The summer holidays are officially in full swing. And while we may be busy trying to make the most of summer 2021 in Ireland, the holidays are the perfect time to get stuck into some good books.
Here are some of the best summer reads for 2021 to add to your reading list right now…
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating
This is the second book from Bangladeshi/Irish author Adiba Jaigirdar. We loved her first book, The Henna Wars, so no surprise this is top of our must-reads this summer!
‘Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.
Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.
Not My Problem
Another Irish YA author who we love is Ciara Smyth.
“When Aideen agrees to help ambitious class swot Maebh Kowalska deal with her crazy workload, she doesn’t expect to end up reluctantly pushing Maebh down the stairs. With this, Aideen becomes the school ‘fixer’: any problem a student has, Aideen will sort it out, from stealing confiscated mobiles to breaking into parties. All she asks for is a favour in return. But Aideen’s own life is a mess – her mam’s drinking again, her BFF Holly is avoiding her and she’s skipping school. Spending more time with the uptight (but annoyingly cute) Maebh and chatterbox Kavi, Aideen starts to wonder: can every problem be solved?”
Instructions For Dancing
The critically acclaimed author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star is back with her eagerly anticipated third novel. With all the heart and hope of her last two books, this is an utterly unique romance.
Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.
As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.
Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?
This is one for the lovers of historical fiction!
Malibu 1983. Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of one night, each of their lives will be changed forever in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six.
Malibu is buzzing with anticipation for Nina Riva’s annual party. Everyone wants to be in the company of the famous Rivas: Nina, the surfer and model; her brothers, Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other his renowned photographer; and Kit, the adored baby of the family. As if that picture-perfect family isn’t enough, their father is Mick Riva, the legendary singer.
By morning, the Riva mansion will have burned to the ground. And no one will know how the fire started. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play and the loves and secret yearnings that shaped this family across generations will all come bubbling to the surface to make for a night no one will ever forget.
This is a story about family: about what you choose to keep from the people who made you, and what you must leave behind.
If you’ve read Daisy Jones & The Six The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo there are a few crossovers with this book! If you haven’t read them we’d recommend adding them to your to-read list straight away!
From the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.
The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.
The debut novel from Irish author Louise Nealon has been getting a lot of hype with some calling her the next Sally Rooney.
Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies.
This world is Debbie’s normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve’s eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy’s drinking gets worse. Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety.
A startling, honest, laugh and cry novel about growing up and leaving home, only to find that you’ve taken it with you, Snowflake is a novel for a generation, and for everyone who’s taken those first, terrifying steps towards adulthood.
The Four Winds
The Four Winds is a deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter, by the multi-million copy number one bestselling author Kristin Hannah.
She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . . .
Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.
Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?
From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship, and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.
If you liked Where The Crawdads Sing, this is for you.
Acts of Desperation
Another debut novel from an Irish author.
In the first scene of this provocative gut-punch of a novel, our unnamed narrator meets a magnetic writer named Ciaran and falls, against her better judgment, completely in his power. After a brief, all-consuming romance he abruptly rejects her, sending her into a tailspin of jealous obsession and longing. If he ever comes back to her, she resolves to hang onto him and his love at all costs, even if it destroys her…
Part breathless confession, part lucid critique, Acts of Desperation renders a consciousness split between rebellion and submission, between escaping degradation and eroticizing it, between loving and being lovable. With unsettling, electric precision, Nolan dissects one of life’s most elusive mysteries: Why do we want what we want, and how do we want it?
The Midnight Library
This book has been EVERYWHERE for the past year!
Independent Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?
Tokyo Ever After
A hilarious and heartfelt novel perfect for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Princess Diaries.
Izumi Tanaka has lived an uneventful seventeen years in her small town, keenly aware of all the ways in which her family is different from most of her classmates’. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity . . . and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan.
Soon she’s traveling overseas to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she’s only dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after?
What’s on your list of summer reads for 2021?