Summer beach reads come in all shapes and sizes. If you want a hefty fantasy novel, I would recommend The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Helig. This time travel fantasy imagines a girl who travels around the world across centuries looking for a map that might alter her future. Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker is a heist novel that unites a rich thrill-seeking girl with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks in planning a caper that will benefit them both. Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies, a romantic comedy by Laura Stample, finds Harper Anderson with a dream internship in NYC, writing about a topic she knows little about - love.
The Girl from Everywhere is the first book in a duology, which introduces 16-year-old Nix, a girl who has traveled around the world through centuries aboard her father's time-traveling ship. Nix was born in Hawaii in 1868; when her mother dies in childbirth, her roguish opium addicted father sets sail with her. He can sail anywhere in time that he wants, as long as he has a map; but now he is seeking a map to take him back to 1868 so that he can change the past and resurrect his wife. The question is, what will that do to Nix's future, in fact her entire existence? Along with her Persian thief love interest, Kash, who has been sailing with them for two years, Nix struggles to keep her father from acquiring the map that could lead to her demise. This skillful mashup of science fiction, Hawaiian history, and mythology is filled with swashbuckling adventure, making it a must read for summer.
In Smash and Grab Lexi is a rich adrenaline junkie, whose greatest joy is executing dares like base jumping off a skyscraper with her crew. Christian is a studious guy from the wrong side of town, who is blackmailed into committing bank robberies by the gang leaders in his neighborhood. Their paths cross when Lexi, whose father had been jailed for bank fraud, is trying to find evidence to implicate his boss, at the same time Christian's gang is casing his bank for their next job. Romantic sparks fly as they cooperate to plan a heist that will help Lexi exonerate her father and Christian find a way out of a life of crime, so he can go to college. Told from alternating points of view, the story unfolds at a breakneck pace, keeping the reader turning pages and hoping their star-crossed love will find a way.
Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies focuses on Harper Anderson, a California girl who longs to be a writer. When she is offered an internship at a teen magazine in NYC, she jumps at the chance. However, her "edgy" personal essay about her fictitious dating experiences, leads her editor to make her the magazine's dating blogger. As she tries to fit in with her fellow interns and come up with witty articles, the web of lies she spins spirals out of control. Harper begins dating Carter, the son of the magazine's owner, but the guy she really connects with is a dog walker named Ben. Her snarky articles make her a social media darling, but when her best friend finds out Harper has appropriated her dating experiences as her own, Harper must come clean. The love triangle is predictable, but the author creates a sympathetic character, whose hilarious dating blogs and comedic misadventures keep the reader in stitches and rooting for her all the way.