10 Amazing 2021 Summer Reads for Teens and Adults

10 Amazing 2021 Summer Reads for Teens and Adults

I have been a reading machine through the pandemic. ‘Cause what else was there to do?? We’re talking 2-4 books a week. A week. I’ve basically read an entire subject in my library’s ebooks.

Even though the worst is over (fingers crossed) and I’m vaccinated, I keep going! So what am I reading? I’m in long-term relationships with historical fiction, romance, and Young Adult Literature (YAL). But I’ve been trying out new genres as well, reading a lot of fantasy lately. 

What am I recommending for summer 2021 reads? Like every other year, I’ve started with a book about studying. Additionally, I included some newer YA books and fantasy novels. If you love to read a book and then watch the TV adaptation, I have 2 options for you. I also went back and picked out some older books that not everyone may have read yet. 

And don’t forget that listening to an audiobook = reading! You don’t have to physically read a book to read it.

Psst – are you a parent? I highly recommend going through this list with your teen and picking a few to read together. I also have some more ideas for getting your teen to read this summer!

This post absolutely contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and order an item, I receive a small commission. Thank you for your support! 

You will notice that I include both Amazon and Bookshop.org links. In a perfect world, you would order from Bookshop and support independent bookstores. But I know that some folks prefer Amazon, so I included those links as well.

10 Amazing Summer 2021 Reads for Teens and Adults


How to Do It Now: Because It’s Not Going Away by Leslie Josel

Affiliate link | Bookshop link

My favorite ADHD and parenting coach, Leslie Josel, has a book all about how to beat procrastination. It’s meant for high school and college students,but it’s definitely useful for students of all ages. Find out why you procrastinate and so many strategies to beat it!

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Amazon link| Bookshop link

Emoni is trying to raise her young daughter and care for her grandmother. But what she really wants to do is cook. This is Acevedo’s follow up book to The Poet X!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Alina is an orphan and soldier in Rivka, a country torn apart by a mysterious force called the Fold. But Alina is more than just a soldier. She discovers new powers that change her life – and all of Rivka – forever. Read the book and then watch the Netflix series!

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Ms. Gorman’s performance of her poem at Pres. Biden’s inauguration electrified the country. Read this version of her poem along with a forward by Oprah.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Liz Lighty desperately wants out of her mid-Western and very white town. But she needs more money to pay for college. Enter prom and the scholarship for prom queen. Is Liz willing to put up with the competition so she can attend her dream school?

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Louise Le Blanc is a witch hiding in Cesarine. Reid Diggory is a witch hunter forced into marriage with… you guessed it, Louise. Will love win? Will Lou (and Reid) get out of Cesarine alive?

Majesty: American Royals II by Katharine McGee

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Imagine George Washington became the first king of the United States instead of its first president. Then fast forward to this century and follow the lives of the current young American royals. I loved the first book and this one just continues the fun and intrigue!

summer 2021 reads

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Lila has a grand summer planned in Miami, but it all falls apart. To help her recover, her parents send her to England for the summer. 

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Not a light read here, but so good. This book follows along with a high school mass shooting in real time, from students inside the school to those outside. This one will stay with you long after you’ve read it.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Amazon link | Bookshop link

The book of fiction imagines an actual underground railroad that helped escaped slaves get to the North. Read the book and then watch the TV adaptation. This book is more appropriate for older teens; there is graphic violence.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Amazon link | Bookshop link

Seriously, this is one of my favorite books. Set in Germany during World War II, this story about a young girl who steals books and the people she shares them with is one of the best around. You will want to read it again and again! 

I hope this list gives you some ideas for summer reading. If these don’t do much for you, I have more suggestions here and here!

What are your summer 2021 reads? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Teens, What I’m Reading This Summer (And You Should, Too), How to Get Reluctant Teen Readers to Actually Read

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