There are a lot of advantages to reading, but right now I'll just point out that if you find the right book, it will take up some time (depending on how fast of a reader you are) and also decrease that boredom and lack of usefulness most people seem to be complaining about.
While I do read a lot across many different genres, I will admit there are some genres that I tend to orbit around. My all time favorites are fantasy and romance-- which are made even better when mixed together, but I have read plenty outside those genres and I will mention some of my favorites below. However, I will admit that the books I enjoy the most are fiction, so if you're a nonfiction lover, I'm sorry, this is not the book recommendations post for you. I'm going to split the recommendations into these different groups, though not all of the books that are going to be listed today exactly fit perfectly with said groups, so even if you don't necessarily enjoy one of the groups feel free to still read over the synopsis of the books under the category. I'm trying my best to divy them up, but they're not all going to fit perfectly with the big category name that they are given, and I don't want you to miss anything you could potentially really enjoy!
Urban Fantasy (using this term very loosely. By using urban fantasy I mean something with magic that is set in our own contemporary world.)
Romance (Like, contemporary romance)
Dystopian (I know everyone is sick of dystopians like the Hunger Games, but trust me, you can get a lot deeper and have more interesting set ups than the chosen one trope and such. Dystopian is just a setting, it doesn't necessarily follow the Hunger Games type set up that so many other movies tried to follow up after the massive success those movies had.)
Childhood/Nostalgic Books (Yes, books I associate with my childhood that I still praise as fantastic reads. Anyone can read them, doesn't matter what age you are.)
Again I would like to say: THESE BOOKS DO NOT FIT PERFECTLY INTO THESE CATEGORIES. I was just looking for something broader to fit the different novels into. There is almost definitely romance in every single one of these, or at least connections and friendships being built and developed-- what good book doesn't have that? I would highly recommend all of these books, obviously, they're all some of my favorite books. That means that they all have good plots, characters etc. Even if I highlight good character development in one overview, that doesn't mean the rest of the books don't have it. It just means that the one book's character development particularly stood out to me.
I'm going to split this post into a couple different ones seeing as I have a lot of recommendations and it could get quite long! Honestly it's hard just giving short thoughts because I could talk about books for ages :) The first post (this one) will be Fantasy and Romance genre books, and then the next one will be the Urban Fantasy, Dystopian and Childhood book recommendations.
Anyway, let's get into the recommendations, shall we?
Series rating: 10/10
Definitely plenty of action, romance and humor as well as a stellar plot line and intriguing characters
This recommendation probably comes as a shock to no one who knows me. I never stop talking about how much I adore Maas and all of her books. Seriously, I've read every single one of them and they've all found places on my favorites shelf. Maas does a particularly good job in creating characters and making their struggles seem very realistic and relatable. For instance, in this series one of the characters seriously struggles with PTSD and Maas does a very good job portraying that as well as the character's healing process.
This series is one of my all-time favorites, and the second book (A Court of Mist and Fury) happens to be my favorite book of all time (and that's saying something, because I've read a lot and I've read a lot of great books).
As seems to be currently popular, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a loose, loose, loose and did I mention loose? retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It starts out with that idea, and then the rest of the books continue to expand the world and just... Wow. I cannot recommend this series or this author more. Her writing, her characters, her world, her plots, everything she does is absolutely fantastic. I will admit I felt that it took a little bit to really get into the first book in this series, but once you're in it, you're never going to want to go back. Again, READ THE SECOND BOOK. IT'S THE BEST THING TO HAVE EVER GRACED HUMANKIND.
Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
Series Rating: 10/10
Definitely plenty of action, romance and humor as well as a stellar plot line and intriguing characters
Yes, Sarah J. Maas shows up a lot. Like I said before, she's my favorite author. While the series above has my favorite book of all time, this has to be my favorite series as a whole. Like many good fantasy series, the first book is the the worst book and they only continue to get better and better as the series goes on. That is to say, the first book is not bad. In fact, I really enjoyed reading it. It's only when you look back after reading more of the series when you realize how much better it gets. The series starts out good, but it only gets better from there until it's just utterly phenomenal. Maas expands the world in each book, so when you look back at the first book it feels so small and trivial compared to its successors-- which is exactly what you probably would want from a good fantasy series.
Throne of Glass is full of magic and action, with high stakes and great characters. This is one of the series that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. I can't praise it enough. I don't want to say anything that would spoil it, but if you like the epic-stakes fantasy story with a lot of intertwining plot lines, this is the series for you. It starts small, but you'll be amazed as you watch the world grow before your eyes.
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Series Rating: 7.5/10
Lots of court intrigue, plotting & betrayal with a dash of romance sprinkled in with ever increasing stakes
Cruel Prince is an enigma. It's a combination of so many things that you'd think it could never possibly work... but somehow it manages to not only work, but mingle all the tropes brilliantly. The highlight and biggest draw of this series is court intrigue, so if you're into that sort of thing, this is definitely going to be right down your alley. Trust me when I say there is still action and a smidgen of romance for sure, in fact the "ship" of this series is one for the books, but it's just not necessarily the main focus of it.
I cannot put into words how truly intriguing this series is. You never really know what's going to come next, and when you do? Guess what? You're wrong. There are so many twists and turns-- this series truly is a delight.
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
Book Rating: 8.5/10 stars
A fairytale retelling that maintains the magical tone of a fairytale while adding in lovable characters and a riveting storyline
This is actually one of the more new additions to my big recommendations list, as I only actually read this book last summer. It was the first book I'd read from AG Howard so I went in with no expectations-- yet here I am, still utterly in love with the entire thing. Fairytale retellings have become quite common lately, but Stain uses an uncommon tale: Princess and the Pea. Have you ever read a retelling of Princess and the Pea? This one is set in an epic fantasy world where day and night have been separated for longer than anyone can remember. There are definitely some fun and exciting twists thrown in that you'll not come across in the original fairytale. Honestly, this book is just such a fun and refreshing take. I love it. If you like retellings, this is one of the best.
"Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins...
This high-fantasy gothic fairytale, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea, is set in an alternative medieval world split apart by magic. To win back her kingdom of perpetual day, save her night prince, and reunite the sun with the moon, a princess incapable of speech or sound must prove herself everything a traditional princess is not: tough enough to sleep on a bed of nails, and loud enough to be heard without a voice."
Book Rating: 7/10 stars
Another fairytale retelling, this one is also a lot of fun with lots of banter, entertaining characters and an interesting plot
Like Stain, To Kill A Kingdom is a standalone novel, which, at times, can be a refreshing breath of air in the midst of reading so many series and having to impatiently wait for the next release. Yes, I love series, but sometimes it's nice to just have a full story arc in one book. This novel is one the surprised me the first time I read it. It was an impulse buy, and boy, am I so glad I got it, because I reread this one from time to time, it's so good. To Kill A Kingdom is a retelling of the Little Mermaid-- with a lot more sass and banter. The main characters-- the Little Mermaid and her Prince-- are actually trying to kill each other, so that's always fun.
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Series Rating: 8/10
Full of magic and illusions, Caraval will be playing with your mind all the way until the end. What is real and what is an act? You'll just have to read it to find out. Strong characters, a plethora of banter, and an intriguing plot, what more could you possibly want?
Like all books on this list, this series is a fun ride. And it'll definitely mess with your mind, because as the main characters are trying to figure out what is real and what is not, so are you as the reader. See, Caraval is a game that takes place every year, where a certain number of people are invited to play and whoever wins is granted any wish that they could ask for. But the thing is with this game is that no one can ever really discern what is real and what is fake. There are a lot of tricks and illusions over the days that the game is being played, and there are also actors implanted. So in book one, as our main character, Scarlett, plays Caraval in an attempt to save her sister, we get to play along with her. But the mysteries don't stop in the first book... Honestly the second book in this series absolutely blew me away and it's one of my favorites to this day.
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic
Series Rating: 7.5/10 Stars
Action, cute romances, fun plot-- especially seeing all the characters come together
As seems to be wildly popular as of late, here's another loose retelling of popular fairytales... and you guessed it! The first book is a loose retelling of the one and only Cinderella.
This series is a lot of fun. Each book is a fast and easy read-- you'll be on the back cover before you even realize it. The writing just flows well. The Lunar Chronicles are different fairytale retellings all combined into one world and one overarching plot line set in s sci-fi world. Now I know a lot of people might get a little freaked out by the sci-fi aspect-- trust me, I did too. See, the main character of the first book-- Cinder-- is a cyborg. That word freaks me out, but the thing is, she's more like a human with some robotic parts because she was badly hurt when she was younger. Don't avoid this series if the cyborg idea freaks you out-- it freaked me out and I didn't read it for years YEARS. Then once I finally did pick it up, I couldn't put it down until I was done the whole series in a few days. The series is absolutely riveting, and I couldn't praise it more. It's a lot of fun. Just give it a chance, you won't regret it.
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it "a matter of national security," but Cinder suspects it's more serious than he's letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived.
But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
Series Rating: 9/10 Stars
Lots of action and thrilling moments, fun romance & character relationships, there's a race involved, which is always a good time
Yeah, so this book is more historical fiction than fantasy, but it does have an element of fantasy in it so I'm going to shoehorn it into this group anyway. Before I really get into talking about what exactly this story is about, let me just start this with a little anecdote of my own. I read this book while on a vacation that had a lot of travel time. Before leaving, I downloaded three books and this was the last of those three that I decided to break into. I only even downloaded it in the first place because it had a 4.26/5 stars on goodreads which means it's really good since even a 3.8 signifies a pretty stellar novel. Why was I so reluctant to read this novel you may be wondering... Well, the synopsis sounded really, really dumb to me. Plus the tagline was absolutely ridiculous. Yet here I am, so utterly glad that I read this book and recommending it out to all of you. Why am I telling this anecdote? Incase you're like me. You think the synopsis is dumb, and you dismiss this one as being dumb. DON'T. Honestly, you don't know what you're missing out on.
Let me try and warm you into the whole premise of the novel better than I ever was. This is set in a world where the Axis Powers won World War II. So, the Axis Powers, especially the Nazi Germans put a lot of pride into the strength of their youth. Thus, in this world, every year they show off the strength and promise of their youth by hosting a giant motorcycle race across their conquered countries. It's a 20,000 km race, and the victors are said show all the promise and values of the reigning Axis Powers.
Last year, a girl entered the race under the name of her brother and won. She was the first female to have done this, and because of that she opened the race up for other girls to enter as well. Not only that, but at the Victors' Ball, Hitler himself danced with her on live television. A feat, since he had not appeared on live television in a number of years due to an assassination attempt last time.
The rebellion sees this as an opportunity-- if the leader of the Nazi regime were shot on live television it would be a sign to all of the rebels spread out across the countries, igniting the rebellion.
Enter Yael, a rebel who was once imprisoned in the concentration camps. Here's where the fantasy element comes in. Due to the testing done on her, she is able to change her appearance. She is to enter the race as the last year's victor and win. Then, when at the Victor's Ball she will ignite the rebellion through Hitler's death.
Okay, so that was my attempt to warm you into the whole premise of this novel. See, what I saw is the synopsis I will post below along with the dumbest tagline in the world: One girl's mission to win the race and kill Hitler. Seriously, that sounds utterly ridiculous, but let me tell you, this book is anything but that. It's riveting, with compelling characters and a thrilling plot. See, a wrench or two is thrown into Yael's plans when two other boys enter into the race with her. One, another victor hoping to be the first to win twice, seems to have a complicated past with the girl that Yael knows nothing about, while the second is the girl's own brother. There are things that cannot be gathered from information in a file. Watching Yael try and unravel the relationship she's supposed to have with these boys is fascinating add in the race and you get a whole lot of fun. Not only that, but if you enjoy books with some deeper meanings, this book has plenty. It will definitely resonate deeper than surface level. I don't know what else to say other than this one is a must read!
Her story begins on a train.
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.
Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.
But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?
From the author of The Walled City comes a fast-paced and innovative novel that will leave you breathless.
Age of characters: adults
You know those really fun rom-com movies with the completely absurd inciting incident that ensures with hilarity along with that heart melting romance? That's exactly what the Unhoneymooners is-- a rom-com in book form. It's fun, it'll have you laughing out loud, and you'll also be ooooh-ing and aww-ing with heart eyes because it's also quite cute. If you want a fun romance, this is definitely one to try out.
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.
Character age: adults
Another Christina Lauren book makes it onto this list because these women are goddesses when it comes to writing good romances. While this book is just as enjoyable as the Unhoneymooners, it hits on a deeper level. Like there's no better way to describe it, but when reading this book, it just hits, like you feel it in such a different way from most books. It's just that good.
The story takes place in two time periods: the present, and the past, leading up to the big blow up. So you literally get to watch the two main characters meet, and you get to see their relationship build from innocent friendship to something more. I think that really helps in making the book hit on a deeper level because you fully understand and see their relationship, and not only that, but you get to see and feel them falling in love with each other. It's beautiful. The writing is beautiful, the characters are beautiful, the story is beautiful. I cannot give higher praise to this book. I couldn't tell you the amount of times I've reread it, I love it just that much.
The story of the heart can never be unwritten.
Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.
But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother...only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.
Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.
Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).
Character Age: Adults
From my understanding, for those who enjoy contemporary romance books, this one is a bit of a cult classic, and I can't say I blame anyone for that because The Hating Game is magnificent. It's so much fun from start to finish. I don't think I could love the characters or the story more. It's one of those classic hate-to-love tropes, but hey, I'm a sucker for the classics.
Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.
Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.
Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
Rating: 8/10 stars
Character Age: Adults
Another ridiculously fun novel that will melt your heart. Another hate-to-love romance, like I said, it may be a classic trope but it's one of my favorites. So much fun with all the banter, and it's also fun to get to watch these characters warm up and start to open up to each other. It's great watching this relationship blossom, because it's so much more than just romance-- the friendship has to build first, and both are fun to watch grow. (Also, also I just want to mention about how much fun the BANTER is).
Also the story is about professional athletes, so it's also a lot of fun to read about their love and passion for the sport, as well as seeing them practice and work at it.
If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.
After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.
But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.
Including Ivan Lukov.
Rating: 9.5/10 Stars
Character Age: Adults
Here's a trope that isn't very popular but I think definitely should be: falling back in love. Not only is it equally as enchanting and fun as a first time falling in love romance, but there's just something so beautiful and tender about the refalling back in love with each other trope. You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle is everything you could want form a romance novel. It's fun, funny, cute and the romance really hits you in the feels.
It starts off like a rom-com-- with a silly sounding premise and fun antics. Naomi and Nicholas are kind of tired of each other and not even close to head-over-heels in love as fiancees should be. Yet, neither of them will call off the marriage because whoever calls it off has to pay for it. The solution? Pranking and pushing the other to call it off. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous, and it does actually lead the story to being a lot of fun. But what makes this novel stand out from so many others is in fact the romance. It's sad, as you read the book and grow more attached to the relationship to see how it slowly started to fall apart in the first place, yet watching them grow back together and remember why exactly they loved each other in the first place is so beautiful and heartwarming. Like I said, this is the perfect combination for a romance book. There are plenty of moments that will have you laughing out loud, but also plenty that will just hit you in the heart. I can't emphasize just how much I love this one. I read it very recently, and then reread it again 3 times in the next week just because of how much I loved it and wanted to revisit the characters and scenes.
Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They're preparing for their lavish wedding that's three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.
Naomi wants out, but there's a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.
But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they're finally being themselves--and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.
When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.
Rating: 7/10 stars
Character Age: teenagers
This is another rom-com in a book. Here we get to see the two main characters from when they meet and become friends in 7th Grade all the way up through Senior Year. It's a lot of fun. I don't know what else to say without spoiling the story! But let me tell you its one to fall in love with. :)
(Side note: yes, I know the girl's name is weird. I didn't read this book for AGES because of that. Ignore the name, the content is so much better than a strange name!)
For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.
Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?
Rating: 7/10 stars
Character age: teenagers
This book is absolutely adorable. If you're looking for just a cutesy romance that'll give you those warm fuzzies this is the one for you. I mean look at that gorgeous cover! How could it not be a completely adorable and happy read?
And guess what? If you like this book, there are two more equally adorable companion novels in the series where you can see the characters from this book reappear :)
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Rating 7.5/10 stars
Character Age: Teenagers
These books are so adorable. I know I say that a lot in this section, but hey, these are some of the best of the best romances that I've read so OF COURSE they're adorable. All of Emma Mills' books are absolutely adorable, sweet romances that feel all too real. What's more, they always have some other important theme/relationship building other than romance, whether it be friendship or family, so not only do these books give the warm fuzzies from a cute romance, but they also make you feel happy and fulfilled from the other relationships depicted as well. I guess what I'm trying to say is that each story goes a bit deeper than just a cute romance. (Also, side note, but can we appreciate how gorgeous these covers are?!)
There's not a lot to say about romance books that won't spoil the fun of them. I always look forward to Emma Mills' releasing and read them almost as soon as they come out-- she has more books too, so if you like these go check out her other works. These are just my favorites of what she has done, but I've enjoyed them all. Let me just say this, for every single one of these books I wasn't exactly pulled in by the synopsis, but then once I actually started the book I was up into the early hours finishing them. These are just so cute, but they also feel so feel and sweet... I don't know what else to say other than definitely check them out!
First & Then Synopsis:
Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.
Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.
This Adventure Ends Synopsis:
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
Foolish Hearts Synopsis:
When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year.
Smart, funny, and thoroughly, wonderfully flawed, Claudia navigates a world of intense friendships and tentative romance in Foolish Hearts, a YA novel about expanding your horizons, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and accepting--and loving--people for who they really are.
A contemporary young adult novel by Emma Mills about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends--and maybe even new love.
Rating: 10/10 stars
Okay, okay, I know what you must be thinking. You're either on the lines of OH MY GOD I LOVE THESE MOVIES or ugh overrated. Yeah, well let me just say this first: the books are always vastly superior to the movie. Also, yeah, I'm just gonna say it: the second movie sucked. The first one wasn't great, but at least it was cute, the second one just lost all its magic if it had any to begin with. I will also say this: I read To All The Boys I've Loved Before wayyyy before there was even a movie in the works I read the first book before the author was even considering a second one. So yes, I've been a fan of this series for a long time and I'm not just recommending it because it is a semi-popular romcom on Netflix these days. Even the first movie didn't have half and magic of the first book. Here's the thing about movies: they always have to cut corners. It's just about the time constraint. The book though? That can show as many little things as it wants. Part of what made the first book so much better than the first movie (other than the fact that the book is always better, after all, it's what the movie is based on) is that the book is able to show all these cute little scenes and tidbits that build towards the relationship, whereas the movie just doesn't have enough time to show everything. The book you really get to fall in love with the relationships right along with Lara Jean.
The books are so real, so cute, so touching--- so everything. They're absolutely adorable. I find Lara Jean to be an adorably relatable main character, if not a little naive at times. I also adore the family dynamic depicted in these books, especially watching as it evolves throughout the series. Then there's also the romance, which, not to beat a dead horse but IS SO MUCH BETTER IN THE BOOKS. The romances are depicted much better in the books, they're so much sweeter, you get those little scenes that build the relationships, but also somehow the movie sorta twisted the romantic interests into being boring and sometimes annoying dicks. That is not the case in books, I can promise you that. If you want a cutesy romance that will have you squealing in delight, this book is the one for you.
Plus, if you love it even half as much as I do, then guess what?! There are two more books that are just as real and adorable as the first. A lot of times with romance books if they continue on in the series they only get worse, but these books remain steadily amazing throughout. I can't express more love for this series, and the movies have nothing on them.So don't let your feelings about the movies scare you away from these books.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.
But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh.
As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
Rating: 8/10 Stars
Character Ages: Teenagers
This is one of my happy reads. It's what can only be described as cute and fuzzy. The kind of read that will put a smile on your face. Sure, it's not deep and moving, but that's not the purpose of this novel. It's light, fun and cute. And I absolutely love it. This is one of the few books I took along with me to college despite the lack of space. I reread this one all the time, it's not a long read, and it's just so cute and warm. I love it. Anyway, there's not much more I can say about it without giving away spoilers, so take my word on the cuteness factor and here's the synopsis.
Signed, sealed, delivered…
While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!
Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…