Monday 17 June 2013

Guest Post: Make Summer Reading Plans with Arianne's Summer Spotlight +++ Giveaway!

It's that time of year again: time to roll out the beach towels, stick on those sandals and settle in for a summer of glorious sunshine and endless blue skies.

Or, if you're like me and you live in a place where it rains more often than it shines and practically everyone suffers from Vitamin D deficiency, it's time to wrap up warm and find your summer inside a great book. 

Today I'll be taking you on a guided tour of some of my favourite summer reads. If you happen to be out getting that fabulous suntan or showing off your toned beach bod. lucky you - please do share what it's like with us! Why not pick up a few recommendations while you're here? 

If you're not so lucky and haven't quite jetted off to a land of golden dunes or poolside snackbars just yet, don't despair! There are plenty of ways to get the holiday in the sun you're yearning for - just look at all the choices there are!

Take a trip to the beach house with The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

This is one of my all-time favourite summer books It's sweet, funny and a perfect introduction to the world of summer stories. The tone may be light-hearted, but the characters are guaranteed to stay with you - they did for me. I'm not ashamed to admit that main character Conrad Fisher remains one of my longest-standing literary crushes - and after reading this book, you'll definitely see why!

Find a place you truly belong with Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is definitely a queen of summer, exemplifying everything you could wish for in a summer book with this gorgeous standalone novel. It's about making choices and not allowing yourself to be defined by others - but there's also something so solid and warm about Along for the Ride it just makes you want to shut up shop and move to the tight-knit town of Colby right away. The fact that here's a cute boy involved is just a bonus!

Venture into a different era with The Year the Gypsies Came by Linzi Glass

This is probably the most unusual book I've ever read in summer - and I love it. It's powerful, moving, heartbreaking and addictive, telling the story of life in apartheid South Africa at a time when the rest of the world was taken up by Beatlemania and Jackie O's dress sense. Twelve-year-old Emily is an engaging protagonist but this is the kind of book that appeals across the generations. The baking heat of Johannesburg in spring is probably more than any of us could handle, but Emily has to deal with her parents' failing marriage, strangers taking over her home, and a devastating series of events which will change her forever. If you're looking for more than your average beach read this year, look no further than this.

For me, however, summer 2013 will definitely be one of new-release YA contemporaries. It's almost impossible to choose, but I've managed to whittle it down to ten books I'll be spending my summer with.

This year, I'll be...

 ...risking a forbidden romance with The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Fans of Sarah Ockler both old and new have been raving about this, her third contemporary novel. The Book of Broken Hearts isn't just a romance, however - there's family, sisterhood and some very cool bikes to bulk up the story of Jude Hernandez, and I for one can't wait to read it.

...seeking answers and healing hearts with When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

This book has a male viewpoint, cross-continental self-discovery and a dog named Sandy Koufax - what's not to love? Summer for our hero Danny means Tokyo, cherry blossoms and the busy crowds of an even busier city, but travelling there after the death of his mother is different. I'm most looking forward to finding out whether the answers Danny really needs are the ones he can find within himself.

...rediscovering how much friends matter with How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler

This book was published in April but takes place in summer, following the story of best friends Kya and Grace as they navigate their last few months of freedom before senior year kicks in. It's great to see such a strong emphasis on friendship in a book like this, so I'm hoping it'll be a friendship I'll want to remember.

...facing up to the future and making hard choices with Burning by Elana K. Arnold

It wouldn't be summer if there wasn't at least one book that looked at coming of age on the wrong side of the tracks. This is the gritty story of a girl who feels both intensely proud of and horribly trapped by her gypsy roots and a boy who dares to look past everything she thought defined her, and it's a fine addition to anyone's reading list.

...fighting for survival on a desert island with Shipwrecked by Siobhan Curham

Let's face it, nobody could resist a book described as 'Lost meets Gossip Girl'. No matter how bad you think both ill-fated series were, this book promises much in the way of sizzling tension and rollercoaster adventure. Siobhan Curham is an auto-buy author for me, but Shipwrecked is very different from anything she's written before. 

...taking a road trip with Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

I'm the first to admit that road trip stories haven't always worked for me, but this one really caught my attention. It's character-led and takes the phrase 'holiday romance' to a whole new level - because what happens if that holiday is an endless car journey and the romance has turned to resentment and hatred? Intriguing!

...indulging in geekdom with The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Released in May, this looks like a great way to start a summer of reading. Most of us have guilty geek pleasures we don't talk about - but this is your chance to let them shine in the name of nerd pride!

...becoming a rebel with The Summer Prince by Alaya Johnson

I don't think I've ever come across a book as unique as this one. A tropical tale bursting with passion, rebellion and technology, it's a vivid and fiery adventure set deep in the heart of futuristic Brazil. Even the synopsis pulses with the heartbeat of a cityscape like no other. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

...asking questions and discovering secrets with Golden by Jessi Kirby

Everyone's talking about Jessi Kirby and from what I know about this book, I'm not surprised. This isn't just a book about a girl taking a chance and living a little. It's not just a book about the most popular couple in school. There's a strong plot and a real blend of mystery and contemporary which makes it stand out from the crowd.

...catching up on what I've missed with Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

This book was published last year, and for me it's one I definitely regret not reading sooner. It focuses on a sibling bond and what it's like to have to compete for space with OCD. Kendra cares about her brother, but in the end his condition always seems to dominate her life. It's very brave of this author to tackle such a tough subject from an even tougher viewpoint, and that's what makes me want to read it.

I'll also be trying to finally get around to My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - it's been on my wishlist for way too long and I think I may spontaneously combust if I don't get to read it soon!

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?



To be in with a chance of winning some of Arianne's favourite summer reads, just fill in the rafflecopter form below. 

One lucky winner will get to choose from the following prize packs:

Prize Pack #1: The Summer Classic: The Summer I turned Pretty & Along for the Ride. 
Prize Pack #2: The 2013 Contemp Special: How I Lost You & The Summer I Became a Nerd.
-- Or you can mix & match between packs!

Competition is open internationally (Wherever The Book Depository ships). 
Competition Ends: July 21st 2013.

Don't forget you can also enter to win some great summer reads in my Summer Spotlight Launch Party Giveaway:  CLICKY

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I recently finished Golden by Jessi Kirby and REALLY liked it. It was just the ending that came a bit too sudden. On my summer reading list are e.g.: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen, Ten by Gretchen McNeil and The Diviners by Libba Bray:)

  2. Oh I loved Summer series by Jenny Han! Along for the Ride and Burning are also on my TBR list for this summer. I have a feeling this summer will be filled with YA and NA romances for me.

  3. Love your summer reading list, and actually gonna steal a few to put on mine. Uptill now my list mostly existed out of Sarrah Dessen books (rereading a lot of them, they are perfect for summer) also reading the Hunger games series again since it's been too long and I want to read them before the new movie comes out! Last note; love the giveaway!

  4. Fabulus book choices I think I have most of these on my wish-list ;) Looking forward to seeing the reviews <3

  5. Jenny @ Supernatural Snark17 June 2013 at 20:09

    I can't wait to read Golden! I've read nothing but amazing reviews for it but I just haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. I'm definitely going to do that before I head out on vacation though. I need to read something by Sarah Dessen too, I still have yet to try her. Summer fail. :)

  6. daisychainbooks17 June 2013 at 21:24

    Love your summer reading picks, Arianne - I've added a couple to my wish list (as if I need more books to read!) :) Feel free to enter any of the giveaways on here - it's cool! :)

  7. daisychainbooks17 June 2013 at 21:26

    I've heard great, great things about Golden - I really need to read that one soon or else it's going to end up being one of those books that everyone has read except me; kind of like you and Dessen! ;-p

  8. daisychainbooks17 June 2013 at 21:26

    I know! I'm hearing all these great things about Golden. I need to read that one soon!

  9. popprincess567817 June 2013 at 22:01

    I have to agree on The Summer I Turned Pretty, I adored that book yet for some reason I didn't get the next ones, I really must sort that out.
    In the summer I always get the urge to read books about mermaids and sirens, must be the beach scenes that pull me in. I also live where there is pretty bad weather so I have to get my taste of the sun in book form too!

  10. excellent summer read choices! adding them to my wishlist and crossing my fingers to win :D

  11. This is a great Summer read list! I loved Golden and The Book of Broken Hearts, so I'm so glad they made it to your list. I've also heard great things about When You Were Here. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  12. Loved the first two! I haven't read the others yet. On my summer list I have cute books - light reads like Tropical Kiss by Jan Coffey, Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler, Beach Lane by Marissa de la Cruz and more :)

  13. Great choices. Golden is one of my favourite books so far this year. I haven't read a Sarah Dessen book yet but I plan to before the summer is out. Sitting on the beach, with my rain jacket on, no doubt! The pleasures of an Irish summer :)

  14. These books do sound like fun. I don't have a lit of books to read.

  15. Nurmawati Djuhawan18 June 2013 at 12:50

    the summer i become a nerd is in my top list summer read ..
    thx u so much :)

  16. quasinotsodarling18 June 2013 at 13:28

    Sarah Dessen books are always awesome choices for Summer reads:) My favorite of hers is This Lullaby:)

    Bea Tejano(on rafflecopter)

  17. Some of my summer picks are The Distance Between Us, Eleanor and Park(yeah, I haven't read that yet), and Golden by Jessi Kirby.

  18. Great list! Thank you for posting this. Gotta add this to my TBR! :)

  19. I know a lot of people have a certain genre/theme that they like better in the summer, but I'm not like that. I'll read the same types of stuff in the summer as I do in the winter. Maybe that's because I live in Florida, and it's kinda summer year round. So my summer TBR list is The Spectacular Now, Code Name Verity, Starcrossed, The Fault in Our Stars, and Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Thanks for the chance to win :D

  20. I have so many books on my list. Too many to name.

  21. Thanks for the giveaway. Crossing my fingers!! I really am looking forward to reading the sea of tranquility and golden. i really liked your choices too

  22. Zemira Djedović23 June 2013 at 21:07

    I want to read Golden so bad and a couple of days ago I ordered My Life Next Door. I've read The Summer I Became a Nerd. It was so fun and fluffy.

  23. Loved The Summer I Turned Pretty series, Conrad & Belly! Next up summer read is Five Summers.

  24. All the choices are great I think! Golden is on my list to read soon as I have ordered it and also I want to read Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler.

  25. If only I could enter my own giveaway! I hope everyone really enjoys their summer reads this year :)

  26. i think the list is the epitome of perfection for summer :3 I have read a few of it, I hope I could catch it up this summer :3

  27. I'm currently reading Dare You To by Katie McGarry. I love contemporary romances during the summer! Still need to build up the rest of my list...

  28. This list looks like mine! I am dying to read Burning, I almost picked it up the other day but could only get so many and had others that needed to be read first. It will be the next book I buy!

  29. I really loved Golden, the writing was amazing, I plan on reading Jessi Kirby's other books this summer! I also can't wait to read My Life Next Door and How I Lost you. Thank you for the awesome giveaway, perfect for summer!

  30. I haven´t had the chance to ready any Sarah Dessen´s books, so they are my next books to read!

  31. Entered! Great to meet another Irish book blogger! Following you!


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