13 Most Exciting Books On My Summer TBR

13 Most Exciting Books On My Summer TBR Slider

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Prepare yourself for a LOT of cheesy romance novels – it is summertime, after all*. And YA fantasy. And one crime thriller. And one hopefully a not awful romantic suspense book. I’m on a reading high and wish to keep it going throughout August and September, so of course, I made a list. Some of these books have been published for years, others haven’t come out yet; some are new to me, and some I’ve been wanting to read for so long you’ll probably be rolling your eyes in a couple of paragraphs, but I’m telling you: this time, it’s happening. Maybe not all of them (although it seems doable because most of these books are pretty quick reads) but definitely most will be on my read shelf by the end of summer.

So if you’re struggling to find your next couple of reads for the season, or want to weigh in on my picks, scroll down for some exciting books!

*who am I kidding, I read them all year round 😅

13 Most Exciting Books On My Summer TBR

· in order of excite ·

Eleanor Oliphant is Completly Fine by Gail Honeyman

13. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
Synopsis: Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

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I’m sure you’ve heard of Honeyman’s novel as it is one of this year’s most acclaimed bestsellers. I can’t help but want to know what all the hype is about, and from the looks of it it honestly sounds like some good, adult, quirky fiction. Also, these days, Reese Witherspoon’s opinion is gospel.

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The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

12. The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn
Synopsis: By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love…

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Normally I wouldn’t fall for the corny cover and period soap opera setting, however. This book is on the top of pretty much every single romance list ever made, plus some of my favourite authors like it, PLUS Quinn is a legend. So I’m intrigued.

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

11. An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir
Synopsis: Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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I’m going to feature my blogging buddy Getter twice in this post because she honestly gives me the best book recommendations! If you want some too, you should follow her. Any other book I would probably pass on the teen warrior thing (god knows we’ve seen it way too many times already), but the setting on this one is just too good to ignore.

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Circe by Madeline Miller

10. Circe, by Madeline Miller
Synopsis: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

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You who’s better than the romans? The greeks! Sigh. Every lover of history and other worldly things goes through the greek mythology phase (or maybe it’s just us kids who grew up watching Hercules), so there’s no way I’m overlooking Circe this summer. I’ve been disappointed by fantasy novels with exotic settings before *ahem* The Wrath and The Dawn *ahem*, but as always, I hope this one doesn’t waste such a great opportunity. And cover. 😍

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

09. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
Synopsis: Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry.

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This one looks like a crazy whirlwind of fun, hence perfect for this season; plus, the movie looks great! It’s a debut from Kwan, which reminds me – give it up for the only male author on this list! 👏🏻

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Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

08. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, by Christina Lauren
Synopsis: Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

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I used to run in the opposite direction at the name Christina Lauren (way back when my Goodreads feed was drowning in the Beautiful Bastard series), but these days it looks like this author is venturing into more quirky sweet chick lit, so I’m giving this one a chance. You’ll hear this a lot by the way, I’m just… naturally hopeful. 😂

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(to be published on September 4th, 2018)

From Lukov With Love by Mariana Zapata

07. From Lukov With Love, by Mariana Zapata
Synopsis: If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close. But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

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Here is the second book featured thanks to Getter! I’ve know Zapata’s work for a while, but it seems I’ve only read her worst books (with the exception of Lingus, which was kind of fun). And while I don’t typically go for the figure skating theme, Getter has never let me down with her recs, so I’ll definitely be picking this one up soon!

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

06. A Court of Frost and Starlight, by Sarah J. Maas
Synopsis: Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

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If you’ve read my previous literature themed posts then you know I’ve been trying to get back to this series for about a year, unsuccessfully. I stubbornly got into my head that I wanted to reread the first two books before going into A Court of Wings and Ruin, so I blame my inability to read ACOTAR again on the fact that I am NOT a re-reader. Because the truth is that I loved this series. I know A Court of Frost and Starlight is set between the last two books, but alas, I really am stubborn. Pray for me, because I’m gonna try ACOTAR again.

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Tailspin by Sandra Brown

05. Tailspin, by Sandra Brown
Synopsis: Rye Mallett, a fearless “freight dog” pilot charged with flying cargo to far-flung locations, is often rough-spoken, usually unshaven, and he never gets the regulation eight hours of shut-eye before a flight; but he does have a rock-solid reputation: he will fly in the foulest weather, day or night, and deliver the goods safely to their destination. So, when Rye is asked to fly into a completely fogbound Northern Georgia town and deliver a mysterious black box to a Dr. Lambert, he doesn’t ask why–he just ups his price.

As Rye’s plane nears the isolated landing strip, more trouble than inclement weather awaits him. He is greeted first by a sabotage attempt that causes him to crash land, and then by Dr. Brynn O’Neal, who claims she was sent for the box in Dr. Lambert’s stead. Despite Rye’s “no-involvement” policy when it comes other people’s problems, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to the intrigue surrounding his cargo…and to the mysterious and attractive Brynn O’Neal.

Soon Rye and Brynn are in a treacherous 48-hour race to deliver the box before time runs out. With the hours slipping by and everyone from law enforcement officials to hired thugs hot on their heels, the two must protect their valuable cargo from those who would kill for it–that is, if they can trust each other.

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With some authors, I don’t even need to read the blurb. A new book comes out from Sandra Brown, you bet I’m going to be all over it from day one. Even if I don’t love every single one of her books, she’s consistently good and entertaining – which, let’s face it, it’s a rare thing in the romantic suspense genre. The only reason I’m not reading it right now is because there was some heavy competition on its publication date, funnily enough, also featuring an unshaven pilot. And it’s the next book on this list.

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The Simple Wild by KA Tucker

04. The Simple Wild, by K.A. Tucker
Synopsis: Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

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Okay I’m actually really close to finishing The Simple Wild, so there are a LOT of emotions right now, but it’s shaping up to be a good 4/4.5 stars read. K.A. Tucker has a way with atmosphere and settings and drama and thriller and romance and everything, really – but, it’s rare for her to nail it all in a single book. I used to think she was at her best when it came to crime and suspense (He Will Be My Ruin and Keep Her Safe, specifically), but now we can add drama and romance to the list because she killed it with The Simple Wild.

I love a romance that is wrapped up in real drama (Calla reconnecting with her father in his last days), and even more with it’s set in an exciting place – which in this case, is Alaska. I think more than anything I fell in love with the vast, harsh beauty of that land and its people while reading this book. So much it has me wishing I could go there, even though, after reading The Simple Wild, it feels like I already have.

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All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

03. All Your Perfects, by Colleen Hoover
Synopsis: Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

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You can tell it took a while for me to get this post out of drafts because… I already read this one, too 🙈. And it was WAY better than I was expecting, even though It Ends With Us was really great, too. I’m a sucker for books that gut you with all the pain and emotions – and featuring a crumbling marriage, All Your Perfects certainly did that.

It reminded me a lot of Taylor Jenkins Reid – in the best way, since she notoriously has me sobbing in two chapters or less. And that comes not only from making the situations and moments feel real, but mostly from making the characters real. That’s exactly how I felt with Hoover this time – just a couple of pages were enough for me to wholeheartedly believe in Quinn and Graham and their story. And so All Your Perfects was a solid 5 stars read!

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Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

02. Drums of Autumn, by Diana Gabaldon
Synopsis: NO SPOILERS

Sorry for giving no synopsis (visit the links below if you really want yo know!), but it’s a hard rule of mine when it comes to the Outlander series, as half the fun is in not knowing where the story will go next! And with time travelling, worldwide adventures, and different timelines, it really can go anywhere. I’m hoping to read the previous three again too, before the show returns. And seeing as how that’s not happening before November, I’m pushing this read until late September.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

01. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
Synopsis: Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town.

Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

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I’ve only read Gone Girl from Gillian Flynn, but because I loved it, I’ve always wanted to read more of her books. And an HBO miniseries with Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson sounds like the perfect excuse to finally do it, right?? I want to finish it before the series ends, so I’ll probably be picking this one up next.

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Have you read any of these already? Share your own summer TBR with me in the comments!
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10 Comments

  1. August 9, 2018 / 6:43 PM

    I re-read Sharp Objects, just finished few days ago, it’s Flynn’s best book. It’s not as well written as Gone Girl or as intricate as Dark Places but the story and the characters are incredible, the show does a wonderful job embellishing details and adding to it so reading it before the show is not ruining anything

    • August 9, 2018 / 7:15 PM

      Ah awesome, I was hoping for that! I’ll either read then binge, or do it somewhat simultaneously, depending on how gripping the novel is.

  2. August 9, 2018 / 7:23 PM

    I’ve got a couple of these on my TBR too (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Circe)!

    I read The Duke And I a couple of years ago. Everyone kept raving about it and, at the time, I had wanted to start reading some romance books (a genre I was never really into). It was alright, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t PHENOMENAL. Plain and simple, it was enough to keep me entertained and turning the pages. I think you’ll probably like it! When you’re in the mood for a palette cleanser, pick that one up.

    • August 9, 2018 / 7:56 PM

      Hmm so okay I’m expecting The Duke and I to be light and fun, and perhaps not much else 😅 I’ll pick it up when I need a boost, then!

      Happy you’re also interested in the other two books. I’m confident about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, but not entirely sure about Circe… sometimes the hype is NOT real. We’ll see!

  3. August 10, 2018 / 3:13 AM

    The only one of these I’ve read is Sharp Objects which I adored. I’ve been really slacking on reading this year. I think I’ve only read 2 books and 2 mangas lol.

    • August 10, 2018 / 11:02 AM

      Glad to hear you guys liked Sharp Objects, I was hoping Flynn would not disappoint 😬

      Lol that’s fine, sometimes we just don’t feel like it 🤷🏻‍♀️ I get that way with movies and tv shows too – even blogging! The trick for me is to force myself to start.

  4. August 10, 2018 / 2:06 PM

    First of all, thank you for the praise! It means a lot to be trusted so much and I do try to recommend books that I think you’d love, so I hope these two will be your favourites. Lukov for sure has to be, because I have read it twice now and I still love it to bits! 😉

    Eleanor is also a good book! It was strange and odd, and I had a hard time getting into it but afterwards, I didn’t want it to end.
    You know, I don’t think I have read any Julia Quinn books… ever.. :/
    Ah, An Ember in the Ashes… yaas. I still haven’t picked up the third book but I will soon. Even though all my fantasy reads this summer are starting to melt into one huge book 😀 😀

    We should do a buddy read with Circe, so I’d finally have a reason to get over the fact that Perse means ass in Estonian, and yet it’s a name of a character/nymph. 😀

    I had only heard of the movie, but now I don’t know if I want to read Crazy Rich Asians before watching the movie or not..
    I don’t think Christina Lauren is my kind of author, I think I have read one of her books (if not more) but it wasn’t anything special.
    Like I said, I hope you will love Lukov!!!!! It’s… it’s delicious.

    I have A Court of Frost and Starlight since the day it came out but I haven’t had the need to pick it up. I wanted it to be a proper book not a novella. I feel cheated.

    Tailspin has an amazing cover!

    K.A. Tucker is n author I want to dive into and introduce myself to. I hope to do it with The Simple Wild.
    Colleen Hoover is a hit and miss author for me. I have enjoyed her books, but I hardly remember them now.

    Oooh, girl, I need to continue with Outlander. But when I think about that, I’m scared. This series is so EPIC, it’s dangerous! I also need to reread Outlander probably but I mean.. can I handle it all again!? 😀

    You know.. not sure if I will read Sharp Objects but I’ll definitely binge the entire show when it is completely out. 😀

    • August 29, 2018 / 1:19 PM

      Okay late reply but here we go! As you know I have read From Lukov With Love in the meantime, and it was great! All praise for you is deserved 😚

      Yesss we should definitely do a buddy read of Circe!!

      Yeah Lauren is not really my kind of author either but I’m a forgiving person, I’ll still check it out 😂 You may like the cover but I ended up thinking Tailspin was half-assed, sadly. The Simple Wild spoke volumes to me personally but there have been mixed reviews in the meantime. Hope you enjoy it!

      I can’t wait to start Outlander again. Ooooh and you can binge Sharp Objects now!

  5. August 11, 2018 / 7:50 PM

    These all look incredible! Your design skills blow me away, I feel like I’ve been to a classy museum. . .

    I almost bought Eleanor Oliphant for my trip this summer but went for another book instead! I’d really love to hear what you think of it!

    • August 29, 2018 / 1:19 PM

      Goddamn Elina, you’re too nice 🤗😚

      I’ll definitely share my thoughts once I read it!

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