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3 Reading Recs for Summer Beach Bums

Anti-humidity hairspray and smiling Northeasterners. Must be summer, y’all.

This also means the return of bucolic beach days—wherein a sea breeze, chic shades, and great book are all you need. (Companions optional!)

To toast most humans’ favorite time of year, I’m here to give you a few of my top reading recs. Enjoy, and don’t forget to share some of your personal picks in the comments!

game can't love you back cover


The Game Can't Love You Back by Karole Cozzo

As a long-time baseball fanatic, I’m all about Karole Cozzo’s YA contemporary romance The Game Can’t Love You Back. It features a kick-ass female ballplayer unafraid to boss around a bunch of bros, a delicious rivalry-turned-romance (raise your hand if you’ve dated your sports nemesis, heh), and fast-paced game sequences that seriously up the ante. Batter up, baby. It’s gonna be a wild one.

Check out the full book description below:

Eve is used to being the odd woman out. As the only girl on her school's baseball team, she knows exactly how to put sweaty, macho baseball players in their place, and she's learned to focus on one thing and one thing only—being the best pitcher she can be.

But when a freak accident forces her school to be absorbed by the neighboring town, Eve has to contend with a new group of guys who aren't used to having a woman on their team. And the new team's star pitcher, Jamie, has no interest in being ousted from his throne. He can't afford to give up his starting slot to a new pitcher—especially to a girl.

As the competition between Jamie and Eve starts to heat up, so does their attraction to each other. Can they keep their heads in the game, or will they end up getting played?

dear rachel maddow cover

Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner

Sign me up for all the epistolary novels, but this one tops even my own (super competitive) charts. Think Dear Mr. Henshaw with Rachel Maddow as the protag’s idol, set in contemporary times. Delving into issues like grief management, coming out, and politics at the high-school level, this is a smart, relatable read, packed with punch. (It also features a stuck-up, privileged villain, who you literally want to punch.) Also, I want Rachel Maddow to be my guardian angel now.

Check out the full book description below:

Brynn Harper's life has one steadying force—Rachel Maddow.

She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project—and actually getting a response—Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick's death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she's stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out.

Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn's archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do?

out of the blue cover

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Speaking of angels, let’s talk about this debut from Sophie Cameron, which EW calls “the hottest queer YA book of the season.” It follows Jaya, a character who’s lost her mother, and is also digesting the unbelievably strange phenomenon happening worldwide: winged beings are falling from the sky (say what?). Realism and fantasy collide here, as Jaya’s faced with decisions on how to navigate her family’s internal conflicts, as well as her collision with a real-life being—the only one who’s survived the fall to earth. Sound crazy? It is. Crazy-freakin’-amazing.

Check out the full book description below:

Jaya's life has completely fallen apart. Her mother is dead, her dad is on an obsessive wild goose chase, and mysterious winged beings are falling from the sky. For the past nine months, none of the them have survived the plummet to Earth, but when a female being lands near Jaya—and is still alive—she doesn’t call the authorities. She hides the being and tries to nurse her back to health.

Set against the backdrop of a society trying to come to grips with the possibility of a world beyond, Out of the Blue is the story of how one unexpected turn of events can put you on a path toward healing.

How about you, Swooners? Which books will you be stuffing your beach bag with this summer?

Author spotlight

Kelsey M.

Publicist for Swoon Reads. LA native. Not ashamed to know all things Kardashian.

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