We’re almost halfway through summer, which hopefully means plenty of fun in the sun with a good book close at hand! Unless you’re running up a big ice cream bill, and “fun in the sun” time has inevitably turned into “work your summer job” time until school starts back up.
While toiling away at a snack bar, surf shop, day camp, or any other assortment of seasonal jobs might sound tedious, they always seem to come with their share of interesting characters and drama. You never know who your summer coworkers could end up being – new best friends, crushes, or even someone mysterious…
Check out the books below and see if any of these characters have summer jobs like you! Or cherish the fact that you don’t have summer jobs like them!
The Perfect Book for your Summer Job
1. After Hours by Claire Kennedy
This restaurant drama follows four teens over summer who play a risky dare-based game with their tip money once the high-end café where they work closes each night. Full of gossip, hook-ups, and high stakes, working in a restaurant has never seemed so scandalous!
2. Run Away With Me by Mila Gray
Emerson and Jake have a complicated past, which only becomes more complicated when he returns to town after leaving abruptly years ago and starts working at her parent’s adventure shop in Seattle with her all summer. Close quarters in the shop and sizzling tension make this romance a steamy summer read as the two former best friends turn into lovers.
3. The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker
The unconventional job that Rilla Brae, the independent character at the heart of this eerie story, has is mostly due to her father’s sudden death. Rilla takes up the responsibility of the family business as a lobster fisherwoman, navigating the cold Maine waters and becoming entwined in a local mystery being unearthed by a cute archaeology student she meets on the water.
4. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Working as a dog walker is only part of Andie’s topsy-turvy summer, where all of her carefully constructed plans are tossed aside after a political scandal costs her a summer internship. Between failing at avoiding her Congressman father and falling for a cute boy named Clark, Andie is slowly starting to let go of her controlling nature and enjoying the completely uncharacteristic summer she’s having.
5. The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
Margot Sanchez’s summer employment is unique in that it’s more of a punishment than a source of seasonal income. After she racks up a huge bill on her father’s credit card, Margot is condemned to working in the family grocery store to pay off her debts. Her hatred for her job is rivaled only by her desire to keep her prep school reputation and make it to the ultimate beach party, without letting pesky things like her family’s drama and the cute boy from the neighborhood Moises get in her way.
6. What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee
This heartfelt story about a boy trying to come to terms with his own sadness after his father’s suicide follows sixteen-year-old Will, who works at a local dollar store. In between working and walking all over Los Angeles, Will starts to realize that by helping others, like the friends he feels he let down and the strangers he encounters every day, he can ultimately help himself and find his happiness.
7. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Nothing says summer like ice cream! At a local ice cream stand, founded by Molly Meade in the 40’s to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while the boys were all at war, girls from town run the shop all summer long. Lifelong friends Amelia and Cate have been working at the stand every year, but when tragedy strikes and Amelia is asked to stay on to help the business with Molly’s grandnephew, she has to manage both the changes to the shop and a budding romance.
8. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg finds herself working the same summer job in a Seattle hotel as Daniel, the boy she had an awkward first encounter with at a diner not too long ago. Brought together by the odd hours of their shifts and the intriguing mystery of a reclusive writer, the Birdie and Daniel find themselves drawn to just more than the secrets they’re investigating.