Top Ten Young Adult Beach Reads


HAPPY TOP TEN TUESDAY, GUYS! I’ve actually never read a book at the beach—I’m usually too busy chasing the waves, eating ice cream, or just enjoying the view. Thankfully, the concept of a ‘beach read’ is not totally lost on me. Summer? Check. The sea, the sun, the waves? Check. A sweet, cute romance? Check. Here’s my top ten list for YA beach reads. 🙂

1) What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True - Huntley FitzpatrickGwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say goodbye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice.

Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: The cover of this book oozes summer, and the story pretty much revolves around the beach, too! While this isn’t my favourite Fitzpatrick book, it’s still a good beach read.


2) The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever Sarah DessenA long, hot summer… That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: Sarah Dessen is pretty much my queen when it comes to contemporary YA novels. I read The Truth About Forever in my teen years and absolutely enjoyed it.


3) Twenty Boy Summer – Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer Sarah OcklerAccording to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: The title. The cover. The plot. 😛


4) I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You The SunJude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life.

The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: This book practically happens at the beach as well—the twins kind of grew up by the water. 🙂


5) Ingo – Helen Dunmore

Ingo Helen DunmoreSapphire’s father mysteriously vanishes into the waves off the Cornwall coast where her family has always lived. She misses him terribly, and she longs to hear his spellbinding tales about the Mer, who live in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. Perhaps that is why she imagines herself being pulled like a magnet toward the sea. But when her brother, Conor, starts disappearing for hours on end, Sapphy starts to believe she might not be the only one who hears the call of the ocean.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: This book has mermaids and was one of my best childhood fantasy reads. ❤


6) Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

Since You've Been GoneIt was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a stranger? Um… Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: Ah, Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been GoneAn epic summer vacation with a to-do list? Sounds like my kind of summer. 😛


7) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

She Latitude - To All The Boys I've Loved BeforeTo All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.

But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: Okay, okay, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before probably isn’t strictly summer but it’s still a good contemporary YA with a sweet, cute romance. 😛


8) North of Beautiful – Justina Chen

North of BeautifulIt’s hard not to notice Terra Cooper. She’s tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably “flawed” face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father.

When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob’s path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: It’s a contemporary with relatable characters and a cute romance!


9) The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants – Ann Brashares

The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants - Ann BrasharesCarmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants.

Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: A group of girls, separated during a summer vacation, shares some pants that ~magically~ fit them.


10) Things We Know By Heart – Jessi Kirby

Things We Know By HeartAfter Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction.

WHAT’S SO SUMMERY: A lot of the scenes in Things We Know by Heart are set around the beach. Does that count? 😛


What’s on your TTT this week? Leave me a link or let me know in the comments!

56 thoughts on “Top Ten Young Adult Beach Reads

  1. Such a great list! I loved two of Sarah Ockler’s books, so I really need to read the one you put on your list next. I have a question though, what made you give only 3 stars to I’ll Give You The Sun? I wanted to give that book a BILLION stars, ahah, but I would love to know if something / or someone? A character? bothered you in that story. I can’t actually remember if I’ve read a review from you about that book (my memory sucks, ahha). The Sisterhood of the travelling pants forever reminds me of my teenage years. I love that series! ❤


    • Thanks, Marie! I actually haven’t posted my review of IGYTS yet – I’m like a month behind on some reviews and that’s one of them. 🙂

      Anyway… it’s not so much a character as much as it’s the writing style and the plot, unfortunately; I just felt like the writing style was a bit too metaphorical for me, and the plot was just a bit too slow. I appreciate what Nelson was trying to do, I just didn’t enjoy reading the book, you know? It’s really a shame because I know most people loved it and I’m the odd one out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahah no worries, I am behind with my reviews as well, but…I can’t stop reading 😛
        Oh okay, well I can understand! I realize the plot could’ve been a little less slow, but the writing style and everything made me love that book so much, I could easily overlook that part. And don’t be ashamed, it’s perfectly okay not to love the book as much as everyone else 🙂 Who knows, maybe if you try another one of her books, you’d like it better? 🙂


        • I knooow. Sometimes I force myself to stop reading and write reviews because otherwise I’ll have a loooong backlist and I just won’t be able to catch up.

          Haha, I actually have tried reading The Sky is Everywhere a few years ago! I kind of forgot about it until I looked it up on Goodreads several weeks back and saw that it was on my ‘dropped’ pile. I guess Nelson’s writing just isn’t for me, which is kind of unfortunate because I do love her focus on family. 😣

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great list, I put The Truth About Forever on mine this week as well, it was literally the first book I thought of because as soon as I saw the theme I knew it had to go on there 😀
    I really enjoyed the one book by Morgan Matson I read as well, I have a few others of hers on my Kindle to get around to soon. I have most of the rest of your picks on my to-read list as well (I haven’t gotten around to The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants yet, is that bad!?) and you’ve given me a few more to pick up as well!
    I don’t normally read on the beach much either (we don’t have a decent one in Southend) but when I go on beach holidays or if I’m sitting out in my garden in the sun I’ll have some of these on my Kindle to get started on 😀


    • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants was kind of my Middle Grade read… I’m not actually sure if I’d like it now. But it’s quite a classic, and quite friendship-focused. I’ll recommend it if you have time but I wouldn’t be pushing it to everyone’s faces, tbh.

      See I’ve always fantasised about reading in the park or the beach, but I’m so not outdoorsy that I would much, MUCH prefer to be in my bed while reading! Especially when reading ebooks because that sun glare is too much, haha. I hear that’s not a problem with Kindle, though! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • I suppose I’ll get to it if I get to it 🙂 but it seems to have quite a following so I guess that’s gotta come from somewhere, and it’d be nice to see more books that are friendship-focused rather than romance-focused.
        Oh I’m normally the same, in winter there’s nothing I love more than lying in bed with a good book and some hot chocolate, but sometimes when it’s so sunny outside I just like sitting on the patio with my Kindle (I’ve got the paperwhite one so yeah glare from the sun isn’t really an issue for me!)


        • I think it was just published a looong time ago and is kind of a ‘classic’ YA? Like back when YA still means stuff like Judy Blume, I guess.

          I’m a bed person all-year-round, tbh. I’m trying to be better and more active but some days I’m just sooo lazy. 😂

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think it was published before I really got into YA as a book genre, definitely before I started picking up YA contemporary books.
            Ehh, I know the feeling. Most weekends I won’t get out of bed until at least midday so then it’s just easier to lean over, grab my Kindle, and read/sleep the rest of the day away 😀


  3. I have books by Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han in my list as well, but they are different from yours. Let’s face it, we could pick any book from these two authors and it’ll still scream “summer reads.”
    But then again, like you I never read on the beach. LOL.


  4. Ingo looks really interesting. I’ve only ever read one series involving mermaids, and it kind of put me off the genre, but I don’t think that’s fair to all the great mermaid books that are probably out there! I might have to give that one a try.

    Great list! 🙂


    • Ingo is honestly more Middle Grade than anything, so the focus was more on fantasy and family rather than romance – which I find lots of YA mermaid books tend to be about. What book did you read that put you off the genre? I agree that it can be quite cheesy by default, haha. 😛

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gotta love me some Sarah Dessen! I love her and agree that just about any of her books could be considered a “beach read.” I’m super intrigued by Twenty Boy Summer and the drama! *insert shocked face emoji here* It reminds me of a book that I read when I was younger but for the life of me can’t remind what it’s called. I’d love to read Ingo because well, Mermaids. I’m sort of obsessed with them and while my experiences lately with these kinds of books hasn’t been good, I’m hoping to find one that hits the mark. Maybe Ingo will do this? That’d be awesome.

    Here is my TTT if you’re interested. I tried to do something different because I was at a bit of a loss for this week’s topic.


    • Definitely! Sarah Dessen is just one of my favourite authors ever.

      Ingo is more a middle grade book than a YA, and I quite liked how mysterious the mermaids were written to be. What other mermaid books have you been reading? I feel like most recent fantasy has been all about the magic and not so much the non-human-yet-human-looking creatures. 😛

      Thanks for sharing! I’ll check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Summer is always the time of year I end up reading a slew of contemporary books. Plus, the summer when I find I’m in the mood for a more lighthearted read and I can find plenty of contemporaries that fulfills that brief haha. What I Thought Was True is definitely not my favourite but I still enjoyed the dynamics between most of the characters, although that love triangle between Gwen’s cousin, friend and the other guy was annoying as hell. I’ve only read Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler but I’ve heard some good things about Twenty Boy Summer.


    • I’m not really a seasonal reader, i.e. I’ll read a summer book when it’s winter, damn it! But I’ve always wondered if it does add a little something to the story – just like how reading Christmas stories nearing Christmas ostensibly makes you feel jollier, haha.

      But yeah, I agree with you on WITWT – that was definitely my least favourite from all Fitzpatrick books so far, which is a shame given that I love the other two quite a lot. I’ll check out Fixing Delilah!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler, two of MY FAVES! Their books definitely scream summer beach reads. Although, I much prefer to read them on my couch and not at the beach. Can’t afford to get sand stuck in the bindings XD.


  8. Great list!! I have pretty much all of these on my TBR or my radar – except for to all the boys which I have already read. I n red to read the next book!!


  9. I’ve only read two from your list – Since You’ve Been Gone and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before both of whoch I gave 4 stars I believe. ☺️ I actually read a lot at the beach coz that’s all I do there (and eat lots, too!). ☺️ You have a great list in here, Reg! Oh and I’m really interested in Huntley Fitzpatrick’s works!


    • Glad you enjoyed those two! Haha, I don’t go to the beach that often despite living quite close to several and I’m so amazed at people who can actually read there – I’m just too distracted!

      And I definitely recommend Fitzpatrick’s works… just maybe start with My Life Next Door; I liked it so much better than What I Thought Was True. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • I live near a lot of beaches too! Swimming never appealed to me, though, haha. I just want to observe the waters all the time, if you know what I mean? So I’m just always on the side with my book/s 😁


  10. What a fantastic list! All of Sarah Dessen’s books make me think of summer, especially The Moon and More because it takes place in a cute beach town. I think I’ve read almost all of them, but I’m sure there’s one or two of her books left for me to bring to the beach this summer.


  11. So I looked at your mini review for Things We Know by Heart and Since You’ve Been Gone and I think you flipped your ratings in this post haha. I feel like Sarah Dessen is just queen of contemporary, I’ve all the books I’ve read from her and need to read more.


  12. I would like to read Morgan Watson’s books, as well as Jenny Han’s novels! You have a very interesting list, by the way! 😀


  13. I absolutely loved I’ll Give You the Sun and Since You’ve Been Gone, so I am so glad to see them on your list! And I’ve heard a ton of great things about Ingo and Sarah Dressen’s books, so I’ll definitely have to pick those up. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! ❤


  14. I love reading YA contemporary romance during the summer! Of your list, I’ve read and loved The Truth About Forever and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I’ve haven’t read SYBG yet, but I have read Morgan Matson’s Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer, both of which I enjoyed greatly. Great list!

    -Jordan @ The Heart of a Book Blogger


    • I’m not sure why, but I think summer’s definitely the season to read YA contemporary romance! Haha, I haven’t read those books by Matson yet but I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed it – I plan to get to them eventually, so I hope I do too.

      Thanks for the comment. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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