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After a long day staring at a computer screen, nothing makes me feel like a good escape like a good book. Especially with everything going on in the world (I won’t go into it), a compelling romance, a beautiful fantasy, or a funny comic told through text can be what you want. Reading about a beautiful land far away and a world free of the horrors of dating apps makes me forget about everything I’m worried about, all the while engrossed in a great story. Of course, finding books that really feel like an escape is easier said than done.
However, when I reflect on the books I’ve read recently, I’ve found a few hidden gems that make for the perfect escape from reality. So grab a cozy blanket and use one of these 12 books, perfect for when you really need a break from life.
One last stop
In my book—perfect conclusion—Casey McQuiston can do no wrong. Their second novel also proved to be a powerful love that I didn’t even know I was missing. August, a girl with only dreams and a real lack of money, comes to New York City and twenty something goes “I’m finding myself”. His roommates are different in the best way and the pancake house he works at helps him pay for his college classes, and all is well in the world. And then he meets Jane, a beautiful girl inside and out, on the train. In what would be one of the best exchanges of banter and heart-to-heart, August soon discovers that Jane has been stuck at the same time on the train since the ’70s. Determined to fight for love, August, along with the help of his roommates and some beautiful queens, decides to help Jane get out of this runaway season. With a mix of science fiction and heartwarming stories, there is never a dull moment in this book.
This book is just what I needed and more. Knowing that Emily Henry’s work is a favorite among my writing friends, I went into this story expecting to be swept off my feet by a love interest. Well, my expectations were exceeded. The novel follows January, a romance writer in love whose father’s actions destroy his belief in true love. When he moves into a small beach house and discovers that his neighbor is his old college nemesis, Augustus Everett, he quickly believes that this “abandonment” can’t get any worse. A classic story of enemies-in-love trope, this book is predictable and sweet, but sometimes, that’s exactly what I want from a rom-com.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones at six
Beloved #BookTok author Taylor Jenkins Reid writes, Daisy Jones at six is a truly breezy step into the world of ’70s-era rock. Not that I would have any idea of what that was like, but with this book, I felt like I was there and part of the story. In this interview style, we follow Daisy, an aspiring singer, as she joins the rock band The Six and thus falls into a romantic relationship with bandmate Billy Dunne . Jenkins’ ability to write beautiful fiction is based on historical figures—Daisy Jones at six not based on a live Fleetwood Mac band – is one of the reasons I was attracted to this book in the first place. And if reading about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll isn’t enough of an escape, Amazon Prime action stole our hearts this year too.
The Hate Game
Normally, a book that is just a reminder of corporate drama and career questions would stress me out, but The Hate Game did everything but that. Maybe it’s because the characters are so interesting and funny (or maybe because their “jobs” are so anonymous), but This is a great read to help me unwind at the end of the day. The story follows Lucy, a “pretty girl,” whose fiancé, the insufferable but handsome Joshua Templeman, can’t stand her. As assistants to their bosses, Lucy and Josh are alcoholic enemies. However, when the two were involved in a steamy lift moment that reminded me of something a little softer 50 Shades of Grey In the vision, Lucy begins to realize that she may be confused by the desire to hate. Every chapter in this book made me laugh or “aw” out loud, making this the perfect rom-com to follow in the evening.
This is one of those books that I got because I had nothing else to read, so I was pleasantly surprised that it quickly became a favorite. The story follows Nora, whose boring life is exhausting even herself. However, his life becomes more interesting when he passes by the midnight library, where he sees all the other lives he could have had if he had only made one decision. separate. Through different lives as a professional swimmer, explorer and adventurer, and wife to the love of her life, Nora sees what it would be like to have everything she wants—or so she thinks. that he wants. By revisiting choices he could have made differently, this book touches on difficult topics such as suicide and mental health. However, watching Nora win these battles showed me that every story has something to give back. This is a heavy story, but it is also a testament to survival and perseverance.
One day in December
This may sound like a holiday-themed book—but it really is. But what can bring you more joy than being reminded of the time when building a warm house of cocoa, gingerbread of the holiday season? Caught up in the Christmas rush, Laurie rushes into the car, looks out the window, and immediately locks eyes with the man she knows will be the love of her life. Unable to forget him, Laurie tells her friends all about her mystery man when he returns, but no one seems to know who he might be. Finally, he approaches her again a year later—as he is introduced as the boyfriend of Laurie’s best friend, Sarah. And all this is less than 100 pages. The story spans about a decade, with lessons about friendship, growing up, and, yes, love. With relatable characters and an exciting love story, this is a fun book you can enjoy any time of the year.
The patient was silent
There’s a reason this book was voted the #1 inspirational choice on Goodreads. The patient was silent may seem like a hybrid mystery to your mind, but with plot twists when you least expect it, you’ll want to solve the mystery at every turn. The story follows Theo, a criminal psychologist, as he takes care of his mute patient Alicia Berenson, a perfect wife turned killer. The story switches between different points of view between chapters, so you’re always left guessing and not sure which character to trust. I finished this book in one day, so if you’re looking for something to fly in the afternoon, this is the inspiration for you.
Sarah J. Maas
Garden of Thorns and Roses
The newspaper everyone and their mother seem to have read, Garden of Thorns and Roses is worthy of the classic fantasy genre. The story follows Feyre, whose life changes overnight when she is being punished for murder. Imprisoned in a magical kingdom and a prisoner who hides his face behind jewelry, he quickly discovers that this world has its own secrets. And this Beauty and the Beast met The Phantom of the Opera, Feyre’s hatred for her captor eventually turns to hunger. But, in order to survive, he must first break the curse on the lands that are being eaten. If fantasy is your thing, don’t forget to read the other books in this series.
The Love Hypothesis
If you think more with your head than your heart (good for you!), I’ve found your new favorite character. Olive, on her way to getting her Ph.D., doesn’t believe in monogamy. All he has to do is show his best friend that he is in a relationship. When Adam, the omniscient biologist, admits it’s his fake date, Olive thinks he’s going to fool everyone. But, like any character in this trope that soon becomes recognizable, his hatred for love may not last long and Adam may not be as bad as he first thought.
I am not (not) on your body
If a good second chance romance isn’t on your reading list, let me put you on something. Whether you love wedding season or you hate to love wedding season, Kian and Hudson are the main characters who want to attend one such celebration – as each other’s wedding day. The only problem? Well, they separated, but no one in their family knew. It’s a perfect recipe for some very attractive and awkward situations, and these two take out their feelings for each other in a weird and (sadly) explainable way. If you are ready to get into the fake dating game and have a lot of fun, please pick up this book. Hopeless love I’m begging you.
Before #BookTok, there was BookTube, I remember this novel as every YouTuber’s favorite. In a world full of fantasy, two magicians, Celia and Marco, are trained for the magic of their lives, from which only one will emerge unscathed. When the two fall in love with food, they know that there is more at stake than they expected. Set in Victorian London, this book follows the two as they investigate Le Cirque des Rêves, a theater that only comes out at night and has some pretty magic of its own. The battle between good and evil combined with a deep love story like no other, this is the perfect read for anyone looking for dark fiction.
You have me on Hola
Combine cheesy romance with telenovela-esque touches, and I’m there any day. The story follows a female lead and actress Jasmine Lin Rodriguez, who knows she doesn’t need a man to find success. However, things are easier said than done when Ashton Suárez, the telenovela Romeo in his own right, is set to be his partner. Of course, they both find time alone to rehearse, and of course, the gesture turns into a kiss, and, well, you can get another. With plenty of breath-taking scenes and plenty of suspenseful twists, this book will make you feel like you’re watching a rom-com without picking up a TV show.