Quarantine Reads That’ll Spice Up Social Distancing

Although we’re no longer in a full lockdown mode, we’re still quarantining and social distancing, so it’s very important to maintain our mental health. Personally, pursuing hobbies like reading has allowed me to stay calm and have an escape from the world when I need it the most. Quarantine has been the perfect time to catch up on some reading, so here are my top quarantine reads for anyone looking to venture beyond reality:

  1. 1. For the Hopeless Romantic: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

    Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game is an endearing enemies-to-lovers book that follows co-workers and mortal enemies Lucy Hutton and Josh Templemen. When they’re in the same room, Lucy and Josh are the definition of HR’s worst nightmare; however, to Lucy’s surprise, the two develop an unexpected connection. This book is so uplifting and positive in a time when we all need to smile a little more. As a woman in the workplace, Lucy is such a relatable character, and her spunk and optimism make her all the more perfect as a heroine. As for Josh, his sharp attitude and hard exterior (hiding a soft inner side!) makes him the villain we want to hate but secretly love. However, it’s the bond these two form that makes this book a sweet, humorous story for any romantic. 

  2. 2. For the Fantasy Lover: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    I was never really into fantasy novels before I picked up ACOTAR, but this series really changed the way I viewed the genre. The protagonist, Feyre Archeron, is taken away from her home after she commits murder. However, she discovers that everything she once thought about the land across the wall is false. Not only is Feyre a strong female lead, but Maas’ world-building is stellar to the point where I’m vicariously living through Feyre’s experiences. The escapism is what made this book so enjoyable and comforting during a difficult time. Also, the love triangle in this book is one you will wish you were in the middle of (I know I did). Yet, just when I thought the first book couldn’t get any better, the rest of the series helped me survive this quarantine summer. 

  3. 3. For the Thrill-Seeker: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

    In Little Fires Everywhere, we are introduced to the Richardsons, a perfect, cookie-cutter suburban family, and the Warrens, a mother-daughter duo. The story follows the rule-abiding matriarch Elena Richardson, who stops at nothing to uncover the secrets and dark past of single mother Mia Warren. The novel tackles themes of choice and privilege in a story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. I usually don’t go for books that are so serious and deep, but, to my shock, the narrative made me question so much about my own life experiences, privilege, and free will. Ng shows how not everyone has the freedom to make their own choices and that privilege can be weaponized to silence those who don’t play by the rules. 

  4. 4. For the Coming-of-Age Enthusiast: Normal People by Sally Rooney

    Normal People takes place in Ireland and follows protagonists Marianne and Connell from high school to adulthood. Even when they’re not together, their lives are intertwined through college, grief, trauma, friendship, and love. Normal People is refreshing in that it portrays a story about young adults whose feelings and experiences are validated, rather than belittled. The novel tackles the perils of growing up, finding first love, and exploring sexuality; fortunately, Sally Rooney doesn’t sugarcoat any of these topics. Not only is it a great read, but Normal People is also an Emmy-nominated show on Hulu with artful acting and beautiful Irish scenery. Like all the best coming-of-age stories, this one made me tear up just a little bit with its sad-but-happy ending.

  5. 5. For the Chick-Lit Aficionado: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

    As someone who loves Chick-Lit, this book really surpassed my expectations. Your best friend is someone who’ll listen to all your crazy rants and come to your house at 2 a.m. just to grab that thing all the way on the top-shelf. Yet, what happens when that unbreakable bond turns into a hero-sidekick dynamic? Best friends Rachel and Darcy have done everything together, and Rachel was always content being Darcy’s “sidekick,” until she finally starts reconsidering her role in the relationship. Although it is a bit old, making several references to 2000s trends that should never come back (specifically, low-rise jeans and halter-top shirts), the book is still resonant and relatable, especially on the subject of how society imposes expectations on women over the age of 30. Never in my reading career did I ever think I would support a character who (spoilers!) cheats with her best friend’s fiancé, but I was pleasantly surprised and applauded Emily Giffin for making the mistress archetype a likeable character. Giffin’s greatest gift is Rachel, the underdog-turned-boss that we all hope to become.