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Books Perfect for the Beach

By Megan Coote, Abbie Wright, Juliette Tulloch and Tessa Thejas Thomas


This week the Cover Evaluation team are taking a look at some of our favourite summer-inspired cover designs which are perfectly suited to lounging by the beach during the sunnier summer months.


The Villa by Rachel Hawkins


The cover for Rachel Hawkins’ most recent book, The Villa, instantly makes you think of summer. The book is set in an Italian villa with a dark history, combining the warm scenic setting with a more sinister plot: the ideal beach read to get lost in! The colour palette for the cover is vibrant and punchy with the bold turquoise background contrasting against the intense saturated lemon yellow. The use of the lemons in the design provides a nod to the Italian setting as they are commonly grown in Italy, with limoncello mainly being produced in Southern Italy. They make a beautiful addition to the cover giving the book a holiday feel. Contrastingly across the centre of the design is a large crack, as though the titular villa is crumbling, the paint peeling away to reveal the darkness inside which ties back to the plot itself. Whilst the concept of staying in an Italian villa might appear glamorous from the outside, the story has a sinister and gothic edge and so the crack against the uplifting colours mirrors this contrast. Whilst The Villa was published early 2023, it’s a book that I can see popping up on beach sun loungers everywhere this summer.


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han


The first book Jenny Han’s trilogy, The Summer I Turned Pretty, is a perfect beach read and a gorgeous tale of romance. The novel follows Isabel ‘Belly’ Conklin during her summers which she spends with her family and family friends. The cover captures the summer aesthetic of the novel, with the large variety of shells and colours creating an eye-catching image that would look incredible whilst being read by the beach. The daisies that sprout between letters of the title allude to the concept of first love that is seen in the novel. The daisy’s connection to innocence enforces the idea that this is a coming of age story.


The combination of a light blue background and a white font gives the novel a strong aesthetic and is extremely appealing to the reader. In addition to this, the change in font at the word ‘pretty’ gives particular emphasis on the word, which highlights to the reader that the story will revolve around beauty and romance. The cover design is simple, ensuring that the rest of the books in the trilogy are able to maintain this particular style. The Summer I Turned Pretty is a gorgeous novel that will look perfectly in place at the beach this summer!


The Happy Couple by Naoise Dolan


Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times, has written a new ‘comedy of errors’ which was published earlier in May. The Happy Couple is an ensemble novel that follows the characters of a wedding, including the central couple, Celine and Luke. Each character aspires for something different and as their lives interconnect, themes of fidelity, love and betrayal come to play. Like Nolan’s debut, the cover design is modern and bold, following the ever-popular trend of block colours and minimalism. The utilisation of the author's reviews leaves the passer by wanting to know more, while the box of tissues suggests this is a novel filled from drama start to end. The laid-back typography and lower capitals also imply that this is a storyline that doesn't take itself too seriously, yet is contemporary with storylines that readers can relate to. This is no doubt a witty and easily digested novel that should be on your holiday to be read list!


The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren


Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners is the perfect beach read for all contemporary romance lovers. When Olive’s sister’s wedding is ruined by a bout of poisoning, Olive is stuck on an all-inclusive honeymoon to Hawaii with best man Ethan. The problem is that Olive and Ethan do not get along. On her sister’s behalf, Olive navigates being thrown into close proximity with Ethan and certain feelings that arise.


The yellow cover of The Unhoneymooners is particularly striking and a natural indicator of the atmosphere of the novel. The graphics include various aspects of tropical imagery. The green complements the bold yellow background and helps the reader instantly deduce what the story may entail. Interestingly, the title text separates the word “honeymooners” from “unhoneymooners” using a bright blue for “un.” This clearly links to the premise of the novel, putting an emphasis on the romance aspect of the story and teasing a possible transition in Olive and Ethan’s emotions. The Unhoneymooners is a witty and romantic read for all those who are looking for some escapism this summer.


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