Sizzling Summer Reads

Sizzling Summer Reads

Maddy Sondermeyer, A & E

With summer just around the corner, it is also time to break out the books you have been waiting all winter to read in the warm sun on the beach or by the pool. An Author I highly recommend is Emily Henry, a romance novelist. Since they are my favorite genre, I have read many romance novels. Henry has quickly become a very popular author in the last couple years with her most recently released novels including “Beach Read”, “The People we Meet on Vacation”, “Book Lovers”, and “Happy Place”. Not only do these novels have the most beautiful covers I have ever seen on books, but the after-effect the book has on you is not one you are often left with when reading romance novels. They are slow burns–“Beach Read’ is my preferred book over “The People We Meet on Vacation”  because the story seems more real to me personally and there are more good and bad things that happen. Don’t get me wrong, “The People We Meet on Vacation’’  is also very good, but it has a lot less action and doesn’t give you everything you want like “Beach Read ” does. I have not yet read “Book Lovers”, nor Henry’s newest release “Happy Place”, which was just published April 25, 2023. 

Emily Henry has a beautiful way with words. Her stories are so realistic while also so relatable.. “Beach Read” is a tragic story about a struggling author, January Andrews, who, while trying to write, loses her father while also finding out he had cheated on her mother when she had cancer. The worst part of this whole scenario is that she always believed her parents were true loves; it didn’t help when she found out her mother knew her father cheated and still stayed with him. She always wrote romance because she believed so hard in finding “the one”. Once her life exploded, however, she was lost, left with her father’s lake house at which he and his mistress stayed.  She was sad, angry, confused, and she didn’t know how to continue a romance novel when she didn’t even know if she believed anymore. She then found out this lake house was next door to her college arch nemesis Augustus Everett.

 January Andrews and Gus were always competing for the best writing. They found out that they are both struggling with being able to write so they made a bet to write a book in each other’s genre. Each week they traded off doing things to help the other get ideas for the opposite genre in which they are used to writing. Obviously, they become closer and closer. There is always a big problem in every romance book, so I won’t ruin it for you, but eventually things get fixed.  The novel gets steamy and it ends in a way you wouldn’t imagine. 

“The People We Meet on Vacation” is about two college kids from the same area who become best friends on their way home to visit family. From that day on, every summer Poppy and Alex agree to travel to a new place together and experience the world. They get to be whoever they chose each time they travel. Sometimes they pretend to be newlyweds to see what they could get for free. They go on great adventures and stay with the natives of that location while hanging out, making friends, and experiencing life through their eyes. This book is also a slow burn, however sometimes it is too slow and they don’t flirt or have as much tension as you want them to. It can be frustrating at times because you want more. After something big happens, they end up not speaking for two years, until finally, Poppy makes a move and they go on vacation. The story is cool in a way that it bounces back between the past vacations to the current one until eventually it reaches that summer when the problem started. It keeps you reading because you want to know what could have happened to make them not talk for two years, not so much for the tension between them–you are waiting for one of them to cave. Everytime you finally get that tension it seems to be quickly shut down by Poppy because she constantly goes back to the fact that she doesn’t want to lose him for another two years so everything has to be perfect. The story finally takes a turn with less than 100 pages left. It’s not the conflict, it’s that the characters give in and try to be with each other. However, they are on vacation and they don’t factor in the part of reality which is that when the vacation is over, they go back to their separate homes in separate states. This is frustrating and leaves the reader wanting something different to happen. Overall though, they are worth a read this summer!