The best books for your summer road trip

The warm summer weather is finally on its way, and for many of us, that means hitting the road. Whether that’s a road trip, girl’s weekend, out-of-town weddings or taking the kids to visit family, there are some questions that come up when we pack our bags – which books should I bring with me, and realistically how many can I take before it gets weird? If you’re in need of some suggestions, here is a list of 12 perfect summer road trip books.

More Than Words by Jill Santopolo

OK, this one came out in February so it isn’t exactly a summer read, but I couldn’t help but include it – consider it a bonus addition. Nina Gregory has always known that one day she would be taking over the family business, and her childhood best friend turned boyfriend, Tim, is at her side ready to help her do just that. But when her father passes away, she learns some things about his past and that future comes rushing at her faster than a New York subway. Through this, she learns that she may, in fact, be happier in her speech writing job, and maybe even with her handsome politician boss, Rafael.


Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Another one taking Bookstagram and the internet by storm is Daisy Jones & The Six. Set in the craziness of the ’70s, this book follows young Daisy Jones living a life of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and the moment that she gets paired with a band rising to stardom, The Six. The reputation of this book alone makes me embarrassed to say that I have yet to read it, and I look forward to escaping into Daisy’s world on my summer road trip.  


The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman

When Adie Lou Kruger’s parents pass away, they leave her their beloved summer cottage where she spent all of her childhood summer vacations, and subsequently where her son spent his. Now she is going through a messy divorce, her son is away at college and the thing that is keeping her sane in this time of change is also her biggest stressor – she is turning the cottage into a B&B. This story is heartwarming and genuine, and a perfect beach read!


Dreaming of Rome by T. A. Williams

Wishing you could be getting away a little bit farther this summer? I know I do. And that’s why this read is perfect. After a terrible breakup, Jo has decided that she doesn’t believe in love and that the problem is handsome men – and she’s giving them up! But on a trip to Rome, she meets her soon-to-be brother-in-law Corrado, and he is not only gorgeous but also incredibly intelligent, generous and kind. Set in one of the world’s most romantic cities, can she avoid falling for Corrado and his adorable dog Daisy? I won’t be driving all the way to Rome, but a girl can dream, right?


The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo

Summer is, among other things, wedding season – so many of us hitting the road in these few months may have a wedding (or two!) as a part of our road trip itineraries. And for those trips, or possibly any other, this is the perfect read to fit the mood. When their parents announce that they are retiring, the de la Rosa sisters are determined to take over the family wedding planning business. But a life in wedding planning isn’t quite as romantic as it seems when they have to deal with disasters and arguing couples around every corner. But hey, at least they’re all in it together, right?


The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

When I think of perfect ways to spend a summer, an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii is definitely near the top of the list. Olive is feeling unlucky – her twin sister is getting married, and she is preparing to spend the entire day with the best man a.k.a her sworn enemy, Ethan. But they decide to put their troubles aside (at least for the time being) when they are the only members of the bridal party who avoid getting terrible food poisoning, and the honeymoon is now theirs for the taking. Everything goes according to plan until Olive runs into her soon-to-be boss, and she and Ethan need to act like perfectly happy and in-love newlyweds.


Naturally Tan by Tan France

If you’re anything like me, you are perfectly smitten with the Fab Five and Netflix’s Queer Eye, so I will definitely be spending part of my summer curled up with the ever witty and fashionable Tan France! In this memoir, he tells his touching story from the beginning – going from a child growing up gay in a traditional Muslim family, and as a young man of color in England, to meeting and marrying the love of his life.


The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

I feel like I have been waiting a while for this book’s publication, so you know that I’ll be reading it on the road! Kristen Petersen has put finding love on the back burner, so to speak, especially once she is faced with a necessary surgery that will impact her ability to have children. But who should then show up in her life but a possible Prince Charming, Josh Copeland, who is sexy, charming, can keep up with all of her sass and sarcasm and surprisingly enough, is a fan favorite of Kristen’s dog too. The only catch is that Josh wants a big family. Can she convince him, and herself, that it’s best to keep a safe distance?


The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Nina Hill has spent her life surrounded by books, her trivia team and her cat. When her unknown father passes away, he leaves Nina with a lot of questions and an entire family that is excited to meet her. And to make a strange day stranger, her trivia nemesis turns out to be not only cute and charming but also interested in her. Funny, sassy and popping up all over Bookstagram, this book is going to the top of my summer #TBR.


Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend by Crystal Hemmingway

Taking a break from the road, or need a quick read with a glass of wine? Told exclusively through texts, emails, book excerpts, etc. this is the story of writer Crystal who has trouble saying no and setting boundaries with her lonely mother, especially once her life is seemingly turned upside down. But when she has the opportunity to beta test an experimental android, she hatches a plan to build her mom the “perfect boyfriend” and earn back some of her time to write. An incredibly fast and funny read, this will be perfect to take with you on the road.


A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

Looking for something passionate and fast-paced? A book fit for staying up too late because you need to finish another chapter? A Stranger on the Beach is that book. Caroline’s seemingly perfect life is shaken up when she finds out that her husband has been keeping secrets. She then turns to a stranger that she’s met on the beach for comfort, and a touch of revenge – but when there’s a disappearance and the stranger, Aiden, becomes increasingly and dangerously infatuated with Caroline, readers must decide which character is manipulative and crazy.


Carnegie Hill by Jonathan Vatner

Do you (much like myself) enjoy soap operas and trashy TV but don’t always like to admit it? Then add this book to your summer reading list. This novel takes place in the Chelmsford Arms, an expensive upper-class apartment building in New York, and follows many of the building’s residents. We follow them through their marriages, health scares, family issues and all sorts of life. It isn’t exactly a beach read, but sitting in the sun in between travel days with a glass of lemonade (or maybe a martini) with this book is an excellent escape.

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Jennifer McRill

A Pacific Northwest native, Jennifer is currently based out of the Seattle, WA area. Always a book fanatic, there was more than one occasion when her mom caught her reading past her bedtime or exploring other worlds when maybe she was supposed to be cleaning her room. Jennifer likes to try to dabble in any genre she can get her hands on, but some favorites are romance, mystery, suspense, and literary fiction. These days she lives with a feisty feline, is planning a wedding with the man of her dreams, and always has at least one book on her at all times. You can follow along with her reading journey and bookish rants on Instagram @tackling_tbr.

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