These five engaging YA fantasy beach reads are tales of the sea, summer, and sirens that are perfect to take with you on vacation.
When I go to the beach I like to bring more books than I know I’ll be physically able to read. I’ve compiled a list of YA fantasy beach reads that would be perfect to sit back, relax, and get some sun as you get lost in these fantastical page turners.
Reading at the beach is picturesque, with the sound of seagulls and waves crashing around you, it’s easy to get lost in a book. My favorite types of books to read at the beach are captivating, able to pull you back in after taking a long walk along the shoreline or wading through the water. These beach reads are not only mesmerizing, but have such emotional depth that you won’t be able to stop yourself from putting the book down for a bit and stare off longingly at the ocean.
I know this for a fact, because I’ve done it. I was at the beach a few years ago when I read Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle and I recall vividly sitting on the beach, reading The Dream Thieves (the second book in the series!) and having to put it down and stare out at the waves for awhile before picking it back up again. Never forget that books are escapism, and the beach is the perfect place to lose yourself and forget about the worries of the present by getting sucked into another world.
These five books have the backdrop of the ocean or glimpses of summer, but over all they give off that seaside aura, of adventure and an endless sense of wonder and belief that anything can happen. Only one title doesn’t have to do with the sea, but of summer and the possibilities of dreams coming to fruition, of being swept away by those dreams.
Adventure and romance skims the surface of these books. The forbidden love and enemies to lovers, the need for something more, to live life to the fullest and be true to yourself bring depth to these YA fantasy beach reads that gave me a sense of accomplishment when I finished reading them, a feeling of fulfillment. I hope you enjoy these beach recs this summer, or next, because the beach will always be there to welcome you with relaxation, sunshine, and the perfect atmosphere to get lost in a good book.
5 YA fantasy beach reads
‘The Wicked Deep’ by Shea Earnshaw
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
‘Talon’ by Julie Kagawa
To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of “normal” teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she’s also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.
As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him — and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.
‘Isle of Blood and Stone’ by Makiia Lucier
Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way… until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.
The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side — whether he wants her there or not — Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.
‘To Kill a Kingdom’ by Alexandra Christo
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most — a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby — it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good — But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
‘The Dream Thieves’ by Maggie Stiefvater
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…