Three Summer Reads You Can’t Miss

Kirkus Reviews’ Clay Smith gives his top picks.

By Joy DiazMay 24, 2016 10:00 am

Whether you spend your summers just like any other season – toiling away – or grab a chance to get away for a while, Clay Smith, editor-in-chief of Austin-based Kirkus Reviews, has three picks for summer reads.

“I chose these books because they do all have plots that you really cannot put down,” Smith says. “But… there’s something thoughtful about each of them, too.”

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

“A lot does happen in this book – it’s very easy to follow the plot. It’s basically about three people who were in a band in college, and one of their songs hit it huge. About 25 years later, Hollywood comes knocking – they want the rights to this song and to tell the life story of the band’s lead singer who had killed herself. The remaining band members are wrestling with ownership and their past.”

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

“It’s about a private plane that takes off from Martha’s Vineyard. … The plane crashes, and the only survivors are the four-year-old son (of a media mogul) and the poorest passenger on the plane, an artist named Scott Burroughs. Everybody starts to assume that Scott had something to do with the crash of the plane, so he has to find out what actually happened. Every passenger on the plane is investigated and you really don’t know who would have had some kind of interest in destroying that flight.”

An Innocent Fashion by R.J. Hernández

“We often assume debut novels are autobiographical, in this case that seems to be very true. The novel is about a young Hispanic man who is from Corpus Christi, gets a full scholarship to Yale, and wants to work in fashion. In a very open nod to “The Great Gatsby” and F. Scott Fitzgerald, this is a story of a poor outsider looking in at this very wealthy world of fashion, and you follow his path away from innocence.”