Summer reads with Jenny McLachlan

Published on: 31 July 2015

Jenny McLachlanWe chat to author Jenny McLachlan about summer reads - what makes the perfect summer read? And which books is she reading this summer? And find out about her latest book, Sunkissed, a great summer read and the third book in her Flirty Dancing series.

Could you tell us something about your latest book Sunkissed, described as the perfect holiday reading book?

Fifteen-year-old Kat is expecting to spend the summer with her friends and is horrified when her mum and dad pack her off to a Swedish island to stay with her auntie. The island is tiny, miles from civilisation and has no phone reception.

Kat's not sure how she will survive, but then her auntie mentions an endurance race between islands and a mysterious boy called Leo and unexpected things start to happen...

I was inspired to write Sunkissed after I had my own summer adventure on an island in Sweden. I fell in love with the island's endless summer evenings and wild, isolated beauty and I loved revisiting it through my writing.

What are the ingredients for a great summer read?

Personally, I think a great summer read has to be very sunny, and I mean this literally: not much rain or snow. I love Scandi crime books but I have to take a break from them over the summer as they are basically full of rain and snow with added murder. Also, I think a summer read should have an escapist quality. It doesn't necessarily need to be a light read, but it should grab you from the first page and hold you captive until you put the book down.

What are you reading this summer?

I'm actually writing this on holiday so here's what I've brought with me: The Secret Place by Tana French which is about a murder in an exclusive girls' boarding school; The Drowned Boy written by my favourite crime writer Karin Fossum and Renee Knight's The Disclaimer where a woman starts to read a novel and discovers that it contains her darkest secret. As I spend most of my days writing romantic comedies I like to relax with a bit of murder!

If teens enjoy Sunkissed, what other books would you recommend?

A book I loved when I was a teenager is Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die. Like Sunkissed, it's set over the course of one summer, but as you can probably tell from title that it's not got quite such a happy ending. One of the best descriptions of summer and first love I've ever read can be found in Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now which is also one of my favourite YA books. If teens enjoyed the comedy and romance in Sunkissed then I'm going to shamelessly recommend my first two books in the series: Flirty Dancing and Love Bomb. They aren't set in summer, but they'll definitely make you smile.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have just finished writing Star Struck, Pearl's story and the final book in the series. I now have a few weeks off before I get my notes back from my editor and I'm going to use the time to start planning my next series. I can't wait to start writing them!

Check out Jenny's book

Stargazing for Beginners

Author: Jenny McLachlan

Meg's dreamed of being an astronaut since she was seven. This novel achieves a delicate balance between light-hearted fiction and thoughtful exploration of the pitfalls of being female, smart and good at science.

Read more about Stargazing for Beginners

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