Hello, readers! It’s been a while since I gave recommendations or even posted that much, and I really love making recommendation posts so here I am. Today I thought I’d recommend the books for when you’re having a sad girl summer because only hot girls have a sad girl summer. There seems to be a theme because quite a few of these books are some of my favorites, and I always have a sad girl summer so I don’t know what that says about me.
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Nobody should be surprised that this book is on this list since it was my favorite book of last year. This book takes place over the summer our main character Georgie turns eighteen. She comes from a family of witches and they get powers by the time they turn eighteen, but Georgie hasn’t gotten hers yet. There is also a bird that comes every summer, but this year, the bird doesn’t show up. It is sapphic, but it’s more about the love of two sisters. Big content warnings for rape as this book heavily discusses rape culture and femimism. I probably cried on every single page because I just knew what was going to happen.
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Maybe this is cheating because I did dnf this book, but it wasn’t because I didn’t like it. I just got really busy and had a sad bitch moment so it wasn’t the right time for this book. I really liked what I read so I am going to continue reading it when I’m not as much of a sad bitch. This book is about a girl whose younger sister just died in a car accident and how she is handling the grief. The main character is also asexual and discovering her sexuality.
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
I couldn’t even explain this book to you if I tried because it is odd. It’s about a intergenerational trauma and mother-daughter relationships and corn. If you like your sad girl summers a little haunting, read this one. It’s not a horror, but it is a very odd book. It’s another one of those subtly queer books
The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
This book is about mental illness and searching for a shipwreck. I am starting to realize that I really like books where mental illness is used as a metaphor of some sort. This book is about a girl named Viola whose great-great-grandmother was the only known survivor of a shipwreck, and nobody has ever found the ship or anything. When she is sent back to the town that her great-great-grandmother founded, she teams up with an amateur shipwreck hunter to find this last ship while also being forced to look at her family’s history of mental illness. It’s a sapphic Twelfth Night retelling.
Again Again by E. Lockhart
Nobody talks about this book, but I will make sure that everybody does. This is Melodrama in book form, which is fitting since Melodrama is a summer album. That is not up for debate. Most of the songs talk about it taking place over a summer, and there is so much summery imagery. This is about a girl who is dealing with a breakup and how things could’ve ended differently if she had done something a little different. There are multiverses.
Rise to The Sun by Leah Johnson
This book takes place over a weekend and is about two girls going to a festival when they are both at really bad places in their lives. I liked how much the characters were aware of their flaws but also dealing with their trauma. I really enjoyed Leah Johnson’s first book, and this one was sadder so don’t think it’s going to be as happy as You Should See Me in A Crown. Huge content warnings for sexual assault, death of a parent, and gun violence.
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
This is a Peter Pan retelling, and Peter Pan books in general have a summery vibes because Neverland is an island. I will say that this isn’t the most original take, but I really enjoyed the themes that the author magnified in this. I really like how it discussed grief and trauma. It was quite possibly the best ending I’ve ever read. I loved the way it ended. After finishing this book, I immediately called my friend because I just had to talk about the ending.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alires Saenz
More of sad boi summer in this case, but really anyone can have a sad girl summer regardless of their gender. This is about two boys over multiple years in the 80s as they come of age and discover their sexuality. Most of this book takes place in summertime. Aristotle is definitely a sad boi. I understand why it’s a staple for the queer community.
Watch Over Me by Nina Lacour
Another spooky adjacent story, and I don’t know if this even takes place over the summer although I am pretty sure that it does. The beach is at least very present. This is about a girl who is aging out of the foster care system so she goes to this farm to be a tutor for the children there. While there, some weird things are going on at the farm and the character is forced to face her trauma.
Those are all the books I have to recommend to you today. What are some sad books that give you summery vibes? I’d love to have a conversation with y’all down below!