Move over Hot Girl Summer because it’s time to welcome Sad Girl Summer. We’re talking about a summer full of sadness, heartbreak, boredom, and all the feelings. In this list, we’ve got estranged sisters that are reunited for the first time. Friendships are on the verge of breaking. People are fighting workplace injustices. Although these characters are dealing with a lot, there’s also hope and possibility in getting through these struggles.
Hollis Shaw, creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis, seems to have the picture-perfect marriage with Matthew, dreamy heart surgeon. But after a heated argument, Matthew is suddenly killed in a car accident. Now, Hollis has to come face-to-face with the cracks of her life, from her strained marriage to her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline. So, Hollis decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend—a trip for her best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife. But the weekend in Nantucket is nothing like a Hallmark movie. All the women are grieving and dealing with their own challenges, but their friendship and love will provide a restorative weekend like no other.
Since they were children, Serena, Michelle, Kenya, and Lynette have been sister friends forever. This year is an important turning point for all of them. Serena questions why she hasn’t found love yet. Michelle, ready to walk down the aisle, hesitates when an old flame strolls back into her life. Kenya is happily married with the exception of her husband’s ex-wife not allowing their family to live in peace. Finally, Lynette is dating for the first time in over a decade after divorcing her cheating husband. While the ladies search for love and hold onto the love they already have in their lives, their friendships will be tested like never before.
Jayne and Charlotte have been separated since the summer of their parents’ bitter divorce. Charlotte has never been able to forgive Jayne for not fighting to stay together. But the sisters are forced to reunite after their grandmother passes and her last wish was for them to renovate it together. At first, the two estranged sisters proceed with the task at hand very business-like and professional. But their childhood memories slowly break down their walls and they start to open up to each other. Can they let go of their resentments to move forward as sisters again?
All smart-mouthed Maeve Murray wants us to get good final exam results to get out of the small Northern Irish town she has grown up in during the Troubles. She wants to run away from her crowded home, sadness surrounding her sister’s death, and, most of all, the violence of her divided community. She takes a job in a shirt factory and suddenly getting the right exam results are the least of her worries. Now, she’s got to survive a paramilitary campaign, iron a hundred shirts an hour all day every day, and deal with the attentions from her untrustworthy boss, Handy Andy Strawbridge. Then she realizes that something else is going on in the factory and Maeve must seek justice for herself and her fellow workers if she wants to get out of town.
Leslie Jones is a warrior. She bounced around as a kid and generally caused mayhem wherever she went, while fighting off bullies and sticking up for her troubled kid brother. When her family settled in Los Angeles, she became the high school, star basketball player and was heavily recruited. But one day, she discovered comedy in college and everything changed. She held down regular jobs to find her dreams as a working comedian and found herself fighting tough crowds, prejudice, and people who thought a Black woman could never be funny enough. This bold memoir is about Leslie Jones’ falters and triumphs, a love letter to anyone just trying to make it day to day and proof that fighting for yourself can help give you a bigger life than you ever imagined.
Emily Hoang is a writer and editor, who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.