Top 5 Wednesday: Summer Reads & Movies

The weather is heating up (for half of the world), so what books remind you of summer and are your quintessential summer reads?

When I think of summer I think sun, beach, friendships, romance, and adventures. The books and movies listed below have some if not all those elements. I know it’s supposed to be 5, but I couldn’t help myself and listed more than I was supposed to. 

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

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The first book that popped into my mind for this list was Along for the Ride because it has everything you could want in a summer read including a beachy small town, friendship, adventure, growth, romance, and fun under the sun (or night). It is one of my favorite books too.

The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill

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This one particularly is very close and personal for me because growing up, every couple of years I would go visit my family in Cuba, and they were either in the summer or spring break. That was my summer adventure. In the book the characters face the harsh realities Cuba has to offer, but they also find adventure, salsa, and a bit of romance.


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This movie features one of my favorite mythical creatures, Mermaids. It also has the best parts of a summer movie from its sleepy beach town, beautiful friendship, and the adventure of a lifetime when your new friend is a mermaid. While, the movie does have romance, its the girls platonic love that saves the day in the end (sorry spoilers).

Dirty Dancing

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I have seen this movie about a thousand times and I would watch it a thousand more because it is a classic summer movie and a coming of age story. It may not have all the elements I’m looking for in a summer movie or book but I love the setting of the 60s, the dancing, the blooming romance so much that I can forget that there is no beach or the adventure is practically nonexistent.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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When I think of summer reads, this one doesn’t pop out to me as much but the love story does take place in the middle of summer. It’s the summer romance that changes Samantha’s life forever. While the romance between Samantha and Jase take center stage, the book also features quirky friends and beachy fun.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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Another book that doesn’t exactly scream summer in the same way the others do but looking back The Unexpected Everything has a much summer madness as any of the books on this list. It has tons of adventures created by the characters themselves, it has dogs, romance, partying, plenty of friendship and a dash of summer drama. But, my favorite part of this is how the Andy (the protagonists) grows from her experiences that summer.

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

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Unlike most of the books and movies on this list, summer takes a dark turn when a small town is confronted with the murder of an outsider, Amelia Anne. There are themes of alienation, of us vs them, and the aftermath of what happens when the outside world creeps in. However, summer jobs, summer parties, and friendships are tested before the protagonist gets ready as she heads for college in the fall.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Like previous book on this list, We Were Liars is another dark summer read. If you’ve read it then you know why. If you haven’t then all I can say is that it takes place on a private island where the kids have plenty of fun under the sun.

Blue Crush

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I’m not sure if this counts as a summer movie because one of the characters is going to school, but its hard not to count it as a summer movie when it has all the ingredients. Its a coming of age story of a surfer in Hawaii where the sun and fun is burns bright as she gets back to surfing. There is also plenty of romance featuring Matthew Davis (aka Alaric from The Vampire Diaries) and did I mention it takes place in Hawaii? Just watch it and it will feel like summer again.

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