Search here...
Lifestyle Outside Reviews

10 Great Fictional Reads for the Summer

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]emember those college days when you were given a summer reading list? Anyone else never read any of the books ‘cos they looked so unbelievably dull?

Nowadays I love reading on holiday, in fact it’s probably one of the only times that I consistently read every day, devouring books like they are going out of fashion.

I’m sure you will agree that there is nothing more disappointing than opening up a book that you’ve lugged halfway across the world, to find it’s one that you mistakenly *did* judge by its cover. In short: a dud.

So I’ve put together a list, with the help of some fellow bloggers, of books that have been read and recommended. Obviously we don’t all appreciate the same genres or writing styles, so hopefully here you’ll find something for everyone…

1. Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland (full review by Twinderlemo)

“The main character is the instantly loveable girl next door Robin Wilde. She swears, she forgets to pack the right PE socks and is ridiculously likeable. Robin has been a single mother (for four years, two months and twenty four days) to her baby girl Lyla who is 6. The book is written from Robin’s perspective and documents the trials and tribulations of being a single parent.”

2. If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton (recommended by Susan K Mann)

“A wonderfully funny, light-hearted read, perfect for summer relaxation. A journey of self discovery for the main character Izzy with a few elements of magical realism. Such a fun read.”

3. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (full review by Mum of Three World)

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

“The Trouble With Goats and Sheep is an absolute joy. The characters are all painted so vividly and there is a real strong feeling of the 1970s and simpler times. There’s also a healthy dose of gentle humour throughout the book. I read a few pages over the course of a couple of days, then read the remaining 360+ pages during a day trip to London. And I absolutely loved it!”

4. A Seaside Affair by Fearne Britton (recommended by Happy Mummy)

“This is a really uplifting story that had me captivated from start to finish. It is about a group of actors and the local community coming together to try and save the local dilapidated theatre. The story is very well written and perfect for summer as it transports you to a little traditional seaside town.”

5. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (recommended by Not a Frumpy Mum)

“The Couple Next Door grabs you from the first few pages when the main characters arrive home to find their baby daughter missing.  As a parent you feel their pain with them, but it soon becomes clear things aren’t quite what they seem. Each character we meet has their own flaws and parts of their history they would want to keep secret.There were so many twists in the story that kept me hooked all the way through, and I won’t spoilt it but the final one at the end is something else. I think I sat there re-reading it several times before it sank in, brilliant and a bit haunting too! A fantastic holiday read.”

6. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (recommended by Jess McGlynn)

“Lighthearted, sweet, an own voices story and lots of fun, I absolutely adored this book.  I was initially put off when I realised that When Dimple Met Rishi is a YA Romcom; I am too old for the angst that comes with most teenage romance novels but I am so pleased I gave this a shot.  It is such a well written, quick read which will warm your heart and have you immediately heading online to find out when the author’s next book is coming out.”

7. The Power by Naomi Alderman (recommended by Nomipalony)

“Fantastic thought provoking read about a world in which women have special powers that creates a new matriarchal world. Really gripping but gave me so much to think about too.”

8. The Last Secret of the Deverills by Santa Monefiore (recommended by Pink Pear Bear)

“This is the last book in a trilogy by Santa Montefiore. This finale jumps between 1640 and 1953 and is set between Ireland, London and America, following the lives of the characters from the first two books and following neatly on from the cliff hanger I was left on at the end of the second book.

There is an element of the supernatural to the book which is done so well, and the historic element is done perfectly so the story completely draws you in. Every time I picked it up, I struggled to put it down again until I’d found out what had happened to all the characters that I’d grown so fond of across the three books.”

9. I See You by Clare Mackintosh (recommended by Hello Baby Blog)

“Your daily schlep to work will never be quite the same again after reading this psychological thriller. It’s a page turner from start to finish and is brilliantly written.”

10. The Hope Family Calendar by Mike Gayle (recommended by me)

“If you’re looking for a light-hearted read that is easy enough to follow while your kids are in the pool but written well enough to keep you captivated, then this is it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a man whose world falls apart when his beloved wife and the mother of his children, is suddenly killed in a car accident.

The book cleverly weaves in his story of trying to bring up two daughters, as well as his mother-in-law’s story of coming to terms with her loss. On many occasions it brought a lump to my throat but also had me smiling in places. A little twist part way through kept me on the edge of my seat.”

Well I hope that this little lot will keep you nicely entertained for the summer. Now I’ve just got to work on keeping my library fines under the price of the book! Anyone else?

Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • Thanks very much for including me! A great selection here. I’ve also read The Couple Next Door which is a real page-turner and I’ve been waiting for my friend to lend me I See You. I really like the sound of The Hope Family Calendar.

    • Suzanne W

      It really was a great read. Thanks so much for contributing – so interesting to see the different views of that book.

  • Stacie

    Great post. Definitely a few I will be adding to me (ever growing) to be read pile! Especially like the sound of The Couple Next Door xx

    • Suzanne W

      Yes that ones first on my list too!

  • Plutonium Sox

    What a great selection of books, I will be referring back to this next time I’ve got time to read and no book to pick up. I’ve already added The Trouble With Goats and Sheep to my amazon basket after reading Sarah’s review.

    • Suzanne W

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Unfortunately I didn’t get on with The Trouble with Goats and Sheep but I know sarah loved it.

  • Katrina

    Some more books to add to my ever growing to read pile! Another great read is the Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss. I’ve solved the library fine issue by getting a job in the library!

    • Suzanne W

      Ha ha genius! I’ve got so many books that I want to read now, I just need to read quicker!

  • Gail

    Great post Suzanne, it’s always good to get new reading ideas:) I haven’t actually read any of these books but The Power is definitely on my list! x

    • Suzanne W

      It does sound good doesn’t it? I’ve got a whole wish list now to take to the library next week!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.