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Best Beach Reads For Your Next Vacation


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Claudine Weidner



As you plan your next vacation to a stunning beach destination, don’t forget to pack the perfect beach read to accompany your days of relaxation under the sun. Whether you prefer thrilling mysteries, heartwarming romances, or thought-provoking dramas, there is a book out there to captivate your mind and transport you to another world.


Beach reads are more than just a form of entertainment – they are an integral part of the vacation experience. They have the power to whisk you away from the worries of everyday life and immerse you in compelling stories and vibrant characters. The right book can enhance the sound of the crashing waves, the warmth of the sun on your skin, and the gentle breeze blowing through your hair.


In this article, we have compiled a list of the best beach reads that will keep you entertained and engrossed during your time at the beach or while exploring the idyllic islands. From thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your towel, to lighthearted romances that will make you swoon in the sand, there is something for every reader’s taste.


So, grab your sunglasses, find a cozy spot on the sand, and let’s dive into the world of words and imagination with these recommended beach reads.


“The Summer House” by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois

Get ready for an intense and gripping beach read with “The Summer House” by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois. Set in the picturesque town of Maine, this thrilling novel takes you on a rollercoaster ride of secrets, intrigue, and unexpected twists.


The story follows seven friends who reunite in a luxurious beach house for a summer vacation. However, what was supposed to be a relaxing getaway quickly turns into a nightmare when they discover a gruesome murder scene. As they try to uncover the truth behind the heinous crime, they realize that one of them is the killer.


Patterson and DuBois masterfully craft a suspenseful narrative, keeping readers guessing until the very end. The characters are well-developed, each with their own motivations and secrets that add layers of intrigue to the plot. The authors expertly weave together multiple perspectives and timelines, creating a complex and engrossing story.


With its fast-paced action, compelling characters, and intense suspense, “The Summer House” is an ideal beach read for thriller enthusiasts. It will keep you on the edge of your beach chair, eagerly turning the pages to uncover the truth and solve the mystery.


So, if you’re looking for a gripping and thrilling beach read that will keep you hooked from start to finish, “The Summer House” is the perfect choice. Just make sure to bring your sunblock because once you start reading, you won’t want to put it down.


“Big Summer” by Jennifer Weiner

For a delightful and heartwarming beach read, look no further than “Big Summer” by Jennifer Weiner. This charming novel explores themes of friendship, body acceptance, and second chances, all set against the backdrop of a glamorous beach wedding.


The story follows Daphne Berg, a plus-size Instagram influencer who has struggled with body image issues. When her former best friend, Drue Cavanaugh, asks her to be the maid of honor at her extravagant wedding on Cape Cod, Daphne reluctantly agrees. As the wedding festivities begin, secrets from the past unravel, and Daphne finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of drama, romance, and self-discovery.


Weiner’s writing is witty, engaging, and filled with vibrant characters that leap off the pages. Daphne’s journey of self-acceptance and growth is relatable and inspiring, and her friendships and relationships are beautifully portrayed. “Big Summer” is not just a light-hearted summer read; it also tackles deeper issues surrounding body image and societal expectations.


With its mix of drama, humor, and a dash of romance, “Big Summer” is the perfect book to enjoy while soaking up the sun on the beach. It effortlessly combines beachy vibes with thought-provoking storytelling, making it a must-read for fans of contemporary fiction.


So, grab your beach towel, sink your toes into the sand, and let yourself be swept away by the warmth and charm of “Big Summer.” It’s a delightful escape that will leave you with a smile on your face long after you turn the final page.


“The Guest List” by Lucy Foley

If you’re in the mood for a gripping and atmospheric thriller, “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley is a must-read for your beach vacation. Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, this dark and twisty novel will keep you on the edge of your beach towel.


The story revolves around a glamorous wedding, where the high-profile guests gather on the stormy and isolated island. As tensions rise and secrets come to light, the festivities take a sinister turn when a murder occurs. Foley masterfully weaves multiple perspectives and timelines together, keeping readers guessing about the identity of the killer until the very end.


The atmospheric setting adds to the chilling atmosphere of the book, with the rugged cliffs, crashing waves, and the sense of isolation intensifying the suspense. Foley’s descriptive prose brings the island to life, making it feel like an additional character in the story.


The characters in “The Guest List” are complex and multi-dimensional, each with their own motives and hidden agendas. As the layers of their lives are peeled back, the intricate connections between them are revealed, creating a web of suspense and intrigue.


If you enjoy psychological thrillers with a touch of gothic atmosphere, “The Guest List” is the perfect beach read for you. It will transport you to a world of mystery and suspense, where every page turn brings you closer to the shocking truth.


So, pack your beach bag and prepare to be engrossed in the dark and twisted world of “The Guest List.” Just be prepared to keep an eye out for suspicious characters lurking around your beach umbrella.


“Beach Read” by Emily Henry

Looking for a light and charming beach read that will warm your heart? Look no further than “Beach Read” by Emily Henry. This delightful romance novel explores themes of love, self-discovery, and second chances in a perfect summer setting.


The story follows January Andrews, a bestselling romance author who finds herself suffering from writer’s block and facing personal hardships. In an unexpected turn of events, she becomes neighbors with Augustus Everett, a serious literary fiction writer. They strike a deal to swap genres and challenge each other to write in a different style.


As January and Augustus spend time together, it becomes evident that their initial animosity holds the potential for something more. They embark on a journey of self-discovery, healing, and the unexpected power of love. “Beach Read” beautifully captures the complexities of relationships and the importance of embracing vulnerability.


Henry’s writing is witty and engaging, filled with humor, heartwarming moments, and relatable characters. The chemistry between January and Augustus is palpable, and their banter will make you smile and swoon simultaneously. While the novel falls under the romance genre, it also delves into deeper themes of loss, forgiveness, and finding one’s true path in life.


So, grab your favorite beach chair, kick back, and indulge in the heartfelt and captivating world of “Beach Read.” It’s the perfect book to enjoy while savoring the salty air and the sound of waves crashing on the shore.


“Hello, Summer” by Mary Kay Andrews

For a delightful and entertaining beach read, look no further than “Hello, Summer” by Mary Kay Andrews. This feel-good novel is the perfect companion for a sunny day by the water, with its mix of family drama, romance, and small-town charm.


The story follows Conley Hawkins, a young journalist who finds herself unexpectedly unemployed. She returns to her hometown of Silver Bay, Florida, and takes a job at her family’s struggling newspaper. As she starts uncovering a scandalous story, she also navigates family dynamics, old flames, and the ups and downs of small-town life.


Andrews’ writing is engaging and filled with colorful characters that come to life on the page. The small-town setting of Silver Bay adds a delightful charm to the story, and the sense of community is palpable. As Conley digs deeper into the scandalous story, she unravels layers of secrets and uncovers unexpected connections.


“Hello, Summer” is a perfect balance of light-hearted moments and deeper themes. It explores issues of loyalty, self-discovery, and the importance of following your passion. The romance woven throughout the story adds an extra layer of sweetness and keeps readers hooked until the very end.


So, grab your sun hat, slather on some sunscreen, and get ready to be swept away by the enchanting world of “Hello, Summer.” It’s a delightful escape that will leave you with a smile on your face and the warm feeling of a perfect beach day.


“The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren

If you’re in the mood for a hilarious and swoon-worthy beach read, “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren is the perfect choice. This romantic comedy will have you laughing out loud and falling in love with the delightful characters.


The story follows Olive Torres, who reluctantly finds herself on an all-expenses-paid honeymoon trip with her nemesis, Ethan Thomas. The catch? The trip is meant for her sister and her new husband, but a case of food poisoning leaves Olive and Ethan taking their place. Sparks fly, misunderstandings ensue, and their initial disdain begins to turn into something more.


Christina Lauren delivers a delightful blend of humor, witty banter, and sizzling chemistry between Olive and Ethan. The characters are relatable and endearing, and their journey from enemies to lovers will keep you hooked until the final page.


What sets “The Unhoneymooners” apart is its vivid and dazzling setting of Hawaii. The stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering food are vividly described, transporting readers to a tropical paradise. It’s the ideal book to read while basking in the sun and imagining yourself on a romantic getaway.


The humor and heart in “The Unhoneymooners” make it a perfect choice for beach reading. It will lift your spirits, make you laugh, and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.


So, pack your beach bag, grab a fruity drink, and dive into the hilarious and heartwarming world of “The Unhoneymooners.” It’s the ultimate feel-good book for your beach vacation.


“The Last House Guest” by Megan Miranda

If you’re in the mood for a thrilling and suspenseful beach read, “The Last House Guest” by Megan Miranda is a top choice. This gripping mystery will keep you on the edge of your beach towel as you try to unravel the dark secrets of a seaside town.


The story takes place in the small coastal town of Littleport, Maine, where the wealthy vacationers and the working-class locals coexist uneasily. The narrative centers around the mysterious death of Sadie Loman, a local resident, and the suspicion that falls on her best friend, Avery Greer. As truths are uncovered and lies are exposed, Avery becomes determined to clear her name and uncover the truth behind Sadie’s death.


Megan Miranda’s writing is atmospheric and expertly crafted, creating a palpable sense of tension and unease. The twisting plot and well-developed characters keep readers guessing until the final pages. The coastal setting adds an extra layer of intrigue, with the rugged cliffs and crashing waves mirroring the turmoil within the story.


“The Last House Guest” is not just a mystery; it also explores themes of privilege, class divisions, and the impact of secrets on individuals and communities. It delves into the complex relationships between friends, neighbors, and the lengths people will go to protect their own interests.


For a beach read that will keep you engrossed and guessing, “The Last House Guest” is the perfect choice. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any suspicious figures lurking on the shoreline as you immerse yourself in this thrilling tale.


“Evvie Drake Starts Over” by Linda Holmes

“Evvie Drake Starts Over” by Linda Holmes is a heartfelt and uplifting beach read that will tug at your heartstrings. This charming novel explores the themes of love, loss, and starting over, and it is sure to leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.


The story centers around Evvie Drake, a young widow who has secluded herself in her small town of Maine following her husband’s sudden death. When she rents out an apartment to Dean Tenney, a former Major League Baseball pitcher struggling with the yips, they form an unexpected and unique bond. As they support and encourage each other to face their fears and pursue their passions, a beautiful and unexpected love story unfolds.


Linda Holmes’ writing is both poignant and witty, with characters that feel genuine and relatable. Evvie is a strong and complex protagonist, and her journey of self-discovery resonates with readers. The author delicately navigates themes of grief, healing, and the complexities of love and relationships.


“Evvie Drake Starts Over” is more than just a simple romance novel. It delves into the intricacies of human emotions and the vulnerabilities that come with starting anew. It reminds us that it’s never too late to pursue our dreams and find happiness, even in the face of adversity.


So, grab your beach chair, find a cozy spot in the sand, and immerse yourself in the heartwarming and endearing world of “Evvie Drake Starts Over.” It’s a perfect beach read that will leave you feeling inspired, hopeful, and ready to embrace new beginnings.


“Sunrise on Half Moon Bay” by Robyn Carr

If you’re looking for a heartwarming and emotional beach read, “Sunrise on Half Moon Bay” by Robyn Carr is a perfect choice. This captivating novel explores the complexities of family relationships, personal growth, and the power of love and forgiveness.


The story follows sisters Adele and Justine, who find themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Adele’s marriage is falling apart, while Justine feels trapped in a career that no longer brings her joy. Together, they navigate their own challenges and support each other through their individual journeys of self-discovery.


Robyn Carr’s writing is evocative and poignant, and she has a knack for bringing her characters to life. The small coastal town of Half Moon Bay is portrayed with such vivid detail that it becomes a character in its own right. The community setting adds depth to the story, as both sisters find solace in the support of their loved ones and the newfound connections they make.


Through its exploration of family dynamics, “Sunrise on Half Moon Bay” sensitively touches on themes of forgiveness, resilience, and finding happiness. The bond between the sisters is heartwarming and relatable, and their individual journeys towards self-acceptance and personal fulfillment are inspiring.


So, grab your beach hat and a box of tissues, and allow yourself to be swept away by the emotional journey of “Sunrise on Half Moon Bay.” It’s a captivating read that will leave you feeling a renewed appreciation for the power of family, love, and the beauty of second chances.


“Jaws” by Peter Benchley

If you’re in the mood for a thrilling and spine-tingling beach read, “Jaws” by Peter Benchley is a classic choice. Dive into the gripping world of suspense and terror as you join Chief Martin Brody in his relentless pursuit of a man-eating great white shark.


The story takes place in the fictional beach town of Amity Island, where the arrival of a deadly predator disrupts the serene coastal life. As the shark wreaks havoc and terrorizes the island’s inhabitants, Chief Brody must confront his own fears and take on the responsibility of protecting the community.


Benchley’s masterful storytelling keeps readers captivated from start to finish. His vivid descriptions not only bring the characters to life but also make the menacing presence of the shark palpable. The suspense is expertly built, leaving readers on the edge of their beach chairs, anxiously turning the pages to uncover the fate of the island.


“Jaws” not only delivers a heart-pounding thriller but also delves into deeper themes such as human vulnerability, the consequences of unchecked ambition, and the clash between man and nature. It serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the power and unpredictability of the natural world.


So, before you dip your toes into the water, make sure to grab a copy of “Jaws” to enhance the thrill and excitement of your beach experience. Just be prepared to feel a shiver down your spine every time the waves lap against the shore.



Choosing the perfect beach read can make your vacation even more memorable and enjoyable. Whether you’re lounging on the sand or relaxing on an island getaway, these recommended books offer a range of genres and themes to cater to every reader’s taste.


From thrilling mysteries and captivating romances to thought-provoking dramas and heartwarming tales, these beach reads have the power to transport you to different worlds and evoke a range of emotions. They are the perfect companions for lazy afternoons under the sun, as the sound of crashing waves and the gentle breeze enhance your reading experience.


As you select your next beach read, consider the atmosphere and setting of your destination. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, choose a gripping thriller or suspenseful mystery. For a light-hearted escape, opt for a heartwarming romance or a humorous contemporary novel.


Remember, a great beach read is more than just a form of entertainment. It can inspire, uplift, and leave a lasting impact long after you’ve finished the book. So, take the time to immerse yourself in the pages of these well-crafted stories, and let your imagination take flight.


Whether you prefer the heart-pounding suspense of “The Summer House” or the sunny and charming romance of “Big Summer,” these beach reads are designed to capture your attention and keep you engrossed from start to finish. So, pack your beach bag, find your spot in the sand, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable reading journey.


As you explore the world of these captivating books, let yourself be carried away by the powerful storytelling, vivid characters, and immersive settings. Allow the pages to transport you to idyllic beach destinations and sunny islands, where life unfolds in extraordinary ways.


So, grab your sunscreen, flip through the pages, and lose yourself in the captivating world of these beach reads. Whether you’re seeking thrills, love, humor, or self-discovery, there’s a book on this list that will make your beach vacation even more memorable.