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13 best books to read on holiday: Top reads for 2024

The top-rated summer books to add to your reading list 

woman reading book sun lounger on the beach© iStock
Sophie Bates
Commerce Writer
Updated: July 17, 2024
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Whatever you do, don't forget your holiday read when you're writing your packing list. Nothing beats lounging in the sun with a book you simply can't put down. Whether you're a romance fan or love a thrilling page-turner, I've rounded up the very best holiday reads to enjoy  – reviewed by the HELLO! team.

From top-rated mystery novels to cult favourite fantasy books taking over TikTok, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this list, combining new releases for 2024 with trending authors. If paperbacks aren't for you, you'll find Kindle and Audible options available to sit back and relax into your new book while on the go. 

If you want to take multiple books on holiday, but don’t want them weighing down your hand luggage, you might want to look into getting yourself a Kindle. It’s true, you could just get the Kindle app, but it’s not the same. Why? They have a special E-Ink Display which mimics the appearance of paper and reduces glare, making them easy on the eye. 

Plus they can last weeks on a single charge and their super lightweight and compact - plus there are no distractions - you won’t be tempted to have a quick scroll of Instagram, you can simply enjoy your book in peace. Are you tempted? Take a look at the best-selling models below:

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How I chose the best holiday books 

  • Reviews: Most of the books in this list have been reviewed by the HELLO! team, while others have been included due to their top ratings. 
  • Paperback/audible options: Who wants to carry around a hardback book on holiday? Certainly not me. If paperback isn't an option, Audible is available for those who prefer to listen to books rather than read them.
  • Popularity: Many of the books in the list have been a huge hit on TikTok, going viral for their popularity. So we know they're on plenty of people's wishlists, including ours.

TikTok Trending Books 

The Last Devil To Die: The Thursday Murder Club 4 by Richard Osman

the last devil to die richard osman © Amazon

Richard Osman's 'Thursday Murder Club' novels took the internet by storm, with the third book 'The Bullet That Missed' breaking a record for the fastest-selling adult fiction hardback ever. The fourth installment of the series 'The Last Devil To Die' sees the gang come together again after an old friend in the antique business has been killed and a dangerous package he was protecting goes missing. 

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

ugly love colleen hoover © Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"I'm a Colleen Hoover fan girl at this point, and I've got quite the collection. I first read 'It Ends With Us', and absolutely loved it. I'm counting down the days to watch the movie starring Blake Lively later this summer. BookTok is obsessed with 'Verity' and I enjoyed that one but it's not in my top 3 Colleen Hoover books. My recent fave has to be 'Ugly Love'. Leanne Bayley, Director of Lifestyle & Commerce

Colleen Hoover provides readers with hit after hit, and 'Ugly Love' is a clear winner on TikTok. The novel centres around Tate Collins meeting airline pilot Miles Archer. Forget love at first sight, this is attraction at first sight! The pair embark on a no-strings-attached arrangement but as you might expect, things get a little messy.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

a court of thorns and roses © Amazon

Despite being released back in 2020, 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' still makes its way onto my TikTok For You Page constantly. The fantasy series has gained a cult following, and has been described by author Alexandra Bracken as, "a gorgeously written tale as lush and romantic as it is ferocious."

Romance Books

Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

maybe in another life © Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"From the author of 'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo', Taylor Jenkins Reid writes a captivating Sliding Doors-style novel that will have you hooked from start to finish. I loved the style of alternating chapters that play out the results of Hannah's small decision, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next." Sophie Bates, Commerce Writer 

The book follows two storylines of Hannah Martin, following the meeting of an old flame. In alternating chapters we see the two stories unfold with different outfits and large-scale consequences for Hannah and those around her, raising the question of whether anything is truly meant to be, and whether there is really such thing as a soul mate. 

Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan

same time next summer book© Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"Someone on Amazon described this book as 'Delicious, like a bag of chips you can't put down until it's finished' and I have to agree. This isn't full on, and sexy as other books you can buy in the romance category, but it's definitely sweet and easy, and light, with all the magic of first love. It gave me all the feels - similar to when I watched 'The Summer I Turned Pretty', the Amazon Prime hit based on the book by Jenny Han. It's almost a little bit Hallmark (but I say that in a good way). Leanne Bayley, Director of Lifestyle & Commerce 

The story centres around Sam, who has the perfect life; she has a great job, the perfect fiancé, and a home she loves in the busy city. But when she returns home to her family's Long Island beach house to discuss wedding planning, she bumps into her first love, Wyatt. He's the man who broke her heart. As they spend more time together, the spark comes rushing back. But what happens when she's about to say 'I do'? You'll be smiling so much when you read this book

Paris For One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

paris for one jojo moyes © Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"Jojo Moyes is the author of the bittersweet 'Me Before You' -  she also wrote the screenplay for the film starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin (yes, I ugly cried watching it) - and her short story collection is the perfect escape while on holiday or at home in your garden, too. And because it's in small doses of 11 tales – a real rollercoaster of love, humour and heartbreak about navigating the world of amour – it's perfect for any moment, no matter how brief, whether unwinding at the end of the day or relaxing in a sun lounger. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the first, and longest, story - 'Paris for One' - the story of Nell, who goes on her romantic weekend trip to Paris alone after her terrible boyfriend bails on her last minute - had me hooked! It's a breezy read that's engaging, too." Karen Silas, Senior Lifestyle Editor

If you're a fan of modern romance, 'Emily in Paris' and charming short stories, you'll love 'Paris for One and Other Stories' by Jojo Moyes. It has 11 heartwarming short stories, so it's perfect for those who struggle to dive into long books on their travels. 

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

it ends with us colleen hoover book© Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"When I asked my Instagram followers for holiday book recommendations, this one came up so many times. I immediately ordered and I'm so glad I did. It has been hyped up on Bookstagram and BookTok, but I now know why. It's genuinely one of the BEST books I've ever read! It's one of those books that you carry on reading through the night even though you know you've got to go to sleep, it's just an addictive read. I have now read the sequel (which is called 'It Starts With Us' - you may as well buy both of them at the same time) and I cannot wait to see the movie. This is a great holiday book. It's an emotional rollercoaster - it made me laugh, it made me cry and I'm now officially in the Colleen Hoover fan club." Leanne Bayley, Director of Lifestyle & Commerce

Everyone has heard of 'It Ends With Us' by now. The number one bestseller went viral on TikTok and Instagram and is currently being made into a movie starring Blake Lively. The story revolves around Lily, a girl who hasn't always had it easy but she's determined to live the life she wants. When she meets Ryle Kincaid, he changes everything. But can her past life come back to haunt her? You'll have to read it to find out.

Comedy Books 

The F**k It! List by Melanie Cantor

the fk it list book© Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"This is the perfect holiday book to enjoy on the sun lounger. Witty and relatable, the heartwarming read will have you laughing and crying, and you'll be rooting for protagonist Daisy from the very first page." Sophie Bates, Commerce Writer 

Melanie Cantor's 'The F**k It! List' has been described as a "triumphant comedy about a woman taking on the world on her own terms." It follows the story of Daisy who has just caught her boyfriend cheating on her fortieth birthday, sending her to feel like her dream of having a baby has been shattered. The uplifting read follows Daisy's attempt to tick off items from her F**k It list in order to take control back over her life.

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

romantic comedy by curtis sittenfield © Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"I devour anything Curtis Sittenfeld writes and her latest book is practically perfect for your holiday read. It's a love story, her books usually are, but not as you know it. It's got bite, zing and Sittenfeld's classic female lead who you root for, no matter what. It was the sort of book I never wanted to end!" Carla Challis, Commerce Partnerships Editor 

From bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld, 'Romantic Comedy' tells the story of a TV scriptwriter who thinks she's done with love until an unlikely interest overturns her assumptions about romance. Reese Witherspoon described the novel has, "a hilarious, sweet, smart read that you're going to love!"

Thriller Books

The Housemaid Is Watching by Freida McFadden

the housemaid is watching © Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"Freida McFadden's 'The Housemaid' series hooked me from the first novel, and I haven't been able to put down any of the pulse-racing books since. It's full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end." Sophie Bates, Commerce Writer

'The Housemaid is Watching' is the latest installment in Freida McFadden's series, and the psychological thriller can be read as a standalone if you haven't been following the popular series. The tension-packed novel will make you question how well you know your neighbours.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

daisy darker book© Amazon

Inspired by Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None', Alice Feeney's Daisy Darker is the clever and compelling story of the Darker family isolated on their private island in Cornwall. Together for the first time in a decade, the family will be cut off from the rest of the world when the tide comes in, and when the tide goes out nothing will be the same again, because one of the family members is a killer.

Non-Fiction Books

Things No One Taught Us About Love by Vex King

things no one taught us about love book© Amazon

'Things No One Taught Us About Love' offers a guide into strengthening relations and understanding the true nature of love from the author of the bestselling 'Good Vibes, Good Life'. The book is described on Amazon as, "for anyone looking to harness the power of the universe, and their own self-understanding, to manifest stronger, deeper relationships."

Good Pop Bad Pop by Jarvis Cocker

good pop bad pop jarvis cocker book© Amazon

HELLO! Reviews

"I grew up with Britpop in the Nineties and Jarvis Cocker's band Pulp were the number one repeat band on my stereo - so I knew I had to read this book. I absolutely adored it, although it's definitely not your typical autobiography. This is not a tell-all of his Common People days of fame and success - it ends with a 1988 acceptance letter from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, a decade before his career really took off. It's charming, funny and nostalgic in equal measures - a highly enjoyable read." Katherine Robinson, Senior Lifestyle Editor

The memoir from Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker delves into his unique life in 20th-century pop culture. It unfolds as Jarvis reviews the contents of his loft, deciding to keep or throw the objects he has stashed away there - each one with a story attached to it that reveals something pivotal about his youth and the things that shaped him and prepared him for his role as the quirky lead singer that went on to garner national treasure status.

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