa Bailey

Rated 4.01 Stars on Goodreads

When fashionable wild child Piper Bellinger is sent to run her late father’s dive bar in a small town, she meets Brendan, a gruff sea captain who doubts her ability to adapt. As they clash and unexpectedly connect, Piper must decide between her glamorous past in LA and the newfound sense of home and love she discovers in Westport.

People We Meet on Vacation

By Emily Henry

Rated 3.91 Stars on Goodreads

“Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.”
Poppy and Alex have been best friends for years after meeting in a rideshare in college. Every summer for a decade they’ve taken a weeklong vacation, but two years ago, something happened, and they haven’t spoken since. But Poppy misses Alex. After convincing him to go on one last trip together, she has one last chance to right the wrongs of two years ago.

The Celebrants

By Steven Rowley

Rated 3.8 Stars on Goodreads

As five college friends face the challenges of adulthood, they gather for their traditional “funerals” in Big Sur to celebrate life and support each other. However, this reunion takes an unexpected turn as Jordan holds a secret that could shake their long standing pact.

Bad Summer People

By Emma Rosenblum

Rated 3.55 Stars on GoodReads

In a summer haven on Fire Island, where infidelity and manipulation run rampant, a tight-knit group of friends finds themselves entangled in a web of deceit and murder. As secrets unravel and a body is discovered, the dark underbelly of their seemingly perfect lives is exposed.

From thrilling fantasies and heartwarming romances to thought-provoking non-fiction and suspenseful mysteries, these books offer a diverse range of stories to suit every reader’s taste. So, as you relax on the beach or unwind in your vacation spot, immerse yourself in the pages of these captivating reads, and let your imagination soar. Embrace the joy of summer reading and let these books transport you to new worlds, challenge your perspectives, and provide moments of escape and reflection. Happy reading!

And if you need to pick up your read on the way to the beach, check out our local book store, The Buzzed Word on 120th Street or the Worcester County Library’s Ocean City Branch on 100th Street.

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