Hey all! I hope you are all healthy and safe during these times of social distancing and self-isolation. I get that all of this COVID-19 chaos has been scary, but what better to take your mind off it than some amazing books!
Many of the books on this list are exciting reads that I couldn’t put down. I’m trying to recommend titles that I think will keep you busy, and hopefully thwart boredom!
So, with that being said, let’s check out some of these books!
1. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Synopsis: Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.
Why I Recommend It: I adored Rebel Belle! What’s not to love about a book that follows a southern-belle-turned-superhero? This is such an easy, fun read, and I think it’s perfect for anyone who just wants to temporarily forget about what a mess our world is right now. If you’re in need of a fluffy, no-stress book, I would highly recommend Rebel Belle!
2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Synopsis: Jude was seven years old 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.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.
Why I Recommend It: At this point, I’ve gushed about the Cruel Prince countless times on this blog. I simply can’t recommend it enough! Holly Black has become one of my all-time favorite authors, as her writing never fails to sweep me off of my feet and transport me to another world. Everything about this book–its worldbuilding, character development, exciting plot–is wonderfully written. You NEED to read this book if you haven’t already!
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Why I Recommend It: What better to keep you occupied during this time of crisis than an unputdownable mystery novel? This is the type of book you will become invested in after just a few chapters. It pulls you in with its captivating characters and its element of old Hollywood glamour. And, though I don’t want to spoil anything, let me tell you this: your emotions will definitely get a workout with this book!
4. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Synopsis: 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 and 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?
Why I Recommend It: This book was so much fun. It’s a loose retelling of the Little Mermaid, and probably my favorite one out there. I devoured its fast-paced action scenes, and I found myself even rooting for the romance between the two main characters. Definitely read this book if you’re into fun retellings that have an enjoyable twist to them.
5. Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Various Authors
Synopsis: If you were one of King Henry VIII’s six wives, who would you be? Would you be Anne Boleyn, who literally lost her head? Would you be the subject of rumor and scandal like Catherine Howard? Or would you get away and survive like Anna of Cleves?Meet them and Henry’s other queens–each bound for divorce or death–in this epic and thrilling novel that reads like fantasy but really happened. Watch spellbound as each of these women attempts to survive their unpredictable king as he grows more and more obsessed with producing a male heir. And discover how the power-hungry court fanned the flames of Henry’s passions . . . and his most horrible impulses. Whether you’re a huge fan of all things Tudor or new to this jaw-dropping saga, you won’t be able to get the unique voices of Henry and his wives–all brought to life by seven award-winning and bestselling authors–out of your head. This is an intimate look at the royals during one of the most treacherous times in history. Who will you root for and who will you love to hate?
Why I Recommend It: This one is for all my history buffs out there! Or just anyone who’s captivated by the dramatic lives of the Tudor queens. While I’m unsure of the historical accuracy of it, I enjoyed this book so much. It gives each of the six queens a unique voice and reveals all of the horrors they went through as King Henry’s wives. I wish more people knew about this book because it’s such a good one!
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Synopsis: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love
Why I Recommend It: The Hunger Games is one of the few very popular YA books that I think deserves all the hype. Not only is it an intense and action-packed read, but it also gives us a lot to think about with its portrayal of utopian ideals that eventually lead to a dystopia. Furthermore, I also think the Hunger Games movie adaptation was incredibly well done. So reading the book and then watching the movie would be a super fun quarantine activity!
7. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Synopsis: Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 far-away, 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. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Why I Recommend It: This book was so magical, whimsical, and fun to read! It’s set in a magical world of deception and adventure where you never quite what’s real and what’s not. It was a really speedy read for me, and though it’s not my favorite book ever, I’d still recommend it. The only negative thing I can say about it is that it lacks some much-needed character development.
8. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Synopsis: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined. Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
Why I Recommend It: If someone were to ask me what my definition of perfection was, I’d thrust this book into their face. Seriously. Spin the Dawn is such an amazing book, with a gripping plot, amazing world-building, and characters you’ll root for. Make room on your shelves for this gem of a book, because you will not want to miss it!
9. The Selection by Kiera Cass
Synopsis: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want. Then America meets Prince Maxon–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Why I Recommend It: So, hear me out. I know that this is no “fine literature”, but if we’re talking about books to read when you’re bored out of your mind, this is a good one. Sure the plot is cheesy, the world-building sucks, and the characters are completely one-dimensional, but guys… this is basically the Bachelor in book form. And if you’re like me, you’ll love how laughably corny this book is. The Selection is a light, fluffy read that will definitely keep you entertained during self-quarantine.
10. Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
Synopsis: Serina Tessaro has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. It’s her chance to secure a better life for her family, and to keep her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, out of trouble. But when Nomi catches the Heir’s eye instead, Serina is the one who takes the fall for the dangerous secret her sister has been hiding. Trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one option: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to save Serina. But this is easier said than done… A traitor walks the halls of the palazzo, and deception lurks in every corner.
Meanwhile, Serina is running out of time. Imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive, surrounded by women stronger than she is, one wrong move could cost her everything. There is no room for weakness on Mount Ruin, especially weaknesses of the heart. Thrilling and captivating, Grace and Fury is a story of fierce sisterhood, and of survival in a world that’s determined to break you.
Why I Recommend It: Now that I think about it, this book is kind of a mash-up of the Hunger Games and the Selection. The best of both worlds! This was a very easy read. It’s quite a short book but packed full of action, adventure, and girl power. It’s about being a woman and standing up for yourself even if the situation is not ideal. Definitely read this one if you haven’t already. You’ll regret it if you don’t!
That concludes the list!
Do you have any recommendations to add to the ones I’ve listed? Please let me know down below, I’m so bored and desperate for new reading material.
Stay healthy and safe, everyone! ❤