Summer Reading List Picks
One of my favorite parts about summer is the feeling of leisure that exudes from each day. People take their time getting from place to place (much to my chagrin during my morning commute) and spend time doing things they wouldn't normally do during the rest of the year. While some people might take up gardening or go on a canoe trip to enjoy the summer season, one of my favorite things to do to once the temperatures start to rise is kick back on my balcony or lounge by the pool with a ~juicy~ novel and soak up the warm weather. Modern Lovers, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Good Girl are a few of the books I've been loving this summer—keep reading to find out why they're my summer reading list picks!
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub — $9.75 (paperback), Amazon.com
I think this is technically the first book I read this summer, and my oh my did it kick things off with a bang (literally). This book is kind of your typical "beach read" but every so often it surprises you with a passage of really beautiful prose or a surprisingly intricate twist. It's the story of a group of college friends/bandmates who grow up and have kids of their own (well, most of them, anyway) and amid revelations about their own relationships, come to realize their own teenagers have fallen into a similarly entangled web with one another. If that sentence was a little hard to follow, it's because Straub has crafted a plot in this novel that is so thoughtfully planned you can't definitively say what will happen next. At its core, Modern Lovers is an endearing story about romantic relationships of all kinds, friendships, familial relationships, and what happens when those relationships are tested.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan — $9.60 (paperback), Amazon.com
By now, you've probably heard about the film that's based on this book that just came out earlier this month. I haven't seen the movie yet, but if it's anything like the book, I already know I'll love it. It's kind of a fusion of Gossip Girl and Sex and the City, with a ton of Asian culture and history laden in the fabric of the story. As the plot unfolds, you get a taste of the character dynamics a little bit at a time until it eventually bubbles over and the smallest detail that might have been easy to miss actually has major implications for how the story ends. Aside from Kwan's delectable descriptions of the opulence and glamour surrounding each of the main players in this trilogy, he constructs each story line in a way that makes the reader acutely aware of each character's precise feelings, from a wife who suspects her husband of infidelity to a fish-out-of-water whose cringe-worthy faux pas give a healthy dose of second-hand embarrassment.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica — $10.79 (paperback), Amazon.com
For all of my thriller-lovers out there, this one is sure to please. I would be interested to learn what a psychologist thinks of this story as it deals with a good bit of Stockholm Syndrome, PTSD, Dissociative Amnesia, and other mental disorders/illnesses related to trauma. What's more, the searing imagery and detail Kubica writes into every description of the setting and character dynamics make you feel as though you're right in the thick of the plot as it unravels. The story line has a very Beauty and the Beast vibe to it until you read the epilogue, and the entire book takes on a new meaning. I can safely say that I was thinking about this book for a good bit of time well after it had made its way back to my bookshelf.