Recommendations | 5 Graphic Novels I Love!

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re doing well and you’re having a nice day. Today I want to share with you some of my favorite graphic novels of all time. I admit I only pick up graphic novels occasionally, so I’m far from being an expert on the subject. Still, I have read a few that I loved and that’s what I’m bringing you today.

I tried my best to include different styles of art, so you’ll find not only your typical comic book, but I also included a manga I love and a creepier version of a comic. Also, don’t be surprised if you don’t find in this list superhero books – it’s not my cup of tea!

Okay, let’s get into the list already!

1. Thornhill by Pam Smy

“Thornhill” by Pam Smy is a graphic novel on a new level of creepy… and of course, I enjoyed every second of it!

There are so many great things about this book: the artwork is incredible, the story is mysterious and intriguing, the diary format, the creepiness of it all, the gothic elements, the heavy atmosphere… everything! I think this book is very well put together and was very entertaining. 

Definitely worth checking out if you like paranormal, scary books.

Synopsis:

Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.
Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary’s revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s history and uncover its secrets.

Ella’s story is told through striking, bold art; Mary’s is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill’s shadowy past, once and for all. Strikingly told and masterfully illustrated, Pam Smy bends genres and expectations alike.

2. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Next on the list we have “Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell. If you never read this, I’m telling you: you are missing out. I strongly recommend reading this book near the Fall time because the reading experience is magical!

This graphic novel has a very immersive atmosphere, not only for the fun story with a Fall festival, but also with the artwork. The warm Fall colors and art details bring the reading experience to the next level.

It’s a very fun read and like I said, I highly recommend picking this one up when the weather is starting to get cooler!

Synopsis:

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years…

What if their last shift was an adventure?

3. Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo

Another great graphic novel that I highly recommend is “Eat, and Love Yourself” by Sweeney Boo. I got this book randomly as an arc from the publisher and I ended up loving it and recommending it to everyone I know!

The story is kind of heartbreaking. In this book we follow our main character Mindy, and we get to see her struggles with body image, depression and eating disorders.

As someone who has struggled with being overweight most of my life, this book touched me. Fortunately I didn’t struggle with eating disorders like the main character does, but I definitely identified myself with Mindy in a lot of ways.

It’s a book with a serious message, so if you are considering picking this up, please keep in mind that there are trigger warnings for eating disorders, body dysmorphia, depression and body shaming.

It may seem like a negative book, but it’s not. It talks a lot about self-acceptance and self-love, so I honestly think this is such an important book for young readers! It is very touching, personal, relatable and will probably make you cry. Definitely worth it!

Synopsis:

A story about Mindy, a woman living with an eating disorder who has to learn how to love herself again.

In pursuit of the perfect body, Mindy buys the low-fat diet products and the glossy magazines which promise the secret to losing weight. One night, while perusing the aisles of the neighborhood convenience store for a midnight snack, she finds a new product. A chocolate bar called “Eat and Love Yourself”. On a whim, Mindy buys the curious candy, not knowing that with every piece of chocolate she eats, she will be brought back to a specific moment of her past — helping her to look at herself honestly, learn to love her body the way it is, and accepting love. Perhaps, she will even realize that her long lost high school best friend, Elliot, was more than just a friend…

4. Card Captor Sakura by CLAMP

From all of the books that I’m sharing today, this one has a very special place in my heart. Not only is it one of my favorite graphic novels of all time, but it’s also one of my favorite book series of all time. I’m talking about the amazing manga series “Card Captor Sakura” by CLAMP. 

I can’t even express how much I love this series. I watched the anime version of Cardcaptor Sakura when I was younger and it easily became my favorite anime of all time. And after rewatching the series on Netflix, I decided to read the manga. Oh, and a fun fact: this was my first time reading manga!

I could ramble forever on why I love this series so much, but in a nutshell: the manga is full of a lot of my favorite tropes. There is a strong female heroine who is just a regular girl just trying to do her best; there is a slow burn cute romance that started from rivalry; there are a lot of references to yummy food and cakes; there are so many real friendships; there are special, inspiring outfits handmade just to catch the cards; the innocence of it all… just everything!

Whether you’re used to reading manga or not, I highly recommend this series. It’s absolute perfection!

Synopsis:

Sakura Kinomoto was just your average 4th grader—loved P.E., hated math. Until… One day, while looking through her father’s library, Sakura found The Clow, an enchanted book designed to hold a set of magical Clow Cards. But when Sakura opened the book, it was empty. Talk about disasters!! Kerberos, the Creature of the Seal, emerged from the cover of the book and told Sakura the cards must be returned to the book. “If the cards aren’t in the book, they come to Life and do evil!” Kero formed a contract with Sakura making her a Cardcaptor. And together with Kero and best friend Tomoyo, Sakura embarked on a mystical journey to capture all the Clow Cards before they wreak chaos and destruction.

5. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

The next one I want to share with you is the popular series “Heartstopper” by Alice Oseman! Is it really a surprise that this series is here? Absolutely not!

Before picking up the first volume, I saw this series everywhere! And I admit I was a little skeptical to read it because I thought this was probably overhyped on social media. I’m glad to say I was completely wrong!

This is one of the sweetest, cutest romances I have ever read – and that’s saying a lot! Nick and Charlie are adorable and deserve all the hype. Also, the artwork is stunning and complements the story beautifully!

If you pick anything from this list, make it this one! I highly recommend it.

Synopsis:

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

And there you have it friends, those were five of my favorite graphic novels! I’m still fairly new to the world of graphic novels, so I’m still exploring and finding new books. If you have any recs for me, let me know in the comments – I would appreciate it very much!

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next post 🙂

Recommendations | Books with Weddings

Hello friends!

I hope you’re all doing well and I hope the first half of the year was nice to you – time flies in a blink of an eye! Tell me dear reader, can you hear the wedding bells chiming? Because today I’m bringing you a fun little post all about wedding themed books!

Maybe it’s my romantic nature speaking, but I thought it would be a cool idea to make a post about a few of my favorite wedding books! These recommendations I’m bringing you today are all fiction books I’ve read in the past that have some sort of wedding celebration in the story. No non-fiction today, sorry!

So without further ado, here are five wedding themed books. Enjoy!

1. Once And For All” by Sarah Dessen

First on the list we have “Once and For All” by the one and only Sarah Dessen! This fluffy, cute YA book is all about wedding planning and preparations. You get to see the backstage of the entire wedding planning while falling in love with our very special main characters!
This is obviously a romance book, but the characters in this are… peculiar, to say the least! Well, just Ambrose to be honest (the male lead), but you have to see it for yourself. I promise you’ll laugh a lot!
This book is packed with a lot of good stuff: great family dynamics, a fluffy (and unique) romance, likable characters and a hint of drama. It is definitely a fun option if you like wedding books. Also, Sarah Dessen’s writing is incredible and perfect for this time of the year!

Synopsis:

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.
Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

2. Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Another book I thought about when I first created this list is “Maybe This Time” by Kasie West. This book is a little different from the others in this list in the sense that it takes place not only in a wedding, but in different events over a span of a year. So not only do you get a wedding in this book, but you get a set of different events! The reason for this is because the main character works in a flower shop that is doing flower arrangements for all of these events.
It’s a very cute book with great characters and a nice romance. I highly recommend it for a light reading!

Synopsis:

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to… fall in love?
Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.
Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all…
Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

3. “Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Next on the list is a very fun and summery book: “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren! This super fun chick lit not only is wedding themed, but also honeymoon themed. The cover gives a glimpse of the atmosphere of the book very well: what you get in this book is the most perfect tropical honeymoon…  with a twist! The couple is not the bride and groom, but the bride’s sister and groom’s best man! Interesting right? The bride and groom got food poisoning so they sent them to enjoy the honeymoon instead (or they would just lose the money). The problem is they hate each other. Well, you know what happens next! If you’re a big fan of the hate-to-love trope, this will be a treat.
The setting is gorgeous and summery and the couple has the best banter and hate/love relationship. It’s a really good option to bring to the beach!

Synopsis:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

4. “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley

This one is a little different from the other books because it’s everything BUT romantic. This is not a romance book, it is a thriller! I decided to add something a little different to this list for my thriller fans out there.
How to describe this book? This was a really fun murder-mystery set on an isolated island… during a wedding! The cool thing is that you’re not only trying to find who was the murder… you don’t know who dies in the first place, so you’ll be guessing on that too! It was a very fun mystery full of possible suspects and different motives. I highly recommend it!
You can find my thoughts on this book right here.

Synopsis:

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

5. “Save the Date by Morgan Matson

The next recommendation is “Save the Date” by Morgan Matson! This is another very fun option to pick due to its great humor and family dynamics. The cool thing about this book is that it’s wedding themed… but only disasters! Everything that could possibly go wrong goes wrong, so you’ll be laughing the entire time of the perfect disaster that is happening (and maybe get some anxiety as well).
This wonderful and heartwarming book also has amazing sibling relationships that were beautifully written and explored. Needless to say, if you like wedding books, this one is a must!

Synopsis:

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

And that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed these wedding themed recommendations. Tell me about you! Do you like wedding themed books? If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading! I’ll see you in the next post 🙂

Recommendations | Paranormal Books by Genre

Hello friends!

I hope you’re all doing well and I hope you already read amazing books this year – share with me some recommendations if you have them, I’m always looking for new books to read!

I recently went through the list of books I have read on Goodreads and I had a realization. I found so many different types of paranormal books in there! That made me realize that paranormal is a very flexible genre, since you can find it in so many other genres.

Inspired by my little Goodreads discovery, I’m bringing you a list of a few recommendations for paranormal books within different genres! Here are a few books that I have read that have that special paranormal element. Enjoy!

1. MYSTERY

Paranormal pairs beautifully with mystery, for obvious reasons! And I remembered this small, but very interesting book that fits perfectly in this category: A House At The Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman.

In this story, you’ll follow two teenagers on their first date and while they’re spending time at a mysterious lake, they find a normal-looking house at the bottom of the lake. Things quickly get scary when they find out there’s something special that gives life to the house… and that’s where I’ll leave it! It’s a very interesting paranormal/mystery story, and very out of the ordinary as well. If you’re curious, definitely check it out!

2. THRILLER

Paranormal and thriller is also a very common mix, so there are many options out there. I thought of two books for this category, and here they are!

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is a really creepy book that gave me chills! It’s a story about a mother who gives birth to a set of twins, but at some point she feels like they’re not her babies and that her real babies were stolen. Of course the story goes from there and you can imagine what happens! It’s a creepy book, but a very interesting one that will give you goosebumps!

The Patient by Jasper DeWitt is the kind of story you usually find on paranormal/thrillers. It’s about a young psyquiatrist who tries to work with a 40 year-old patient that was admitted to the psyquiatric hospital when he was only 6 years-old. Everyone who tried to treat this man descendend into madness and even suicide. No one knows what he has, so he’s confined between the hospital doors for the rest of his life. Interesting, right?

3. ROMANCE

A not-so-popular combination to find is paranormal and romance. Which is a shame, because the queen Colleen Hoover wrote an incredible one: Layla!

This book is very unique. It’s different from EVERY romance I have ever read. I can’t even explain this book without spoiling it, so I’ll leave here the synopsis here so you can see it for yourself:

“When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.”

Interesting right? Although I prefer Colleen’s typical romances, this one definitely left a mark on me in a good way. Definitely worth checking out if you’re curious!

4. HORROR

This is probably the most popular genre mix in this post: paranormal and horror! Sure, thrillers are popular too, but nothing beats the horror/paranormal combination! Here is a book within these genres that I would recommend: Horrid by Katrina Leno!

This book starts with a girl moving to another state with her mom after her dad died. They move into a manor that was from her grandparents, and they soon get to know the history behind the creepy, old house. You can also guess what happens next!

5. YOUNG ADULT

There are a few young adult/paranormal books out there, but today I’m bringing you a duology from one of my favorite authors of all time: Pivot Point by Kasie West.

The paranormal element in this book is related to having special abilities. In this world, people have special abilities, and when facing a choice, the main character is able to see the future and see what are the two possible outcomes and the consequences. Her parents are divorcing and asked her who she wants to live with, so she decides to see the future to make her choice. It’s a very clever book and it gets even better with the second book. Highly recommend it!

6. GRAPHIC NOVEL

You could never go wrong with graphic novels! So why not pair it with paranormal? Here are two really cool paranormal books that are also graphic novels:

Thornhill by Pam Smy is a triple threat because it also dives into horror! This amazing graphic novel follows a girl that moves to a new house, and there she finds a mysterious girl living next door. She only sees her from her bedroom window, until one day she leaves to follow her. This is such a cool book and I highly recommend it if you’re into these genres.

Sheets by Brenna Thummler is definitely on the lighter side! There are a few difficult topics, but the book is full of humor and it’s perfect if you’re in the mood for something lighter. It follows the relationship between a cute ghost and a girl who lives above a laundromat. It’s an adorable book that I’m sure you’ll love. And if you reeeeally like this, there’s a second book you can get!

And that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed these recommendations. As you can see, paranormal books dip into other genders frequently… so I’m sure you’ll find something that suits your taste. Why not give it a try? 🙂

Tell me about you! Do you like paranormal books? If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!

Recommendations | 4 Pirate Books You Will Love!

Ahoy mates! See what I did there?

I hope you’re all doing well! Today I’m bringing you 4 recommendations for Pirate books! I love heavily themed books, and pirates are one of my favorite subgenres within fantasy! I read a few pirate books in the last few years, and I want to share with you some of my favorites. So here are the recommendations!

1. Daughter of the Pirate King duology by Tricia Levenseller

This duology stole my heart to the point that I read it in one sitting! The book is very well written and I felt like I was completely transported to that ship! I also loved the main character: she was strong, intelligent, fully aware of her potential and fierce as hell. I loved her smart answers and sarcasm, which made her even more amazing to me.

There’s also some romance in this story, and I would describe it as a perfect balance of a slow burning romance with a lot of excitement! The story is fantastic, the female lead is inspiring and strong and the atmosphere is out of this world! If you take any recommendations from this post, I strongly recommend this one! Here’s the synopsis:

Synopsis

“There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.”

2. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Compared to the “Daughter of the Pirate King” duology, this has more of a serious/realistic tone to it. Still, the author also did a great job setting an atmosphere that makes you travel to this new world.

Apparently this is a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” but I honestly don’t see it. The only thing both stories have in common is that the main character is transformed from a siren to a girl. But other than that, there is not that much in common to make me think of this as a retelling. I think the romance is not the strongest here, but if you like slightly dark pirate books, give this a go! Also, this is a standalone… not very common in fantasy! Here’s the synopsis if you’re interested:

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 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?”

3. Fable duology by Adrienne Young

Just look at these covers. JUST LOOK AT THEM! It’s by far one of my favorite covers of all time. Anyways, I digress.

This was such a cool story! One of my favorite things about this book is how well this world is put together. It’s obvious the author put in a lot of work to make this story seem realistic – you know, for a fiction story. The way the characters talked and acted, the terms used, the scenery… Everything contributed to create a rich story.

This is the kind of book where you don’t know who to trust. You get into Fable’s shoes and you just hope for the best! I will say there were some points the story felt a bit slow paced, but not to the point that would bother me. Still, there is a lot of adventure, danger and secrets to unfold, so if you like pirate stories you are in for a treat! Here’s the synopsis:

Synopsis

“For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.”

4. All the Stars and Teeth duology by Adalyn Grace

I admit this duology wasn’t my favorite, but I think it’s more of a personal taste matter, and for that reason I still think it’s worth talking about it! A lot of people enjoyed this, so I think it’s worth checking it out if you like pirate books.

I personally found this book a little dull at times regarding the pacing, but I think the story is well structured and the plot is interesting. So here’s the synopsis in case you’re curious:

Synopsis

“Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

And that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed these recommendations. It’s not easy to find good pirate books out there, so I’ll keep digging and I promise I’ll share with you once I find new ones. 🙂

Tell me about you! Do you like pirate books? If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!

Recommendations | 4 Non-Fiction Books That Will Change Your Perspective

Hello friends!

How are you doing today? I hope you’re better than good, because life is too short for anything else.

In the last couple of months I started reading non-fiction again – yaay! It’s funny to think non-fiction was my most read genre before I got into the fictional world. I absolutely love non-fiction, but in the last few years I haven’t picked many books within this genre… well, until the new year has come, that is.

I’m currently at a point in my life where I’m growing so much and so fast in all areas of my life, so I think it makes sense why I’m so into non-fiction at the moment.

With that said, I kept thinking about the many non-fiction books that changed my perspective in life – and trust me, there are SO many! I want to share with you today some of the most impactful books I read that changed me for the better. I hope you consider reading at least one of them! Here they are:

  1. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero (theme: success)
    This book started it all for me. This was the first non-fiction/self-development book that blew my mind and is still one of my favorites to this day. In this book, the author explains how she went from a broke, unsuccessful individual to a very successful writer and business woman. Not only was her story interesting and inspiring, but she has a great personality and is really good at story-telling! The book is not focused on a single topic like money or growth, it’s just a general book on success. She talks a lot about taking risks and getting out of our comfort zones, and that’s exactly what I needed the most when I first read this book.
    On a side note: I also recommend her other two books “You Are a Badass At Making Money” and “Badass Habits”, but for the sake of the post I decided to write only about the OG for now. They’re both amazing and worth checking out!
  2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (theme: belongings and personal space)
    The title says it all: this book is life-changing! I’m forever grateful my perspective on my physical belongings and personal space changed in such a drastic way, and all thanks to this amazing book.
    Ever since I read it, I think constantly about what I decide to bring into my space and I always make sure I’m surrounded by the things I love. I never was a big hoarder by any means, but now respect all of my belongings and everything has its own purpose and a designated “home” – and most importantly, everything arround me makes me happy! This book teaches you how to declutter in an effective way and how to keep your space organized for the rest of your life. So as a consequence you will only be surrounded by the things you absolutely love, which means your happiness will increase immensely after the entire process.
    I think it’s important to note that I don’t necessarily agree or do everything said in this book, but I still took a lot from this life-changing book.
  3. Atomic Habits by James Clear (theme: habits)
    I have to be honest with you, I admit I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book when I first picked it up. When this book first came out, everyone under the sun was reading this and hyping it up, and I assumed it was another short-life social media phenomena. I was very wrong. This is one of the best self-development books out there and I can’t recommend it enough!
    This practical book teaches you how to create new habits and stop old ones. There were so many things I took from this book, but the main one was definitely how we should focus on changing systems and not on end goals. Still, I took much more from this book. This book ended up impacting every single area of my life – finances, exercise, eating, meditation, etc. – and I know it will change yours as well. And even if you’re not looking to change your habits, give it a shot anyways. I’m sure you will take something from it!
  4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (theme: financial freedom)
    Another amazing book and my most recent non-fiction read from this list. This book was recommended by a dear friend of mine and his argument was the same: “you need to read this book, it will change your perspective on money and personal finances for the rest of your life“. So that’s exactly what I did, and it ended up being one of my favorite books of all time.
    In this book, Mr. Kiyosaki talks about how he grew up with his dad (the poor dad) and his best friend’s dad (the rich dad), and how he was able to see the difference between both mentalities. The poor dad taught him to stay in school and get good grades, in order to secure a steady job with a good paycheck. But the rich dad told him the importance of investing and taking opportunities to become financially free.
    It was a book that completely changed my way of thinking in regards to money, investing and personal finances, so I highly recommend it. There are so many valuable lessons here that you can also apply to other areas of your life, so even if you’re not interested in the money topic, I would still say you should pick it up.

I highly recommend any of these books, because I learned so much from them and I think you’ll do too. I hope you enjoyed these recommendations and I hope I inspired you enough to pick at least one of them!

Let me know if you read any of these and if you liked them. I’m always looking for new recommendations, so feel free to comment a few of your favorites as well. 🙂

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next post!

Recommendations | Fantasy Standalone Books | 1

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having an amazing day! Lately I’ve been thinking about my blog and how I should do different posts more often (other than reviews, wrap ups and TBR lists). I had the idea of sharing a few fantasy recommendations with you since it’s one of my favorite genres, but the focus being on standalones!

Let’s be real: sometimes we just don’t want to commit to a long ass fantasy series! Sometimes a smaller, compact story does the trick, and that’s exactly what I’m sharing with you today! So here are five of my favorite fantasy standalones of all time (with the synopsis)!

  1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

    I’ve recommended this book many times before here on the blog, so finding it here may not be a surprise to you! Heartless is a fantasy retelling based on the life of the infamous Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. It’s a very creative take on her backstory and how she became so cruel. Catherine – who later became the Queen of Hearts – was not always cold and mean like everyone thinks. She was a sweet girl that loved to bake, until she met the king’s new court jester. Then she fell in love and her life changed forever.
    This book is beautiful, complex (in a very good way), dark and heartbreaking. What really sold the book to me was the beautiful romance and the atmosphere. All the descriptions bring life to the book – especially the pastries.
    Even if you’re not a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, I would still recommend this book because there’s not a huge correlation with the original story. Sometimes you will laugh, and sometimes you will cry. But it’s completely worth it. If you’re into retellings and you never read it, you need to add this to your TBR list.

    Synopsis:
    Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
    Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
    Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

  2. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

    Another amazing book! “To Kill a Kingdom” is a fantasy book with a siren/pirate theme. What I liked so much about this book is how “realistic” it is. I know it’s fantasy, but it’s written with a more serious tone. When you read this book, you travel to a new world and are completely immersed in the experience. Supposedly this is a “Little Mermaid” retelling, but I honestly don’t think the stories are similar.
    The story was very interesting and well put together. I personally didn’t love the romance, but the story makes up for it! As you can imagine, this particular book is on the darker side as well so if you like that in fantasy books I’m sure you’re going to love this one!

    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 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?

  3. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

    A great book from a great (but underrated) author! Tricia Levenseller writes the best, most fierce female main characters, and that is only one of the motives for why I love her books so much. I loved the main character Alessandra and how devious, unapologetic, strong and sure of herself she was. The story is fantastic and complex, and there is a small mystery with a plot twist in the end.
    I would also say this is a subtle feminist book, which I wasn’t expecting and really enjoyed! Alessandra wants to be queen not only to rule and give orders, but also to give women the opportunity to have the same rights men have.
    This book is amazing and if you can, you should definitely pick this up. If you like slow burning romances, this is a great one! I would also highly recommend her duology The Daughter of the Pirate King.

    Synopsis:
    Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:
    1) Woo the Shadow King.
    2) Marry him.
    3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

    No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.
    But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

  4. Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold

    This book is very unique, and that’s the reason why I love it so much. This is another retelling, but I wouldn’t consider an actual retelling – this time a “Little Red Riding Hood” one! Red Hood has a bigger purpose, though. The main topics of this book are abuse, double standards and consent, but it’s all written in a metaphoric way using fantasy. Some men are wolves and they take women as prey. I love the way the author uses fairytales and recreates them to encourage important conversations. The book talks about toxic masculinity, rape culture and incels, by encouraging consensual relationships and gender equality.
    Seems complex? Don’t worry about it, it’s actually easy to follow! It’s not a beat-around-the-bush kind of book because it will tell you everything as it is, whether you are comfortable or not! It’s feminist, it’s raw and it’s empowering. Highly recommend it if you’re craving a different kind of fantasy story!

    Synopsis:
    You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.
    And the wolf is angry.
    Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.

  5. The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme

    This book was sent to me to review and I ended up really liking it – it is a very unique book as well! The pacing is nice and even though the romance wasn’t my favorite, what made me like this book so much was the grapes/vines/wine element. I really liked that theme because it’s not something you see everyday in books. It was very unique and it paired very well with the setting. You can read my full review on this book here. Definitely worth checking out!

    Synopsis:
    For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.
    When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

And that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe took some recommendations from it. If you have any book recommendations, please leave them in the comments so I can check them out… you know I’m always looking for new books to read! Also, let me know if you read any of these and if you liked them.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate you very much 🙂 see you in the next post!

Recommendations | Romances for Valentine’s Day by Genre

Hello lovebirds!

I hope you are doing great! As you know, Valentine’s day is right around the corner, so I thought I would make a post on book recommendations.

As I said plenty of times before, I read a LOT of romance books – so yes, I do consider myself an expert thank you very much… I’m kidding! I’m a very romantic person by nature and I love to read love stories. Romance is one of those genres that you can find in so many other genres. So I thought I would do a different kind of post: instead of only recommending romance books, I’m bringing you romances according to different genres!

And sorry if I didn’t mention your favorite genre! I tried to keep it relatively short, so in this list you’ll only find 12 books from different genres. Here we go!

  1. Contemporary recommendation: The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
    Let’s start with a very easy genre: contemporary! This book was a pleasant surprise to me, and I think you’ll like it too. This story is about a woman and a man who start to share a flat (and a bed), but they never see each other. The guy is a doctor so he works during the night and the girl works during the day, so they never cross paths… until they do. You can guess what happens next! It’s a very fun book with great humor, and I definitely recommend it for contemporary book fans.
  2. Historical recommendation: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
    Tessa Dare is the queen of historical romance (in my humble opinion)! This is one of her most popular series, and it’s jet packed with romance. Definitely worth trying if you like the genre!
  3. Fantasy recommendation: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
    For a fantasy book, I immediately thought of To Kill a Kingdom. This book is a standalone (which is rare to find nowadays within the fantasy genre) and the fantasy theme is pirates and sirens. This is definitely on the darker side, but the romance in it is definitely worth it!
  4. Thriller recommendation: The One by John Marrs
    I admit it was not an easy task to find a thriller with a romance in it… but once I remembered this book existed, I thought it would be the perfect addition to the list! The One is not your usual book, I can guarantee you that! It’s one of the most unique books I have ever read, and I think you’ll think so too. This thriller/science fiction book has a special focus on love, but it’s definitely not a romantic book. Intrigued? Give it a try!
  5. LGBTQ+ recommendation: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston
    I read this a while ago, but I really liked it! Who doesn’t love books with royalty and romance? It’s very well written and fun! If you like the enemies-to-lovers trope, you need to read this one!
  6. Adult recommendation: Float Plan by Trish Doller
    Let me clarify that “adult” in this particular context does not mean steamy – just a book with adult characters and adult topics. This particular book is extremely underrated in my opinion! I genuinely don’t understand how this book is not more popular. This story is not only a romance, but also a story about grief and overcoming depression. Highly recommend this one, it’s very worth it!

7. Young Adult recommendation: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
This one is an oldie but goldie! I think this book was popular a few years ago, and if you haven’t read, I encourage you to do so! It’s a very emotional book, but absolutely beautiful. The writing is great, the story is addictive… you can’t go wrong with this one!

8. New Adult recommendation: Leo (Preston Brothers #3) by Jay McLean

If you follow me for a while, you know I recommended Lucas (the first book from this series) before. There are three books in the series (Lucas, Logan and Leo) and each book follows a different brother and the respective love interest. I’m recommending this one in particular because it’s my absolute favorite! Not only does the book have a great romance, but I love the family dynamics as well! The book is swoony, steamy and just beautifully written. If I had to pick a favorite I would pick the book Leo, but I genuinely love the entire series just as much.

9. Graphic Novel recommendation: Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman
This was a fairly recent addition to my “read” pile, and I have to say I absolutely fell in love with it! Before I picked it up, I thought this was probably too hyped up on social media and I thought I wouldn’t love it as much as other people were praising it, but let me tell you something: if you take ANY recommendations from this list, I would say to read this one because it’s very worth it. This is probably the cutest romance I have ever read! I love the story, characters and romance. Highly recommend it!

10. Mystery recommendation: Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2) by Holly Jackson

This has become one of my favorite series of all time! I have given a 5 star rating to all the books in the series because I absolutely love all of them. The romance present in this book (the second book of the series) is between the main characters, the young adult detectives! The focus of this book is not romance, but crime. Still, I think they’re adorable! If the romance doesn’t sell it to you, read it for the mystery because it’s chef’s kiss!

11. Mythology recommendation: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

For the mythology recommendation, I immediately thought of The Song of Achilles! I personally didn’t know a lot of Achilles before I read this book, so I learned a lot about Achilles and his romance in this book. The story is focused on Patroclus and Achilles, so if you’re interested in mythology this is a must read!

12. Paranormal recommendation: Layla by Colleen Hoover

I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll say it again: NOBODY writes romance like Colleen Hoover…. And this book is no exception! This story is very unique and the author added an amazing paranormal element to it. Also, needless to say that it is packed with a lot of surprises and twists (c’mon, it’s Colleen Hoover after all)! It’s not a typical romance, but it’s a very interesting story.

And that’s it for today folks! I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you got a few new book recommendations from this list. Like I said, romance is my most read genre so if you have any romance recommendations, please share them in the comments! If you read any of the books I mentioned, let me know your thoughts as well. 🙂

Stay healthy and have a happy Valentine’s day!

The Worst Books I Read in 2021

Hello friends!

If you saw my last post The Best Books I Read in 2021, you know I had a great reading year last year. But even the best reading years have terrible books, and that’s exactly what I’m sharing with you today.

Today I’m bringing you the 8 books I read last year that I disliked and the reasons why I disliked them. A big disclaimer: please don’t take it personally if I mention a book you loved! We all have different opinions and tastes when it comes to reading and I’m not trying to offend anyone… this is just my personal opinion 🙂

Okay, now let’s go into the list! Here are the books:

  1. Twelve Nights by Andrew Zurcher
    This book… oh Lord, where do I start with this book? I’m always very grateful when authors and publishers reach out to me and give me books to review, but I have to be real when I review them and this book ended up being absolutely dreadful. I wish this was only my opinion, but apparently it is a very popular opinion with almost everyone who read this book. This was the worst middle grade book I have ever read, and one of the worst books I have ever read. I think it had great potential, but the execution killed the story. I personally wouldn’t recommend it, but if you’re curious give it a go.
  2. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
    I spent almost 4 months trying to read this book, and I jumped with happiness when I finally ended it. It was one of the most boring, dense and confusing books I have ever picked up. There’s like six or seven POVs in this, and it’s very difficult to keep up with what’s going on. Not only that, but I found the book extremely slow and uninteresting. I personally wouldn’t recommend it as well, but in this case I think it’s a matter of taste.
  3. Maid by Stephanie Land
    Although I’m a big fan of reading true stories and non-fiction, this was a major flop for me. I think the intention of the book was to show resilience and strength from Stephanie, but it definitely backfired on her, because it ended up giving the opposite effect. Stephanie was unbearable, whiny and kept a “poor me” attitude through the entire book. It wasn’t even inspiring, just a waste of time.
  4. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
    What made me dislike this book so much was the main character. I never disliked a character more, like I disliked this one. She was annoying, entitled, mean and was always jealous of other people. The story also wasn’t very strong, so overall this was a fail to me.
  5. Normal People by Sally Rooney
    This is a very unpopular opinion and I’m aware of that, but I really disliked this book. I just couldn’t take the romance or the characters seriously, because I found them childish and immature. I’m not sure if my experience would be different if I read a physical copy instead of the audiobook version, but I don’t think I will ever find out.
  6. Hungry Hearts
    This anthology disappointed me for different reasons. As a foodie, I love to read about food and cooking, and even though this had that, it was the only thing I enjoyed about this book. The stories on this were crazy and other than being in the same neighbourhood, there was absolutely nothing that connected these stories. You get a bit of everything here: one story is about romance, another is paranormal, another one is fantasy, another one is about dangerous gangs and killers, etc. There was a lot going on, and at one point the range of genres just felt silly. Didn’t work out for me, but maybe you’ll enjoy it?
  7. Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards
    The problem I had with this book was the weak plot and slow pace. It almost feels like the story didn’t progress, and there were too many loose ends and nonsense. I wouldn’t recommend this one. If you’re looking for a good mystery, there are many amazing books out there… this is not one of them.
  8. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter May
    This story was overall okay, but there was something in this story that really made me dislike this book: the spoilers. So, if you don’t know, this book basically exposes the mysteries of some well-known books, and I was furious because I wanted to read some of the books mentioned. I’m still really mad at this and I can’t comprehend how something like this happened. Why not make up books and stories to use in this book? Was it really necessary to spoil mysteries from books that actually exist?

Like I said, please take my opinion with a grain of salt. Everyone likes what they like and we all have different opinions! So tell me, have you ever read any of these books? Let me know in the comments! I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you in my next review 🙂

The Best Books I Read in 2021

Hello friends!

Today I’m bringing you the best books I read in 2021! I read 120 books last year and I found new, amazing books I want to share with you today. Just a small disclaimer first: these are not necessarily books that came out last year! This list is focused on my personal reading year and the books that were part of it. I wanted to pick 10 of my favorite reads, but I ended up picking 14 because there were so many books I loved! So let’s get into it:

1. Badass Habits by Jen Sincero
I’m a huge fan of Jen Sincero’s books, but this book surprised me even more. I honestly loved it and I think this is probably my favorite book from her. The format of this book is a little different from the others, because this is more of a practical guide. You are given clear instructions with examples of what you should do to change your habits. It was really good and I’m definitely picking it up this year again to work on some of my habits. Highly recommend it!

2. The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
Sophie Anderson books may appeal to you because of the cover, but you will fall in love with her stories. This book blew me away with how good it was. Not only was the story beautiful, and full of magic, but it was very well written with a solid story with a great meaning. I can’t stress this enough: if you like middle grade books, you need this in your life!

3. Warcross by Marie Lu
This includes the second book in the duology, “Wildcard“. I started 2021 the best way by reading the “Warcross” duology! I’m not a huge science fiction fan, but this duology was an amazing surprise. The story (and mystery) was compelling, the theme was interesting and it was written in a really approachable way! Definitely one of the best books I read in 2021!

4. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
I actually started this book a few years ago, but never finished it. This year I decided to pick it up again and this time I finished it! Needless to say, this story is absolutely beautiful and a must-read in my humble opinion.

5. Verity by Colleen Hoover
This was one of the only Colleen Hoover’s standalones I was missing, and I finally read it in 2021. I LOVED the mystery of this book, and it quickly became one of my all time favorites from this author. If you love Colleen as well and you haven’t read this one yet, you NEED to pick it up!

6. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
I was very curious about this book because I heard a lot of amazing things about it. I honestly never read anything like this before, but in a nutshell: it’s an amazing fantasy book with great characters and a wholesome story. I don’t know what I was expecting when I first picked up this book, but it surpassed all of my expectations. Highly recommend this one!

7. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Even though I’m mentioning the second book of the series in this post, this is valid for the entire series. I picked the second book for this post because it was definitely my favorite, but the entire fantasy series is incredible! I can’t believe it took me so long to read it, because it was really good. One of my favorite reads from this year, for sure!

8. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
My first Matt Haig book and it was a bop! I really like when stories have deep meanings and messages behind the main stories, and this was a treat. It’s a book that makes you think about life after death and life regrets. It’s amazing, can’t recommend it enough!

9. Kill Joy by Holly Jackson
I admit I didn’t expect this novella to be as good as it was. I love the popular Holly Jackson’s series, but I never in a million years thought this was just as good as her full-length books. I just wished this was a normal sized book because I wanted more!

10. Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
Another Holly Jackson book from the same series, but I thought this one deserved to have its own spot. This was amazing. I think it’s difficult for an author to continue writing a series with the same quality as the first book of the series, but this author surprised me. This was just as good as the first book and I can’t wait to pick the third book of the series now!

11. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I picked it up randomly and I ended up loving it! Trevor Noah really poured his heart when he wrote his story, and as a reader I really appreciate what he did with this book. Not only do we get a very raw testimony of what it was like to live in South Africa, but I also learned a lot. I loved how strong his mother was and how she did her best to raise him. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan or not, I highly recommend it if you like non-fiction.

12. One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
Another book I randomly picked at the bookstore. I heard about it before, but I never considered picking it up because it didn’t look like a book I would like. I ended up buying it and really liking this book because I saw myself in the man character. The main character struggled with her weight and felt insecure about other people commenting on her looks – which is something I also struggle with. The writing was really good and made the story even more realistic to me. Great message and great story!

13. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
This book was… something. For a horror book it was perfect: a good dose of disturbing energy, mystery and not a single loose end. I’m aware that this book has mixed reviews, but I personally loved it and I would still recommend it if you are a fan of horror!

14. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Another great surprise to my reading year! I DEVOURED the first four books of this series last year, and the only reason why I didn’t read the fifth book is because it’s not out yet. This is the cutest romance I have ever read in my life, and that’s saying a lot! Highly recommend it if you’re curious about it.

What about you? What were the best books you read last year? Did you read any of these books I included in the list? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Recommendations | My All Time Favorite Romance Books

Romance is by far my most read genre. I’m just a romantic person by nature and I love to read love stories that make my little heart swoon! Since Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you some of my favorite romances of all time – and maybe you can find one or two new books to read

So I went to my Goodreads account and I put together a list of my favorite romance books to share with you today! Please note that since this is a list of some of my favorite books, you’ll find a lot of young adult and new adult books with slow burn romances and the enemies-to-lovers trope. Not all the books I mention follow this, but a lot of them do so keep that in mind. Still, I hope you enjoy it… here we go!

My All Time Favorites

I had to start this list with some of my favorite romance books of all time! In this list I want to share with you six books in the new adult and young adult genres that I absolutely love. If you love romance, you need to check these out!

  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    If you like to read new adult romance, there’s a big possibility you already stumbled across this book. It has a similar plot to After (I prefer this one, though): both books are about good girls that go to college and fall in love with bad boys. It’s steamy, fun and intense! What some people don’t know is that there is a second book named Walking Disaster that follows the same story, but it’s told from the boy’s perspective. I haven’t read that one so I don’t know if it’s good, but I would definitely recommend this one if you never read it.
  • Bully by Penelope Douglas
    Bully is part of a series, but I only read the first book so I’m only referring to that one. This story is about a boy and a girl who were best friends once but now they can’t stand each other. He always picks on her and he pranks her constantly… until she decides she had enough. It’s a great option if you like young adult romance with the enemies-to-lovers trope. It’s intense and a slow burn, and I enjoyed every second of it!
  • The Deal by Elle Kennedy
    I love this series with all my heart. Seriously, if you like new adult books and you never read this one… you need to. The Deal is the first book of the Off-Campus series which is a companion series of four books. The books in this series follow four friends who play hockey (one friend per book), and their respective love interests. They all have different personalities and relationships, so I guarantee you there will be at least one book you’ll love. It’s worth it and I can’t recommend it enough!
  • Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
    This is one of my favorite companion novel series of all time! The Field Party series is about a group of high school football players and their respective  romantic interests. I really like how the romance is mixed with sports in this series, because the result is a very fun young adult series.There’s parties, sports and a lot of romance. One of my favorites!
  • Lucas by Jay McLean
    This series is super good! Lucas is the first book of the book companion novel series The Preston Brothers. There are three books in the series (Lucas, Logan and Leo) and each book follows a different brother and the respective love interest. I love the family dynamics in this because they have a huge family and they spend a lot of time together! And not only the family dynamics are amazing, but the romances are just as good. Each book is swoony, steamy and just beautifully written. If I had to pick a favorite I would pick the book Leo, but I genuinely love the entire series just as much.
  • A Bad Boy Stole My Bra by Lauren Price
    Don’t be fooled by the title, because this is a cutesy young adult romance book. It all starts when a girl is sleeping and wakes up in the middle of the night to see her new next door neighbour escaping her bedroom window with one of her bras in his hand! Fortunately, it was only a bet… but what a way to meet someone new, right? This book is super fun and I loved the characters and their personalities.

Fantasy Romance

Lately I’ve been in a big fantasy mood, so most of the romances I’ve read lately are part of the fantasy genre. I think overall fantasy romance is more intense in comparison to contemporary romance, and it definitely shows in the selection I’m bringing you today. So here are a few of my favorites.

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    Who am I kidding, this series needs no introduction. A Court of Thorns and Roses is one of my most recent reads, and I fell in love with the story and the romance. If you don’t know the story, it’s about a human girl who kills a faerie and as a consequence she is taken away from her family to live in the faerie world with her captor. At first she hates him, but the inevitable happens and they fall in love. The romance for me is one of the best parts of this story, but the plot is also really good and interesting. And the crazy thing is that I’m currently reading the second book and I’m loving it even more than the first one! I didn’t even think that was possible…
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    I didn’t hesitate for a single second when I gave this five stars. Heartless is a retelling about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. It’s a take on her backstory and how she became so cruel. I don’t even have words to describe how much I loved this book. It’s an amazing, creative, dark book with a beautiful romance. If you’re into retellings, this needs to be added to your TBR!
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
    Another popular series that needs no introduction. The Cruel Prince is an amazing fantasy trilogy about the romance between a human girl and a faerie prince. Of course the story is so much more than that, but the romance was the best part for me. Again, it has an enemies-to-lovers trope and a slow burn romance. If you’re a fan of those, you should really read this.

Unique Romances by Colleen Hoover

I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll say it again: NOBODY writes romance like Colleen Hoover. I still haven’t read all of her books, but I’ve read a good amount of them to say with confidence that she is a great writer. All of her books are very unique and she always adds an element of mystery to her books and a lot of surprises and twists. Needless to say it’s very difficult to be bored while reading her books! She is very talented and if I’m going to write a romance recommendation list, of course she’s going to be there.

  • Confess by Colleen Hoover
    This was my first ever Colleen Hoover book, and to this day I still think of how amazing this story is! They say you never forget your first, and this book is no exception. The concept for the book is very original and the plot is different from anything I’ve read before. The romance is great, the dramatic twists are crazy and the confessions aspect brings the story to the next level. If you never read it before, I’m telling you right now: you are missing out!
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
    This book is also very unique because you get not one, but two romance stories! In this book you follow a mother and a daughter and not only you get to see their points of view of their own romantic relationships, but you also get a wholesome story about a mother and daughter relationship. So you get both an adult romance and a young adult romance in the same book. Unique, don’t you think? It’s a very wholesome book with great plot and great romances!
  • Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
    I feel like most of Colleen’s books are considered romance but they’re a little bit more focused on the dramatic plot, and to me Heart Bones felt more like a true romance story. Of course there is some mystery and twists like you usually get with Colleen’s books, but the focus here is definitely on the romance. The book is young adult and it has a summer feeling to it, but it also has some sadness to it because the main character goes through a lot. But it’s one of my favorites from her and it’s definitely worth checking out, in my opinion.

The Fluffiest Fluff by Kasie West

Kasie West is one of my favorite romance authors of all time, so I had to mention her here. If you don’t know her, she writes the most amazing, cute and fluffy contemporary YA romances. I’ve read all of her books and I honestly can’t find another author that writes like her. All of her books are lighthearted, romantic and fun, and they always make me smile. I only picked three books to feature on my post, but I honestly would recommend any of her books! So here are three of my favorites.

  • On the Fence by Kasie West
    This is my favorite book from her! It’s about this tomboy girl who falls in love with her next door neighbour – who is also her brothers’ best friend. She hangs out with them a lot, so she’s used to being treated like a boy and she is not used to girly things. What I love so much about this story is the main character’s personality, the romance itself and the sibling dynamics. It’s super cute and completely worth checking out! Oh, and did I mention all of them play soccer? Yes, including the girl.
  • P.S. I Love You by Kasie West
    I love this book! This is a story about a girl and a boy who accidentally start to exchange messages on her school desk. She started writing lyrics from a song and the next day she saw someone wrote back… and that’s how it started! As the time goes by, they start to share secrets and personal things about each other, until the inevitable happens… they fall in love. But the thing is: she doesn’t know who he is! There’s this little mystery to unfold, so you’ll have fun guessing who he is – and the romance aspect is *chef’s kiss*!
  • By Your Side by Kasie West
    Another favorite of mine! This one is about a girl and a boy who get stuck in a library for the weekend. Their lives are completely different and at first it seems like they don’t have a lot in common, but over that weekend they get to know each other better and they fall in love slowly. It’s swoony and sweet, and a great option if you like cutesy young adult romance!

Adult Contemporary

So, I have a confession to make: I’m not a huge chick-lit/adult romance fan. I know it’s a very popular genre but when it comes to romance, I’m more inclined to young adult and new adult – as you can probably tell by this post and my reviews. But with that said, I still stumble across a few good adult romances from time to time and I want to share with you three of them I’ve enjoyed in the past.

  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
    This book was a pleasant surprise! This story is about a woman and a man who start to share a flat (and a bed), but they never see each other. The guy is a doctor so he works during the night and the girl works during the day, so they never cross paths… until they do. It’s a very fun book with great humour!
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
    This book is perfect to read in the summertime! This story is about a woman and a man who were at a wedding and everyone except them – including the bride and groom – got food poisoning. The problem is that the honeymoon trip was already paid and since they were the only ones that didn’t get sick, they took the bride and groom’s place! Oh, and did I tell you they hate each other’s guts? Well, we all know how that ends! Another option if you like the enemies-to-lovers trope!
  • The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
    This book is part of The Bromance Book Club companion novel series and I only read the first two books, but I really enjoyed what I’ve read so far. What’s so cool about this series is that it’s about a man trying his best to get back to his wife. His wife wants the divorce so his last resource is to join this book club where men read romance books together to understand their wifes and girlfriends better. This book is incredibly funny and wholesome, and I truly believe you’ll have a great time reading it like I did!

Other Honorable Mentions

Here are three more romances I thought I should mention!

  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
    This is one of the first young adult romances I have ever read, and I fell in love with it. This story is about a girl who is fascinated by her next door neighbours. They are a big, loud family that always seems happy and having a good time. On the other side, her mother is very strict and she has a lot of rules, one of them being: don’t talk to the next door neighbours. But when she finally meets the boy next door and his family, her life gets filled with color again! If you like the boy-next-door trope, this is one to check out!
  • You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn
    I thought I should mention this book because I loved it’s theme. It’s about two very different country singers that have to go on tour together and work as a team. They don’t like each other at first and there is a lot of bickering, but they eventually get to know the other one better and they fall in love! I loved the country music themed romance, so if you like it as well then you should consider picking this one!
  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Poston
    Another cutesy book to add to your TBR! This one is about a girl whose boyfriend  just broke up with her, and her family decided to set her up with ten blind dates (each one set by a different family member) to cheer her up. This book is super fun and since she’s going on different dates you’ll be wondering which boy she’ll pick! It’s set on Christmas/New Year’s Eve time, but it’s not strongly themed so I feel like you can read this at any time.

And that’s it for today folks! I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you got a few new book recommendations from this list. When I was writing this post I kept thinking about how much I loved these books and how I would love to revisit them, so now I’m feeling very inclined to reread some of them again. Like I said, romance is my most read genre so if you have any romance recommendations, please share them in the comments! I’m always looking for new books to read, so I appreciate it! If you read any of the books I mentioned, let me know your thoughts as well. 🙂

Stay healthy and have a happy Valentine’s day!

xoxo, Neide