It's hard to define what makes a really great beach read, a dash of romance, a gripping thriller, a hint of escapism? Or heart-breaking historical fiction that will have us sobbing into our sunbeds?
The truth is, it's probably a bit of all of these. Holidays give us the opportunity to just sit back and enjoy the things we love. Here are some of our favourite this year.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
For the modern single, or anyone intrigued by the quirks of relationships today, Modern Romance is the ideal beach read. It is breezy and easy-reading yet still relatable. It's perfect for your spare time on a hen weekend; there are scenarios and ideas that could be used as great talking point for the girls.
One Night in Italy
This book reveals the wonders of everyday desires and the stifling strictures of a society's norms. A 40-something librarian withers away her time, enjoying her days surrounded by books, until her infatuation with a younger patron invades her thoughts. She reinvents her life and the fascination with Italy sends her of on an adventure to find out whether the truth lives up to our dreams.
You're at your favourite beach-town bar, and your celebrity crush walks in. What next? Zancan puts an intense, psychological spin on this dream scenario in Local Girls. The girls, three close friends from near Orlando, spot their favourite movie star in their bar, and unexpectedly, he strikes up a conversation with them. What would you do in this instance? It's a cool and interesting idea for you to think about before your hen night out, partying in VIP.
This hilarious and disturbing read picks up a popular theme by examining what happens when our online personas are more interesting than real life. It is a book about love, sex, identity, friendship and Twitter bios. A great read for light entertainment on the beach with the girls. It makes you think about your own online personae and others, this book could provide topics of banter throughout your weekend, and it's a very funny and entertaining read.
Fifty Shades of Grey - As told by Christian Grey
Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty - until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office. This is simply the Christian meets Ana story through the eyes of Christian himself. The book allows readers direct access to Christian Grey's deepest, darkest thoughts, perfect for a hen weekend read.
I'll Give You The Sun
It is a colourful, fantastical novel about art, love and jealousy; some thoughtful talking topics for a relaxing hen weekend on the beach. This book tells the story of twins Noah and Jude, Noah is socially isolated and paints pictures in his head, while Jude is a daredevil who does the talking for both of them; they share an almost telepathic bond until they are torn apart jealousy.
A great book in the sun is a great way to relax and unwind before the wedding. Choosing a book that can provoke your curiosity and stimulate your mind while away can be amazing. Pick up something that you can relate to, speak on what ifs and create fun ideas for you and the girls to speak about on your hen weekend.