These Are 5 of My Current Favorite Novels, & They Should All Be at the Top of Your Reading List

When is the last time you scooped up a book just for the fun of it? If you’re anything like me, the last year has made you take a step back and seriously reevaluate how much time you’re spending in front of a screen. Ever since I started my first job, I’ve become less inclined to look at my devices after work hours are over. If I’ve spent all day staring at my computer and logging into Zoom, why would I want to spend my nights like that too? Instead of opting for blue light, I’ve intensely returned to my hobby of reading.

In school, I rarely found time to read outside of homework, and usually only binge-read a few good books during the summer time. Between living alone and being in quarantine for months on end, I’ve become a bit of a book connoisseur — and this self-proclaimed expert is here to share her favorite reads with you.

  1. 1. First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

    I’ve always been a huge fan of teen romance novels, as I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from a few of my selections here. I was recently introduced to Alisha Rai, a newer author who writes modern romances (her series is in fact called Modern Love). These books take young adult novels and put a new spin on them by heavily referencing social media. First Comes Like involves an influencer who believes she’s being catfished by a Bollywood actor. This leads to a potential romance filled with a multitude of twists and turns along the way. This is the first young adult book I’ve read featuring a Muslim leading lady, and I really enjoyed picking up a book that involved diverse characters and culture for a change.

    Bookshop.org, $16; shop now

  2. 2. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

    Outlander became one of my first go-to shows when quarantine began, so it’s only fitting that the books be on this list of boredom reads. Whether or not you’re a lover of historical fiction, Outlander has something for everyone: history, romance, suspense, action… you name it. For those of you who don’t know the plot, Outlander follows Claire, a woman living in a post World War II world who accidentally becomes transported to eighteenth century Scotland, and finds herself caught in a love triangle between her husband and a man from the past. 

    Anna Jennings, student at Centra College of Nursing, has recently become obsessed with the sereis, as well. “I love the idea of taking modern science and medicine to the past. It’s really interesting to see the reactions to Claire and her seemingly ‘foreign’ ways,” she says. Anna has a packed schedule between her job at the hospital and nursing school, but Outlander manages to reel her in when she has a free moment. She adds, “I love how fast paced it is… there’s a good amount of action intertwined with an evolving love story.”

    Bookshop.org, $40; shop now

  3. 3. The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han

    If you’ve watched or read any of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I Loved Before series, you should definitely read more of her books.

    The Summer I Turned Pretty series follows main character Belly in her sixteenth summer as she navigates dating, first kisses, and complicated family drama.

    These have been some of my favorite books since my early teen years, and I’m not ashamed at how often I come back to read them. As a lover of romance, it’s hard to not mention a good ol’ love triangle (or several) in this list somewhere. Besides, 13-year-old me definitely fell in love with the fictional character of Conrad.

    When you fall in love with the series (and maybe Conrad, too), don't be sad that it's over. Rejoice, because a TV show is in the works right now! All the more reason to start reading up and preparing ASAP!

    Bookshop.org, $36; shop now

  4. 4. Hamilton and Peggy by L.M. Elliott

    If you’ve bought into the Hamilton craze at some point and are dying to get more content, Hamilton and Peggy was a great read that was given to me by one of my good friends. This fact-based fiction tale is told from the perspective of Peggy Schuyler and details her life and interactions with Alexander Hamilton as he romances her sister, Eliza. The book incorporates actual letters written by Hamilton and his correspondents. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more about the character of Peggy, who is hardly mentioned within the musical.

    Bookshop.org, $18; shop now

  5. 5. The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund

    The Best Laid Plans is told from the perspective of Keely, a senior in high school who falls for a college boy. Keely, feeling nervous and inexperienced, takes it upon herself to gain more confidence by sleeping with her childhood best friend. What could possibly go wrong? 

    As an avid young adult reader, I can say with much confidence that many young adult stories breeze over the topic of sex, without going into too much detail on it. I admired Lund’s sex-positive story and how easily she portrayed the way teenagers obsess over who or who hasn’t done it in high school. This fresh and modern take felt authentic and honest, and had me laughing from start to finish. Besides, who doesn’t love a good friends to lovers plot?

    Bookshop.org, $19; shop now

I hope that my fellow bookworms can find some good reads in this list, and feel free to share some of your own with me — I’m always looking to line up my next five reads.

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