Simply put, a good beach read is engaging while still being a breeze to devour. Finishing the book before the sun goes down is mandatory, so lather on your sunscreen, slip into your bathing suit, and take a load off with these beachside/poolside page-turners.

The Book: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Setting: The dead-end town of Carp

About: This fast-paced thriller is similar to The Hunger Games novels. ‘Panic’ is an illegal game played by high school seniors, the end result is a promise to change the winner’s life. Meet Heather, a high school senior who has worked her way through school while taking care of her younger sister in the absence of her mother. Enter Dodge, who enrolls in ‘Panic’ for one reason: Revenge. He will avenge his sister who was paralyzed after a horrible accident. Those are just two of many thrilling sub-plots!

Bonus: Panic hasn’t established the notoriety of The Hunger Games just yet, but trust us, you’ll be glad to scoop your friends with this novel. (Scheduled for March release)

The Book: The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham

Setting: New York City

About: Follow the lives of brothers Tyler and Barrett Meeks, both struggling with aging. Barrett suffers yet another destructive loss in love and while walking through Central Park sees a strange light in the sky that sparks his conversion to religion. On the other end, Tyler, a musician, turns to drugs in an attempt to inspire the ultimate song for his future bride who is ill with cancer. The story is one of family connectedness, love and loss woven together in Cunningham’s natural, poetic style.

Bonus: This is Cunningham’s 6th book. Others include The Hours and By Nightfall. (Scheduled for May release)

The Book: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Setting: London

About: This private-eye noir is a fun and compelling read. Cormoran Strike, an ex-solider with a missing leg who makes his living as a private detective, is led into a life that he’s unaccustomed to after a suspect “suicide”. Strike, not fooled by the suicide verdict does what any good private eye would and opens his own investigation…

Bonus: Robert Galbraith is in fact J.K. Rowling. You’ll love this book whether you were a Gryffindor, Slytherin or have no idea what either is.