This year, my #1 “reading resolution” was to accept/request fewer review books so I’d have more time to read whatever I wanted — be it backlist, new releases that weren’t for review, or something else altogether.
As I previously mentioned, my SIL accidentally got me started on reading romance this year — and so a fair number of the books I gravitated towards this year were adult rom-coms. In fact, I usually have a list of my favorite middle grade books to share every year — but I struggled so much with MG books this year, that I think I only read two (and they’re both featured below, because they were great).
So of the weird, hodge-podge collection of books I read this year, here are some of my favorite non-YA reads:
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
I feel like I waited a thousand years for this book. From the moment it was announced over two years ago, I knew that I would love this graphic novel. A boy who tries to be an Edward for his vampire-obsessed crush, only to learn she’s a Buffy, not a Bella … I mean, it’s like it was written just FOR me! Whitney’s adorable and heartfelt graphic novel did not disappoint.
A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem: A Dastardly Plot by Christopher Healy
I mentioned before that I really struggled reading middle grade this year — but this was one book I was determined not to miss. I adored Christopher Healy’s Hero’s Guide series, so of course I would not miss the first book in his newest series. Wonderful characters, madcap adventures, and Healy’s signature sense of humor made this book a delight to read.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Call me late to the party, but this was the year I finally started reading Christina Lauren’s books — and oh, what delight they’ve brought to me this year. Their most recent release was a knock-out; super cute and charming from start to finish. I loved how realistic the relationships, banter, and sex scenes were.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
You’ve probably heard about this one, and for good reason: this lives up to the hype. This steamy rom-com follows one woman with Autism, as she navigates sex and love with the help of a male escort.
Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren
Categorized as “women’s fiction” rather than romance, this book definitely dealt in some heavier subject matter than the other Christina Lauren books I read this year — but it was equally delightful. (In fact, it may have been my favorite of their books yet.) I loved the alternating timelines — seeing the two main characters as kids and teens, as their friendship turns into something more; and then seeing them reconnecting as adults after an eleven-year split.
Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Dating by Christina Lauren
Here’s another adorable rom-com from Christina Lauren that brightened up my year; this book is just pure fun. Josh and Hazel are sweet, funny, and oh-so-endearing.
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
This companion/sequel to The Wedding Date was just as charming as the first book. I loved these new characters, and the sweet romance.
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel
This lush, sexy, feminist retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was the perfect read right before Halloween. I wanted to just curl up and live inside this book for the entire month of October.