Unbeach Reads: What to Read When You Don’t Want to Be at the Beach

If you, like us, are begrudgingly packing up your beach bag with sammiches and SPF 2,000 sunblock because your friends just “have to get tan!” have we got the perfect thing for you. (Aside from sitting in a darkened room with the air conditioner on full blast.) What better way to celebrate silently cursing to yourself after fighting with your beach umbrella for 40 minutes, than with a great, heart-wrenching, tear-stained book? We’re counting down the best mainstream books of the month, that will make you drain all the wine coolers you packed in ten minutes flat.

For a coming-of-age, mother-daughter journey, try…

Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky: If you’ve ever watched The Gilmore Girls, get ready to feel all the mother-daughter emotions, but with less visits to Luke’s diner and instead, a reality TV twist! When Caroline McAfee, host of popular home renovation show Gut It!, learns that her replacement is her own daughter, her life spirals out of control. Pair that with her daughter Jamie’s sudden guardianship of her father’s 2-year-old son after his untimely death, and things really get out of hand. Both Caroline and Jamie are put to the test as they challenge the new responsibilities life has thrown at them, as they discover an inner strength they never imagined.

For a story about getting your mid-life groove back, try…

All The Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank: While this book isn’t exactly like Waiting to Exhale (we know, we know, you want to see Angela Bassett set a car on fire but it’s just not in the cards, okay?) this is still a sassy yet heart-wrenching tale about finding friendship during heartache. Set in the South, we follow Lisa as she acclimates to her divorcee lifestyle, treats her dog as if it were her daughter (only because her estranged daughter hates her) and embarks upon friendships with Suzanne and Carrie, residents at the assisted living center where she works. (Sort of like The Golden Girls, except Betty White does not make an appearance and there aren’t half as many sexual innuendos.)

For a tale confirming that humans can sometimes be terrible, try…

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick: Quick may have stolen our hearts with a unbalanced Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, but in Love May Fail he practically takes a sledgehammer to the organ. Okay so maybe that’s a bit overdramatic, but as we follow the tale of Portia escaping her sex-and-drug addicted husband to flee to her hometown in New Jersey, things still remain dire. When the only father figure she knows—her old high school teacher Mr. Vernon—suffers from traumatic events, she embarks on a quest to Vermont to restore his faith in humanity. While Quick is sure to fill the story with quirky upbeat characters, this tale of love and loss still makes us want to buy stock in the Kleenex company.

Can you think of any other books that will put the look of, “Never ask me to go to the beach again, okay, Becky?” on your face? Sound off in the comments below! And for more angsty reads, visit our Everything Mainstream page!

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