Best 2013 Summer Reads

Fiction enthusiast Ysabelle McGuire shares her favourite Summer novels with us...

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Gailbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Published by: Little, Brown & Co. (30th April 2013)

Now, this technically isn’t a summer release but sales sky rocketed this summer when it was revealed that J.K. Rowling had written this book under a pseudonym.

It begins with the death of a model, Lula Landry, and follows a private investigation company run by Cormoran Strike, an ex- army investigator who lost his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, and his temporary secretary Robin’s investigation into her death. The company is down to its last client, when John Bristow, grieving brother of Lula Landry, hires Strike to investigate her death. He wants the case reopened as the police had ruled it as a suicide, but he does not believe that the case was fully investigated.

I think most people would argue that J.K. Rowling has truly rid herself of the assumption that she could only write children’s books. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, I hadn’t really read other crime fiction novels before now, but this one was fantastic. I enjoyed how well the characters lives intertwined, particularly the relationship between Robin and Strike. One thing I particularly liked was the smaller character’s throughout the book, like Ciara, Bryony, Kieran and Wilson. The book has so many twists and turns, and I was not expecting the ending at all. It is definitely worth a read!

Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher
Published by: Penguin UK (23rd May 2013)

In a nutshell, the book is about a young girl called Sophie May. She lives in a little village in Kent, where a new film is being shot. She works in a little tea shop, with a life long friend, which is where she meets the star of the film, Billy Buskin. The book is about their journey into love, and the hardships of being in a public relationship - where your secrets can be revealed to the entire world without your permission and you cannot hide anything anymore. It focuses on Sophie's struggles in becoming comfortable with who she is as a person, and becoming comfortable with her secrets and past.

I think it is quite possibly one of the most charming books I've ever read. I found myself in tears, and feeling a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the whole book. The characters are more than relatable- you find a little bit of yourself in everyone and this is what makes it so appealing. It teaches you all sorts of lessons about life through their experiences.

The ending is heart-wrenching but also so beautifully perfect at the same time, it makes the book complete. It is arguably one of the best debut novels I have ever come across, and definitely worth a read. I cannot wait to see what Giovanna will produce next.

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Café by Mary Simses
Published by: Little, Brown and Co (9th July 2013)

The book begins with the death of a New York lawyer’s grandmother. Ellen Branford, travels to the town, Beacon, Maine, in which her grandmother grew up to fulfill her dying wish – deliver a letter to the man she once loved. Unfortunately, whilst trying to take a photo she falls through a dock, and ends up getting caught in a rip current in the ocean. Struggling to stop herself from drowning, she is rescued by a man named Roy, who she develops an interesting relationship with.

She turns into an overnight celebrity within the town, and the book follows her time in Beacon, and the things she gets up to. Ellen is due to get married in a few months to another high flying lawyer from New York, but her time in the small town of Beacon changes the way she sees things; uncovering parts of her grandmother's life causes her to unfold parts of hers.

There are a few twists within the novel which I desperately want to tell, but cannot!

I loved this book; in fact, I stopped half way through to buy a blueberry muffin! You fall in love with Ellen for a number of reasons; she’s clumsy and so different to what you originally expect her to be. It’s a very uplifting book, and although the love story is familiar to many, and at some points predictable the ending was spectacular and the book is gripping. The plot twists completely hold your attention throughout the entire novel.

Ysabelle McGuire is an avid-reader, and blogs at

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