The 11 books you need to be reading this hot girl summer, according to BookTok

My FYP is just a sea of aesthetic book covers


Hot girl summer has definitely arrived. For some it means going to a new bar each night, for others it’s about ticking things off your bucket list and some are using it as a time to hit the gym. But there’s also a more wholesome chill side to these months – the hot girl summer of reading and this is your essential book list.

BookTok is easily one of the biggest growing sections on TikTok, with people sharing their book recommendations and showing off how many books they’ve read. And one particular sub-section is the hot girl summer reading list. Girls are sharing the books we all should be reading this summer.

There’s a real variety of books. Some are fun light hearted novels whereas others are deep soul searching non-fiction books. We’ve rounded up the books recommended the most to give you your hot girl summer reading list.

These are the 11 books you should be reading this hot girl summer:

Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid

The book that started hot girl summer off is this one by legendary writer Taylor Jenkins Reid, who also wrote Daisy Jones and The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

You’ve probably already seen the incredibly aesthetic cover on your TikTok with people rushing to big Sainsburys to get it for £5 and promising it’s the hot girl summer book of the year.

However the story is actually pretty dark. The novel is based in Malibu in 1983 and is about a family’s summer party that ends in a fire.

It’s had good reviews all round with Pandora Sykes calling it “A sex-on-the-beach cocktail (quite literally) of a book”.

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

Just because it’s hot girl summer it doesn’t mean the books are all happy and carefree, and this next one is no exception.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion was first published in 2006. The memoir is a reflection on the time immediately after her husband’s death in which she is dealing with her grief as well as looking after her daughter.

The book has been called “life-affirming” and it even won the national book award in 2005.

People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry

This novel is easily the second most popular book on TikTok in the last few weeks, however in the UK it’s called You and Me on Vacation and will be out in July. Just in time for prime hot girl summer.

The book is about two friends called Alex and Poppy who have been going on holiday together for the past 12 years. However two years ago something went terribly wrong and now they have a trip together that will determine the rest of their lives.

It’s been compared to One Day and When Harry Met Sally, so I’m preordering it straight away.

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

There’s probably hardly anyone left who hasn’t read this but if you haven’t you need to add it to your list.

The book is journalist Dolly Alderton’s memoir of her time moving to London after uni with her best mates. It’s about the mistakes you make in your early 20s and a celebration of the strength of female friendships.

And now it’s being adapted into a TV show so read it now so you can say “the book was better”.

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo

If you haven’t heard of this book by now, then I don’t know where you’ve been. Girl, Woman, Other has won numerous awards in the last few years, including the Booker Prize in 2019.

The novel follows the lives of 12 different characters. They’re mainly Black British women and the novel is said to be “a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood”.

Exciting Times – Naoise Dolan 

This book is perfect for your hot girl summer, mainly because the fun cover of two toothbrushes would just look vibey on your bedside table.

The novel is about an Irish woman who moves to Hong Kong to teach English aged 22. Summed up in a few words it is about “money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections”.

You Have To Make Your Own Fun Around Here – Frances Macken

You Have To Make You Own Fun Around Here is the debut novel by Irish writer Frances Macken. It’s about three friends who live in a small Irish town, everything is fine until a new girl turns up.

The blurb for the book promises it “takes a keen-eyed look at the complexities of female friendship, the corrosive power of jealousy and guilt, and the way that life can quietly erode our dreams unless we’re willing to fight for them.”

Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney

Of course no hot girl summer reading list is going to be complete without some work by Sally Rooney. We all watched Normal People last year so now it’s time to dive into Conversations With Friends.

The novel is about two couples and the complexities of their relationships and the questions they ask each other.

Sex and Vanity – Kevin Kwan

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A post shared by Kevin Kwan (@kevinkwanbooks)

Whilst the rest of this reading list is by female writers, there is one exception and it’s a novel by Kevin Kwan.

Kevin wrote the incredible Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. But now he’s returned with Sex and Vanity, a story about a brand new set of characters.

The novel is about a woman who finds herself torn between two men and it’s been described as “the perfect summer read” by multiple reviewers.

Why Men Love Bitches – Sherry Argov

This book was all over TikTok a few months ago with women discovering it and finding it empowering, but it has actually been around for nearly 20 years.

Why Men Love Bitches was published in 2002 and is a non-fiction guide to holding your own in a relationship. It includes advice, real life scenarios and basically you need to read it before you do any hot girl summer dating.

Writers and Lovers – Lily King

The final book for your hot girl summer reading list is Writers and Lovers by Lily King. It’s another love triangle novel between a 31-year-old woman called Casey who moves back home after her mother dies.

She finds herself in debt, working in a restaurant and falling for two different men. Basically summer in a book.

Featured image credit before edits via Raphaël Biscaldi on Unsplash  

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