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The Best Beach Reads of Summer 2019

AleksandarGeorgiev

Whether you’re road-tripping to the beach, hanging by the pool or sitting on your couch wishing you were beach- or pool-bound, escape reality this summer with one of these 21 absorbing reads.

Cover: Celadon Books; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

1.

Cape May by Chip Cheek 

In Cape May, New Jersey, in 1957, naive newlyweds Henry and Effie are on their honeymoon. There, they meet Clara and Max, a hard-partying duo who lead the innocent pair down paths darker than they could have imagined. Buy the book

Cover: Berkley; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

2.

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding by Wendy Wax

A wedding dress that’s been passed down through generations connects three women in a tumultuous story about female friendship, family and the power of forgiveness. Buy the book

Cover: Berkley; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

3.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Khai is autistic, a diagnosis he thinks precludes him from romantic relationships. His mother, on the other hand, is determined to get him a partner and travels to Vietnam to find him a bride. Buy the book

Cover: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

4.

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

In this sweet YA rom-com, a group of teenagers working as costumed characters at an amusement park learn about first loves, first jobs and navigating the very relatable awkwardness of high school. Buy the book

Cover: St. Martin's Griffin; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

5.

A Palm Beach Wife by Susannah Marren

Faith wasn’t born into Palm Beach’s high society, but she worked hard to get to the top. But after a few financial missteps by her husband, keeping up the charade becomes harder than ever. Buy the book

Cover: Riverhead Books; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

6.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (June 4)

Set in the 1940s New York City theater scene, the Eat, Pray, Love author’s latest is about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person. Preorder the book

Cover: Tin House Books; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

7.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett (June 4)

Arnett’s debut novel is an eccentric and darkly funny story about a woman who, after her father’s suicide, takes over her family’s taxidermy business. Preorder the book

Cover: Berkley; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

8.

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green (June 4)

Evvie, Maggie and Topher were best friends in college. By their 30-year reunion, they’ve lost touch with one another and the people they dreamed of becoming. Now they have a second chance at friendship…until a secret changes everything. Preorder the book

Cover: Viking; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

9.

Bunny by Mona Awad (June 11)

At an MFA program in New England, an outsider gets a taste of the inside when she’s drawn into a clique of rich girls who all call each other "Bunny,” a name that’s sweeter than the weird rituals they practice behind closed doors. Preorder the book

Cover: Simon & Schuster; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

10.

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda (June 18)

In the latest novel from the author of All the Missing Girls, an idyllic Maine town is rocked by the death of a local girl as her best friend tries to uncover the truth behind what happened. Preorder the book

Cover: William Morrow; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

11.

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore (June 11)

After his debut novel spent two years on the best-seller list, Anthony Puckett has fallen from grace. Now he’s borrowing an old friend’s beach house on Block Island, hoping that solitude will help him get back to who he was. Preorder the book

Cover: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

12.

After the End by Clare Mackintosh (June 25)

Max and Pip are an unshakable couple. But when their son gets sick, they find themselves at a crossroads and for the first time are unable to agree on what kind of future they want for their son. Preorder the book

Cover: William Morrow Paperbacks; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

13.

A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble (June 25)

After Zoe’s mother dies, she leaves instructions for Zoe to spread her ashes at a New England beach. There, Zoe discovers that her garden-club mother was far less conventional than she knew. Preorder the book

Cover: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

14.

The Plus One by Sarah Archer (July 2)

Kelly is a brilliant robotics engineer, but socially clueless. With her sister’s wedding fast approaching, she decides to build her own dream date. But as she struggles to keep his identity secret, she knows she has to kiss her ideal man good-bye. Preorder the book

Cover: Dutton; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

15.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager (July 2)

After a tough breakup, a woman takes a job as an apartment sitter in one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. She soon finds out that “mysterious” doesn’t even begin to cover the apartment’s dark history. Preorder the book

Cover: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

16.

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger (July 2)

FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn't been home in years. When her father, a homicide detective, dies, she returns to close his estate. Then she starts to think he was involved in a series of murders the police department is trying to cover up. Preorder the book

Cover: Atria Books; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

17.

We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop (July 2)

After her career as an elite skier comes crashing down, Katie flees the U.S. for Buenos Aires, where she assumes a new name and identity in the hopes of forgetting the most painful parts of her past. Preorder the book

Cover: St. Martin's Press; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

18.

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell (July 23)

As her marriage is falling apart, a woman has a brief fling with a stranger on the beach outside of her house. But when the man becomes infatuated with her, something that was supposed to mean nothing turns into so much more. Preorder the book

Cover: St. Martin's Press; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

19.

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin (July 30)

Four Wall Street rising stars discover the price of ambition when a team-building escape-room challenge takes a deadly turn in this thrilling debut novel. Preorder the book

Cover: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

20.

Polite Society by Mahesh Rao (August 20)

In this modern reimagining of Jane Austen's Emma, a young woman from a wealthy family in Delhi aspires to matchmake for her friends and family, only to find herself caught up in an unforeseen scandal. Preorder the book

Cover: Bloomsbury Publishing; Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

21.

Bottle Grove by Daniel Handler (August 27)

Set in San Francisco in the middle of the tech boom, Bottle Grove is a dark comedy about two marriages and the forces that can drive couples together, apart and into sinister places. Preorder the book