Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review.
This week’s TTT is the top ten books with X setting (boarding school, England, etc.). I chose one of my favorite bookish settings – BEACH TOWNS. I was thinking of the boarding school thing but I recently talked about this since it’s one of my read-bait terms for sure.I’m usually all about the summery, beachy contemporaries during the warm months. I often save books specifically for summertime for that reason. I don’t go to the beach very much, even though there are plenty closeby, so these books are a perfect alternative for me during the summer. Fluffy contemps are perfectly fine during this time of year, but the ones that are literally set on the beach or in a beachy town location are THE BEST. Here are ten of my favorite books with beach settings.
The ultimate book setting is Colby, North Carolina. I’ve never had more desire to visit a fictional place in my life. Colby appears to be the perfect little beach town and acts as the main setting for a handful of Dessen’s books. It’s referenced in a few more. NEED THIS PLACE (or maybe just to visit Emerald Isle, the town it’s sort of based on). Something about the mix of tourists – those that come back every year and the one-time-visitors – and the locals is just so fun for me to read.
I loved reading about the Hamptons in Gossip Girl when they spent a book or two there. I just was completely fascinated by all of the rich people milling around, the expensive shops, and the beaches (of course). These books all take place there and are worth the read. I actually think I only read The Au Pairs (now the whole series is in the Beach Lane Collection and I love redesigned old books like this!) and want to continue or reread that series.
Another place I’ve never been – Nantucket. It’s actually fairly close to where I live, but I spent my summers in Cape Cod and/or Martha’s Vineyard instead. I definitely will make my way to Nantucket sooner or later! I still need to read Nantucket Red (and hopefully will by the end of August). I love the small town village vibes, plus the beaches and shops and restaurants. Sign me up.
The Islanders series by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant
This is another series I need to finish up at some point. Chatham Island is a fictional island off the coast of Maine. It keeps confusing me because Chatham is a real place in Massachusetts but this is essentially a combination of a few places. The Islanders (kids who live on the island) go to school on the mainland, but their island is super atmospheric. I can really picture it in my head as I’m reading.
The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han
I’ve been trying and failing at rereading this series lately. It’s one of my favorites and has been way too long since I first enjoyed it. Cousins Beach was yet another fictional beach that made me wish it were a real place. Jenny Han said “It’s not a real beach, but it’s sort of based on Cape Cod and also the Hamptons. And just a splash of the Outer Banks!” I can definitely picture it as being on Cape Cod and love the other crossovers too.
Summer series by Katherine Applegate
Now this is actually a real place I haven’t been before. My mom and stepdad went a few years ago for their honeymoon and really enjoyed it. It definitely sounds like a place I’d like! These books were published in the 90’s and then repackaged and published again a few years ago and I definitely enjoyed them. Again, lots of fun beachy shenanigans that had me wishing for a vacation.
Lake Phoenix in the Poconos • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
This book made me cry so much but the setting was wonderful. I’ve never been to the Poconos but this lake house situation sounded so cute. I loved everyone being close to each other and knowing each other from summer vacations each year. It sounded like the perfect place to vacation.
Zanzibar Bay in California • Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Sarah Ockler has said “Zanzibar Bay is not a real place on the map, but it’s based on memories of real places like it, including Myrtle Beach, SC, Ocean Beach, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Long Beach, Canada, and other ocean beaches and seaside towns on the coasts. I really just wanted to capture the essence of a beach town, with a mix of tourists and locals, and the feeling of being with the ocean” and I love that.
Pebble Beach in Maine • Summer Boys series by Hailey Abbott
When I google Pebble Beach and Maine, it looks like there’s a golf course by that name… but I don’t think it’s an actual place? I go to Maine all the time to visit my grandma and we spend a lot of time on the beach. It’s been so long since I read this book I don’t remember anything about it, but I think a mindless reread could be in order sometime in the future!
South Beach in Miami, FL • South Beach by Aimee Friedman
I’ve never been to the Miami area of Florida (my experiences there include Disney World and my grandma’s house in Hollywood, FL)… and it doesn’t seem like the place for me! However, when I was younger, this book made me love the idea of it. The girls just had such a great summer in South Beach and it made me so ready for the summer months. Another reread at some point!