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21 Books Goodreads Users Can't Get Enough Of This Summer

All of the faves — in fantasy, mystery, romance, and more.

Posted on June 21, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. ET

Goodreads recently let BuzzFeed know which books, according to its users, have been the popular picks for summer.

Below are the titles, based on average rating and number of ratings, that are getting a lot of buzz and love.


1. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Atria, Linnéa Jonasson

Things aren't going well for the Beartown hockey team. Its former members are playing for the rival team the next town over, and now it seems they'll be disbanded. But when a new coach arrives in town promising a comeback, the rivalry amps up — and by the time the final match comes around everyone's lives will be changed.

Promising review: "Have you ever loved a book so much you think your heart might explode? That's precisely what I feel might happen each time I pick up a Backman novel set in the world of Beartown." —Chelsea Humphrey

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+, Barnes & Noble for $13.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

2. A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

SJP for Hogarth, Fatima Farheen Mirza

Starting with a wedding and spanning forward and back from there, A Place For Us tells the story of an Indian-American Muslim family living in northern California. When Rafiq and Layla move to the US, they strive to preserve their culture and tradition, and pass both along to their children. But of course this isn't so simple, and siblings Huda, Hadia, and Amar wrestle with their dreams, loves, and loyalty to their family.

Promising review: "Mirza writes about family life with the wisdom, insight and patience you would expect from a mature novelist adding a final masterpiece to her canon, but this is, fortunately, just the start of an extraordinary career." —Ron Charles

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+, Barnes & Noble for $13.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

3. Florida by Lauren Groff

Riverhead, Megan Brown

Lauren Groff's short story collection centers on everything that makes Florida Florida — its environment, its history, its underlying energy. Spanning centuries, and pulling in characters from various towns, these stories explore wildness and domesticity, love and loneliness, and human connections.

Promising review: "Florida feels innovative and terrifyingly relevant. Any one of its stories is a bracing read; together they form a masterpiece." —Rebecca Foster

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+, Barnes & Noble for $13.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.


4. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Simon & Schuster, Ollie Grove

When tarot card reader Hal receives a letter meant for someone else — a letter telling the recipient she's inherited a lot of money — she decides to drop by the funeral to see if she can trick her way into claiming the money anyway. But once she's there, she quickly discovers the situation is much stranger — and darker — than she'd thought.

Promising review: "This book was positively haunting!!! It was spooky yet meaningful, with lovely prose and compelling plot twists. I cannot recommend it enough!" —Mackenzie

Get it from Amazon for $12.99+, Barnes & Noble for $12.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

5. The Speed of Sound by Eric Bernt

Thomas & Mercer, Picasa

Harmony House is part residence, part think tank, where high-functioning autistic savants develop groundbreaking inventions to make the world a better place. When resident Eddie Parks creates the echo box, which re-creates never recorded sounds, he accidentally becomes a threat to national security — and soon finds out the institution isn't as harmonious as it seems.

Promising review: "This book was amazing!!! I couldn't stop reading it, and it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time! I'm autistic, and I like books with autistic characters. In so many ways, I could identify with Eddie." —Lanie Molinar

Get it from Amazon for $10.55+, Barnes & Noble for $14.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

6. The Outsider by Stephen King

Simon & Schuster, Shane Leonard

Despite his reputation as a beloved family man, Little League coach Terry Maitland is the prime suspect when an 11-year-old boy is found murdered in a local park — his DNA and fingerprints are at the scene of the crime. But when his alibi holds up, Detective Ralph Anderson finds himself in the midst of an investigation reaching far wider than he'd anticipated.

Promising review: "Everything is so sharply done: plotting, pacing, characters, twists, the villain. The book is 560 pages, but it never feels padded. From the shocking beginning, to the many revelations, to the introduction of a beloved King character at the midpoint, to the climactic end, I was never bored." —Glenn Sumi

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+, Barnes & Noble for $14.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.


7. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli


Leah Burke (the deadpan, beloved drummer from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) is at the center of this novel, in which she tries to survive the new tensions disrupting her usually tight friend group. Her friends are fighting, she's starting to feel like no one really understands her, and she's worried she might have more than friendly feelings for one of them — just another source of anxiety, since none of her friends know she's bi.

Promising review: "I loved being in Leah’s head. I love her snark and sarcasm and resting bitch face. I loved the story and the ending and the Harry Potter references and the Doctor Who references and the everything. There is not one thing about this that I didn’t love." —Stacee

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

8. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Simon & Schuster, Dana Foster

Twinkle Mehra's dream is to be a filmmaker, so when her friend Sahil asks her to direct a movie for an upcoming festival, she's thrilled — especially since it will get her closer to Neil, Sahil’s twin brother and also Twinkle's longtime crush. So how come, when she starts getting emails from a mysterious sender she's certain is Neil, does she find herself hoping it's Sahil?

Promising review: "I know that 16-year-old me would've cried from joy because she would've seen a heroine just like her, the star of the show, struggling and learning the same lessons as her, and she wouldn't have felt so alone. This book meant so much to me, and I know it will to so many other marginalized, especially Indian, teens. From Twinkle, With Love is an adorable, funny novel that will make you laugh out loud on one page, and cry in public on the next." —Vanshika Prusty

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

9. Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

G.P. Putnam, Larry D. Moore

Continuing after Flame in the Mist, bride-to-be Mariko uses her wedding plans as a cover while she infiltrates the imperial court in an effort to save Okami. But as she uncovers secret after secret, she embeds herself deeper in the political corruption which will put both her life and Okami's in danger.

Promising review: "To say that I loved this book is an understatement. I adored it. It was filled to the brim with anticipation, betrayal, magic, strong female characters, familial bonds and love. It explored themes of fighting for what’s right, supporting those you care about and what it truly means to love another person." —Morgan

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

10. A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir


The Ember in the Ashes series continues, and the world is on the brink of war. Helene Aquilla is desperately working to keep out the darkness; Laia of Serra must stop the Nightbringer; and Elias Ventura, in the land between the living and the dead, is at the mercy of a power which might destroy his humanity.

Promising review: "The imagery was outstanding, the descriptions heart-wrenching and beautiful and cinematic. Reaper was fast paced, it was never slow at all. Every chapter ended in a way that you NEEDED to continue to figure out what was going on. If you think you know what’s going to happen, you don’t..."—Brittany Blake

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.


11. And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell

Little, Brown and Company, Twitter: @meaghano

Meaghan O'Connell didn't plan to get pregnant in her twenties, but when she did, she found herself feeling alienated from the prevailing narratives about motherhood — sentimental, often preachy, and never doubtful. So she wrote her own, and it's a frank, difficult, complicated exploration of being a mother, and how it changes your life and identity.

Promising review: "This is the book on motherhood that I've been waiting for. I can't count the number of times, while reading, I thought, Wow, I thought I was the only one that thought that / felt that way. There were parts where I was laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face, times when I was gently weeping as I remembered, and moments where I just felt so thankful that this was written proof that I was not alone in my experiences, both good and bad."—Samantha Fraenkel

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+, Barnes & Noble for $13.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

Viking, Annette Hornischer

While fly-fishing for trout in New Mexico, Kirk Wallace Johnson learns about a heist that soon consumes him: In June 2009, 20-year-old Edwin Rist broke into an outpost of the British Museum of Natural History, and left a few hours later with a stash of bird specimens whose exotic, rare, and stunning feathers are worth tons of money in the niche world of salmon fly-tying. The Feather Thief is the Johnson's journey toward the truth, and an exploration of obsession.

Promising review: "Every so often a gem of a book comes along, a book with a story so strange that you would struggle to find it plausible as a work of fiction. The Feather Thief by Kirk W Johnson is just such a book, and I found myself engrossed in the strange tale of the musical museum thief and his obsession with feathers." —Annette Jordan

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+, Barnes & Noble for $13.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

13. Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

Harper, Jay Grabiec

In Not That Bad, Roxane Gay collects essays that illuminate the experience of women in a world that asks them to expect and tolerate regular harassment, belittling, and aggression, and then shames and insults them if they speak out against it.

Promising review: "Powerful. Raw. Stunning writing. Pretty much everything I would expect from a collection put together by Roxane Gay." —Emily May

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $10.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

14. Calypso by David Sedaris

Little, Brown, Ingrid Christie

With Calypso, David Sedaris is as funny as ever — but his wit pierces through these essays, getting to heart of his exploration of family, place, and mortality. The essays center on vacation — the beach house David buys on a whim for his family, the shopping trips he takes with his sisters, the satisfaction of hosting others — but they reveal an underlying truth: A person escape his environment, but he can't escape himself.

Promising review: "These stories are passionate and affecting, achingly good, urgent and surprising, contemporary and insightful, playful and outlandish, showing us the beauty in the broken, and ultimately teaching us to choose love." —Elyse

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+, Barnes & Noble for $14.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.


15. The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman


In 1950s Quebec, Maggie Hughes gets pregnant at 15 and is forced by her parents to give baby Elodie up for adoption. Elodie's life in Quebec's orphanage system is dismal, but it worsens when she and thousands of others like her are declared mentally ill after a law passes saying psychiatric hospitals will get more funding than hospitals. As both Elodie and Maggie struggle through their own hardships, their stories circle but never meet, each wondering about the other.

Promising review: "Joanna Goodman has written a beautiful novel containing the entire range of emotions experienced by the human heart." —Eden Church

Get it from Amazon for $11.99+, Barnes & Noble for $11.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

16. The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

Touchstone, Facebook: jenniferjoukhadar

When Nour's father dies of cancer, her mother moves the family from NYC back to Syria, where their family still lives. But Syria has changed since Nour's mother lived there, and when a bomb destroys their house, they have to decide whether they'll risk their lives by staying, or risk their lives by traveling as refugees across North Africa and the Middle East in search of safety — the same journey made by Rawiya, the12th century apprentice mapmaker from Nour's favorite legend.

Promising review: "It is difficult to summarize this impressive fiction novel that takes real life (i.e. the Syrian refugee crisis) historical figures (i.e. geographer Muhammad Al-Idrisi and apprentice Bakr) and mythology popularized by Arabian fairy tales to weave a captivating story of resilience. I walked away from this story reflecting on my definition of home and the idea of ancestral stories as maps to said home." —Nia Ita

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $11.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.


17. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Penguin Random House,

Stella Lane is 30 years old, highly successful in her career as an economist and almost entirely inexperienced in the romance arena. Her parents are itching for grandchildren, but interpersonal relationships have never come easily to Lane (she, like author Hoang, has Asperger’s syndrome) so she decides to call in a pro to help as she navigates the dating world. Enter Michael Phan, Daniel Henney lookalike and male escort.

Promising review: "I am in love. The Kiss Quotient is a beautiful and realistic debut novel that breaks stereotypes, embraces uniqueness, and makes one think about their self-worth. It’s the kind of book that will make you smile, swoon, tear up, and think. I was on cloud nine when I finished it." —Nissa

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes & Noble for $9.79+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

18. Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson

Lake Union, Sandi Shelton

Marnie MacGraw is marrying her dream guy, and she's certain this means she will finally have the utterly ordinary, suburban family life she's always wanted... until the marriage ends after just two weeks. But in a shocking turn of events, she finds out she's inherited the beautiful Brooklyn brownstone and a series of unfinished jobs from her ex-husband's late, eccentric, matchmaking great-aunt.

Promising review: "Matchmaking for Beginners walked straight into my heart, trailing a shower of golden sparkles. Dawson has created a magical world inhabited by characters so engaging and real it seems plausible they might drop by for a cup of coffee. By turns funny, wise, and poignant, this is a story about falling in love — with the painful, messy, joyful business of living." —Kerry Anne King

Get it from Amazon for $10.55+, Barnes & Noble for $14.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.


19. Circe by Madeline Miller

Lee Boudreaux Books, Nina Subin

When Circe is born to Helios, god of the sun, it's immediately clear that she's not like her powerful, dangerous parents — so she joins the mortal world in search of companionship. But it's there she discovers her power to turn rivals into monsters, and it's a power so dangerous Zeus himself banishes her to a deserted island. Unluckily for the gods, she uses her solitude as an opportunity to hone her power.

Promising review: "Where do I even begin? This was one of the most amazing, beautiful, intricate, captivating books I have had the pleasure of reading in my entire life. I have been a bookworm since I was barely walking, and yet this book, this gorgeous retelling, has affected me so profoundly that I genuinely do not know if I will ever be entirely the same." —Destiny

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+, Barnes & Noble for $16.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

20. Head On by John Scalzi

Tor Books, Athena Scalzi

In the near-future San Francisco, residents love Hilketa, a chaotic, brutal game where a player's objective is to behead his opponent. It would be a terrifying concept if the players were human beings, but they're actually robot-like, human-controlled bodies called "threeps." It's harmless — until an athlete dies on the field, and detectives need to figure out if it's an accident or murder.

Promising review: "Once again, Scalzi knocks it out of the park with a fascinating sports-related murder mystery, made all the more complicated by the addition of characters who are 'locked in' their bodies and use various methods to interact with both the real world and a virtual one." —Arbys Mom

Get it from Amazon for $7.79+, Barnes & Noble for $11.32+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

21. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Harper Voyager, R.F. Kuang

When Rin, a dark-skinned orphan girl, gets into one of the most elite military schools in the Empire, it's a shock to everyone — Rin included. But even though this means Rin is facing a promising and free future, she finds life at Sinegard is just another hardship; her classmates shun and bully her for her color, class, and gender. Luckily for Rin, she soon uncovers a dangerous talent for shamanism, and realizes she might be the key to surviving an impending war.

Promising review: "This is compulsively readable, going from what feels at first like a traditional coming of age YA fantasy novel centered around our young heroine’s experience at Sinegard, an elite military school, to an utterly despairing account of war, revenge, and genocide. Pulling straight from the brutal war between the Japanese and Chinese in the 1930s, Kuang crafts a world based on our own but populated by shamans, and amoral gods intent on working through them. It’s heartbreakingly well written, with sharply drawn characters." —Robyn

Get it from Amazon for $12.99+, Barnes & Noble for $12.99+, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.