Escape the heat! From breath-taking fictions to swoon-worthy romances to hairraising  thrillers, here are the 12 best summer reads…

How The Penguins Saved Veronica
By Hazel Prior

For a fun summer escapist read, look no further than this juicy story that follows 85-year-old Veronica who decides to go to Antarctica to visit a team of researchers studying penguins. Shortly after arriving, she convinces the reluctant team to rescue an orphaned baby penguin. He becomes part of life at the base, and Veronica’s closed heart starts to open. Her grandson comes to Antarctica too, to make one last attempt to get to know his grandmother. Together, Veronica, Patrick, and even the scientists learn what family, love, and connection are all about. A story that will definitely put a smile on your face.

Seven Lies
By Elizabeth Kay

Are you too hot? Read this addictive debut thriller that is chilling readers to the core. Jane and Marnie grew up together sharing their most intimate experiences and darkest secrets with each other. When Marnie finds love and marries a man from a wealthy background, things start to change. Probed by Marnie on whether Jane likes her husband, Jane pretends that she does on the surface to protect the feelings of her best friend. As the story continues to unravel, we start to learn that if Jane had told the truth perhaps Marnie´s husband would be alive today.

By Glennon Doyle

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the best-selling author Glennon Doyle unpacks the many changes in her life since her previous two books, including the divorce from her husband. Giving incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today and the joy and peace we feel when we stop striving to meet other’s expectations, Untamed liberates women in every way possible. A book that shows you how to be brave.

Beach Read
By Emily Henry

If the title doesn’t give this one away as perfect for a beach read, just crack the spine. Augustus is an acclaimed author of literary fiction trying to pen a masterpiece, and January is a romance novelist stuck in a rut. For three months they’re living in neighbouring beach houses. They make a deal to burst through their writer’s block by trading manuscripts. Everyone will finish a book, and no one will fall in love. Really.

The Guest List
By Lucy Foley

A destination wedding off the coast of Ireland, a high-flying bride and groom, a heavy-drinking groomsman, a bridesmaid who doesn’t seem too excited, and of course: a corpse. Get ready for Lucy Foley’s next murder mystery.

All My Mother’s Lovers
By Ilana Masad

When Maggie’s mother dies unexpectedly in a car accident, she returns home to help with arrangements, and discovers five sealed envelopes her mother left behind, all addressed to strange men. Maggie embarks on a road trip to find those men and learns more about her mother’s love life than she intended. Prepare yourself for tear-jerking family scenes and an unexpected twist.

The Jetsetters
By Amanda Eyre Ward

You can’t get on a cruise this summer? Let yourself carry away with Charlotte, the winner of an essay contest to win a Mediterranean cruise, and her adult children who she brings along with her to enable a reunion that was long-seeked. As lovers new and old join the adventure, long-buried secrets are revealed and old wounds are reopened, forcing Charlotte and her family to confront the forces that drove them apart and the defining choices of their lives.

Broken People
By Sam Lansky

Sam hears about a shaman who can fix anything that’s wrong with a person over the course of three days. Being a young man who has recently moved from New York to Los Angeles in search of a fresh start, Sam considers how this shaman could help to cure his anxiety and depression. When Sam is pushed to confront the ghosts that lurk in his memory, he realizes that the shaman is digging deeper than he originally anticipated. A powerful story about owning who you are, finding the ability to fully love yourself, and unraveling all the reasons you do what you do to sabotage your life, consciously and unconsciously.

A Burning
By Megha Majumdar

After Jivan, a girl from the slums of Bengal, comments on a Facebook post, the police show up at her door. Before she’s able to understand what’s happening, she’s arrested for suspected terrorism and finds herself in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. As she pieces together the picture, her story intertwines with her former teacher and the outcast Lovely, whose alibi could help Jivan — but will she?

Big Summer
By Jennifer Weiner

The bestselling author of Mrs. Everything returns with a beachready peek into the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart. Daphne has finally escaped the toxic relationship with Drue Cavanaugh and come into her own as a plus-sized influencer when Drue begs her to be in her wedding on Cape Cod. Daphne agrees, but soon finds herself involved in a scandal nobody expected.

Such A Fun Age
By Kiley Reid

Reid’s darkly funny debut follows Emira, a black, underemployed 25-year-old who splits her time between babysitting for a wealthy white family and working at Philadelphia’s Green Party office. When a late-night encounter with a grocery store security guard attracts unwanted attention, Emira’s life takes several unexpected turns, as she has been wrongly accused of kidnapping while babysitting a child. One of the most provocative page-turners of the year and definitely a good read for the summer.

By Julia Alvarez

Afterlife follows Antonia Vega, a retired English professor struggling to deal with the death of her husband, the disappearance of her sister, and the appearance of a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. A beautifully written short book about life after losing a loved one that asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including —maybe especially— members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves, and how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?