Sit back and relax with these easy reads for summer


Olivia Reid

A UMass Boston student sits in front of the residence halls reading a book. Photo by Olivia Reid / Mass Media Staff

Katrina Sanville, Arts Editor

Though summer break may feel like it’s eons away, the end of the semester and warm weather will be here before many students know it. With finals over and done, students may look for books to unwind and relax with by the pool or on the beach. For those looking for some recommendations, here are a few low brain-power books—plus one with a bit more drama—to read this summer to keep any possible book lover entertained!

For a bit of escapism and a blast from the past, “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid can be perfect for fans of ‘70s classic rock, the world of this music scene and the drama of creating music. While Jenkins Reid is most famously known for “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” “Daisy Jones” was released two years after “Evelyn Hugo,” and can possibly be seen as being stuck in her older sister’s shadow in some of the book communities. Sex, drugs and rock and roll is a prevalent saying for the music and musicians of the 1970s, and this is definitely true in “Daisy Jones and the Six.” Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the novel follows Daisy Jones as she comes of age and crosses paths with rising band, The Six. The novel showcases the epic highs and lows of creating music and falling in love in this time, and it’s told entirely through a transcript of an imaginary documentary. As a bonus, “Daisy Jones and the Six” is currently in production for a series with Amazon Prime, so it definitely may be worth reading before the release.

Continuing the path of upcoming adaptations, Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” will also be adapted into a series for Amazon Prime. “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is Han’s debut series, released five years before the international sensation, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” “The Summer I Turned Pretty” centers around Isabel “Belly” Conklin as she celebrates her summers at her family friend’s beach house, and finds romance in her life for the first time. Fans of Jenny Han and Lara Jean Song-Covey’s narration in the “To All the Boys” trilogy will enjoy Belly’s narration, as the two have a similar narration style and coming of age narrative.

For an extremely fast-paced, and completely free read, check out “Check Please!” by Ngozi Ukazu. “Check Please!” is a graphic novel following Eric “Bitty” Bittle as he attends Samwell University in Massachusetts, as well as participates in the school’s hockey team. While some students may not want to think about college during their summer break, “Check Please!” focuses more on Bitty’s self discovery and growth, as well as the hockey team, than his academics. Though it has a focus on sports, the graphic novel is not a “sports novel,” and makes it easy for any reader—whether they understand hockey or not—to enjoy. The completed graphic novel is available to read online, however physical copies of the comics—“Check Please!: #Hockey,” which covers Years One and Two, and “Check Please!: Sticks and Stones,” which covers Years Three and Four—are also available.

For fans of anthologies, as well as those who loved Lin Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights,” try reading “Blackout.” Much like the musical, the book takes place in New York City during a heatwave and its subsequent blackout. Each of the six Black female authors tells their own stories that all fit into the collective narrative, ranging from walking all around the city told in five acts to being stuck on a subway car to having a “meet-cute” in the midst of all the chaos. “Blackout” has everything from bitter exes to the start of new relationships, and everything in between, with all of the characters being Black teenagers.

However, lighthearted reads are not for everyone, and some may want a bit of drama and action in their summer reading. If that’s the case, check out “The Chosen and the Beautiful” by Nghi Vo. The novel is a retelling of “The Great Gatsby,” focusing on Jordan Baker, who is queer, Vietnamese and adopted, in this adaptation. Vo’s language and writing is absolutely beautiful, rivaling that of the original text by Fitzgerald, and it is incredibly interesting to get this in-depth focus on a character like Jordan, who had played a fairly minor role in the original novel. Vo also has a new novel coming out on May 10 called “Siren Queen,” which focuses on a Chinese-American actress in the beginnings of Hollywood.

These five books are just a handful of ideas to check out for leisurely summer readings. Whether the plan is to read on a plane, by the pool, relaxing on the sands of a beach or simply enjoying these books at home, hopefully these novels were able to provide a bit of inspiration. If not, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other books to check out at local libraries and bookstores, as well as new releases almost every week!