I really love sharing more with y’all about my favorite books at all times of the year so I am very attached to this quarterly thing I’ve got going on right now. I am presenting you today with ten favorite books and I will say that this list was sort of challenging to make so I make no promises that this list is 100% accurate even for me personally, but it is as accurate as I can be about my preferences at this time. This list is just coming in a rough approximation of when I read them. So let’s talk about them!
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Honestly, it’s no wonder that I love People We Meet on Vacation. Emily Henry’s millennial angst inclusion has hit home for me in both Beach Read and in People We Meet on Vacation and I love her writing style. Plus, friends to lovers is one of my absolute favorite tropes, so this book was a pretty safe bet for me. And it landed. Once I got past my urge to compare it incessantly to Beach Read, I really sank into this book and I loved it so much. I have a review here if you would like actual real thoughts and not just me telling you repeatedly that I really loved the book.
Broken by Jenny Lawson
I requested an ARC of Broken almost on a whim really and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because I now love Jenny Lawson. I need to read more of her memoir/essay collections because her brand of humor and wryness worked for me on every level. This woman had me laughing out loud so hard I had to pause the audiobook and crying so much, I had to take an extra few minutes in my car before going into work to pull myself together. I loved Broken and you can read more of my thoughts in an ARC review here.
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle
I love Wesley. That’s really the secret to my love of Twice Shy is just my overwhelming adoration for Wesley, which is so interesting since the book is told only from Maybell’s perspective. Maybell is a bit of a pushover, or, well, a lot of a pushover and I think her growth arc in this book is really well done. I don’t know how to articulate why I feel like Maybell’s staying true to herself even as she grows through this book felt so satisfying, but it really did. And I loved the fact that what I was afraid would be a conflict at the end wound up being twisted well beyond my expectations. If you want more thoughts, I do have a review here.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
The fact that three books on this list are books that Aarya told me to read is really a sign that I should just drop everything and do what she tells me, honestly. I don’t read much YA contemporary, but I knew Emma Lord is a Swiftie and Aarya thought I would like it. Tweet Cute is also a spin on You’ve Got Mail, which despite not finishing the movie, I love in book form. And, oh my, did I love this book. I was swooning and gasping and giggling and just full on having a fantastic time listening to this audiobook. My sister is usually a little harder to please than I am, but she was also very impressed. I’m looking forward to reading more from Lord in the future.
Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur
Hang the Moon was an incredibly satisfying follow up to Written in the Stars and I remain enthralled with Bellefleur’s writing style, humor, and most especially, the astrology lists she includes in the books. I loved the scene set on the ferris wheel in this book because the real life horror of that and the way that Brendan and Annie handled it was just… swoon worthy. Honestly, this book just gave me a romance I could so entirely root for that it would be impossible to leave off this list. My ARC review can be found here.
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
I talked a lot about how The Soulmate Equation is not for everyone, but that it is my favorite Christina Lauren since Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating in my review, so if you’re on the fence about the book, I would definitely check that to see if those reasons I think people may not like this book would apply to you. But for me, this book was C. Lo. at their best in the sense that this book has characters that I want to hang out with, banter that sparkles, and a love story at the center that I was cheering for. Plus, I almost always like fake dating if we’re being honest. So this book was absolutely a win for me and I devoured it so quickly.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
Short story collections aren’t usually my thing and neither is literary fiction. This collection of stories though was so unique and brilliantly crafted that there is no way to not be both impressed and in love with it. Many of the stories involve sapphic women, including one about two Black women who have moved further north from the south and aren’t adjusting to winter well. The relationship depth showcased in those few pages is honestly awe inspiring. And there are some with really flawed characters who maybe engage in some things that others would disapprove of (like sleeping with married men, for example). I just really loved this collection and so many of the stories have stuck with me. Like, I didn’t have to look up this book at all because I just actually remember these stories.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
This is another book that objectively I know is not for everyone and so in my ARC review I tried to address those issues so that y’all would be able to make an informed choice. But for me, for me, this book was absolutely magnificent. My journey with Tessa Bailey has been so weird. The first book I ever tried from her, I disliked so much, I DNF’d it within two chapters. That is not a thing that happens. And then I absolutely fell in love with Love Her or Lose Her and enjoyed Tools of Engagement so much. Then The Sweetest Fix was fantastic and so when I got the approval for this one, I was excited. And it lived up to all of my hopes and dreams for me. I loved this book. The sequel bait for the next book was impeccable and I can’t wait for it. I am so excited and delighted by her grumpy caretaker male characters and I could read them all the time. And Piper’s journey was so utterly delightful. I just loved it.
Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas
I picked this book up because of Nick and it about broke me, but in the best way. Sherry Thomas can write angst and I fell in love so completely with this book! I actually experienced so many feelings and for quite some time, I couldn’t decide how I actually felt about Fitz because he was so… frustrating! The entire premise of this book is that Millicent and Fitz have a marriage of convenience, but Fitz gets married while in love with someone else. So then we fast forward nearly a decade to the future and that woman is back. And… WOW. The feelings. All of the feelings. I loved this one.
Going Nowhere Fast by Kati Wilde
I read this book while in the midst of probably the most literal reading slump I’ve had in a while and I devoured this book. This book delivers on a hate to love romance with a lot of internal angst that I was definitely here for. This is also another Aarya recommendation because she 100% knows my taste. Anyway, this book is about Aspen, whose wealthy best friend and roommate invited her on a camping/road trip with her brother, Bramwell. The problem? Bramwell and Aspen do not get along at all. What I loved about this book is the deep characterization and how real and messy these characters were. Also, this book made me cry. Like… A lot. I would definitely recommend checking content warnings before picking it up too!
And there you have it! My favorite books of the second quarter of the year. Please share with me some of your favorites of the last three months!