Cover Trend Alert: Sunglasses

🎵 “Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo.” 🎵 Summer is here, so put on your favorite sunnies and take a book outside. Bonus points if the cover rocks a pair, too!

There’s no shortage of options, and some recent heavy hitters are notable participants in this trend. If you still haven’t read Kevin Kwan’s series opener, Crazy Rich Asians, this sleek social satire would make a most excellent choice for summer reading—as would Emma Clines’ star-reviewed debut, The Girls, if you’re in the mood for a more unsettling read. If sports romance is your thing, you might pick up Alexa Martin’s Intercepted or its follow-up, Fumbled; both of these shining starred reviews will make you glad you’ve got your shades. Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal is a sports-adjacent romance, as it opens with a Dodgers game proposal that goes awry (protagonist Nik’s name is misspelled on the Jumbotron . . . oof!). Another strong summer reading contender? Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada spin-off, When Life Gives You Lululemons (also on audio). For a literary, sunglasses-clad set of connected vignettes, pick up Jami Attenberg’s star-reviewed All Grown Up.

On the YA side, check out Jen Wilde’s tale of celebrity scandal in The Brightsiders, Katie Sise’s The Academy, which follows a fashion blogger sent to military school, or Sarah Nicole Smetana’s musical coming-of-age debut, The Midnights.

Sunglasses come in all shapes and sizes, and one significant subgroup in this cover trend is the round frame. Covers rocking the round look include Oyinkan Braithwaite’s buzzworthy debut novel, My Sister, the Serial Killer, Maria Semple’s star-reviewed Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.

This trendy lewk is especially popular with books for young readers. There’s Tanaz Bhathena’s A Girl Like That, an elegant and multivoiced YA debut set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and narrated from the spiritual plane following a fatal car accident. There’s also Stephanie Kate Strohm’s The Taming of the Drew, a witty, modern reimagining of the Bard’s battle of the sexes. And for middle-graders, there’s Rachelle Delaney’s Clara Voyant, which introduces a psychic girl who writes horoscopes for her school newspaper.

Heart-shaped sunnies are a category of their own. The UK edition of Brianna Wolfson’s tearjerker, Rosie Colored Glasses, flaunts heart-shaped lenses, while other editions sport oversize round frames. We’ve got two more in this style for summer 2019: Rachel Hawkins’s Her Royal Highness (the sequel to Royals), a YA LGBTQ+ romance set at a boarding school in the Scottish Highlands that published last month, and Sophie Littlefield and Lauren Gershell’s That’s What Frenemies Are For, coming up in July.

With so many options out there, there’s a pair of specs—and books— to suit any style. For academics enjoying summer relief from the classroom, for example, Julie Schumacher’s The Shakespeare Requirement may prove a cathartic and humorous choice. YA readers on summer holiday, too, have lots of books to choose from when it comes to picking a fun poolside read. You might hand them (or pick up for yourself) Brandy Colbert’s star-reviewed The Revolution of Birdie Randolph (which is also partaking in the “nouns of full names” title trend), Candice Montgomery’s debut, Home and Away, Becky Albertalli’s star-reviewed Leah on the Offbeat, Holly Smale’s Geek Girl, Aimee Friedman’s Two Summers, or Sophie Kinsella’s YA debut, Finding Audrey.

Phew! If you need me, I’ll be sitting in the shade of my towering TBR pile and working my way through these summer reads. Which one will you pick up?

About the Author:

A former Booklist intern and current Booklist reviewer, Ellie is a reader and writer based in Chicago. She holds a BA in writing from Wheaton College (IL) and is the assistant to the president at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

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