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The beach is the perfect place to relax and read. You lay down a towel, put on some sunscreen, set up an umbrella, and just chill out. You listen to the sound of the waves in the background and families around you, then get swept into a great story. Choosing a perfect book for the beach can be difficult; you don’t want something too heavy. Sometimes, you have too many options to choose from. I’m providing you with a list of great beach reads for summer 2017 that should help you make up your mind if you’re having difficulty finding a book to take with you on vacation.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy is best known for writing The Good of Small Things, which was published around 20 years ago. Since then, Roy has written a bit of non-fiction, but this book is her first novel since The God of Small Things, so people have been waiting for a while for this novel to be published. Roy once again dazzles with her fantastic story and incredible characters.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The last few summers, there have been some psychological thrillers that stunned readers and people all over the country couldn’t put the novels down. Now, similar to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, we have another novel by Hawkins (who wrote Girl on the Train). This novel centers on a dark river and offers a harrowing psychological thriller for readers.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

This novel is touching, exploring what life is like for Ruth after her engagement is broken and she moves back home to her parents. Once home, Ruth must help care for her father, who’s losing his memory. The novel shows the power of love and humor when dealing with difficult family situations.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Sweetbitter was an instant hit, leading to plenty of speculation on how much of the story is based in fact. Danler got an incredible book deal as well, sparking plenty of discussion. The novel follows the protagonist as she moves to NYC and experiences a year of highs and lows working in one of the city’s best restaurants while also being involved in a love triangle.

The Answers by Catherine Lacey

A truly unique novel, The Answers focuses on Mary, who suffers from chronic pain and financial issues. Mary applies for a job as a famous actor’s “emotional girlfriend,” which leads to her meeting a slew of other “girlfriends,” who are all navigating their unique roles. Lacey offers an interesting view of relationships and how people connect to one another.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
Do Not Become Alarmed follows two couples as they get left behind on an island by their cruise ship and eventually lose their children. This thriller follows the couples as they attempt to find their way off the island and locate their children. The novel is told from the perspective of both the parents and the children, which makes it even more interesting.