It is time for one of my favorite posts to make! I have made this list a little odd this time, in which I have six favorite favorites and four honorable mentions. Probably I should have just made this a 1-10 sort of situation, but that’s not what I did. So far this year, I’ve read 91 books, which is quite a bit. So I hope you’ll indulge my excessive list.
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
“… Sometimes I feel like I’m playing at being an adult, like I’m constantly looking around, waiting for a real adult to tell me what to do if my garbage disposal starts making a weird sound or if I should be putting more money in my Roth IRA. I am just… I feel like a complete mess.”
I read The Ex Talk in January and it was absolutely incredible. For some reason, Berkley was nice to me and actually approved me for the ARC of it, which I appreciated because, genuinely, I loved it so much. That also means I have an ARC review if you want more than what I can say here. I think, like my love for Beach Read last year, The Ex Talk perfectly captures the disaster millennial feelings that plague my existence. I think Shay especially has this put together whilst being a mess inside vibe going on that makes her one of my favorite character types, in part because of how relatable it is. I fully anticipate this book being on my favorites list at the end of the year too.
A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
“My husband carries many scars,” she said, “as all men who have lived a life like his must do. There are some scars that show, and there are many, many more that he keeps hidden, and when you’ve discovered all of those, then you may try to test me on how well I know my husband. But until that day comes, Captain, I have little time for games.”
Another January read, A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley was absolutely magical for me. I loved reading about Mary and Hugh and their adventures in the past and I was actually fairly interested in the present storyline, which is important. I just love Kearsley’s writing so much, so it’s not really a surprise I loved this one.
Passing by Nella Larsen
“It hurt. It hurt like hell. But it didn’t matter, if no one knew.”
Tessa Thompson’s narration of Passing brought this book to life for me and I really loved this short novella. I know that I missed a lot of layers in the text because I am a white woman, but I thought this book was so brilliant in how tightly woven it is. And the way that ending happens? Absolutely wild. I have a lot of thoughts and a lot of questions. I am looking forward to seeing it on screen with Tessa Thompson and Ruth Nega.
Adjacent by Alexandra Warren
This neighbors with a slightly antagonistic relationship to lovers novella is absolutely marvelous. I thought it was so funny and while it’s maybe not technically perfect, it was so, so perfect for me in the moment and still sticks with me.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
“Your abilities lie in the places people usually overlooked, so you’ve been convinced you don’t have any at all. But you’re smart, and you’re capable, and if people struggle to see that, it’s their problem, not yours.”
This book is literally perfect in every single way. I don’t think I have the words to really fully encapsulate my love for this book. It’s funny and sweet and sexy and both Eve and Jacob are wonderful. I think Talia Hibbert is a master at her craft and I love her SO MUCH. She’s also wonderful on Twitter, in case you aren’t following her elsewhere. Just amazing.
Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath
“Kathryn, the choices you make are absolutely none of my business. People marry for myriad reasons. Wants, needs, gains. I find fault with none of them because I do not walk in another lady’s slippers. I walk only in my own. But the one thing I do know is that sometimes in life, we have a choice for something more — perhaps for only a night or an hour or a minute. But if we don’t take it, it can fill us with an eternity of regrets.”
Scoundrel of My Heart was honestly such a perfect read for me. Such a perfect read for me. My ARC review is basically just me raving about it while trying to somehow articulate some semblance of what the book is actually about. There was something about the way Heath wove in the angst in this one with a hero, Griffith, who would do literally anything for Kathryn. I just absolutely adored everything about it.
I want to be really clear that the books I’ve mentioned today are the books that are sticking with me and feel like my personal favorites. I’ve read a lot of books that I gave five stars, but I wanted to really highlight the ones that have stuck with me.
What have been your favorites this year?