100 books like You First

By Caitlin Moss,

Here are 100 books that You First fans have personally recommended if you like You First. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Guncle

Jenn Bouchard Author Of First Course

From my list on books for your beach vacation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to the ocean. When I decided to start writing novels, I knew that I wanted to set them in coastal locations. I live in the Boston suburbs and spend time whenever I can at the beach. I have written books centered in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Cape Cod. I am working on a story set on the north shore of Massachusetts. I am a high school social studies teacher of twenty-four years and a parent of two teenagers. All of my writing includes cooking and the enjoyment of good food as a major focus. I hope my books make you hungry!

Jenn's book list on books for your beach vacation

Jenn Bouchard Why did Jenn love this book?

Although not coastal, this book’s Palm Springs setting is full of swimming pools and a feeling of escape to somewhere new. I laughed, I cried, and I adored the dynamic between Patrick and his adorable niece and nephew.

Secondary characters, such as the three neighbors and other family members, added depth and emotion to the story. I seriously read this book in 24 hours!

By Steven Rowley,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Guncle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National Bestseller • Wall Street Journal Bestseller • USA Today Bestseller
An NPR Book of the Year
Semi-finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor
Finalist for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out…


Book cover of Don't Forget to Write

Jenn Bouchard Author Of First Course

From my list on books for your beach vacation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to the ocean. When I decided to start writing novels, I knew that I wanted to set them in coastal locations. I live in the Boston suburbs and spend time whenever I can at the beach. I have written books centered in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Cape Cod. I am working on a story set on the north shore of Massachusetts. I am a high school social studies teacher of twenty-four years and a parent of two teenagers. All of my writing includes cooking and the enjoyment of good food as a major focus. I hope my books make you hungry!

Jenn's book list on books for your beach vacation

Jenn Bouchard Why did Jenn love this book?

I loved this multi-generational book about family, love, and finding yourself in the most unexpected ways.

The characters are so well-developed, and the New Jersey Shore setting is downright dreamy. Marilyn is a strong and inspiring protagonist. I couldn’t put it down, but also did not want this book to end!

By Sara Goodman Confino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Forget to Write as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1960, a young woman discovers a freedom she never knew existed in this exhilarating, funny, and emotional novel by the bestselling author of She's Up to No Good.

When Marilyn Kleinman is caught making out with the rabbi's son in front of the whole congregation, her parents ship her off to her great-aunt Ada for the summer. If anyone can save their daughter's reputation, it's Philadelphia's strict premier matchmaker. Either that or Marilyn can kiss college goodbye.

To Marilyn's surprise, Ada's not the humorless septuagenarian her mother described. Not with that platinum-blonde hair, Hermes scarf, and Cadillac convertible. She's…


Book cover of The Beach Trap

Jenn Bouchard Author Of First Course

From my list on books for your beach vacation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to the ocean. When I decided to start writing novels, I knew that I wanted to set them in coastal locations. I live in the Boston suburbs and spend time whenever I can at the beach. I have written books centered in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Cape Cod. I am working on a story set on the north shore of Massachusetts. I am a high school social studies teacher of twenty-four years and a parent of two teenagers. All of my writing includes cooking and the enjoyment of good food as a major focus. I hope my books make you hungry!

Jenn's book list on books for your beach vacation

Jenn Bouchard Why did Jenn love this book?

I was a huge fan of the original The Parent Trap movie as a kid, and this adult book version is absolutely addicting.

With a coastal Florida setting, it was perfect to read on a beach vacation. The main characters are loads of fun, and the two book boyfriends are charming in very different ways. 

By Ali Brady,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Beach Trap as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two best friends torn apart by a life-altering secret. One summer to set the record straight.
 
When twelve-year-olds Kat Steiner and Blake O’Neill meet at Camp Chickawah, they have an instant connection. But everything falls apart when they learn they’re not just best friends—they’re also half sisters. Confused and betrayed, the girls break off all contact.
 
Fifteen years later, when their father dies suddenly, Kat and Blake discover he’s left them a joint inheritance: the family beach house in Destin, Florida. The two sisters are immediately at odds. Blake, who has recently been demoted from regular nanny to dog nanny,…


Book cover of Out of the Clear Blue Sky

Jenn Bouchard Author Of First Course

From my list on books for your beach vacation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to the ocean. When I decided to start writing novels, I knew that I wanted to set them in coastal locations. I live in the Boston suburbs and spend time whenever I can at the beach. I have written books centered in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Cape Cod. I am working on a story set on the north shore of Massachusetts. I am a high school social studies teacher of twenty-four years and a parent of two teenagers. All of my writing includes cooking and the enjoyment of good food as a major focus. I hope my books make you hungry!

Jenn's book list on books for your beach vacation

Jenn Bouchard Why did Jenn love this book?

I love books set on Cape Cod, especially ones that describe the unique towns that make up one of my favorite vacation spots.

Kristan Higgins does a great job in this book of addressing a character dealing with midlife divorce while injecting tons of humor and hope, as well as some unexpected moments and relationships.

By Kristan Higgins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Out of the Clear Blue Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins comes a funny and surprising new novel about losing it all—and getting back more than you ever expected.
 
Lillie Silva knew life as an empty nester would be hard after her only child left for college, but when her husband abruptly dumps her for another woman just as her son leaves, her world comes crashing down. Besides the fact that this announcement is a complete surprise (to say the least), what shocks Lillie most is that she isn’t heartbroken. She’s furious.
 
Lillie has loved her life on Cape Cod, but as a…


Book cover of Tides

Eliza Robertson Author Of Demi-Gods

From my list on featuring transgressive mothers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While it only simmers in the background of Demi-Gods, I find myself returning to this theme in my fiction — of mothers behaving badly. The topic fascinates me because we live in a society that idealizes the Mother. So much so that we have removed sex and desire from this archetype. We even made Mary, the “universal mother,” a virgin. As someone with a womb, society expects me to have children. (I don’t yet.) Fiction has provided a space for me to disentangle my own thoughts around motherhood — on what I might claim for myself, and what I absolutely refuse to take on. 

Eliza's book list on featuring transgressive mothers

Eliza Robertson Why did Eliza love this book?

Without giving too much away, this book follows a woman who lost a baby. We don’t witness her as a mother, as such. She’s someone whose choices resulted in no child at all. Instead, we witness her in a cavernous, self-destructive funk, in which she leaves her husband and flees to an ambiguous seaside town. 

Here, she drinks too much. She falls asleep in public places. She charms men, just to feel her power over them. And also — she longs for something. Deeply. Like the protagonists in all these stories, she remains somehow absolvable, despite the moments where she does something abhorrent or perplexing. 

If you were to list the protagonist’s transgressions on paper, the character portrait would be unflattering, even loathsome at times. But that’s not how I perceived her. I found myself sympathetic, charmed, and wanting to be her friend.

By Sara Freeman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tides as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A compelling, compact novel about a woman who walks out of her life and washes up in an out-of-season seaside town - from a powerful new Canadian-British voice

After a sudden, devastating loss, Mara flees her family and ends up adrift in a wealthy coastal town. Mired in her grief, Mara's first few days are spent alone, surviving on what scraps of food she can find, and swimming at night in the ocean. When her money runs out and the tourist season comes to a close, Mara finds a job in a local wine store and meets its owner, Simon,…


Book cover of Bloodlust

Tania Gold Author Of Prophecy of a Vampire

From my list on a different perspective of the Vampire genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Vampire Romance themes since I was a teenager. They were all over the house, with my mum and my sister both reading them too, all part of our home library. I can’t count how many series and standalone books I’ve read, but I don’t foresee it ever stopping. Whilst I am also a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, I love the romance factor in Paranormal books. As a result, I find them to be best suited for my mood. I not only read paranormal romance but write it and have dabbled in researching backgrounds on the myths of vampires, which led me to read vampire novels that integrate fiction and speculation.

Tania's book list on a different perspective of the Vampire genre

Tania Gold Why did Tania love this book?

The book has an interesting setting, which I found inspiring for my own novel.

The story is set in Malibu! I personally see it as fun and refreshing from the usual settings. In my novel, the story is set in California, specifically Santa Monica and Laguna Beach, so the concept of venturing out to the more ‘beachy’ areas came from this book.

I recommend it if you want something different and fun. Keeping in mind, this is a YA series. 

By Alex Duval,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bloodlust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE A-LIST BITES.

Jason Freeman is stoked when his family relocates to exclusive DeVere Heights, Malibu. The in-crowd at his posh new high school is surprisingly friendly -- soon Jason's hitting all the best parties. He even meets the token hot-but-unattainable girl.

Determined to enjoy his almost postcard-perfect new life, Jason tries hard to ignore the many strange things going down in DeVere Heights. But then a girl washes up dead the morning after one off-the-hook party -- and with no explanation but a suspicious-looking bite mark. Now Jason has to admit that what you don't want to know can…


Book cover of Flotsam

Barbara Lehman Author Of The Red Book

From my list on wordless with surreal or magical realism elements.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love wordless books immoderately, and I also love books that have meta, surreal, or magical realism elements. This list combines these two features! I was personally so happy that The Red Book was described in a review as “a wordless mind trip for tots,” and I think all the books on this list would perfectly fit that description (and much, much more!) too.

Barbara's book list on wordless with surreal or magical realism elements

Barbara Lehman Why did Barbara love this book?

Impeccable artwork, precision storytelling, and singularly unique invention are all packed into this amazing book experience. The basic concept is brilliant and mind-bending, and actually maybe even a little bit mind-melting. On top of that is an additional treat of wonderful and whimsical glimpses into a magical undersea world, obviously painted with true passion for the subject matter.

By David Wiesner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Flotsam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there's no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep. In each of his amazing picture books, David Wiesner has revealed the magical possibilities of some ordinary thing or happening--a frog on a lily pad, a trip to the Empire State Building, a well-known nursery tale. This time, a…


Book cover of The Beach

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart Author Of The Lizard

From my list on thrillers with beautiful settings and mind-blowing twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been born in Fiji and lived in Cyprus, Austria, and Nigeria, I have always had a strong sense of wanderlust and a keen eye for my surroundings – both natural and man-made. I’ve always been open to "what might happen next," which makes sense as to why I became a professional storyteller – an actor, writer, and director. I am thrilled by not knowing what lies ahead, and I’ve always felt there is possible adventure at every turn in life, which is why I am so fond of the evocative and thrilling books I have listed.

Dugald's book list on thrillers with beautiful settings and mind-blowing twists

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart Why did Dugald love this book?

I read this sultry and disturbing Thailand adventure story in one sitting. It transported me away from my out-of-work actor troubles that rainy day in London and took me to a beautiful and terrifying dreamscape, diving ever deeper into the backpacker protagonist’s murky quest. I can still picture the cut-glass water, the huts… the shark. I still feel the heat, the sting of mosquitoes, and the tang of blood.

I found it extraordinarily gripping, moody, and menacing. The speed at which the unexpected twists unfolded was mind-blowing.

By Alex Garland,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Beach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On Richard's first night in Bangkok, a fellow traveller slits his wrists, leaving Richard a map to "the Beach", where white sands circle a lagoon hidden from the sea, coral gardens and freshwater falls are surrounded by jungle. Richard was looking for adventure, and now he has found it.


Book cover of Fred and Pete at the Beach

Kari Rust Author Of Tricky

From my list on animal friends and creative illustrations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator, author, and animator. When I write and draw, I hope to vividly bring characters and settings to life in the imaginations of readers. Mischievous dogs, mysterious old houses, and brilliant mathematicians are some of the subjects I’ve had the pleasure of putting on the pages of books. I love animals and art, so artistic picture books with animals at their heart, give me a lot of joy. Because the illustrations in a picture book tell stories, I look for artwork that expresses character, mood, and movement. The best picture books leave a mark in visual memory that connects to the feeling of a story.

Kari's book list on animal friends and creative illustrations

Kari Rust Why did Kari love this book?

Fred and Pete are a pair of dog friends who have an adventure making their way to the beach on their own. The trip is instigated when their guardian leaves them behind as payback for a garbage incident in the kitchen. There are so many fun qualities about this book including the “odd couple” dynamic between the two canines. Cynthia Nugent uses photographs of the dogs surrounded by richly coloured, painterly backgrounds, which gives the book an irresistible, playful realism. These two little dogs have character! The relationship between the dogs, their dialogue, the bumbling adventure, and the marvellous artwork create a charming, amusing story readers will love.

By Cynthia Nugent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fred and Pete at the Beach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Follow Fred and Pete on an adventure where they hitch rides in anything with wheels, and optimism prevails.

Fred is a near-sighted dog who worries all the time. He worries the most about what kind of trouble Pete is going to get them into next. Unlike Fred, Pete is a happy, impulsive dog who believes something wonderful waits around every corner. Fred and Pete live with their human, Ron. When the dogs misbehave, Ron leaves them at home for the day. So the dogs decide to find their own way to the beach. Pete is sure they can get to…


Book cover of There Might Be Lobsters

Lisa Katzenberger Author Of It Will Be OK: A Story of Empathy, Kindness, and Friendship

From my list on facing your fears.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a picture book writer who struggles with anxiety. Some things that seem like no big deal to most people can become a very big worry for me (like Giraffe worries about Spider in It Will Be OK). I found that identifying and naming our emotions—in this case fear—makes it easier to address our feelings and work through them. I want to share my experience of being fearful of things, both big and small, with children to let them know they are not alone and they can have power over scary emotions.

Lisa's book list on facing your fears

Lisa Katzenberger Why did Lisa love this book?

I love this book’s unique approach to sharing a story about fear – it lists all the wild ruminations that can run through our minds. In this case, it’s a dog Sukie who is not enjoying a trip to the beach because, among other worries, there might be lobsters! Sukie’s list of fears grows and grows as the story goes on, and she is paralyzed in the sand – until her precious toy Chunka Munka is swept into the water. Sukie lets love overpower her fear and jumps into the water without a worry to save her precious friend. It’s a wonderful story about what we are willing to do to overcome our fear for the sake of others.

By Carolyn Crimi, Laurel Molk (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked There Might Be Lobsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Come on, Sukie, you can do it! A little dog’s paralyzing anxiety gives way to bravery when someone smaller is in need in this humorous, tenderly sympathetic story.

Lots of things at the beach scare Sukie. Lots. Because she is just a small dog, and the stairs are big and sandy, and the waves are big and whooshy, and the balls are big and beachy. And besides, there might be lobsters. With endearing illustrations and a perfectly paced text that captures a timid pup’s looping thoughts, here is a funny and honest read-aloud about how overwhelming the world can be…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in beaches, drama, and dialogue in?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about beaches, drama, and dialogue in.

Beaches Explore 21 books about beaches
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Dialogue In Explore 13 books about dialogue in