I don’t know about you, but I’m either needing to project my primal scream into Iceland or get a really good, belly-aching laugh in with a funny new summer novel. We’re in the final stretch of summer at my house before school starts (whatever that looks like these days) and I’m realizing how much I really need a mental break. Books always do that for me.

So, I’ve been checking the critics’ reviews to see which new summer books will give me the laugh I think I really need right now.

(If you’ve opted for Schitt’s Creek or rewatching Arrested Development over, say, Mindhunter for your bingeing this summer, you know what I’m saying.)

I ended up with this shortlist of four funny new novels for summer, and hopefully one is just what you need to impart a little joy when you most need it. Grab a paperback for your tote, or download for your ereader ap. Laughing is self-care!

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Related: 7 fantastic summer books by women authors


4 new funny novels for summer: Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Refinery29 has called Jasmine Guillory the queen of rom-com, and her new summer novel, Party of Two, is getting so much good press. It’s heart-fluttering romance meets big, bold storyline, all with a keen feminist edge to it.

The story goes like this: high-powered lawyer moves to LA to start up her own firm, has a chance meeting at a hotel with a handsome stranger…who turns out to be a senator. It’s fun and light, but also smart. Just what we’re looking for.

(Buy on Amazon or Indiebound)


4 funny new novels for summer: Sex & Vanity by Kevin Kwan

I’m a huge fan of the Crazy, Rich Asians trilogy, so when I saw Kevin Kwan’s newest book, Sex and Vanity, described as “his most decadent yet,” I was intrigued. The satirical story coasts from the Island of Capri to the Hamptons to Fifth Avenue, following the love triangle of its heroine, Lucie Churchill.

He continues to impart the tension between traditional Chinese and American ways of life, but this humorous novel is actually an homage to A Room with a View. I can’t wait!

(Buy on Amazon or Indiebound)

Related: KJ Dell’Antonia on how to be a happier parent in a pandemic. Is it even possible?


4 funny new novels for summer: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

It feels like been reading Jennifer Weiner’s books forever. They always offer the perfect, fun escape I’m looking for in a summer read, and her newest novel, Big Summer has been described as “the beach read to end all beach reads” by Entertainment Weekly. Sounds like a good recommendation!

The story centers on two estranged friends whose paths reconnect: glamorous, gorgeous Drue and plus-sized Instagram influencer Daphne. How’s that for a modern pair? It’s an empowering story about female friendships that by all accounts will have you laughing out loud by the pool — even if just its the kiddie pool in your back yard.

Buy on Amazon or Indiebound)


4 funny new novels for summer: Margarita Montimore's Oona Out of Order

If you’re looking for a can’t-put-it-down, inventive, and inspiring novel all in one, then Margarita Montimore’s Oona Out of Order may be the summer novel you should pick up first. As far as funny novels for summer go, this one is lighthearted and charming, with a page-turning plot that will have you itching to keep reading.

The story follows Oona, who is turning 19 on New Year’s Eve, 1982. As the clock counts down, Oona faints and wakes up 32 years in the future. As she time-hops from year to year, identity to identity, we see her life story told (ahem) out of order. I can’t think of a better summer to read a book about truly living in the moment best we can.

(Buy on Amazon or Indiebound)