By Sophia Simon-Bashall
There’s nothing better than finding a shady spot and sitting in it for hours, safe from boiling to death. If it’s your thing, you can also lie out in the sun with your book – just don’t forget the sun-cream!
If you’re stuck on what to read, you’re probably surrounded by suggestions – your local bookshop probably has a ‘beach reads’ table – but they may not be up your street. If you’re tired of the same Sex In The City wannabe books, PBG has a few recommendations for you…
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
You’ve probably heard about (and maybe seen) the movie Love, Simon, by now. I promise, the book is better – Simon’s friends aren’t quite the same assholes to him as they are in the film. Well, now there’s a sequel to the book and it focuses on Simon’s best friend Leah. Who, as anyone who read the first book probably picked up on, has a Thing for another friend. Who happens to be a girl. Oh, a book about a bisexual girl? Who happens to be fat (again, this is the book – not the film)? And a rocking drummer in a cool all-girl band? Check, check, and check. If that doesn’t make you want to read a book, nothing will. It’s heart-warming and tender – a little less cheesy than Simon, but just as wonderful. It’s the happy ending queer girl love story we deserve.
Big Bones by Laura Dockrill
Bluebell, AKA BB, AKA Big Bones, is a sixteen-year-old girl who is perfectly happy with herself. She’s fat, and loves food, and has no problem with either of those things. But, of course, some people do. Big Bones is about appreciating food, loving oneself, navigating change, the value of family relationships, and so much more. It’s a truly delightful book and easily devoured in a day.
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Even more gripping than We Were Liars. Shocking, I know. But it is. Genuine Fraud centres on the life (or rather, lives) of Imogen, a smart woman who uses her intellect to constantly reinvent herself. She is many things, depending on what she needs to be at each moment. It’s a character study, at heart, but it’s also a psychological thriller – with plot twists and suspense aplenty. It can be gory at times though, so be mindful if that’s something you’re uncomfortable with!
From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
First up, the hype for Sandhya Menon’s novels are well deserved. If you haven’t already read When Dimple Met Rishi, you NEED to go and do that first. It really is as brilliant as everyone says it is. It’s heart-warming and hilarious in all the right places, and Menon’s writing is beautiful. Twinkle is much the same in that respect. It is laugh-out-loud funny and has a rom-com feel that would make it perfect for the big screen. It will resonate with young creatives, and with anyone who’s ever been confused about a crush. Which is the majority of us, I think.
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
The lovely Louise O’Neill is a PBG favourite, that’s for sure. Her most recent novel, The Surface Breaks, is a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid, and it’s everything you would have wanted it to be. It’s written in the sharp, cutting prose that O’Neill is known for, and the darkness that is typical of her writing runs through every page. It stays true to the horror and tragedy of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, but is also the most unique retelling of the story written at this moment in time. It looks at beauty standards, sexuality, fat shaming, sexual harassment, and more. Once again, Louise O’Neill has done something special, built something bold, and broken the surface.