Summer was here again. Summer, summer, summer. I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their
own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and
no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That's why I loved and
hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
For more books that feature the possibilities, freedom, adventure, and exploration of summer, check out this list of teen summer reads:
|What if It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Told in two voices, when Arthur, a summer intern from Georgia, and Ben, a native New Yorker, meet it seems like fate, but after three attempts at dating fail they wonder if the universe is pushing them together or apart.
|Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak by Adi Alsaid
When she struggles with writing her column about relationships after being dumped by her boyfriend, Lu uses another couple's relationship to end her writer's block.
|Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Seventeen-year-old Bailey moves to California to live with her father and, perhaps, finally meet an online friend and fellow film buff, but soon finds herself attracted to an annoying co-worker.
|The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they've shared almost everything--reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they've never met. Sasha's dad was once married to Ray's mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty, and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families--and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past...This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.
|No Filter by Orlagh Collins
Emerald's seemingly perfect life is shattered and she is sent to spend a summer with her grandmother in an isolated beach town, where she connects with Liam, who has secrets of his own.
|Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
Told from three viewpoints, teens Doris, Nell, and Grant find friendship and the possibility of love while working in Unclaimed Baggage, a store that sells items that went missing during airline travel.
|Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
A lovesick teenager schemes to win the heart of her crush at her amusement park summer job, all while dressed as a hot dog.
|Two Summers by Aimee Friedman
Two possible futures face Summer: either she will spend the summer in Provence with her father, uncovering family secrets, and exploring the old world, or she will stay in upstate New York, coping with her mother, and dreaming of her long time crush--and which future unfolds will depend on whether or not she answers a phone call.
|The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad's business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
|Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
Fourteen-year-old twins Mae and Rossa's summer away from home takes a life-altering turn when they discover their great aunt Rita's home is full of secrets.
|We Were Beautiful by Heather Hepler
Fifteen-year-old Mia's scarred face is a constant reminder of the car crash that killed her sister, but a summer at her grandmother's Manhattan apartment and new friends help her find happiness again.
|That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
High school has ended, and Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom. She's felt alienated from her gutsy best friend, Farah, ever since Farah started wearing the Muslim head scarf--without even bothering to discuss it with Shabnam first. But no one else comes close to understanding her, especially not her parents. All Shabnam wants to do is get through the summer. Get to Penn. Begin anew. Not look back. That is, until she meets Jamie...In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place--her family.
|Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen
Olivia plans to spend her summer in the Catskills, binge-watching horror movies and chatting with her online friend Elm, but things get complicated when she sends Elm her best friend's picture and she runs into the last person she thought she would ever see in real life.
|Again Again by E. Lockhart
After a near-fatal family catastrophe and an unexpected romantic upheaval, high school senior Adelaide Buchwald finds herself catapulted into a summer of wild possibility. She will fall in and out of love a thousand times--while finally confronting the secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind. If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?
|Meet Me at Midnight by Jessica Pennington
Eighteen-year-olds Sidney and Asher have spent every summer together, since they were twelve. Every summer it's the same--in between cookouts and boat rides and family-imposed bonfires, the two spend the dog days of summer finding the ultimate ways to prank each other. Now, the summer after their senior year, the two know that the end of their forced family vacations is nearing an end, and each is determined to make this last summer the most epic yet. But when the two families are kicked out of their beloved beach houses just one week into their eight-week vacation, their last summer is suddenly in jeopardy. When the two find themselves in uncomfortable new accommodations, Sidney expects summer to continue as usual. But then she gets a note--Meet me at midnight. And Asher has a proposition for her: join forces for one last summer of epic pranks, against a shared enemy--the woman who kicked them out of their beloved vacation homes. But can these two put their pasts aside and actually work as a team? And with their attention finally on something other than tormenting one another--can they ignore the obvious attraction building between them?
|Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
When her aunt gets into a car accident, Anise is forced to leave her friends and surfing behind to spend the summer in Nebraska to help care for her cousins, and by doing so, forms familial bonds and new friendships that challenge her feelings of abandonment by her mother.
|The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
Seventeen-year-old cynic Saoirse Clarke isn't looking for a relationship. But when she meets mischievous Ruby, that rule goes right out the window. Sort of. Because Ruby has a loophole in mind: a summer of all the best cliché movie montage dates, with a definite ending come fall--no broken hearts, no messy breakup. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren't forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it's over, the characters have fallen in love...for real.
|The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding
Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people's lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby's been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she's thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she's competing against the girl she's kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship.
|How You Ruined My Life by Jeff Strand
Rod's life is going well until his rich, prankster cousin, Blake, moves in for three months--moving into his room and moving in on his girlfriend and band--ruining everything.
|Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Seventeen-year-old Amelia has looked forward to her last summer before college working at the Meade Creamery, but when the owner of the local landmark passes away her nephew has big changes in mind.
|My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong
After a series of disastrous choices and rejections, seventeen-year-old Chinese American Iris Wang is thrust into the decadent world of Beijing high society as her cousin's English tutor.
|As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl
In one impulsive moment the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into a brief and irresistible swirl of romance, particle physics, and questionable decisions.
|Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
While living very different lives on opposite coasts, seventeen-year-old Elizabeth and eighteen-year-old Lauren become acquainted by email the summer before they begin rooming together as freshmen at UC-Berkeley.