Top summer scorchers: Books destined for our holiday beach bag

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Now that the summer is here we thought it was about time we rounded up the books we're most excited to be sinking our teeth into.

So whether you are heading off somewhere warm and exotic or just planning on spending your holiday sunbathing on the living room floor, find yourself a quiet spot and some sort of drink with a cocktail umbrella in. You're gonna need it.

Saving June - Hannah Harrington

Sugarcape summer reads - Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Harper's older sister, June, took her own life a week before her high school graduation. She didn't leave a note so when her divorcing parents decide to split up June's ashes, Harper steals the urn and takes off cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going—California.

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We say: Hands down the perfect summer read - it's got everything from a pacy, punch story to tears, tantrums and of course some fit boys thrown in.

Perfect for: Long journeys in the car where you can wind down the windows and sing your lungs out.

Snow White and the Huntsman - Lily Blake

Written in conjunction with the movie of the same name, we are loving how the two stories are completely intertwined. A re-telling of the classic fairytale, it's got a bad ass twist that is perfect to get you feeling ready for some butt-kicking action.

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We say: Oh come on, if you don't want to relive the story that was the backdrop to the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders dalliance, we're not sure we can be pals any more.

Perfect for: Living out your guilty pleasures while actually sinking your teeth into a darn good story.


The Circle - Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg

Sugarcape summer reads - The Circle

One night, when a strange red moon fills the sky, six school girls find themselves in an abandoned theme park, drawn there by a mysterious force. A student has just been found dead. Everyone suspects suicide. Everyone - except them.

We say: Witches are the new black. This is the first in a best-selling Swedish trilogy and it's one you will not want to miss out on.

Perfect for: An epic holiday read, it's got a fantastical, interwoven narrative that is just what you need to take you all the from the airport departure lounge to a shady spot beside the pool.


Cosmopolis - Don DeLillo

Not your average 28-year old, Eric Packer is a billionaire whose world takes a mere limousine ride across Manhattan to fall apart completely. Expect oodles of sex and violence, plus a film adaptation starring Robert Pattinson is just around the corner..

We say: Not the easiest of reads but it's worth a crack just for the brain ache induced by R-Patz in all sorts of comprimising positions.

Perfect for: It'll make you feel clever while impressing your pals and English teach alike. Hello Brownie points.

Click next for more of our favourite summer reads for 2012 >>


New Girl - Paige Harbison

Sugarscape summer reads - New Girl by Paige Harbison

It's hard fitting in as the new girl among the rich elite at Manderley Academy, especially when you're assigned to the old room of the perfect, popular Queen Bee who just so happens to have disappeared. What really happened to Becca and what other sinister secrets lurk in the school's dark hallways?

We say: Rebecca meets High School in this spooky tale that will send a chill all the way from top of your head to the tips of your nicely polished toe nails.

Perfect for: A late night fright when you fancy freaking yourself out a little bit.


Girl Heart Boy: No Such Thing as Forever - Ali Cronin

Four girls, three boys, all turning 18 and embarking on their last year at school. The first in a new series of books that tie into a web series, it's set to be a summer scorcher full of first times, worst times and everything in between.

We say: Skins meets The OC. Saucy.

Perfect for: Whiling away the summer days, plus we love that the interactive web series puts faces to the names we've been imagining. Check it out online!


The Seeing - Diana Hendry

Sugarcape summer reads - The Seeing by Diana Hendry

1953. When wild and dangerous Natalie and her eerie brother Philip arrive in town, Lizzie is drawn irresistibly to the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. That is until she discovers Philip's ability to see evil, specifically the 'left-over Nazis' in town, who he and his sister are hell bent on rooting out.

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We say: Children as the baddies? Inspired, haunting and absolutely terrifying.

Perfect for: Giving you the heebie jeebies. In a good way, obviously.

Fifty Shades trilogy - E. L. James

If you haven't heard of Fifty Shades of Grey we'd imagine you spent the last few months living under a rock, but if you haven't it's a raunchy read that weirdly enough was apparently originally drafted as Twilight fanfiction.

We say: We'll admit it, we're curious although having heard that our Grandma fancies reading it, we have to say that we are a little bit afraid.

Perfect for: Alone time. No reading on the bus, tube or in front of the parents, thanks - it's just too AWKWARD.

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Click next for more of our favourite summer reads for 2012 >>


The Out of Office Girl - Nicola Doherty

The Out of Office Girl - Nicola Doherty

When her boss Olivia is taken ill, Alice is sent on the work trip of a lifetime: to a villa in Sicily, to edit the autobiography of Hollywood bad boy Luther Carson. But it's not all yachts, nightclubs and Camparis. Luther's arrogant agent Sam wants him to ditch the book. Luther himself is gorgeous, charming and impossible to read. There only seems to be one way to get his attention, and it definitely involves mixing business with pleasure.

We say: Perfect escapism and plenty of fit, famous boys to dream away those hazy summer evenings.

Perfect for: Just as perfect for lazing the day away beside the pool as it is for cuddling up with on the sofa in rainy old Blighty. Either way your going to need some sort of drink with a cocktail umbrella in it.


Can We Still Be Friends - Alexandra Shulman

It's the summer of 1983 and best friends Sal, Annie and Kendra have left university to embark on adulthood. But with three very different paths ahead of them, can they stay friends when boys, girls, money and families get thrown into the mix?

We say: It's written by the editor of Vogue - if that doesn't get your curiosity going, it's probably not one for you.

Perfect for: Getting your 80s on - Shoulder pads at the ready!


Dying To Know You - Aidan Chambers

Sugarscape summer reads - Dying to know You by Aidan Chambers

17-year old Karl is hopelessly in love but being dyslexic, finds it difficult to satisfy girlfriend Fiorella's need for written proof. Asking a recently bereaved writer to help him construct his replies, the pair are both surprised to find a growing friendship and reliance on one another. That is until an act of violence shatters their cam and shifts their outlooks forever.

We say: A feelgood and story that quietly challenges a whole range of touchy subjects and social taboo.

Perfect for: Those looking for a YA read written from a completely different perspective than the teen protagonists we're used to.


My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece - Annabel Pitcher

10-year old Jamie lives with his dad and his cat, Roger. Five years ago his sister's twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb, but while the rest of the family are crippled with grief, Jamie has never even shed a tear for her. To him Rose is just a distant memory.

We say: This novel has the best first line we've ever read and frankly it only gets better the more involved you get with Jamie's world.

Perfect for: Those looking for something completely unexpected. The perfect antidote to a bus load of whiny siblings and parents who won't stop telling you to tidy your room.

Click next for more of our favourite summer reads for 2012 >>


Skin Deep - Lara Jarratt

Summer reads - Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

After a car crash that not only left her permanently scarred but killed her best friend, Jenna is struggling to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street and look in the mirror does nothing but make her want to retreat further from the world. That is until she meets Ryan, a traveller, who has just as much reason to distrust the world as she does.

We say: A heartbreaking tale of love, loss and the complications of living with prejudice.

Perfect for: One of those days when you need cheering up but be warned, you'll need to have the tissues at the ready.


The Apothecary - Maile Meloy

American Janie Scott is is new to cold and dreary 1950s London, but after meeting amateur spy Benjamin Burrows, things get a whole lot more interesting. But when his father, the mysterious apothecary, is kidnapped, they are catapulted into a world of ancient spells and magical books that might just be the key to rescuing him from the hands of his Russian captors.

We say: A brand new world of magic, mystery and intrigue that hasn't had us so excited since we first discovered Phillip Pullman and His Dark Materials (plus it's just as beautifully illustrated)!

Perfect for: Anyone missing their annual dose of Harry Potter.


Debutantes - Cora Harrison

Debutantes author Cora Harrison talks historical fiction, The Great gatsby, her favourite books and sisterly rivalry

It's 1923 and while London might be a whirl of jazz, dancing and debaucherous parties, for Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington, being stuck at their crumbling country home with no money or fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away. Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping the humdrum life but their dreams of being debutantes, jazz musicians and film makers might just lead them to uncover a dark family secret that they might all wish had stayed buried.

We say: Downton Abbey meets I Capture The Castle - but with a sprinkling of cool provided by a cast of bad ass girls (Great Aunt Lizzie included).

Perfect for: Anyone with a once upon a time fantasy

So which of those do you fancy reading then? Will any of them be making it into your beach bag (even if that translates as the one you take for a sunbathe under your living room uplighter)?

Debutantes author Cora Harrison dishes the dirt on time travel and twenties chic

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