For Your Beach Bag: 6 Books with Memorably Twisted Characters

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Anna Pitoniak is the author of Necessary People and The Futures. She worked for many years in book publishing, most recently as a Senior Editor at Random House. She grew up in Whistler, British Columbia, and now lives in New York City.

Is there anything better than reading in the summer, when life is a little slower and easier? It’s the best time to get totally lost inside a book and forget about the real world for a while. For me, there’s something about that feeling of suspended time (toes in the sand, cool breeze, glass of lemonade) that truly allows a fictional character to come to life. I especially love it when a character takes you by surprise: When you realize, suddenly, that your first impression isn’t right. These are some of my favorite books featuring twisted, gasp-inducing characters — a mix of new and old, all of them juicy enough to pack in your beach bag this summer.