It’s that time of year when we crack out the sun cream and head to the coast. Towel…check! Flip flops….check! Packed lunch…check! What’s left? A cracking beach read to help you while away the hours under the shade of your beach umbrella. With that in mind, here are our top 10 summer beach reads, offering an eclectic mix of genres and reading experiences for you to choose from.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Our first read on our list comes from the mind of Maya Motayne who takes her readers on a magical, thrilling fantasy rollercoaster as a Royal Prince must join forces with a ruthless thief named Finn Voy who can literally metamorphose into anyone she likes. As Voy is threatened into stealing a treasure from the royal palace by a powerful crime lord who has the means to rob her of her special abilities, moral questions are asked and ultimately answered in a tale that will make it very difficult to put down.

With Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Our next tale is one that describes the personal journey of growth and achievement, as the main protagonist and high school student Emoni Santiago struggles against adversity and poverty to realise her ambition of becoming a professional chef. This is a story that shows the value of staying true to oneself, as Emoni, with the support of close friend Abuela, strives to make her dream a reality. Her talent is obvious, but will she make it? You’ll have to read this beach pageturner to find out!

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Next on our list is a story of an amazing boy who talks to the animals but whose ridiculed by the others in his town for being different. Cursed with a hump on his back, ‘Boy’ feels he is far from special until he becomes the servant of a shadowy figure called Secondus who arrives on the scene.

Whilst in his charge, Boy travels across Europe stealing 7 magical relics relating to Saint Peter from some very dangerous people. All of this peril is ok in his mind because he believes that there’s a chance that the deity can get rid of his hump, but it seems that things aren’t quite as simple as that. A captivating literary experience that’s deserving of its place in our top 10.

When We left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

The tumult of the Cuban revolution is the backdrop for this tale of honour, ambition and difficult choices. Beatriz Perez is recruited by the CIA after losing her considerable wealth during Fidel Castro’s rise to power. Her task is to infiltrate Castro’s inner circle, which is a mission not without its dangers, but one she is willing to take on in her quest to reclaim everything taken from her. In the end, she has to choose between her country, a blossoming romance, her past and her future. An epic story that will keep you enthralled to the end.

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, then you are very much like Annie, the central figure of ‘Waiting for Tom Hanks’. To say she’s obsessed with rom-coms is something of an understatement, as they’re what she bases all her relationships around. She’s literally waiting for her Tom Hanks to arrive in a truly serendipitous way (a la Sleepless in Seattle), but try as she might, her Mr Right never materialises.

When she does finally meet the person who might ‘the one’, she has to cope with the fact that things aren’t happening in quite the way she had envisaged for so long. Will her obsession derail the only serious relationship she’s ever had? The answer hides within the pages of this heartwarming novel.

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

The Gifted School is a fictional glance behind the veil of a newly opened make-believe school for extraordinary children and how a close-knit group of friends and their parents end up at each other’s throats in a bid to get ahead. Careers, marriages and sibling relationships are put under enormous strain in this intriguing and often humorous look at the changing priorities that people experience when fame and fortune are on offer and the simmering resentment that ensues when people don’t get what they want. Subterfuge, backstabbing and double-dealing are in plentiful supply in this wonderfully entertaining and keenly observed read.

Boy Swallows Universe By Trent Dalton

Set in 1980s Brisbane, Boy Swallows Universe is a fantastic tale of romance, crime and destiny, as a young man tries to make sense of the world. After losing his father to illness and his mother to prison, Eli finds himself living as the stepson of a heroin dealer and being babysat by a well-known local criminal.

Be warned that this novel will put your emotions through the wringer, as it will make you laugh with joy and cry in equal measure as Eli falls in love one minute and then breaks into jail to save his mother the next. Take this exhilarating book to the beach with you and you might even forget you’re there!

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Detective Ivy Gamble has spent her whole life without magical abilities and she’s perfectly happy…or so she says. She’s completely fine with the fact that her estranged sister Tabitha, who happens to be her twin, has magic running through her veins..or so she says. Ivy Gamble knows deep down inside that she’s lying to herself and everyone around her.

Everything comes to a head when fate brings Ivy to Tabitha’s magical academy to investigate a murder. There she is surrounded by powerful dark magic and abyssal secrets that threaten to change her forever. Will she solve the murder and reclaim her sibling without losing herself? You’ll have to read to find out.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Anyone who has ever pondered the point of existence and struggled to find their place in the world will relate the story of Eat Pray Love lead character Liz Gilbert. She finds herself as a 30-something, married, with a successful working life and trying for a baby, with the sudden notion that she doesn’t belong there and that it’s not at all what she wants.

This story of enlightenment follows Liz from the aftermath of a messy divorce, as she travels around the world looking for answers and direction. Travelling from Rome to India to Bali, she looks for what we all crave – peace and balance. The question is, does she find them? You know how to find out.

Jaws by Peter Benchley

The last beach read on our list is one that will be familiar to many thanks to the hugely successful Stephen Spielberg movie. Whilst most people know how the story ends, it’s still a great book that surprisingly few people have read and it’s one that explores the story in a way that the film only touches upon.

And what better way than to experience the story of a malicious giant shark than to read it by the sea? It may stop you wanting to go into the water, but it will certainly add a visceral dimension to the tale that you won’t get anywhere else. For that reason, it has to be included!

So, there you have it. 10 fabulous beach reads to occupy you whilst you soak up the rays and keep the sand out from where it’s not wanted! We hope you have lots of fun working your way through what constitutes a Summer’s worth of reading.

Remember you’ll find a wide variety of free books on our main site. Here are some free classic audio books that are perfect for summer listening on the beach.

robinson crusoetreasure islandthe adventures of huckleberry finnlittle womencount of monte cristo
Robinson Cruesoe
Daniel Dafoe

Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain

Little Women
Louisa May Alcott

The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas

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