Before we jump into this post, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the absolutely awful things that are happening to BIPOC around the world right now. As an American, I am ashamed of the country where I live. I am disgusted by our president. As Will Smith said, “Racism is not getting worse. It’s getting filmed.” Systemic racism and police brutality have always been America’s foundation, and that breaks my heart. I would not exist if my great-grandfather hadn’t left Portugal to come to the US. Our LGBTQIA+ rights, as we know them and celebrate them loudly this month, would not exist without the trans Black women that got us here today. The US was stolen from indigenous people and built on the shoulders of enslaved and trafficked Black people. We literally would not be here, right now, fighting this fight without them. So why are we turning on them? They are the reason we’re here at all. This country belongs to them. I will not sit down in the face of murder. And I will not stand for just basic human decency. Treat our BIPOC family like the godsdamn queens and kings that they are. They deserve your love, sim, but they deserve your fury more. I do not just stand with you. I fight with you. I fight for more than just acceptance. I fight for your right to exist loudly and proudly. And if you don’t vibe with that, there’s the door.
Gosh, how is it already almost summer? I’m gearing up for a summer solstice celebration in a couple weeks, and it just feels so surreal! This week’s TTT topic comes from That Artsy Reader Girl, and I’m going to do things a wee bit differently this time. Five summery books I’ve already read, and five books I hope to read this summer!
I wouldn’t normally rec a book in the middle of a series, but volume 3 of the Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman is the perfect summer read. Not only are the boys on summer vacation, they take a trip to France, and the whole volume is just full of shorts and ice cream and sweetness! In fact, I may just reread the whole thing this summer.
Something I read recently, but wished I’d saved for the summer, is Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez. This middle grade is the perfect beach book to just sit back, put on some sunnies, and have a blast watching these four girls cause chaos all across their town during the summer before a hectic school year.
Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson is probably the only book on this list that doesn’t make total sense because I feel like typical summery read is usually light, fluffy, and all around a good time, and while this book is all of those things occasionally, it’s also got a ton of violence, destruction, and terror going on. But the imagery that Rogerson captures, the elegant language she uses to describe the faery realm, and the ultimate showdown scene in the summer court definitely makes this the perfect book to curl up with on those hot summer nights.
Looks like we’re just doing things differently today, and that’s okay with me because Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell is literally a summer roadtrip. Honestly, even if it took place in the winter, this would still probably feel like a perfect summer book because, I mean, roadtrip. But since it does take place during the summer, we get Baz in low-buttoned floral shirts, Simon looking golden and delightful, and some truly wonderful convertible and desert scenes.
I always want to be reading something like The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys in the summer, so this just feels like another perfect beach book. Not only does it take place in summer in Spain, it’s got short chapters you can fly through while keeping an eye on your kids in the water, a romance that’ll leave you fanning yourself with your straw hat, and a surprisingly sweet ending.
Okay, so I’ve read all of the above, but I have a ton of unread books that I’ve been eyeing a lot, so here are five books that I’d love to read this summer that I already own. (Translation: Empire of Gold is not on this list, but I’m going to be reading it this summer anyway.)
I don’t even know how many times I’ve had Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman on a TBR list, but it’s happening this time, guys, because what is a more perfect time to read this wild summer romance than during the summer? This is another book that I think would feel summery even if it wasn’t set in the Italian countryside during the height of summer because holy moly that romance is steamy.
A retelling of 1001 Nights just seems like the quintessential summer read to me, so I’m definitely picking up The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Adhieh this summer. Set in a desert world where every starry night might be the protagonist’s last, but slowly turns into an enemies to lovers romance, well–sign me the heck up.
I mean, Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca literally has summer in the title. Not only that, it’s got a ton of baking in it, which has been making me want to read it for ages anyway, and it’s a retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Dream, so I’m sure it’s going to be fae and wonderful. GIVE IT TO ME!
I always need a good contemporary to keep me company during the summer, and By Any Means Necessary by Candace Montgomery has a bee farm in it, so I think it’s going to make me weep and sigh in delight all at once. I mean, just the cover alone! Look at it! That just screams summer!
And, finally, a book that kind of breaks the rules because it was a preorder, but previous to the summer months, so I think we’re all set–Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost is literally a Dust Bowl fantasy. The wild, wild West doesn’t get much more summery to me, and I am hyped to give myself an excuse to read this as soon as possible.
Okay, okay, look, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t twist things a little, so I’m going to leave you with one last honorable mention. It doesn’t come out until October, which is truly a tragedy, but I feel like the cover + the story makes this easily one of the most summery books on this list, and godsdamn it, I want it now!
I know, she’s wearing a sweater, they’re drinking hot tea, but it’s a summer romance in England with a teashop boy, I AM DYING, give me A Cuban’s Girls Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey RIGHT NOW. Is this book going to show up on another list
anticipated releases here we goooooo at the end of this month? YOU BETCHA.