Search Results for: summer

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

“Barely visible, Riley knelt up in his seat to drape his arms around it, flashing white teeth at Andrew. He made for an iconic, hungry gleam in the settling dark beneath tree shadows and open sky, more animal than boy. It was dumb, deliciously reckless, and that compelling energy struck Andrew with the force of a punch.” Imagine FAST AND FURIOUS as a book, but make it a Southern Gothic, give it a hefty dose of dark academia, and make every character queer. Oh, and also have them haunted by ghosts who may be trying to kill them. That is Lee Mandelo’s Summer Sons, a queer horror that sneaks up on you and then tries to possess your body, forcing you to see truths you’d rather ignore. My only complaint is this group would never let me join their pack. Content warnings for general horror, possession, death, drug and alcohol abuse, racism, discussions of past mistreatment of enslaved persons, death of a loved one

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo, (List Price: 26.99, Tordotcom, 9781250790286, September 2021)

Reviewed by Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Imagine the tragic cancer death of your mother when she is your best friend—the real love of your life…and then imagine you find her alive again and she is happy and healthy and only thirty years old. This happens when Katy travels to Italy on a trip she and her mother Carol planned. How could this be? Katy is utterly devastated when her mom dies and she doesn’t know how she can go on with life without her. Rebecca Serle’s description of the beauty of Postano’s cliffs and ocean views makes the reader join Katy and taste the amazing food at every Italian meal. The sudden appearance of her mother Carol as a young vibrant woman is shocking. Is it really her mother in her youth? Is Katy so heartbroken that she just imagines it? This unforgettable love story will leave the reader thinking about family bonds and wondering how one would react to such an event. It is a story that will stay with you long after the last page.

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle, (List Price: $27.00, Atria Books, 9781982166793,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Lara has been crushing on Chase since she was a little girl. Now it’s senior year and he’s finally noticing her. But on the first day of school, in walks Lara’s summer friend/romance Jasmine–in town to stay. Lara’s into Chase, but she also can’t forget about Jasmine. What’s she going to do now? I loved how we not only get a questioning bi-romance, but also get some good friendship dynamics in Cool for the Summer. If you’re looking for a light summer read that also manages some heavy emotions in a Grease vibe, look no further!

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler (List Price: $18.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250765826, 5/11/2021)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Not Our Summer by Casie Bazay

Becca and KJ are cousins, both about to graduate from high school. But because their mothers are estranged, they don’t know each other at all. When their maternal grandfather dies, they have to come together for the reading of his will. In it, their grandfather has given both of the girls and both of their mothers a nice sum of money. The only catch is that the girls must complete a five-part bucket list before they get the money. The list is a set of things the grandfather always wanted to do, but his mounting agoraphobia wouldn’t let him. I LOVE that we have a story that, at its root, is about friendship. And while there’s a smidge of romance, it’s FAR from the main plot. It took me a moment to warm up to the two girls, but in the end, I enjoyed them, flaws and all.

Not Our Summer by Casie Bazay (List Price: $17.99, Running Press Kids, 9780762472291, 5/11/2021)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Inc. in Marietta, Georgia

The Project by Courtney Summers

An alluring psychological thriller set in New York, this one had me questioning everything until the very end. Lo and Bea were as close as two sisters could be, entwined like two halves of the same whole. That is, until a fatal car accident left Lo near death and pushed Bea into the arms of the enigmatic Unity Project, an organization that has been called a cult by some and savior by others. The chapters written from the viewpoint of Bea were brilliant, peeking into the mind of a sister willing to sacrifice everything to save her only little sister.

The Project by Courtney Summers (List Price: $18.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250105738, 2/2/2021)

Reviewed by Emma Wood, Main Street Reads, in Summerville, South Carolina

The Project by Courtney Summers

A Winter 2021 Read This Next! Title

Orphaned and betrayed, Lo Denham seeks to uncover the truth about the organization that her sister thinks saved her. However, the closer Lo gets to the Unity Project, the more she struggles to make sense of her own traumatic past. Perfect for fans of dark YA thrillers, The Project is a chilling story sure to leave readers speechless.

The Project by Courtney Summers (List Price: $18.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250105738, 2/2/2021)

Reviewed by Asia Harden, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

The Project by Courtney Summers

A Winter 2021 Read This Next! Title

The Project by Courtney Summers
Wednesday Books, February

Courtney Summers is back with another electric gut punch of a novel and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have once again found myself a quivering mass of emotion after turning the last page of The Project. Only Courtney can perfectly encapsulate the dueling states of fragility & ferocity that exist within young women when they find themselves alone in a world that isn’t designed to protect them from harm. I dare you to pick up this brilliant novel about two sisters and a mysterious cult–you won’t be able to set it down again.

— Cristina Russell, Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL

The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson

This delightful book is the perfect antidote to what was a difficult year for so many–the perfect book to begin a new year with. Eve and Sally are both looking for an escape from their everyday life. They meet while rescuing a dog from a barge–who turns out not to need rescuing after all–and promptly meet the owner of the dog and the barge, who needs both somewhere to stay and someone to take care of her boat. So Eve and Sally set off down the canals in their borrowed boat, discovering new friends and learning new skills along the way. Their first time taking the boat through a tunnel is literally some of the most riveting writing I’ve read in ages. I loved this book and can’t wait to share it with readers looking for their own escape!

The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson (List Price: $26.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250764614, January, 2021).

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers

I am obsessed with A Certain Hunger. This is one of those books where the story and characters are so deep and complex, but you cannot help but become engrossed in their messiness and forget to put the book down. Dorothy Daniels is a wild and witty character. While it is dark, Dorothy’s outlook on her life and actions produce laugh out loud moments in this highly original story. The philosophical insights into life, love, and lust are only more profound with Chelsea G. Summers’s lyrical writing. Readers will want to devour the writing as much as the duck confit! Her rage is refreshing and oh so satisfying.

A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers (List Price: $26.00, The Unnamed Press, December, 2020).

Reviewed by Karyn Cumming, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA

Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, Avery Fischer Udagawa (Trans.), Miho Satake (Illus.)

It’s summer break! There’s time for fun and friends, but Kazu has decided to investigate a paranormal occurrence tied to the history of his street, Temple Alley. As Kazu and his friends discover new clues about the past by talking to family members, nagging neighbors, and even reading ancient magazines, they realize that they might have to rely on their peculiar neighbor, Ms. Minakami, to solve the mystery. Complete with a story within a story, this summertime sleuth is mischievous and magical.

Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, Avery Fischer Udagawa (Trans.), Miho Satake (Illus.) (List Price: $18, Restless Books, 9781632063038, 7/6/2021)

Reviewed by Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

Stamper brings his trademark storytelling, full of heart and magic, to his story of 4 boys and one incredible summer. Sal, Gabriel, Heath, and Reese are the best of friends, but they’re all headed their separate ways for the summer. Sal is headed to DC to intern for a senator. Gabriel is headed to Boston to work for a nonprofit and save the trees. Heath is headed to Daytona to work with his aunt and cousin while his parents work out their divorce. And Reese is off to Paris for a summer design school. They’ve always been inseparable, so how will they make it through the summer?


Golden Boys by Phil Stamper, (List Price: $18.99, Bloomsbury YA, 9781547607372, February 2022)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia


The Stars Are Not Yet Bells by Hannah Lillith Assadi

Stamper brings his trademark storytelling, full of heart and magic, to his story of 4 boys and one incredible summer. Sal, Gabriel, Heath, and Reese are the best of friends, but they’re all headed their separate ways for the summer. Sal is headed to DC to intern for a senator. Gabriel is headed to Boston to work for a nonprofit and save the trees. Heath is headed to Daytona to work with his aunt and cousin while his parents work out their divorce. And Reese is off to Paris for a summer design school. They’ve always been inseparable, so how will they make it through the summer?


The Stars Are Not Yet Bells by Hannah Lillith Assadi, (List Price: $25.00, Riverhead Books, 9780593084366, anuary 2022)

Anne Peck, Righton Books in St Simons Island, Georgia


7/6/2021

The Summer Reading List, energized!

Read This Next, Summer 2021

Southern indie booksellers have selected the 2021 Summer Read This Next! List: their favorite picks for new summer books. Titles are chosen from books publishing from July through September, representing the full range of reader interests. Each of the fifteen has the enthusiastic support of southern booksellers, marking them as hand-sell favorites for the summer. Read This Next! is the “You’ve got to read this!” list of the season.

Some of our favorite comments:

“Mott’s latest is no joke. Charlie Kauffman-esque in its surrealism that devolves into almost fever dream with the most unreliable narrator I’ve ever read.” -Amber Brown of Quail Ridge Books on Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

“It turns out all those hours I spent watching 1980s (and beyond) horror films weren’t wasted. ” -Tracie Harris of The Book House on The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Eerie and chilling to the bone, The River Has Teeth is a razor-sharp novel that had me devouring its secrets late into the night.” – Brad Sells from Parnassus Books, about The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

See all 15 great summer reads here.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel
Reviews of The Tiger Mom’s Tale by Lyn Liao Butler, How to Break an Evil Curse by Laura Morrison, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin, The Cruelty Is the Point by Adam Serwer, On the Day the Horse Got Out by Audrey Helen Weber, House of Sticks by Ly Tran

Click here to read more

Bubbles . . . Up! by Jacqueline Davies, Sonia Sánchez (Illus.)

A love poem to water and the many things one can do with it, this fun title screams of summer and sun and fun but also of Self-confidence and empowerment. This picture book from “Lemonade War” author Davies is an absolute must for summer reading.

Bubbles . . . Up! by Jacqueline Davies, Sonia Sánchez (Illus.) (List Price: $17.99, Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062836618, 5/4/2021)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Scroll to Top