I know I can’t be the only one that has struggled or continues to struggle with reading in a pandemic. In the first few weeks of the pandemic (those last weeks of March) I barely picked up a book and when I did I ended up reading the same sentences and pages over and over. I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading because of the anxiety the rest of me was going through. I started the pandemic by trying to read my usual fantasy and dystopian novels, but quickly found that was not something I could do. After seeing a lot of other people’s stories and reflecting on my own reading I realized with the current climate of the world due to COVID, I needed a lighter read. I needed romcoms. I needed contemporary. I needed nothing that was end of the world and everything that was hope. Hope. Love. Humor. Those are the 3 things I started to look for and crave not only in the books I was reading but as I wrote my own book.
I thought I would break down the books that have brought me the most joy in this time of uncertainty. I have adore the lighter reads (like I said) so a lot of these are romance or contemporaries.
Okay, let’s break it down to 4 of my favorites and why they are perfect quarantine reads!
First up, My Calamity Jane. This is not contemporary but there is a little romance to it! If you haven’t ever read any of the Jane books I highly suggest that you check them out. First off, this is a great read because it does have fantasy elements to it, but it’s mixed with humor, history and a whole lot of sass. All 3 of the books by this set of authors are amazing. The humor and wit is unparalleled. If you have watched The Great on Hulu and loved it you have to check out these books. They transport you to a new world, but not in a stressful way and not a world like ours.
Next up is Fight or Flight. I just wrote a review on this book, but this novel is one for the books. If you’re looking for a modern day Jamie Fraser from Outlander look no further, because this book has him! The story line of this book is very much enemies turned lovers which is one of my all time favorite tropes to begin with, but on top of that there is some depth to the book as well. If you need some romance in your life, pick this one up!
The next book I recommend is Again, But Better. I read this last year and then reread it in audiobook form this year. This book is a coming of age/romance set up for anyone going through that time of college and figuring out life. I read this as an adult and related to it so much and wished it was around when I was in college. On top of all that fun, this book has a fun time travel element to it. It poses the question, “what if you could change things, would you?” This is a must for anyone looking for something for a little bit older audience but still YA.
Last but not least is The Hating Game. If you love the enemies to lovers trope this one takes the cake. I read this one per the recommendation of a friend and am I glad I did! The story is fantastic and so swoon worthy. The characters have such a charm and pull to them that you can’t help but root for the romance throughout the book. If you need an escape from the chaos of our world and need some romance in your life, pick this up. This book will have you wishing for your own Joshua Templeman!
Okay y’all, those are just 4 of the fantastic reads I have picked up during quarantine, but they are sure to get your head into a different world and hopefully lower your stress and anxiety. Of the 4 the most “fantasy like” is definitely My Calamity Jane, but Again, But Better has the time travel element if you’re looking for something like that. Otherwise The Hating Game and Fight or Flight have romance for you if you want that!