Few things are better than reading a book you absolutely love and cannot put down. But there is something even cooler about falling in love with a book you never expected to enjoy. I read a lot, and try to get my hands on anything that might seem interesting, but admittedly I am usually drawn to the same type of book, to the same types of stories and characters I know that I will love.
Over the past couple years, I’ve stumbled into some really great reads, many of which I did not think I would like, let alone love. Below are my top 10 books that I didn’t expect to love, but definitely did, and would highly recommend!
10. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg. I’d never read Jami Attenberg before, and didn’t know what to expect, but I found myself drawn to the main character, and rooting for her despite her many flaws. The book is written in shorter vignette-type stories, that could work as standalone short stories, but work beautifully together as a whole. A quick, enjoyable, and satisfying read!
9. Siracusa by Delia Ephron. This is another author I had never read, but I was very curious about her work. I had seen Siracusa pop up a few times on Goodreads, and decided to give it a try. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed it – for the entire book, the characters are all pretty miserable, and each of the multiple narrators seems unreliable. But the writing style and mystery of this book kept drawing me in, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the story unfold with many twists and turns along the way.
8. Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham. This book is so cute! It’s written entirely in emails between a new couple, and their two friends who help them navigate their new relationship. It was fairly simple, but very sweet, and I loved the unexpected ending. A book that will definitely put a smile on your face!
7. The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley. This book was like a love letter to New York City, which I absolutely loved. It follows three very different friends who are trying to figure out their lives in very different ways, and whose lives intersect over the course of a Thanksgiving weekend. I thought I might like this book based on its subject matter, but I didn’t expect to become so invested in these characters, and so enamored by the beautiful descriptions of New York.
6. Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand. I only started reading Elin Hilderbrand’s books last year, but she has quickly become one of my favorite (and one of my most-read) authors. It took me a little while to get into Silver Girl, and I actually abandoned it a couple times before I finally got into it, but once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down. I actually think it’s one of her best books, and I’m so glad I gave it another try!
5. Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song by Sara Bareilles. I was never a huge fan of Sara Bareilles’ — there was nothing about her I disliked, and I always knew she was talented, but I didn’t know anything about her outside of the songs I had heard on the radio. I decided to try out her memoir, and I’m so glad that I did! She is honest and candid and relatable despite her fame. She is flawed, and makes the reader feel like they are less alone in whatever struggles they have faced in their own lives. I truly loved this book, and now feel like I know so much more about Sara Bareilles, and have so much respect for her. I consider myself a fan of hers now, for sure!
4. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. This is a tough, emotional read. It was my first Colleen Hoover, and I expected it to be a lighter romance read. It was much deeper than that, and at times was very upsetting and even hard to get through. But the writing is beautiful, and the story and its message are extremely powerful. I would highly recommend this to anyone considering reading it.
3. Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino. This book was a little slow in the beginning, and I considered abandoning it, but I’m so glad that I stuck with it. I loved it! It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a romance, with unexpected twists and turns and very likable characters. A very satisfying read, and one that will stick with me for a while.
2. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I am not typically a big fan of young adult literature, and the biggest reason is because YA books are often SO sad (ahem The Fault in Our Stars and All the Bright Places). But The Sun is Also a Star was different from anything else I had ever read. I loved the characters, the writing, and the way Nicola Yoon structured the story, allowing the reader to glimpse into many different minds. This book left me grinning from ear to ear, and I’m very glad I got over my fear of YA to give this one a try.
1. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I am a big fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s (which you can probably gather from my mentions of her in other posts), but I was hesitant to read this book. I don’t usually gravitate towards anything that presents an alternate reality or delves (however slightly) into fantasy or magical realism. But I was wrong about this book, and I’m so glad I was. It was so good! And remains one of my favorite TJR books yet. 🙂