There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book and getting lost in its pages – and with 35 of the Best Books to Read it might be tough to decide where to start. My personal favorites are the ones that make me forget about everything else going on in my life and transport me to another world. From classic novels to contemporary fiction, there’s something for everyone. And the best part? You don’t even have to leave your house to start exploring all the amazing stories waiting to be discovered. So why not grab a cozy blanket, your favorite beverage, and dive into a new adventure?
Everyone loves a good book, especially when you’re looking for an escape from the daily grind. So, what are the latest and greatest Books to Read? Well, with so many amazing authors and genres out there, it can be tough to narrow it down. From page-turning thrillers to heartwarming romances, the options are endless. But fear not, because whether you’re a seasoned reader or just starting out, there’s something for everyone. So, grab a cup of tea, curl up on the couch, and let yourself get lost in one of these must-read books. Happy reading!
Best Books to Read in 2020
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There are definitely a lot of amazing books out there – here are some of the best books to read. Let dive in and get inspired to read!
1. Never Look Back / by Mary Burton
After a string of disappearances, Agent Melina Shepard from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation takes a risky move and goes undercover as a prostitute. While on the streets, she narrowly escapes becoming another victim of a serial killer. Realizing she needs help, she reluctantly seeks backup.
Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. With no leads to follow, they investigate an abandoned vehicle where a little girl has been found. Upon opening the trunk, they come face to face with a nightmare and realize they’re dealing with two killers, each with their own unique MO. The case hits too close to home for Melina, reminding her of her painful past.
With time running out, Melina must capture not one but two serial killers who are ready to claim their next victim – and are both targeting her.
2. 28 Summers / by Elin Hilderbrand
When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives a slip of paper with a phone number from his dying mother, he is uncertain about what to do with it. He never expected the call to be answered by Jake McCloud. The year is 2020, and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is running for President.
Link is confused. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?
Taking us back to the glorious summer of 1993, Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage in Nantucket from her aunt and agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Among the guests is Cooper’s college friend, Jake McCloud, who sparks a relationship with Mallory that will endure through marriage, children, and Ursula’s meteoric political rise – until Mallory’s life is tragically cut short.
Based on the classic film “Same Time Next Year” that Mallory and Jake watch every summer, “28 Summers” delves into the pain and passion of a once-a-year affair and the ways in which this relationship both complicates and enriches their lives, as well as those of the people they love.
3. Big Summer / by Jennifer Weiner
Daphne Berg is stunned when Drue Cavanaugh, her former friend, reaches out to her after six long years. Drue looks just as gorgeous and successful as ever, and she has a monumental request. Despite not having spoken to Drue since their falling out, Daphne is left speechless when Drue asks her to be the maid of honor at her summer society wedding.
Drue always had everything going for her, except for the ability to keep friends close. Meanwhile, Daphne has grown into a confident, successful plus-size influencer on Instagram. Inviting Drue back into her life is risky, but the promise of spending a weekend in a luxurious Cape Cod mansion with cute single guys is too tempting to resist.
“Big Summer” is a dazzling novel about the intricacies of female relationships, the dangers of living life online, and the resilience of the human heart. Filled with wit, emotion, and heart, it’s a tale that explores the importance of family, friendships, and discovering what truly matters in life.
4. The Lies That Bind / by Emily Giffin
In the spring of 2001, Cecily Gardner finds herself alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Despite being a reporter in the big city, she feels homesick for the Midwest and wonders if she made a mistake by ending things with her long-time boyfriend Matthew.
As Cecily considers reaching out to Matthew, a stranger on the barstool next to her advises against it. Drawn to his words, they strike up an unlikely connection over drinks and conversation. However, Cecily knows it’s best to end things there, wary of getting into a rebound relationship. To make matters worse, Grant is planning to leave his job and move overseas. But despite their circumstances, saying goodbye proves difficult, and Cecily decides to follow her heart instead of her head.
But when Grant disappears during the chaos of 9/11, Cecily fears the worst. As she searches for him, she realizes she’s not the only one looking. With her investigative reporting skills on high alert, she’s determined to uncover the truth about Grant and their relationship. However, the closer she gets, the more questions arise. Did she truly know Grant? Did he love her? Can she still love someone who wasn’t who he claimed to be?
“The Lies That Bind” is a captivating exploration of the unending quest for love and truth – in our careers, relationships, and within ourselves. It’s a moving story that will resonate deeply with readers.
5. This Tender Land / by William Kent Krueger
Set in the summer of 1932 on the banks of Minnesota’s Gilead River, Odie O’Banion is an orphan confined to the harsh Lincoln Indian Training School. Despite his lively nature, Odie’s behavior earns him the superintendent’s wrath. After committing a terrible crime, he’s forced to flee with his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a heartbroken little girl named Emmy. Together, they set off in a canoe, hoping to find a place to call home along the mighty Mississippi.
During their journey, the four orphans encounter other lost souls traveling through the unknown. From struggling farmers and displaced families to wandering faith healers, they cross paths with people from all walks of life. With the sweeping feel of a modern classic, “This Tender Land” is an epic tale that captures the spirit of America’s magnificent landscape, connecting us all and haunting our dreams. It’s a heartwarming story about the bonds that tie us together and make us whole.
6. City of Girls / by Elizabeth Gilbert
Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.
Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life – and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.
7. The Family Upstairs / by Lisa Jewell
Upon arriving home from work on her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones finally receives the letter she has been longing for her entire life. With excitement and anticipation, she tears open the envelope, eager to uncover her true identity. Not only does she discover the identity of her birth parents, but she also learns that she is now the sole owner of a lavish, abandoned mansion in London’s affluent Chelsea neighborhood, which is valued at millions of pounds.
However, unbeknownst to her, there are others who have been awaiting this moment as well and their paths are about to cross. Twenty-five years prior, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk to investigate the sound of a baby crying. Upon their arrival, they found a content ten-month-old in her crib in one of the bedrooms. Downstairs in the kitchen, they discovered three lifeless bodies dressed in black next to a hastily written note. Additionally, the four other children residing at Cheyne Walk were nowhere to be found.
Lydia Quixano Pérez is a resident of Acapulco, Mexico, and runs a bookstore along with being a devoted wife to her journalist husband and a loving mother to her son Luca. Despite the spread of drug cartels leading to cracks in the city’s safety, Lydia’s life remains comfortable. Although she knows that some of her favorite books will never be sold, she stocks them in her store anyway. One day, a man named Javier enters the shop, displaying an interest in purchasing a few books, including two of Lydia’s favorites.
Lydia finds Javier charming and erudite, unaware that he is the leader of the city’s latest drug cartel, which has taken over in a gruesome fashion. When Lydia’s husband publishes a profile on Javier, their lives are changed forever, causing them to flee their middle-class lifestyle and embark on a journey northward.
To escape Javier’s reach, Lydia and Luca travel on dangerous trains called “la bestia,” joining countless others who are seeking refuge in the United States. As they make their way to “el norte,” Lydia discovers that everyone is running from something, but what awaits them in their destination is unknown.
9. The Vanishing Half / by Brit Bennett
The Vignes twins are forever identical, having grown up in a small southern black community and running away at sixteen. As adults, their lives couldn’t be more different, encompassing disparate families, communities, and racial identities. Years later, one sister resides with her black daughter in the same southern town she once sought to leave behind, while the other leads a double life as a white woman married to a white man who is unaware of her past.
Despite being separated by miles and lies, the destiny of the twins remains linked. What will occur when the stories of their daughters intersect in the next generation?
10. Someone Else’s Secret / by Julia Spiro
In 2009, Lindsey and Georgie have high expectations for their summer on Martha’s Vineyard. As the recession lingers, ambitious college graduate Lindsey is hired as a nanny by an influential family, hoping it will open doors to Boston’s exclusive art world. Georgie, the family’s eldest child, is eager to discover herself at almost fifteen years old, longing for independence and her first love.
Throughout that transformative summer, the two women develop a close friendship. However, a shocking incident transpires one night near the lighthouse, entangling them both in a dark secret. Their bond is destroyed, and neither of them can bring themselves to speak about what occurred that night for a decade.
But now, Lindsey and Georgie must finally confront their past. Seeking justice will come at a high cost, but it may also provide the closure they require to move forward. All they know for certain is that once the truth is unveiled, their lives will be irrevocably altered once more.
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11. The Woman in the Window / AJ Finn
Anna Fox is a recluse residing in her New York City home, unable to step outside. She fills her days with wine (perhaps too much), watching old films, reminiscing about happier times, and spying on her neighbors.
However, everything changes when the Russells move into the house across from hers: a father, a mother, and their teenage son, a seemingly perfect family. But, when Anna glimpses something she shouldn’t while peering out of her window one night, her world begins to fall apart, and its shocking secrets are brought to light.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this remarkably gripping thriller, nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted.
12. Where the Crawdads Sing / by Delia Owens
For years, whispers of the “Marsh Girl” have roamed around Barkley Cove, a peaceful town on the coast of North Carolina. Thus, when the attractive Chase Andrews is discovered dead in late 1969, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, who they believe to be the Marsh Girl. However, Kya is far from what they claim. She is sensitive and intelligent, having survived alone in the marsh that she calls home, befriending seagulls, and learning from the sand. As time passes, Kya yearns to be loved and touched. When two young men from the town grow intrigued by her untamed beauty, Kya welcomes a novel existence- until something unimaginable takes place.
Where the Crawdads Sing is an exquisite hymn to the natural world, a heartrending coming-of-age tale, and a surprising account of potential murder. Perfect for followers of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Owens reminds us that our childhoods forever shape us and that we are all subject to the stunning and vicious secrets concealed by nature.
13. Virgil Wander / by Leif Enger
Midwestern cinema owner Virgil Wander is coasting along at a steady altitude when his vehicle careens off the road and plunges into the frigid waters of Lake Superior. Though Virgil manages to survive, his speech and memory are altered, and he awakens in a world that no longer feels familiar. As he adjusts to this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the folklore of his broken-down town, with assistance from a captivating and curious group of locals. Among them are Rune, a twinkling pipe-smoking stranger searching for his missing son; Nadine, the reticent but mesmerizing wife of the vanished man; Tom, a journalist and Virgil’s closest companion; and several members of the Pea family who must deal with their own tragedies.
As this community awaits the return of a prodigal son, whose arrival could hold the key to revitalizing their town, Leif Enger uses intelligent humor and delightful whimsy to create a stunning portrait of a region and its inhabitants. These individuals, whether by choice or circumstance, never made it out of their obsolete industrial region. However, they find solace in everyday pleasures such as movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball, and falling in love. Virgil Wander is a rapid, complete journey into the heart and grief of an often neglected American Upper Midwest, crafted by a “formidably gifted” (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.
14. The Great Alone / by Kristin Hannah
Ernt Allbright, a former Prisoner of War, returns from the Vietnam War as a transformed and unstable man. After losing another job, he impulsively decides to move his family north to Alaska, seeking refuge in America’s last pristine frontier.
Thirteen-year-old Leni is coming of age during tumultuous times and is caught up in the tempestuous relationship of her parents. She hopes that this new land will bring a brighter future for her family and give her a place to belong. Cora, her mother, will stop at nothing and go anywhere for the sake of the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.
Initially, Alaska appears to be the answer to their prayers. In a remote and wild region of the state, they discover an independent community of tough men and even tougher women. The extended daylight hours and the kindness of the locals compensate for the Allbrights’ lack of preparedness and limited resources.
As winter approaches and darkness envelops Alaska, Ernt’s delicate mental state starts to crumble, tearing apart the family. Before long, dangers from within overpower those from outside. In their snow-covered, small cabin, cloaked in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn a devastating truth: they are alone, and there is no one but themselves to save them in the wilderness.
In this unforgettable portrayal of human frailty and perseverance, Kristin Hannah reveals the invincible character of modern-day American pioneers and the spirit of a retreating Alaska – an unmatched place of beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, emotive story about love and loss, the battle for survival, and the ferocity that exists in both humankind and nature.
15. The Immortalists / by Chloe Benjamin
In 1969, the Lower East Side of New York City is abuzz with news of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to know the precise day each person will die. The Gold siblings, four youths on the verge of self-discovery, sneak out to learn their fates.
These predictions shape their next five decades. Simon, the golden boy, flees to the West Coast in search of love during San Francisco’s ’80s; dreamy Klara becomes a magician in Las Vegas, obsessed with blending reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks refuge as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya dedicates herself to longevity research, blurring the boundary between science and immortality.
The Immortalists is a sweeping novel of extraordinary ambition and profundity, exploring the demarcation between fate and choice, perception and reality, and this world and the next. It is a profoundly moving testament to the potency of narratives, the essence of belief, and the unwavering strength of family ties.
16. Educated: A Memoir / by Tara Westover
Tara Westover was born to survivalists in the Idaho mountains, and at the age of seventeen, she stepped into a classroom for the first time. Her family lived in such seclusion from mainstream society that no one made sure the children received an education, and no one intervened when one of Tara’s older brothers became abusive. When another brother secured admission to college, Tara resolved to pursue a different life. Her aspiration for learning launched her on a journey across continents and oceans, ultimately arriving at Harvard and Cambridge University. But only then did she begin to question whether she had gone too far and if there was still a path back home.
This is an extraordinary story of transformation, how the quest for knowledge altered Tara’s life and led her down a path that took her beyond what she ever imagined possible. As she journeyed across the world, her views and understanding of the world expanded, but it also led her to contemplate whether perhaps she had strayed too far and whether it was still feasible to return home.
17. The Wife Between Us / by Greer Hendricks
As you delve into the pages of this book, your mind will conjure up numerous assumptions. You may assume that the tale revolves around a bitter ex-wife, consumed with jealousy towards her younger and more attractive replacement, who is on the brink of tying the knot with the man they both love. You may assume that you have figured out the intricacies of this convoluted love triangle. However, the truth is far from what you might anticipate.
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us is a riveting and spine-tingling story that unearths the hidden complexities of an apparently perfect marriage, and the perilous realities that we choose to disregard in the name of love.
Look beyond the surface. Read between the lines and uncover the dark truths hidden in the shadows.
18. Then She Was Gone / by Lisa Jewell
Ellie Mack was the epitome of an exemplary daughter. At fifteen, she was the adored youngest child among her siblings, cherished by her parents, friends, and teachers alike. Along with her boyfriend, they were the quintessential teenage couple. The sun was shining down on her life, with a post-exam summer holiday and a bright future ahead.
And then one day, she vanished.
Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to piece together her shattered existence. A decade has passed since Ellie’s disappearance, seven years since her marriage disintegrated, and only recently did the case take a sudden turn with the discovery of a fresh lead. So when Laurel meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafe, she is taken aback by how rapidly their flirtation blossoms into something more profound. Soon enough, she gets to know Floyd’s daughters, and one of them, Poppy, takes her breath away.
Gazing at Poppy is akin to gazing at Ellie. And this resurrects the unanswered questions that Laurel has tried to bury, as the haunting mystery of her daughter’s disappearance resurfaces. Where did Ellie go? Was it a simple case of running away from home, as the authorities presumed, or was there a more sinister motive for her vanishing? Who exactly is Floyd, and why does his daughter resemble Ellie so vividly?
19. The Flight Attendant / by Chris Bohjalian
Cassandra Bowden is well-acquainted with the aftermath of a heavy night of drinking. She’s a frequent binge drinker, using her job as a flight attendant to satisfy her thirst for adventure, and the occasional blackout is just par for the course. She lives with the consequences and self-reproach that accompany them. When she wakes up in a Dubai hotel room, she strives to piece together the events from the night before, watching the clock tick down until she must catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She slips out of bed quietly, being careful not to exacerbate her already pounding headache, and studies the man lying next to her. She takes note of his dark hair, his unmoving form. And the blood, a slick, still-wet pool on the pristine white sheets. Terrified to call the police – a single woman stranded in an unfamiliar hotel room – Cassie starts to tell lies. She lies to her fellow flight attendants and pilots aboard the van. She lies to the FBI agents who meet her at the gate in New York. As time passes, it becomes too late to reveal the truth, or confront the reality of what happened in Dubai. Did she kill him? If not, then who did?
Set against the mesmerizing backdrop of life at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant is an enthralling tale of memory, the thrill of alcohol, the devastating effects of addiction, and murder far from home.
20. Lilac Girls / by Martha Hall Kelly
Caroline Ferriday, a prominent New York socialite, juggles her duties at the French consulate and a budding romance on the horizon. However, Caroline’s world is irrevocably altered when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939, and then turns its sights toward France.
Meanwhile, an ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a carefree Polish teenager, feels her life slipping away as she becomes increasingly embroiled in her role as a courier for the underground resistance movement. In a climate of suspicion and scrutiny, one wrong move could have catastrophic implications.
For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an advertisement for a government medical position seems to be the ticket out of her desolate life. However, once hired, she finds herself ensnared in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and supremacy.
The trajectories of these three women intersect when Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the infamous Nazi concentration camp for women. Their tales span continents – from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland – as Caroline and Kasia endeavor to bring justice to those whom history has disregarded.
21. All the Light We Cannot See / by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure resides in Paris with her father, who works as the master of locks at the Museum of Natural History, situated within walking distance of their home. At the age of six, Marie-Laure loses her vision, compelling her father to construct a scale model of their neighborhood, complete with every dwelling and manhole, to enable her to memorize it through touch and navigate the actual streets using her feet and cane. When the Germans seize control of Paris, Marie-Laure and her father depart for Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where they find refuge with Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great-uncle, residing in a tall, slender residence by the sea wall.
23. We Were Liars / by E. Lockhart
A family with remarkable beauty and distinction. An island secluded from the rest of the world. A damaged but brilliant girl and a politically passionate boy. A group of four friends, known as the Liars, whose bond takes a turn for the worse. A revolution, an accident, and a concealed secret. Layers upon layers of falsehoods. Genuine love. The truth.
E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars is a contemporary and polished thriller novel, featuring a finalist of the National Book Award and an honoree of the Printz Award.
Pick it up and read it. And should anyone inquire about the conclusion, simply DECEIVE them.
24. The Ocean at the End of the Lane / by Neil Gaiman
The setting is Sussex, England. An individual in their middle age returns to their childhood abode to attend a funeral. Although the house of their youth no longer stands, they feel drawn to the farm at the road’s end, where, at the age of seven, they encountered an extraordinary girl named Lettie Hempstock, along with her mother and grandmother.
The protagonist has not thought of Lettie in years, but as they sit by the pond behind the dilapidated farmhouse (which Lettie had referred to as an ocean), memories from the forgotten past come flooding back. The recollections are too bizarre, too terrifying, and far too perilous for anyone to have experienced, especially a young child.
25. A Court of Thorns and Roses / by Sarah J. Maas
New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas presents an enthralling and alluring new series that merges Beauty and the Beast with the enchanting world of faerie lore.
Nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre slaughters a wolf in the woods, only to have a creature bearing beastly features appear, seeking retribution for its death. Transported to a treacherous magical realm that she has only heard of through myths and legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin – one of the deadly, undying faeries who once governed their world.
As she resides on his estate, Feyre’s frigid animosity toward Tamlin evolves into a scorching passion that burns through every falsehood and caution she has been instructed about the alluring yet hazardous realm of the Fae. But an ancient and malevolent shadow looms over the faerie lands, compelling Feyre to find a way to halt it… or condemn Tamlin – and his world – to eternal darkness.
26. First Frost / by Sarah Addison Allen
The author who brought you the New York Times bestselling novel, Garden Spells, delivers an enchanting tale of the Waverley family. The novel, akin to the glistening frost that settles on freshly fallen leaves, is as sparkling as it is captivating.
In Bascom, North Carolina, October heralds the advent of autumn, with no intention of leaving quietly. As temperatures plummet and foliage transitions, the Waverley women become restless due to the unpredictable behavior of their impish apple tree… and all the sorcery that surrounds it. However, this year’s first frost has a lot more in store for them than anticipated.
27. Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1) / by Victoria Aveyard
The Reds, impoverished and destitute, are considered plebeians who live under the dominion of the Silvers, aristocratic warriors with abilities akin to those of gods.
To Mare Barrow, a teenage Red dwelling in The Stilts, it appears that nothing will ever change.
Mare unexpectedly finds herself laboring in the Silver Palace, surrounded by those whom she despises the most. She quickly learns that, despite her crimson blood, she harbors a lethal power that could jeopardize the dominance of the Silvers.
However, engaging in a game of power can be perilous. In a world divided by blood, who will triumph?
28. I Was Here / by Gayle Forman
In their small town in Washington, Cody and Meg were two peas in a pod, inseparable until they weren’t anymore. After Meg’s sudden death by drinking industrial-strength cleaner, Cody is left to pick up the pieces and pack up Meg’s belongings from her college town. As she goes through Meg’s things, Cody uncovers secrets about her best friend’s life that she never knew, including old roommates and a boy who broke Meg’s heart.
The discovery of an encrypted computer file further complicates things, throwing everything Cody thought she knew about Meg’s death into question. In I Was Here, Gayle Forman delivers a powerful story about loss, family, and finding a way to move forward.
30. The Boston Girl / by Anita Diamant
In this coming-of-age novel, The Boston Girl, bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, Anita Diamant, tells the story of Addie Baum, a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston during the early twentieth century. Addie’s parents are immigrants who struggle to adjust to their new life in America, and they’re wary of its influence on their three daughters.
But Addie is determined to explore the world beyond her family’s expectations. She’s fascinated by the short skirts, movies, and celebrity culture of the multicultural North End neighborhood where she grows up. Her intelligence and curiosity lead her to new opportunities and a desire to pursue an education, a career, and true love.
As Addie navigates a changing world and the challenges of being a young woman in a patriarchal society, she learns the importance of family ties and values, friendship, and feminism. The Boston Girl is a captivating and unforgettable tale of one woman’s journey toward self-discovery and independence.
31. No Place to Fall / by Jaye Robin Brown
Amber Vaughn is the epitome of a good girl. Singing solos at church, babysitting her nephew after school, and spending Friday nights with her best friend Devon are all part of her routine. But when Amber ventures out into the woods near her home and belts out camp songs with hikers on the Appalachian Trail, she finally feels free. In those moments, the bigger world seems just a little bit more within reach.
32. Saving Grace / by Jane Green
Grace and Ted Chapman are known as the ultimate literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist, and Grace, his wife of two decades, is a stunningly beautiful and stylish homemaker. But beneath their perfect exterior lies a dark secret: Ted’s uncontrollable rages and mood swings. Their seemingly stable lifestyle is built on a precarious house of cards that’s on the brink of collapse when Ted’s long-time assistant and support system abruptly leaves.
The situation becomes dire for Grace, who is burdened by secrets from her past. She’s left with no one to turn to until Beth arrives out of nowhere. Beth is a competent young woman who can handle Ted’s erratic behavior and has the efficiency to weather the storms threatening to engulf the Chapman household.
But as Grace gets to know Beth, she realizes that things may not be as they seem. The new assistant might prove to be the biggest threat of all, endangering Grace’s marriage, reputation, and even her sanity.
In Saving Grace, Jane Green delivers a powerful and gripping story that follows Grace on her tumultuous journey to rock bottom and back. Readers will be captivated as they watch Grace fight to save herself before it’s too late.
33. A Most Inconvenient Marriage / by Regina Jennings
In this charming historical novel, a marriage of convenience turns out to be anything but convenient. Abigail Stuart, a Civil War nurse, is left with few friends in the world, except for her patient Jeremiah Calhoun, who is gravely wounded. When Jeremiah asks Abigail to care for his sister after his death, he proposes that she marry him, inherit his horse farm in Missouri, and take on the care of his family.
With no other options, Abigail accepts Jeremiah’s proposal and moves to Missouri after his passing. As she begins to settle in and win over the family, the real Jeremiah Calhoun returns home, surprised to find a woman posing as his wife. Despite his doubts about Abigail’s true intentions, Jeremiah relies on her help with his own wounds and challenges.
As their relationship develops, Jeremiah realizes that Abigail may hold the key to healing not only his physical wounds but also his family’s emotional scars. In this heartwarming tale, the two protagonists must navigate the aftermath of the Civil War and their own personal struggles to find love and acceptance in unexpected ways.
34. The Amber Keeper / by Freda Lightfoot
Set against the backdrop of revolutionary Russia, The Amber Keeper is a sweeping tale of jealousy and revenge, reconciliation and forgiveness.
English Lake District, 1960s: A young Abbie Myers returns home after learning of her mother’s death. Estranged from her turbulent family for many years, Abbie is heartbroken to hear that they blame her for the tragedy.
Determined to uncover her mother’s past, Abbie approaches her beloved grandmother, Millie, in search of answers. As the old woman recounts her own past, Abbie is transported back to the grandeur of the Russian Empire in 1911 with tales of her grandmother’s life as a governess and the revolution that exploded around her.
As Abbie struggles to reconcile with her family, and to support herself and her child, she realizes that those long-ago events created aftershocks that threaten to upset the fragile peace she longs to create.
35. Vanishing Girls / by Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver – the New York Times bestselling author – weaves a gripping story of two sisters forever changed by a tragic accident.
Once inseparable, Dara and Nick’s relationship is shattered after Dara suffers a severe facial injury. The sisters become estranged, and when Dara goes missing on her birthday, Nick initially thinks she’s just playing a game. But when nine-year-old Madeline Snow also vanishes, Nick becomes convinced that the two disappearances are connected.
In this riveting novel, Lauren Oliver explores themes of loss, suspicion, and self-discovery. As the search for Dara intensifies, Nick must confront the truth about their relationship and her own role in the tragedy that drove them apart. With an edgy and compelling narrative, Oliver keeps readers on the edge of their seats as the sisters navigate their way to each other in a world of intrigue and uncertainty.
36. All the Bright Places / by Jennifer Niven
In this poignant and exhilarating novel, Jennifer Niven delivers a story that’s a cross between The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park. It’s a beautiful tale of a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Theodore Finch has an obsession with death, and his mind is constantly filled with thoughts of ending his life. But every time he tries, something good happens, no matter how small it is, which stops him.
On the other hand, Violet Markey is focused on her future, counting down the days until graduation when she can escape her Indiana town and the grief she feels after her sister’s death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of their school’s bell tower, it’s unclear who saves whom. They embark on a project to discover the natural wonders of their state, and through it, they both make important personal discoveries. With Violet, Finch can be himself and embrace his quirks and personality. For Violet, Finch helps her forget about her grief and start living in the moment. However, as Violet’s world expands, Finch’s begins to shrink.
Jennifer Niven’s gripping and intense novel is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Jay Asher, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham. In this compelling story, readers will witness the transformative power of love and friendship as they navigate through life’s hardships.
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