Summer time is here, and it can only mean one thing: time for a little bit of rest and relaxation, and plenty of time to finally catch up on some of those books you promised yourself you would read this year. Because you might only have a week or two of that precious time off work to really be able to become hooked to a great novel or two, you definitely don't want me to stuck with a dud! Here are some of our tried and tested favourite summer reads to try in 2019…
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Telling the rise and fall from grace of the fictional band Daisy Jones and the Six, this novel's realistic characters and portrayal of a band slowly falling apart truly makes you feel that the band, iconic in the novel, really does exist in real life (until you Google Daisy Jones, of course). The unique storytelling is done through 'interviews', and along with the nostalgia of the 1970s, it is a lovely read that you might well devour in one sitting. It is also being developed into a TV series by Reese Witherspoon's production company, so get in there first!
Swan Song: A Novel by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
Truman Capote was best known for his novel Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the hit true crime nonfiction book In Cold Blood. However, you might not know that the author alienated his closest friends after publishing a damning, thinly veiled expose of their lives in a shocking move that changed all of their lives forever. Genuinely surprised by the immense backlash, Swan Song looks at Truman's rise to the ranks of New York's high society and spectacular fall from grace. With a grounding in history, it is a fascinating read about the deepest secrets of an iconic author.
Fascinated with Greek myths and legends? Then this is definitely one for you. Rejected by her powerful and cruel family due to her meek nature and mysterious powers as a witch, Circe is banished to an island to live in solitude. She hones her powers and often encounters other Greek gods and legends, before everything changes when she meets Odysseus. It is a brilliant telling of an old story, and if you're anything like us you'll be googling Madeline Miller's name to find out what else you can read from her.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
After getting into a scuffle with Prince Henry, an English royal, the First Son of the President is forced to undertake damage control and play nice with the prince, despite them being lifelong adversaries. Of course, it doesn't stay that way for too long! As the synopsis reads: "Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we were meant to be?" Described as romantic, sexy and hilarious, this is the ideal beach read.
Into the Darkest Corner Book by Elizabeth Haynes
In 2003, Cathy falls head over heels in love with the beautiful, mysterious Lee. Four years later, she is traumatised, suffering from severe OCD and terrified of her own shadow. So what happened during her seemingly perfect relationship to bring her to the brink of such terror? Why is Lee now in prison? And is her new upstairs neighbour really as trustworthy as he seems? This novel will keep you completely hooked and stealing a page at every chance you get.
Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris
A book that has been much passed around the in HELLO! office, Behind Closed Doors is a brilliant thriller which follows a perfect married couple who spend every moment together, and seem very much in love to everyone around them, until they are left alone that is. Why are there bars on the windows? And why is their house surrounded by a high fence? This is one that will keep you absolutely hooked until the last page. Go read it and get obsessed!
Normal People by Sally Rooney
You've probably seen this one, since people love posting snaps of it on Instagram, but Sally's second novel is also a genuinely great read. Our social media editor is a big fan, and said: "If you loved One Day, then this is your next modern, tangled, and touching love story (of sorts). Take it on holiday and force your friends to read it so that you can discuss over sundowners, because you will have feelings about the ending."
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Ariel is a reporter for The New Yorker, and has had a fascinating life filled with love and adventure, which was interjected with one unimaginable heartbreak after another in a very short space of time. Writing about her unique life, her amazing career and how she dealt with terrible grief, Ariel writes with plenty of humour that packs an emotional punch too.
The School Run is based around two old friends who will go to any lengths to get their kids into a good school. Helen weaves wit and candour into her story about competitive parenting and adult friendships, so be prepared if you're reading it on your commute as it's impossible not to nod (and laugh) along with every page. Whether you're a mum or not, we guarantee that you'll be checking OFSTED and putting your (future) child's name down after closing the book so that you can avoid joining forces with 'The Organics'. Trust us.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett
What is it that people say? The book is always better? Sure, Amazon Prime might have just released a new drama adaptation of this popular fantasy novel, and sure it stars David Tennant, Michael Sheen and Jon Hamm, but the book is also most definitely worth your time. The novel focuses on an angel and a demon who have become good pals after living on earth for centuries, and team up to avoid the end of the world taking place – namely by taking down the antichrist, a village boy named Adam.
The Place I've Cried in Public by Holly Bourne
From her teen fiction novel Are We All Lemmings or Snowflakes to her breakout novel How Do You Like Me Now, Holly can do no wrong in our eyes, and her next YA fiction might be our favourite yet. The novel follows Amelie, a teenager who moves to a new city and falls head over heels in love with Reese. But is Reese all he is cracked up to be? The novel isn't out until October 2019 but those getting ready for a little winter sun should wait for this one!