Summer Romance Reads
By Yashika M, Hayley Cadel, Mary Karayel and Alexandra Constable
Inspired by the heatwave, the Trends team are looking at summer romance beach reads in this issue. Whether you’re going abroad or staying at home, with the weather we’re having, this trend is one we can all enjoy! Romance reads can be quite formulaic, which can be the appeal of them.
For readers looking for romances that are setting-specific, readers can turn to specific publishers, for example, Mills & Boon. With books such as Meet Me In Hawaii by Georgia Toffolo and Until I Met You by Amber Rose Gill, Mills & Boon are not only keeping up with their USP, they are also commissioning writers who will potentially appeal to a younger audience and broaden this genre even further. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the key themes within this genre and provide some recommendations for you to enjoy in this heat.
First up is the coming-of-age cult fiction penned by Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty. It's a perfect light read for the heat. This book brings with it the breeze of the beach which acts as a not-so-silent backdrop throughout the story. The beach blends in with the charismatic yet emotionally confused characters — who are discovering their individualities along with their equations with each other — and how they tackle the puzzle of romance, inclination, and attention. The first of the trilogy, this book will grasp the interest of young adult fiction lovers and provide an exceptional climatic gravitas to the light narrative as well. This year it has been turned into a TV series, which will provoke a renewed interest in the novel.
Next up is Elena Armas’s The American Roommate Experiment. Based on a very unique storyline, this book finds its roots in passion in affection. The protagonist is trying to get over a writer’s block and stumbles upon the most unimaginable of situations, wherein she has a chance at love due to her temporary housing arrangement. The fling blooms into genuine romance, making it a smooth and fun read.
Books like The Road Trip and Every Summer After offer themselves as a contextual guide to relationships and the various circumstantial tests they go through, which maintains an effortless read throughout the course of the tale. These books sure will compliment that chilled iced tea on a serene summer evening.
Another popular trend within the romance genre is novels set in popular holiday destinations – some examples include French Kissed, Love and Gelato and An Italian Scandal. Whether you are travelling abroad this summer or not, these books are a great way to get into the holiday spirit and live vicariously through the protagonists and their summer romances. Due to be released this summer – 18 August 2022 – is Sophia Gravia’s What Happens in Dubai. The novel narrates the journey of Glaswegian protagonist Zara Smith, who, after having her heart broken, is ready for a summer of fun and adventure. If you like this, the novel is a standalone sequel to Gravia’s debut novel A Glasgow Kiss, which you can also dig into this summer!
A surprising trend in the romance genre this summer is the exploration of highly emotional, dysfunctional relationships. Apparently, tragedies are this year's perfect beach read. A lot of this success is due to the traction Colleen Hoover’s novels gained on TikTok with readers recording themselves crying as they reached the end of her book It Ends With Us. The book's blurb opens with “Sometimes the one who loves you is the one who hurts you the most,” exemplifying Hoover’s focus on the darker side of love. We think these books have become so popular for holiday reads because they offer pure escapism.
The wildly tragic plots offer people a complete immersive and unputdownable book. It is important to note that Hoover grapples with some much darker themes in this book, such as domestic violence, so it may not be everybody’s cup of tea Still, the book is number three in the Amazon charts this week despite being released in 2016. In October of this year, Hoover will release her new novel It Starts With Us, a sequel offering fan favourite Atlas’ side of the love story with Lily, which we imagine will become an instant bestseller, thanks to Hoover's huge popularity online. Until this new book is released, we suggest you read some of Hoover's other novels such as Ugly Love and November 9.
Here are a few more darker love story recommendations from other authors: Twisted Love by Anna Huang, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell and One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
The romance genre is a great way to unwind and relax and enjoy the weather this summer. As such a large genre, with so much range, we are certain there is something for every reader to enjoy. From the sceptics to the firm fans, we hope this article has given everyone some recommendations to add to their summer reading list.