It is the Top Ten Tuesday I was born to write a blog post about, guys:
I am a huge fan of the beach read. The sun on my skin, the salt in the air, and becoming lost in the words of an easy read that I don’t have to remember. Although, even a beach read, if well written, will be remembered.
These are the 10 beach reads I most particularly enjoyed.
#1 Princess Daisy
Judith Krantz’s Princess Daisy is my ultimate beach read. It primarily details the early life of Princess Marguerite Alexandrovna Valensky, affectionately known as “Princess Daisy.” Born into a life of royalty and luxury, her family has a couple of secrets that are probably darker than the average bear’s. Fleeing her family for the sake of her own safety and sense of ethics, Princess Daisy works to make a life and a living on her own, while masquerading as someone who still has the money and privileges with which she was born in the presence of people who still know her as the Princess.
Full of scandal, intrigue, and a healthy dose of sex, this beach read is a pleasurable saga to read during a leisurely week.
#2 My Best Friend’s Exorcism
Grady Hendrix’s novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism is one of my new favorite beach reads. This novel is a must-read for anyone who has a fondness for teenage ’80s movies and horror movies. Think John Hughes meets Linda Blair and everyone is covered in split-pea soup.
I already wrote a blog post about this book, so I will abstain from going on about this book ad nauseam here. Suffice to say, I think Grady Hendrix is a genius, and that you should read this book.
#3 Britt-Marie was Here
Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here is, quite simply, a novel that you can read anywhere. It’s lovely, the characters are perfect, and you. Should. Read. It.
Or re-read it, it you’ve already read it once.
#4 Anna and the French Kiss
Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss is a great escape. Join Anna Perkins, a sassy teen from Atlanta, as she is forced to go a Parisian boarding school.
I admit, this novel definitely has some privileged white-girl shit going on. But if there is a time to envelope yourself in a world of privilege and money, it is probably while you are sunbathing and reading on the beach. Also, this novel has a realistic teenage protagonist and presents one of the sweetest, most realistic love stories you will ever read.
Live in Paris for the duration of a novel, and fall in love with Etienne.
#5 The School for Good and Evil
Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil is an addictive, engaging read. Riffing off of the fairy tales that we know and love so well, this novel details the friendship between Agatha and Sophie as the two girls navigate their first year at the school for good and evil, which teaches fairy tale protagonists and antagonists how to navigate their way through a fairy tale.
A quick, enjoyable read that will question the way that you think about fairy tales, I highly recommend reading this novel this summer.
#6 Practical Magic
Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic is one of those rare novels that not only includes magic as a plot element, but feels magical while you are reading it. It somehow manages to write a saga detailing the family of two sisters who are witches in a way that feels realistic, although the things happening in the novel are very unlikely to occur in reality. For a saga, the novel is not very many pages, but those pages are highly enjoyable and highly recommended.
#7 The Secret Keeper
Kate Morton has written a few novels, but I can only comment on The Secret Keeper. Laurel Nicolson’s mother Dorothy has been hiding a dark secret, stemming from the times of WWII (spoiler alert: Dorothy was not a Nazi). This novel has fame, riches, love, and secrets. Perfect for a summer beach read.
#8 Keeping the Moon
You can’t have a good beach read list without Sarah Dessen. While you can pretty much read any Sarah Dessen novel and receive my stamp of approval, Keeping the Moon is perhaps the most fitting example to list separately since it literally takes place at the beach and details a summer of transformation. A YA novel full of change, hope, and transformation, this novel can (and should) be read by everyone, and summer just happens to be a great time to remember to do so.
#9 Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story
Christopher Moore’s novel Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story is as funny as the title suggests. Jody and Thomas are two average Americans, until they discover and become embroiled in the vampire underworld. Escaping into the twisted, funny mind of Christopher Moore’s San Francisco is highly entertaining and recommended.
#10 Gossip Girl
Before it was a scathing and addictive television show, Gossip Girl #1 was a scathing and addictive book series, written by the talented Cecily von Ziegesar. This novel is pure escapism – rich kids engaging in shenanigans, all detailed by the anonymous “gossip girl” on her website. What I found intriguing while reading was not the similarities between the TV show and the novel, but what the TV show chose to distort or leave out. The characters are much more complex in the novel, which is less moralistic than the television show was (at least in the first novel, which is the only one I read).
Highly recommended if you want to spend some time with young, rich kids who never get in enough trouble.
Those are my top 10 beach reads. What are yours? Please share in the comments below! It is always nice to have a good beach read on hand for those times you just need to escape and want something light to read.