So, last year I did this thing where I updated my favorites list for the year every three months, which was a fun kind of torture. This year I didn’t want to do that and so I thought I would just take the opportunity to talk about ten books from each season AND at the end of the year force myself to get serious and only write ONE favorites list. Please don’t hold me to it. I’m feeling ambitious today, but I guarantee you I’ll regret that sentence in a few months. What I will spoil for that end of year list is that Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid remains my favorite book of the year and is seriously in contention for my favorite book of all time. Move over, Pride & Prejudice, Daisy Jones has come for you! Okay, for real, let’s get serious:
I appear to have read 70 books in the last three months, which is a number that’s honestly a lot higher than I was expecting, which is silly since I’ve evidently read 150 this year. Of those 70, 13 were re-reads so they won’t factor in to my favorites list, which leaves us with 57 books to choose ten from… Can I put these in order? It’s debatable. Here goes nothing.
- Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
I’m not sure if this feels totally right as my first place pick and I might be especially biased because I read this not too long ago, but I absolutely adored this novel. I laughed out loud, I felt a lot of things, and even the presence of my least favorite plot point couldn’t detract sufficiently from my love for these characters. I loved Hazel. LOVED her. And Josh!! He was such a great, fantastic character and I just wanted to spend forever with him and Hazel. And honestly, even though the end of the novel wasn’t exactly what I would have loved for this book, it didn’t feel totally outside the realm of possibility for these two. It felt right even if I normally balk at the plot point. Anyway, this book was great and gave me all the feels and I loved it a whole lot.
2. Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
I freaking love Hattie. I love Whit. I love Sarah MacLean’s masterful work creating this gritty underworld and pairing it with the gentility of the Ton. I am beyond excited for the next and final book in the series, but this second book really held it’s own. I can’t wait to have my finished copy so I can re-read it!
3. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
Speaking of sequels that do not disappoint, wow! Roanhorse knocked it out of the park with this sequel. I was crying like thirty minutes into the audiobook and on the edge of my seat the entire time. I’ve never been so thankful for my commute in my life! I am in agony waiting for more from Roanhorse, but I’m very much looking forward to all of her projects to come.
4. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This book has a content warning need that really did detract from my enjoyment of the book and even with that I still loved it SO much. SPOILERS TO COME. SKIP YOUR EYES DOWN THE PAGE TO NUMBER FIVE, OKAY? OKAY. (Basically, the public, unrequested outting of Alex and Henry felt unnecessary and like there was enough drama without that punch in the gut, BUT everything about this book felt like being wrapped in a hug even while I was crying for Alex and Henry. I loved this so much. If you are even remotely triggered by the idea of being publicly outted in a big way, be very cautious if you decide to read this book. Or just read the beginning and up until Henry and Alex get together and then bail out after you read the email exchange that contains the line, “History, why don’t we make some” or whatever. I LOVED this book. Just go in with your eyes open. You know?)
5. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
I read this book in a whirlwind at Kiss Con. I pulled the ARC out of my bag and snuck pages whenever I could. I love Alisha Rai with my whole heart and she really wrote a masterful beginning of this new series. I saw a review commenting that this book didn’t feel so much like a romance because of how much time Rhiannon and Samson spend away from each other, which is a valid point. However, this book felt so real to me. Rhiannon and Samson both feel like real live people and their romance came across as genuine and authentic. This is definitely a romance where the character arc for the two love interests is as central as their love story, but I really appreciated that aspect. My sole criticism of this book is that I wanted more out of the end. I did feel like it ended a little abruptly. That said, I read an ARC. We’ll see if that’s any different in the final version.
6. Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn
Hello, yes, Kate Clayborn is an angel sent here to give me the anxiety representation I deserve. I adored this novel with Greer and Alex and honestly the fact that I remember their names after all this time says a whole lot about how perfectly this story weaves together. The friendship between Greer and Kit while navigating Greer and Alex’s relationship and Alex and Kit’s relationship (Alex and Kit are siblings) was incredible. I loved that. And I always love Zoe being on the page. And Alex’s panic attacks? And Alex going to therapy?? I just… *happy sigh* I love this book.
7. Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh
Okay, I’m pretty sure my order is off at this point, but I don’t know where Wolf Rain fits in. I loved Wolf Rain AND I think I’m going to have a better grasp of my feelings on it when I reread it. Or maybe I’m using that as an excuse so I can reread it soon. Whichever. Honestly though, I loved Alexei and Memory so much. I think Memory is one of my top five Psy-Changeling heroines, as I mentioned in my Psy-Changeling series post. And Alexei? Well, I just wanted to give him a hug most of the time. He’s such a wonderful grumpy hero. I loved him. I love this book. I just love Nalini, if we’re being honest.
8. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole
Excuse me, but Johan is my favorite bisexual male character in the history of ever (no offense, Alex, baby, I love you too) and I would die for him. The consent in this book!!!! And my precious Nya is so strong, but such a mess in such a strong way. I loved her. Alyssa Cole can truly do no wrong in my opinion and if you haven’t read her yet, you are seriously missing out. And!! A Duke by Default would fulfill one of the squares for The Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo and so would Once Ghosted, Twice Shy! So get out there and support Alyssa Cole, who is truly such a blessing to Romancelandia. Her voice and the characters she creates are phenomenal. I love her.
9. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
Look, I’m not here to say this book is perfect because it’s not. It has its problems. (Namely that Mary Lou, gag me with a spoon, has a POV.) But ALYSSA LOCKE AND SAM STARRETT ARE MEANT TO BE AND I WOULD DIE FOR THEM. Okay, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Now, on a more serious note, do I recommend this book? Well, you have to read the rest of them first because you need this build up. And since you have to read the rest of the books first, I’m honestly not sure I can recommend it because the book right before this one made me want to gouge my eyes out. Maybe get the ebook and just ctrl f Alyssa, Lys, and Locke and you should be good to go.
10. Fumbled by Alexa Martin
I didn’t even give this book a full five stars, but it’s stuck with me in a way that some other books I did give five stars to have not. I thought there was very little chance I would like this book given the secret baby trope. I was so skeptical. But I listened to Jenny talk about it on an episode of Wicked Wallflowers Club and was like, “Okay, I want to try it.” I loved that this book really took a hard look at CTE and what that looks like as a parent of a child who wants to play football and what it looks like to be dating a man who plays football professionally. The book is incredible and I could have stayed with these characters for many more pages. I am so excited for Martin’s next release, Blitzed!
11. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Okay, okay, I’m cheating, but how was I not supposed to rave about this book? While not my personal favorite of the year, this book was masterfully written and narrated (by Acevedo herself!!). I really did love the story and I think that’s it’s incredible that Acevedo has written a book about a teen mother that doesn’t feel like it shames Amani for her choices. And the cooking! It was really such an incredibly well done novel and I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially on audio. I can’t wait for whatever Acevedo writes next.
And my final cheating aspect is to throw a couple more honorable mentions your way: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (an absolutely brilliant debut), That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert, Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider, Hard to Let Go by Laura Kaye, and The Hot Shot by Kristin Callihan.
What were your favorite books of the last three months? Let me know or drop a link to your post down below!