Beach reads are pretty synonymous with chick lit, and unfortunately, there are only so many summertime books you can read about young love on Nantucket before you get tired of them. They always revolve around protagonists who are fictional, but still thinner and richer than you. Meanwhile, you just had pie for breakfast, because fuck it–you’re on vacation.
Luckily, there are still some concepts that haven’t been totally bastardized for easy yet entertaining reads:
“Gilda And The Glass Bottom Boat”
Gilda is a marine biologist hard at work in St. Barts, discovering new species of fish or whatever the hell it is marine biologists do. Her father donated the yacht and hired the crew because Gilda isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and she couldn’t follow her nautically inspired dreams without a helping hand (which held fistfuls of cash). All is going well until the sexy captain of the schooner, Chip, makes an offer Gilda can’t refuse–but she can’t help but wonder if he wants her because her father is footing his paycheck. In this reverse glass ceiling story, will Gilda succumb to the crew’s sexual demands, or will she follow her dreams? …Or can she do both?
“Drunk In Love”
Lucille is a wealthy, beautiful, Southern debutante who tends to add a little too much vodka to her sweet tea. At her sister’s cotillion ball, she blacks out and makes a speech that includes many racial slurs. She also accuses her boyfriend of being gay. Several incorrect “Mean Girls” references later, she gets carried off the stage kicking and screaming, and her parents send her to rehab in New England. Luckily, her sexy neighbor across the hall, Charles Cullen IV, is a recovering meth addict with a taste for Southern hospitality. Can a Yankee and a Southern society girl get clean and find love in the process?
Brianne, a perpetual tomboy (to her mother’s chagrin) decides to take up fencing during the summer. Her family would much rather her partake in sailing classes at the yacht club like her younger, prettier sister, Brinda. However, what happens when Brinda’s beau becomes Brianne’s sparring partner and they begin to poke each other–and not just with swords? Can Brianne not only fight for her place in her family, but also for her place in her love interest’s heart?
“Cooking With Sylvia”
This fictional, romantic tale concerns a young Sylvia Plath and the “what ifs” of what could have happened had she never met Ted Hughes. Instead, she meets Buster Holdendale while playing tennis, who turns her away from dark poetry and encourages her to pen nursery rhymes instead. Her depression lifts somewhat and she creates masterpieces such as “Baa Baa Black Sheep: And Other Examples Of Racial Profiling,” “Jack And Jill Have An Abortion,” and ‘A Tisket A Tasket A Third World Produced Basket.” She also takes up baking, and instead of ultimately ending her life by sticking her head in an oven, she writes a recipe book titled “Cooking With Sylvia Plath,” which turns her into a waspy Julia Child of sorts.*
*Not approved by the Plath estate.