Summer Reading Recs: 5 Books (+1 Drink!) to Enjoy

One of my favorite things to do in the Summer is to spend a lazy afternoon reading outside while enjoying the sun and a cool drink. ‘Summer Reading’ means different things to different people. For me, I am a total mood/seasonal reader. My ideal summer ready would be a book in any genre (but particularly Romance or Memoir) that had an uplifting or feel good ending to match the sunny weather. Ideally it would be a paperback that I could easy bring with me to the beach or on a road trip and something that I could put down and pick up easily without loosing the plot.

Of course there are always exceptions to this, but today I wanted to share with you five amazing books to read this Summer along these lines that I think you’ll really enjoy as well as a cold drink to accompany these sizzlin’ reads. Do you have a Summer read that you think should be on this list? Leave a comment below and let me know!


Agua Fresca de Limón y Sandia

0E646AED-F825-4D90-86BC-6F2ACE3C1DC7.jpg

Agua Fresca is a chilled fruit based drink that was served basically with every meal in the summer during my childhood. Agua fresca is gaining popularity in the US as a healthy, flavorful alternative to soda and artificial syrupy fruit punch. You can make it in many different flavors but I am sharing my personal favorite, watermelon, with you today.

1/2 Watermelon (Seeded & cubed)

1/2 lime

Agave or honey (to taste)

1/2 cup of guava or other fruit juice (optional)

Ice

Blend the cubed watermelon, lime juice and fruit juice of your choice into a drinkable constancy. Strain if preferred (I personally like it unstrained). Stir in agave or honey to taste to sweeten the drink if you wish. Serve over ice.


Summer Reading Recommendations

fire.jpg

Title: With the Fire on High

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publisher: Harper Teen

Genre: YA Contemporary

Why this is the perfect summer read: This book tackles issues like teen motherhood and complicated family relationships and does so with an incredible amount of compassion and heart (and food porn! I dare you to read this and not get hungry). With the Higher on High was the reading equivalent of eating a homemade comfort meal with family. I couldn’t put it down and by the time I was done my heart (and stomach) was full. This is the perfect book to read and share with friends this summer.

Synopsis: With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

If you like this book, you can also check out Acevedo’s first book The Poet X a highly acclaimed novel in verse about a teenage slam poet!

uptown.jpg

Title: Uptown Thief

Author: Aya de León

Publisher: Dafina

Genre: Crime, Romance, Adventure

Why this is the perfect summer read: This books has some dark elements to it (it deals a lot with domestic violence) but it is packed with so much bad ass woman power, sexy times and adventure that it is like watching the perfect summer blockbuster. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end, so strap in for a thrilling summer adventure!

Synopsis: Marisol Rivera barely survived being abused with nowhere to turn. So there's nothing she won't do to keep her Lower East Side women's health clinic open and give disadvantaged women new lives. Running an exclusive escort service for New York City's rich and powerful 1 percent is the perfect way to bankroll her business--not to mention the perfect cover for robbing corrupt CEOs. And when times get even tougher, pulling a heist on a mega-billionaire will secure the clinic's future--and her gorgeous crew's--for good. . .

There's just one problem: Marisol didn't anticipate bad news even more dangerous than her curves. A seductive ex-cop who's too close for comfort, and a powerful thug with a score to settle, are turning Marisol's precise planning and seductive fail-safes into insidious traps. Now this beautiful modern-day Robin Hood will have to play some lethal wild cards without rules or limits to save those she loves--and live to steal another day. . .

If you like this book the second book in the series: Side Chick Nation is coming out this summer!

zone.jpg

Title: The Friend Zone

Author: Abby Jimenez

Publisher: Forever Romance

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Why this is the perfect summer read: Contemporary Romance and Summer go together for me like Tajin and jicama. This contemporary has it all: hilarious banter, a sassy strong heroine, and the most adorable Yorkie ever. Although this book it sweet and so much fun it also deals with infertility, a very real issue for many women, so heads up! You will laugh and cry as Jimenez breaks your heart and then puts it back together again.

Synopsis: Kristen Petersen doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen--especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

If you enjoy The Friend Zone Abby Jimenez’s next book will be coming out next year!

havana.jpg

Title: Next Year in Havana

Author: Chanel Cleeton

Publisher: Penguin/Berkley

Genre: Romance, Historical, and Contemporary Fiction

Why this is the perfect summer read: I often gushed about how much I love this book and why it’s the perfect summer read. You can check out my full review here but the short version is: this book has it all, romance, adventure, mystery, family intrigue and more. Also Cleeton’s descriptions of Havana are simply breathtaking and will transport you straight onto the Carribean Island.

Synopsis: After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

If you liked Next Year In Havana you can also read: When We Left Cuba, book 2 in this series out now!

rosa.jpg

Title: Don’t Date Rosa Santos

Author: Nina Moreno

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Why this is the perfect summer read: Romance, complicated family dynamics and a lush Florida setting practically scream Summer Read. Don’t Date Rosa Santos dives deeply in female family relationships in Florida’s Cuban American community in a way that I haven’t really seen done before plus it’s just a super cute story too. The gorgeous sunny cover doesn’t hurt either!

Synopsis: Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides - literally - with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?