27 Books To Read In 2021

What a year, huh? Thank god this flaming tumbleweed made of discarded trash has finally come to a close. And while I don’t think that the world just magically improved the moment the clock struck 12:01am on January 1, 2021, at least we have some things to look forward to, like all the good books that are coming out. From highly anticipated debuts to new works from fave authors, here’s what we’ll be reading in 2021.

‘Be Dazzled’ by Ryan La Sala (January 5, 2021)

Be Dazzled Ryan La Sala

This Queer YA romance is like Project Runway meets ComicCon. Raffy has a passion for fashion design and is determined to win the cosplay competition at ComicCon. He has some stiff competition, though: Luca, his ex, who broke his heart. Which would be bad enough to deal with, except the two end up partnered together for the contest. This is gonna get messy.

‘The Push’ by Ashley Audrain (January 5, 2021)

The Push just might be the book of 2021. Its TV rights have already been sold, if that tells you anything. Blythe Connor survived a traumatic upbringing, which has left her unsure if motherhood is the right path for her. When her daughter Violet is born, it only brings Blythe’s fears to the surface—especially since, from the moment Violet enters the world, bad things start happening. Blythe struggles to love and understand her daughter, who keeps pushing them away. When tragedy strikes her family, Blythe is forced to finally come to terms with who her daughter really is.

‘What Could Be Saved’ by Liese O’Halleran Schwarz (January 12, 2021)

Alternating between Bangkok, 1972 and present-day Washington, D.C., What Could Be Saved follows Laura and Bea Preston, two sisters dealing with their mother’s dementia, who are contacted by a stranger who claims to be their brother who vanished 40 years earlier. Laura flies to Thailand to meet him and ends up with a lot more questions than answers.

‘Wings of Ebony’ by J. Elle (January 26, 2021)

Elle’s debut fantasy is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. Rue, a Black teenager in Houston, has her entire world turned upside down when she finds out she’s half-god. And just in time, too, because evil forces are trying to take over the world. Naturally.

‘Do Better’ by Rachel Ricketts (February 2, 2021)

do better

Need another book for your anti-racism education? Pick up a copy of Do Better, which offers mindful and practical steps to dismantle white supremacy on a personal and community level. Ricketts combines her experiences as an attorney, grief counselor, and anti-racism educator with her certifications in yoga, Reiki, and mindfulness to provide heart-centered and spirit-based practices.

‘Finlay Donovan Is Killing It’ by Elle Cosimano (February 2, 2021)

This is part fun read, part suspense. Finlay Donovan is newly divorced, barely making ends meet after her husband ran off with his secretary (so cliche). She’s behind on her book deal and dodging calls from her agent. Until one day when she meets her agent to discuss progress on her new novel, about a hit man, and a rich housewife overhears and thinks she’s actually a murderer for hire. Finlay would chalk it up to a misunderstanding and go on her way… but the money the woman’s offering might be too good to pass up.

‘Girl A’ by Abigail Dean (February 2, 2021)

Lexie is known to the world as Girl A, after escaping a horrific childhood of abuse and rescuing her siblings from her parents’ house of horrors. She’s fine with that and prefers to leave her past in the past, which is usually easy since she relocated to the other side of the world, her father died, and her mother was sentenced to life in prison. But when her mother dies and Lexie is named the executor of her will, she’s forced to return and unbury her past, which means coming to terms with the fact that she and her siblings don’t remember their childhood the same way. 

‘The Kindest Lie’ by Nancy Johnson (February 2, 2021)

It’s Chicago in 2008. Barack Obama is ushering in a new wave of hope. Enter: Ruth, Ivy League graduate and Black engineer, who’s about to start a family with her smart, successful husband. There’s one problem: Ruth can’t let go of feeling like she needs to make peace with the baby she abandoned as a teenager. She returns home to start digging into the past and befriends Midnight, a white teenager. When a traumatic event brings the town’s simmering racial tensions to a boiling point, Ruth and Midnight’s friendship—and lives—get pushed to the breaking point.

‘The Project’ by Courtney Summers (February 2, 2021)

Fans of Courtney Summers and Sadie can finally breathe now that her new novel is coming out. Just like Sadie, The Project has a true crime element, though this time we’re not just dealing with a missing sister, but a sister who’s run off to join cults. The cult in question is a group called the Unity Project, which has undeniably done a lot of good in the community. Some, in fact, don’t even think it’s a cult. Lo Denham, though, is determined to uncover The Project for what it really is. When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works at claiming the Unity Project killed his son, Lo just might have the chance to prove to everyone what she’s been saying all along.

‘The Removed’ by Brandon Hobson (February 2, 2021)

Ever since Ray-Ray was killed in a police shooting 15 years ago, the Echote family hasn’t been the same. They rarely talk about Ray-Ray and each member of the family muddles along in their own silo of grief. Their annual family bonfire is the one opportunity they get to talk about his memory. As this year’s bonfire approaches, each family member finds the line between the normal and spirit worlds blurring—to bizarre ends. 

‘The Gilded Ones’ by Namina Forna (February 9, 2021)

I’ve literally been waiting for this book since 2019, so yeah, it deserves a spot on the “most anticipated” list. The first book in the Deathless series, The Gilded Ones follows Deka, a 16-year-old who lives in fear of the blood ceremony that will decide whether she can become a member of her village. But the blood ceremony doesn’t go her way, and Deka knows she faces a fate worse than death. That is, until a mysterious woman presents her with the choice to leave the village to fight the emperor with an army of girls who are just like her.

‘Quiet In Her Bones’ by Nalini Singh (February 23, 2021)

When socialite Nina Rai disappeared one night, everyone assumed she’d just grown tired of her life and run away. Until 10 years later when her bones turn up in the forest surrounding her tony neighborhood. Nina’s son, Arav, is determined to find out the truth—but suddenly nobody wants to talk.

‘The Lost Apothecary’ by Sarah Penner (March 2, 2021)

The past and the present meet in Penner’s debut novel. In 18th century London, a female apothecary secretly doles out poison to women who need permanent solutions for the toxic men in their lives. She has two rules: every recipient must be carefully tracked in her logbook, and she will never do harm to another woman. In present day London, Caroline takes a solo trip to London after learning of her husband’s infidelity, and ends up discovering a vial from the apothecary. 

‘Too Good To Be True’ by Carola Lovering (March 2, 2021)

I could not be more excited that the author of Tell Me Lies is back, this time with a psychological suspense. Skye Starling seems to have it all: beautiful, smart, a doting boyfriend who proposes. What she doesn’t show is that she’s battled crippling OCD since childhood. And what she doesn’t know is that her devoted fiancée is anything but. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, Lovering will throw another curve ball at you.

‘The Jigsaw Man’ by Nadine Matheson (March 16, 2021)

Matheson is a criminal defense attorney-turned-author whose debut tackles race and sexism in the legal system. In Jigsaw Man, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is her unit’s sole Black female detective. She’s racing to catch an infamous serial killer and his copycat before more people turn up dead.

‘The Dictionary of Lost Words’ by Pip Williams (April 4, 2021)

Based on actual events, The Dictionary of Lost Words is set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement. As a group of male scholars puts together the first Oxford English Dictionary, one of the scholars’ daughters decides to collect the “objectionable” words they deem not suitable for the dictionary. The result is her own dictionary of lost words.

‘The Last Exiles’ by Ann Shin (April 6, 2020)

Inspired by true events, The Last Exiles is a portrait of a young couple, Jin and Suja, who fell in love in university and whose relationship is put to the test by Kim Jong-il’s regime. Suja is an aspiring journalist from a well-off family, and Jin is from a humble family in a small village. When Jin returns home to find his family starving, he makes a split-second decision that will change the course of his life forever. Suja, knowing nothing about what Jin has done, risks her family, her privilege, and her life to find him.

‘You Love Me’ by Caroline Kepnes (April 6, 2021)

The third book in the Joe Goldberg series opens with Joe leaving city life behind and moving to an island in the Pacific Northwest to be one with nature. He gets a job at the library and that’s where he meets Mary Kay, the librarian. This time, Joe tells himself he won’t obsess or impose. But this is Joe Goldberg, so we all know what’s really going to happen.

‘Dial A for Aunties’ by Jessie Q. Sutanto (April 27, 2021)

What do you get when you accidentally kill your blind date? Well, most of us would probably get arrested, but Meddelin Chan’s aunties come to the rescue to help her, um, dispose of the evidence. All would be well except the body is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the billionaire wedding all the ladies are working. As if pulling off the wedding of the century isn’t hard enough, now the Chans have to do it without getting discovered in the process.

‘The Woman With The Blue Star’ by Pam Jenoff (May 4, 2021)

In Krakow 1942, an unlikely friendship forms. 18-year-old Sadie Gault was living in the Krakow ghetto until the Nazis liquidated it, forcing its residents to live in the sewers. Well-to-do Eliza Stepanek wanders the streets aimlessly after her fiancé goes off to war. When she spots Sadie hiding beneath a grate in the street, she decides to help her, and the two form a friendship that faces the most difficult of tests.

‘People We Meet on Vacation’ by Emily Henry (May 11, 2021)

people we meet on vacation

If you loved Emily Henry’s aptly named Beach Read, get ready for another sizzling romance that will thaw your cold heart. Poppy and Alex are total opposites and best friends. They have a tradition of taking a trip together every summer, until two years ago, when it all went to sh*t. With her life going downhill, Poppy decides to throw one final Hail Mary and convinces Alex to take another vacation with her. Is a week long enough to fix everything that went wrong with them?

‘The Hunting Wives’ by May Cobb (May 21, 2021)

hunting wives may cobb

ATTN anyone who loves Big Little Lies, Mean Girls, and Desperate Housewives: May Cobb’s upcoming suspense novel is for you. Sophie O’Neill moves from her big-city life in Chicago to a small town in east Texas with her husband and young son. Looking for a little more excitement, Sophie meets Margot Banks, who is a part of an elite clique known as the Hunting Wives. She immediately feels drawn toward Margot and her mysterious world full of late-night adventures and reckless partying… until she lands in the middle of a murder investigation. Suddenly this group is not so fun.

‘Malibu Rising’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid (May 25, 2021)

Author of the sensation Daisy Jones and the Six is back with a new novel about four famous siblings who throw an end-of-summer party where the roof is on fire… literally. Told over the span of one unforgettable night in August 1983, this novel has it all: love stories, secrets, sacrifices, and much more.

‘The Maidens’ by Alex Michaelides (June 1, 2021)

From the #1 NYT bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes the latest tale of suspense from Alex Michaelides. Mariana Andros knows the charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge, Edward Fosca, is a murderer. Except he’s untouchable—he even has a secret society of female admirers called The Maidens. When another body turns up, Mariana becomes determined to expose who Andros really is, no matter the cost.

‘The Other Black Girl’ by Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 1, 2021)

When two young Black women get jobs in publishing, the resulting novel is like The Devil Wears Prada meets Get Out. 26-year-old Nella is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner books, and when Hazel starts working next to her, it seems like a dream come true—until Hazel is promoted and Nella is left behind. Then Nella starts getting notes on her desk urging her to leave Wagner. It seems like obvious sabotage from Hazel, but as Nella starts investigating, she realizes there’s a lot more at stake than just her job.

‘Razorblade Tears’ by S.A. Cosby (July 6, 2021)

On the surface, Ike Randolph and Buddy Lee have little in common. They’re both ex-cons, and when their sons get married, they become in-laws (who struggle to accept their sons’ relationship). When their sons are murdered, Ike and Buddy must move past their differences in order to figure out what happened.

‘Mona at Sea’ by Elizabeth Gonzalez James (June 30, 2021)

Mona Mireles is a millennial perfectionist who nonetheless finds herself unemployed, living with her parents, and single at the height of the recession in 2008. This isn’t a gripping page-turner, but it’s a witty and relatable read—perfect for vacation or the beach (provided we can go there in summer 2021). 

Images: @laurachouette / Unsplash

10 Books To Read During Quarantine When You’ve Watched All Of Netflix

Oh, hi. Didn’t see you there. It’s me, your friendly Betches Vanderpump Rules recapper and occasional book reviewer, here to talk about what I’ve been reading. Now, truthfully, I’ve been reading a lot less since quarantine started, since I’m one of those psychos who gets all her reading in during her daily subway commute. Now that I have to actually make time to sit down and read a book, I usually end up accidentally watching true crime documentaries instead. Oops!

Anyway, I’ve heard that reading is making a comeback—only took a little pandemic to get people to read things other than their phone screens. So in the spirit of books being a thing again, and also us not really having a summer so I don’t want this to be my summer reading list, here are the best books that came out during quarantine that you should read while in quarantine.

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen (March 3, 2020) 

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen

This is a thriller, but it’s not a typical thriller. It is a cool thriller, but really, I would describe it more as a writer’s thriller. The focus is more on the striking prose and crafting vivid scenes than about having a fast-paced, action-packed read. Picture this: it’s Atlantic City, circa whatever year Atlantic City went to sh*t (I could Google it, but I’m not a historian). Two unlikely women meet and become friends: Clara Voyant, a teenage psychic, and Lily, an aspiring art curator who moves back to her hometown after being chewed up and spit out by the Manhattan art scene. Throughout all this, sex workers are being murdered and dumped in AC, and no one even notices. Told through multiple perspectives, including the “Janes” who are murdered, it’s an extremely compelling read.

BLACK WIDOW: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like “Journey” in the Title by Leslie Gray Streeter (March 10, 2020)

Black Widow Leslie Gray Streeter

We’re all going through a sort of grief right now, and this “sad-funny journey through grief” just might be what we all need. Leslie Gray Streeter lost her husband to a sudden heart attack, and finds herself slapped with a label she doesn’t want: a widow. She doesn’t want pitying looks or whispered sympathies, she doesn’t want to wear a black dress and a big hat to her husband’s funeral. Black Widow takes readers through the more unexpected aspects of grief, “from coffin shopping to day-drinking, to being a grown-ass woman crying for your mommy, to breaking up and making up with God.”

The Herd by Andrea Bartz (March 24, 2020)

The Herd by Andrea Bartz

Yes, I know I’ve written about The Herd before, but I’m covering it again because it’s just that good. (But actually, if you remembered that I have covered it before, DM me @sarafcarter because you deserve recognition for your photographic memory of useless facts.) This thriller takes place in a famed all-female coworking space… no, not the one you’re thinking of, this one’s fictional. When the beloved founder is found dead, her best friends have to figure out who killed her, without compromising the future of the coworking space. And if you can’t get enough of Andrea Bartz’s writing, check out her articles for Betches.

A Mother’s Lie by Sarah Zettel (April 7, 2020)

A Mother's Lie by Sarah Zettel

Beth has spent her entire adult life running away from her past, ever since she narrowly saved her daughter from being abducted. But the thing about the past is that it, and the people from it, don’t really like to stay buried. And when those people from Beth’s past include her two grifter parents, whom she never told her daughter about, let’s just say, sh*t goes off the rails. Just a warning if you do buy this book: you may finish it in a day (speaking for myself).

The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (April 7, 2020)

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

It’s the adult debut from the author of the Divergent series, and if that didn’t sell you right there, I don’t know what to tell you. Okay, I do. An evil force called the Dark One tried to end humanity as we know it, and a group of elite teenagers called the Chosen Ones were called into battle to save the world. (Tbh, would be great if we oculd get a couple of supernatural teens to save us right about now.) Fast-forward 10 years, and the Chosen Ones are trying to resume normal lives—that is, until one of their own winds up dead, and they quickly realize the world still needs saving. Told through narrative and enhanced with magazine articles, government briefs, scholarly papers, and even stand-up comedy routine transcripts, the format is really fun and inventive.

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle (April 7, 2020)

You Deserve Each Other

Need something lighthearted? You Deserve Each Other is like Bride Wars meets How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. In it, Naomi Westfield is about to get married to her picture-perfect fiancé, Nicholas Rose. The only problem? She can’t stand him. Oh, and that they have an agreement that whoever calls off the engagement has to foot the entire bill. So when Naomi finds out that Nicholas wants out too, they are forced to go head-to-head in a battle of wits, emotional warfare, and pranks to see who will crack first.

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan (April 14, 2020)

Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel

Tilly was a bright, carefree little girl, and when her father suddenly disappeared, she and her mom moved into Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel in Brighton. She eventually falls in love with all the other quirky people there, including Queenie. But when Tilly’s mom sends her away to boarding school without warning or explanation, Tilly is betrayed and heartbroken to leave her makeshift family. As a woman, and after her mother’s death, she returns to the Paradise Hotel, determined to find out what really happened to make her leave the hotel, and the type of person her mother really was.

The House Of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland (April 21, 2020)

The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland

While most residents of River Bend, Michigan, never imagine leaving, it’s precisely the place three women were desperate to escape. Linda Williams is perpetually dissatisfied. Her mother, Paula, is the opposite—always too sure. Beth DeWitt is one of the town’s only black daughters, now a mother of two. Linda, Paula, and Beth’s paths collide and a scandal forces Beth to deal with her past. If you just binged Little Fires Everywhere, you’ll want to pick up this debut that examines family ties, racial microaggressions, and the power of intergenerational trauma.

Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster (May 5, 2020)

Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster

Heddy Winsome is a working class girl from Brooklyn who wants nothing more than to live among the wealthy. She gets a taste of that life in the summer of 1962 when she lands a gig as a nanny for a rich family out on Martha’s Vineyard. But as she falls in love with someone on the island, she’s forced to reckon with the fact that what you see on the outside (glitz, glamour, nice houses, perfectly coiffed hair) isn’t always what’s going on on the inside.  

The Paris Hours by Alex George (May 5, 2020)

the Paris hours Alex George

Picture this: Sicily, 1912 Paris, 1927, between the two World Wars. While the city teems with artists and creatives, four regular people are searching for what they’ve lost. Camille, Marcel Proust’s maid, who was supposed to burn all his notebooks but hid one for herself. Souren, an Armenian refugee, who performs puppet shows for children. Guillaume, a lovesick artist who’s hounded by debt until Gertrude Stein walks into his studio. And Jean-Paul, a journalist who tells others’ stories so he can avoid telling his own. The Paris Hours is told over the course of one day in 1927, when all four characters’ stories collide.

Images: David Lezcano / Unsplash; Amazon (10)
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10 Books To Read If You Can’t Get Enough Of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’

The obsession with Little Fires Everywhere started in 2017 with the release of the novel by Celeste Ng—a book that just about every book club had at the top of their reading list. Filled with drama, strong leading ladies and small-town suburban drama, it was no surprise that it quickly became one of the biggest books of the decade. Now, the queens Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are bringing it to life with their new Hulu series based on the book. If you can’t get enough of this enticing storyline, and need something to read while you’re stuck at home for the foreseeable future, you’ll live for these 10 unforgettable novels.

1. The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

Out April 14, 2020

The New Husband DJ Palmer

Picture this: your husband goes missing on a fishing trip, is presumed dead, and then you find out he was having an affair. Tragic. For the main character in The New Husband, Nina Garrity, this is her reality and she’s doing her best to move on a year and a half after the strange disappearance that left her a widow. Trying to move on with a new man, Simon Fitch, everything seems like smooth sailing. But when her daughter raises concerns about him, Nina begins an investigation into Simon that will send her reeling—we’re talking Dirty John level secrets.

2. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Grey

Released January 14, 2020

Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

No matter how close sisters Althea, Violet and Lillian are, they never imagined that one of them would be arrested and put on trial for stealing money from a charity (who does that?!). Now left to care for Althea’s twin daughters and wrestling with the idea that the woman who raised them is a criminal, the family begins to fall apart, member by member. With plenty of family drama, a fire, and difficult mother-daughter relationships, this book gives us serious Little Fires Everywhere vibes.

3. The Opposite of Fate by Alison McGhee

Released February 18, 2020

The Opposite Of Fate

Mallie Williams was feeling on top of the world until a terrible assault left her in a coma. The worst part? Her attacker got her pregnant. By the time she regains her strength and comes out of the coma, her family will have made a decision that will change her life forever. Filled with hopeful messages about life and the decisions that alter the way we look at the world, Mallie Williams proves to be the ultimate badass in Alison McGhee’s latest novel The Opposite of Fate.

4. Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Released December 31, 2019

Such A Fun Age Kiley Reid

Alix Chamberlain is a certified boss, living a life full of success and confidence (So… can we all be Alix?). Living a predominantly great life, she’s completely caught off guard when her babysitter, a young black woman named Emira, is accused of kidnapping her child at their high-end grocery store. When a video is released of the horrific incident, Alix knows she has to do something to make the situation right. But the video brings someone from Alix’s past back into her life, forcing all of her plans out the window and putting her completely out of control for the first time in a long time.

5. Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst

Out April 7, 2020

Queen of the Owls

When college professor Elizabeth innocently poses for nude photos, the only thought in her mind is how these photos will bring her one step closer to her hero Georgia O’Keeffe. Instead, the seriously creepy photographer who took the photos exploits Elizabeth, publishing them for the world to see. Unable to persuade him to take the photos down, Elizabeth does her best to embrace the situation and help others understand why she did it in the first place. If you’re trying to get in touch with your inner feminist spirit this spring, you’ll love Elizabeth and Queen of the Owls.

6. The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger 

Released July 2, 2019

The Gifted School

Said to be the book “that predicted the college-admissions scandal,” (The Wall Street Journal) you better believe The Gifted School is full of juicy private school drama. Four families have known each other for over a decade, raising their children together and happily living side-by-side in their quaint community. But then an exclusive new school for gifted children opens up and suddenly, the parents of these four families turn against one another, doing whatever it takes to get their children into the most prestigious school in town—and setting a horrible example for their kids in the process.

7. Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Out April 21, 2020

Little Secrets

College sweethearts Marin and Derek were living the dream before their son Sebastian was taken. Over a year later, the police no longer have any leads in the case, leaving Marin to hire a private investigator to continue digging. But unfortunately for Marin the plan backfires as the PI learns Derek is having an affair with a woman… a much younger woman. Like any reasonable woman who’s been betrayed, Marin begins to contemplate what it would take to break them up for good and it isn’t long before she begins to explore ways of getting her out of Derek’s life permanently. Yikes!  

8. Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

Released February 4, 2020

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes

Isobel Johnson has never claimed to be a perfect teacher and tries her best to fly under the radar, avoiding the sometimes-crazy class parents. But all of that hits the fan when she introduces a fairly liberal lesson to her class and she begins getting threatening calls from her students’ parents. Simultaneously, helicopter mom Julia has just been trashed by her fellow moms for making an error while casting the school’s winter musical. Banding together, Isobel and Julia quickly find out just how toxic privileged schools like Liston Heights High can really be.

9. A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe 

Out April 7, 2020

A Hundred Suns

Ever wonder what Little Fires Everywhere would look like as a historical fiction novel? We’ve got you covered! Moving to Vietnam with her husband in 1933, American Jessie Lesage has absolutely no idea what to expect. With scandal surrounding her husband and his connection to the Michelin rubber fortune, she knows she needs to keep up the visage of the perfect wife. Determined to make a real life for herself in Vietnam, she befriends local woman Marcelle de Fabry. What Jessie doesn’t know is that Marcelle is in support of giving the Michelin plantations back to their rightful owners, a secret that will severely threaten Jessie, her husband, and their success.

10. A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler

Released March 10,2020

A Good Neighborhood

Good neighbors can be hard to come by, and no one knows this better than single mother Valerie Alston-Holt in A Good Neighborhood. A professor of forestry and ecology, Valerie has everything she could ever want: a bright son headed to college soon, a tight-knit community, and a beautiful home. Things are obviously too good to be true for Valerie (or else this wouldn’t be a novel) and soon, the Whitman family moves in next door and immediately starts to disrupt her life. First, the family completely demolishes the house they bought, building a monstrosity, then they find themselves arguing over a historic tree in Valerie’s yard. But worst of all, Valerie’s son has fallen for the Whitman’s daughter, causing all Hell to break loose. If you think you have bad neighbors, this book will reassure you of how good you have it!   

Images: Courtesy of Hulu; Amazon (10)

20 Books To Read In 2020

2020 has been off to a rough start, to say the absolute least, but one thing we can all look forward to is a bunch of new books coming out. TG, I needed something to continue showing up at work for (I read during my commute, for those of you who didn’t get the joke). For all my fellow nerds out there, 2020 is going to be a great year for reading (my middle school librarian would be ecstatic at that sentence). From exciting debuts from first-time authors, to new books by writers you are already obsessed with, there is a ton to add to your reading list. Because I’m so nice and I know you guys hate when I only include books on a list that aren’t out yet, I have done you the favor of highlighting one late 2019 release and some that were released earlier this month. But seriously, people, that’s why they invented preorder!

Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison

Out December 30, 2019

I never went to boarding school because I/my parents were not fancy like that, but it is easy to imagine in this book. Good Girls Lie takes place in an elite boarding school with a checkered past—aren’t they all, though? Enter new girl, Ash Carlisle, who struggles to figure out how TF these rich girls operate. Since she DGAF, she, of course, gets tapped into one of the school’s famed secret societies, and things start spiraling out of control from there. I won’t spoil it, but I will tell you that two people wind up dead, and it’s not what you think.

One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

Out January 7, 2020

The sequel to One Of Us Is Lying is here, and tbh, I recommend re-reading that before diving into this one, so you remember who all the characters are and their relation to the OGs. Because Bayview High hasn’t been through enough since fellow student Simon died and four of his peers almost got framed for his murder, a new Truth or Dare game has popped up all over the school, and the rules are simple: either do the dare, or one of your darkest truths gets revealed to the entire school. It’s not long before the dares turn deadly—meaning it’s up to the younger siblings of the original Bayview Four to figure out who’s behind this, and stop it before it’s too late.

Average Is The New Awesome by Samantha Matt

Out January 7, 2020

Are you intimidated by all those people on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list? Aren’t we all, though? Even though our parents told us we could be anything if we just put our minds to it, let’s be real, you’re probably not going to become a full-time influencer at 30 unless you go on The Bachelor. Samantha Matt gets this, and instead of writing a “just practice 10,000 hours a day” type self-help book, she, through hilarious stories and insightful advice, offers encouragement to us “average” folks and assures us that being good really is good enough.

Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life Of A Double Murder in Appalachia by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Out January 21, 2020

On June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class women were murdered as they were hitchhiking their way to a festival called the Rainbow Gathering (obviously, they never arrived). For 13 years, there were no arrests, although people suspected the West Virginia locals, who were cast by the media as poor, backward, and dangerous. (Hmmm where have I seen this before…?) In 1993, a local farmer was convicted of the murders, until a known serial killer came forward and confessed to the crime. That’s not a spoiler because these murders actually happened, making this a true crime book. Writer Emma Copley Eisenberg explores divisions of gender and class in America through the lens of this double homicide in Appalachia and the reactions it spawned.

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

Out January 28, 2020

Nobody believes Gabe’s daughter Izzy is still alive, except Gabe, who swears he saw her being driven away in a strange car. Four years later, he spends his days driving up and down the freeway, hoping to find her. His search for his daughter leads him to an enigmatic man who calls himself The Sandman, a secret society, and it will expose to him the dark underbelly of humanity.

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

Out February 4, 2020

If you read and loved The Night Olivia Fell like I did, then you’ve probably been waiting with bated breath for Christina McDonald’s next book. Well, you can exhale now, because it’s (almost) here! Here’s the gist: Eva Hansen wakes up in the hospital after being struck by lightning (I know, stick with me) and discovers her mother has been brutally murdered. Well, guess who was found unconscious down the street from her mom’s house? Yep, Eva. Uh-oh, not a good look. The problem? Eva doesn’t remember what happened, so it’s up to her to try to piece that night together and, like, avoid going to prison for her mother’s murder. No pressure!

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

Out February 4, 2020

Becky Albertalli, the best-selling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (that became the movie Love, Simon) teams up with bestselling author of Amal Unbound, Aisha Saeed, in this novel about the power of love and resistance. It’s like any joke that starts “a Jew and a Muslim walk into a bar,” only both people are 17 so they wouldn’t be allowed in a bar, and that bar is volunteering for their local state senate candidate. As the polls get closer, so do the two main characters. *Wink emoji*

The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons

Out February 4, 2020

You’ve been ghosted before, right? (If you say no, you’re lying.) Well, in this debut by Amy Bonnaffons, the protagonist gets literally ghosted… in that she has sex with a ghost. Yep, ghost sex, we’re going there. It’s 2020, why not.

Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls

Out February 11, 2020

It’s London 2008, on the eve of President Obama’s election. Amid the fizzy glow of hope and change and promise, Nick and Ellie meet and fall in love. Nick is a film projectionist who wants his love story to live up to his favorite movies, and he quickly casts Ellie as his leading lady—metaphorically speaking. It’s all sunshine and rainbows until one day when Ellie inexplicably moves out, and Nick is forced to reevaluate the relationship, without the rose-colored glasses.

Postscript by Cecelia Ahern

Out February 11, 2020

Postscript Celia Ahern

Sixteen years after her bestselling phenomenon PS, I Love You, Cecilia Ahern is back with the sequel (and you thought you were a procrastinator). Fast-forward to six years after Holly Kennedy has read her husband’s final letter, and she’s moved on with her life at last. That is, until her sister has the genius idea to have her start a podcast (how millennial of her) where she retells her story of reading her late husband’s letters. People start connecting with the podcast, specifically terminally ill people who want to leave their loved ones messages after they’re gone. It’s your classic “just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in”.

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

Out February 18, 2020

In this charming novel, two doctors are forced to choose between treating all their patients and keeping their jobs. Basically, it’s set in Charleston (you can probably guess what’s coming) and the clinic at which the characters work is demanding that all their doctors stop treating trans patients. Along the way there’s love, blackmail, office politics, and a little bit of mystery too. And the main characters, Georgia and Jonah, are adorable and friendship goals. I imagine it’s a little like Grey’s Anatomy except I wouldn’t know because I never watched that show. 

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Out March 3, 2020

This book is actually based on the life of Erdrich’s grandfather, who worked as—you guessed it—a night watchman and who helped fight against Native American dispossession in North Dakota, taking that fight all the way to Washington, D.C. The book takes place in 1953 on the Chippewa Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. Night watchman and Chippewa Council member Thomas Wazhashk is struggling to understand a proposed “emancipation” bill that’s making its way to the floor of Congress. Thomas doesn’t know much, but he does know that with this “emancipation” his people are likely not gonna be free—more likely, the opposite. Meanwhile, Pixie “Patrice” Paranteau (also a member of the reservation) is on a quest to find her sister who moved to Minneapolis and then disappeared.

The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel

Out March 10, 2020

History buffs, you’ll love this one. The Mirror & The Light is the third book in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy, after Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. Now, let me set the scene for you: the year is 1536. Anne Boleyn was just beheaded. Cromwell goes back to his master, Henry VIII, to celebrate his victory… which proves to be short-lived, because there’s rebellion brewing at home and traitors plotting abroad. All this while Cromwell is trying to plan his own ascent to power… it’s a lot.

The Herd by Andrea Bartz

Out March 24, 2020

You know those girls who just seem to have it all? Beautiful, a million Instagram followers, started their own company? Yeah. Meet Eleanor, the founder of The Herd, an all-female co-working space (that is very similar to an IRL all-female co-working space, just saying). But it isn’t all glitter and positive affirmations. Soon after opening, The Herd is vandalized with sexist messages—and then its beloved founder, Eleanor, winds up dead. This leaves Eleanor’s equally beautiful, slightly less accomplished friends to find out what happened to her.

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

Out March 31, 2020

Okay, the title alone is enough to convince me to pick up a copy of this book of essays, because it basically describes my mood 24/7 these days. Now, don’t get scared away by the word “essays” because these are f*cking hilarious. They range in topic from bad friend dates (relatable) to being disillusioned by inspirational Instagram quotes (more relatable) to “being a cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person” (still relatable somehow even though I’m from New York).

It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

Out March 31, 2020

Welp, that title is the positivity I need today. #1 NYT bestselling author Terry McMillan, who wrote Waiting To Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and more, returns with this novel that women’s fiction lovers will, well, love. In it, 68-year-old Loretha Curry is living her life—she has a thriving beauty-supply empire, a loving husband, and awesome friends. That is, until an unexpected loss turns her whole world upside down and she’s gotta get by with a little help from her friends.

God Shot by Chelsea Bieker

Out April 7, 2020

Honestly, this plot kind of reminds me of Holes, but with a Jesus-y twist. 14-year-old Lacey May and her alcoholic mother live in the town of—get this—Peaches, California, a once-thriving agricultural hub that has since gone dry. Now, it’s the site of a work camp/prison for juvenile delinquents. Just kidding!! In their desperation, the residents turn to a cult leader, Pastor Vern, who promises to bring rain by doling out secret “assignments” to the Peaches residents. But when Lacey’s mother runs away, Lacey begins to uncover just what the Pastor has been doing, and she has no choice but to set out to find her mother. 

That’s Not A Thing by Jacqueline Friedland

Out April 14, 2020

Fans of Emily Giffin will love this romantic novel that’s not overtly saccharine. Protagonist Meredith Altman has it all: a loving fiancé who’s a doctor, a high-paying career as a lawyer, and she’s about to set her wedding at a new trendy Tribeca restaurant… until she meets the owner of the restaurant. It’s her ex. Not just any ex—the ex. You know, the one who f*cked up her life and made her think she’d never be the same again without him? That ex. As she spends more time with the ex, Meredith questions everything she values, and she’s going to have to choose which life she’s going to have: the one before her, or the one she used to want?

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Out April 28, 2020

From the author of My Lovely Wife, He Started It follows a family of scammers who are on a forced road trip to claim their grandfather’s inheritance. If you thought your family was crazy and dysfunctional, just wait until you get a load of these people. Every chapter brings a new secret and twist to the story, and even I couldn’t predict this one. Stay tuned for an exclusive excerpt, just for Betches readers!

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Out May 19, 2020

Yeah, I know, I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but for good reason! Pre-order it now so you can have it in time for your first beach day. Once I started Beach Read I legit did not put it down. Romance writer January Andrews believes in the power of love (can’t relate) until a devastating family secret upends her entire worldview. Cold horny-boy literary fiction writer (you know the type) Augustus Everett is cynical and matter-of-fact. They hate each other… until they’re forced to spend the summer in adjacent beach houses, and they come up with a little bet to swap genres. I think you know what’s going to happen between these two, but it’s not supposed to be mysterious anyway. 

Images: Nicole Wolf / Unsplash; Amazon (20)
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The Summer Book You Should Read According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you’re anything like me, you hate making decisions, and who better to turn to for all your life choices than the stars? Nobody. Well, the stars are not really a person, but more like an entity, but you get what I mean. Summer is almost here, and with pool season comes summer reading lists. But with so many books out there to choose from, how do you decide?! Let your zodiac sign be your guide, because I found the best book to read based on your zodiac sign. Start here with these personal recommendations, then keep your eyes peeled for the Betches Summer Reading List, out v v soon.

If You’re An Aries, Read…

 Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

If you’re an Aries, this is your week to get stuff done like the bad betch you are. Start thinking proactively with Rachel Hollis’s Girl, Stop Apologizing. Hollis is sick of seeing women downplay their own success and in her latest novel, she empowers hardworking ladies to embrace the future they want instead of adhering to what everyone else expects.

If You’re A Taurus, Read…

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is your week to shine, Taurus! While you’re feeling popular and ahead of the game, pick up a copy of the mega-popular and Instagram-famous Daisy Jones & the Six. When Daisy Jones joins Billy Dunne’s band, The Six, the collaboration becomes an instant sensation. Filled with sex, drugs and rock n roll, this New York Times bestseller is a must for Taurus.

If You’re A Gemini, Read… 

The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey

True Geminis are feeling all kinds of zen at the moment and should be kicking back this week with a book to bring out the most peaceful version of themselves. Ansley Murphy and her three daughters are finally living the happy lives they’ve all dreamed of… and then two women roll into town destined to take them down. The Murphy women will have to band together to get through this disastrous time.

If You’re A Cancer, Read…

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

It’s time to switch up your genre game, Cancer. Come out of that shell and read a suspenseful thriller that will have you up all night. Miriam Macy and six other strangers have just arrived for a tropical vacation off the coast of Mexico. What they don’t know if that they’ve all been brought there for a reason, and not all of them will make it out unscathed.

If You’re A Leo, Read…

When’s Happy Hour: Work So Hard You Can Barely Work by Betches

Get your career in check this week, Leo! But also don’t forget your priorities (aka happy hour). We know you get serious FOMO sometimes, and that’s okay. We’ve got the perfect book rec for you by yours truly. Learn how to be the best version of your careerwoman self with the founders of Betches as they walk you through the best practices to becoming a CEO, mastering the art of conquering awkward office hookups, and so much more.

If You’re A Virgo, Read… 

You, Me, and the Sea by Meg Donohue

Feeling wanderlust this week, Virgo? Why not sail out to sea? It is summer, right? You, Me, and the Sea takes place in a seaside town in Northern California, where Merrow Shawe lives a rather carefree life. But her world is quickly changed when a handsome new man comes to stay with her family, and before she knows it, their romance is changing everything she knows about life, family and home.

If You’re A Libra, Read… 

Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer

Libra, you’ve got to read a thriller this week. *Trust us, it’s in the stars.* Instead of stalking your ex on Insta, do yourself a favor and pick up Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer. This suspenseful thriller will have you trying to solve the mystery up until the very end and using your powers for good. If you love The Act on Hulu, this book will be the perfect rollercoaster ride for your spring reading.

If You’re A Scorpio, Read… 

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Your love life is on point this week, Scorpio! Take advantage of these romantic vibes coming your way and treat yourself to Helen Hoag’s The Bride Test. This book is smart, sexy, and refreshingly real. Khai Diep is the perfect replacement man for you single Scorpios out there. And if you’re in a relationship, it this steamy love story will have no problem keeping things hot, hot, hot.

If You’re A Sagittarius, Read… 

The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

Sagittarius, you need help. Help from the one and only Oprah Winfrey. The Queen recently released The Path Made Clear, the perfect book for anyone trying to get their life in order and find success on the other side. Filled with her own anecdotes and life lessons from the important people around her, this book is one you will absolutely benefit from.

If You’re A Capricorn, Read…

The Mister by E.L. James

Cap, you are on top of the world this week with your flirty mentality. Set up a book date with The Mister by the author of a little romance novel called 50 Shades of Grey and prepare yourself for a steamy night in. Maxim Trevelyan is a major playboy, but when a tragedy strikes his family, he has to shape up. In the midst of his new life is a sexy new acquaintance—a woman he can’t get off his mind no matter how hard he tries.

If You’re An Aquarius, Read… 

The Promise of Us by Jamie Beck

Aquarius, you need a little me time this week. Cancel your weekend plans and keep things chill with Jamie Beck’s The Promise of Us. Main character Claire McKenna is not a newbie when it comes to loss. Now that she’s begun her latest business venture and everything seems to be going her way, she runs into a man from her past, and suddenly everything she thought was going right in her life is thrown into chaos.  

If You’re A Pisces, Read…

Machine Like Me by Ian McEwan

For the dreamy and creative Pisces, we have quite the book recommendation for you. Mercury has you feeling some type of way this week, and by that we mean you’re feeling extra curious. Machine Like Me by Ian McEwan is a curious book, to say the least. Think romance meets synthetic humans but in the 80s. Seriously, can you imagine being in a love triangle with an AI humanoid?! Maybe if he was a clone Ryan Reynolds. Either way, we trust that you can fantasize about this fake world.

Images: Nicole Wolf / Unsplash

What To Read This Winter Based On Books You Already Love

In lieu of a traditional holiday reading list this year (mostly because I didn’t get my sh*t together in time, but also because I (perhaps prematurely) published a Thanksgiving reading list, I’m doing something a little bit different this year. A fun fact about me is that I love to give book recommendations. So that’s what I’m here to do. I’m going to give you some dope book recommendations based on the books you’ve already read and loved. And isn’t that the best way to do it? I think it is. Just a fair warning: some of these books aren’t available until 2019. But then again, 2019 is like, next week, so I think you’ll live.

If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll love…

‘My Lovely Wife’ by Samantha Downing

If you read one book this year, make it My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. This book is going to be the new Gone Girl. In all honesty, I think it’s even better than Gone Girl. My Lovely Wife is Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets Dexter—a seemingly ordinary suburban husband and wife abduct and murder women for fun. Yeah, it’s wild. And there’s a twist at the end that even the most avid thriller readers (hi, it’s me) will never see coming. That’s really all I can say for now.

My Lovely Wife Samantha Downing

If you liked To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, you’ll love…

‘One Day In December’ by Josie Silver

This is your classic rom com, turned into a novel! Personally, I prefer novels anyway because I’d rather read something than watch it. Team texting while watching TV, reporting for duty. Anyway, One Day In December follows Laurie, a young woman who barely has her life together, who spots a guy on a bus one day and it’s immediate love at first sight. So then she sets off on a quest to find this mystery bus guy—and finds him in a very unexpected place. Sorry, I can’t give away any more, but you’ll love this book.

One Day In December

If you liked The Girl On The Train, you’ll love…

‘The Lost Night’ by Andrea Bartz 

If you’re reading this, on Betches, I assume you’ve blacked out before, yes? Great. Now imagine having blacked out the most important night of your life—the night your best friend committed suicide. Or did she? As protagonist Lindsay revisits her best friend’s suicide, she becomes convinced it was anything but, and sets on a journey to find the truth.

The Lost Night

If you liked The Favorite Sister, you’ll love…

‘Best Friends Forever’ by Margot Hunt

Need a thriller, but one you can get your hands on now? Bet. Best Friends Forever is about Alice Campbell, a regular suburban mom, who befriends uber-rich Kat Grant. They become fast friends, until Kat’s husband dies in a drunk accident. Suddenly Alice is being questioned by the cops at Kat is MIA. It will make you wonder: How well do you really know your friends?

Best Friends Forever

If you liked Big Little Lies, you’ll love…

‘The Night Olivia Fell’ by Christina McDonald

This domestic thriller is told from two perspectives: Olivia, a bright and beautiful high school student who mysteriously falls to her death one night, and that of her mother, Abi. A single mom, Abi is often criticized for being overprotective of her daughter. But when she’s struggling to put together her daughter’s final moments, it’s this same overprotectiveness that may help her discover the truth.

The Night Olivia Fell

If you liked I Had A Nice Time And Other Lies, you’ll love…

‘When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work’ by The Betches

I mean, I’m sorry about this, but I’m also not. If you loved our brutally honest dating advice, then you’ll love our equally honest and hilarious career advice. From choosing an industry to work in to what not to put on your resume to getting the job and more, we will help you navigate your job search in the real way only we can.

When's Happy Hour

Images: Thought Catalog / Unsplash; Amazon (5)

These Books About Dysfunctional Families Are The Perfect Escape From Yours

Holiday season is upon us, which means we’re all about to spend more time with our families, like it or not. Maybe you and your family all get along swimmingly. If so, you probably can’t relate to anything I’m going to say from here on out. So let’s say your family is a little… shall we say… eccentric. Maybe your dad won’t stop asking you why you’re not dating anyone (just lucky, I guess). Maybe nobody wants to tell your aunt that her stuffing tastes like cardboard, and she keeps piling it onto your plate until the glob of stuffing is taller than your head. Maybe one half your family is suing the other half of your family over your great uncle’s estate, and you were all summoned to a remote island to collect the inheritance. If your family is f*cked up in any sense, then you’ll want to take a gander at my dysfunctional family reading list. I guarantee you that, as twisted as your family is, it’s got nothing on these families. Unless your family is like, covering up a murder or something. In which case, stay right where you are, I’m calling the police.

‘River Bodies’ by Karen Katchur

If you thought you had daddy issues, just wait until you meet Becca, the protagonist of River Bodies. Becca grew up in a small town, where her dad was the chief of police. While initially they were close growing up, as an adult, Becca resents the sh*t out of her dad for reasons you’ll later come to understand. But when her dad gets sick and doesn’t have much time left, Becca is forced to return to this small town, where a scary biker gang roams at night and those who ask questions aren’t taken kindly. Becca will confront her family, her upbringing, and her repressed memories. There’s family drama, there’s biker gangs, there’s murder—this book is what would happen if Riverdale were realistic.

River Bodies by Karen Katchur

‘The Intermission’ by Elyssa Friedland

What if you don’t want to end your marriage, but you just want to take… an intermission? That’s what fictional couple Cass and Jonathan Coyne toy with in this insightful novel that came out over the summer. Cass and Jonathan go on a break (*Ross Geller voice*) and explore what life is really like without their other half. Whether Cass and Jonathan get back together after the intermission, you’ll have to read to find out. If you’re getting bummed out that every person on your Instagram is getting engaged, read this book to remind yourself that marriage isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

the intermission elyssa friedland

‘The Towering Sky’ by Katharine McGee

The Thousandth Floor trilogy comes to a close with The Towering SkyI’ve sung this series’ praises before, because it’s basically Gossip Girl meets Game of Thrones but it’s set in the future. (And really, it’s only like GoT because of the incest. But still, this book bangs—no pun intended.) This series has everything: infidelity, incest, con artists, and much more. Yes, your family might bicker at the Thanksgiving table. But on the thousandth floor, up so high, everyone has that much further to fall…

(They really should hire me to write the book jackets.)

the towering sky

‘The Au Pair’ by Emma Rous

If you’re looking for a family that’s f*cked up with a bit of a thriller element and elements of the supernatural, look no further than The Au Pair. That sounds crazy, but trust me, the novel is very much grounded in reality. Point of view toggles between a the past narration of Laura, a young woman who escapes her past by becoming the live-in au pair to a young boy, Edwin; and the present-day telling from Seraphine, Edwin’s sister. When Edwin and Seraphine’s dad dies in an accident, Seraphine starts questioning who she really is and where she came from. The only person who can give her those answers? Laura, Edwin’s old au pair, only she’s not willing to talk.

the au pair

‘House of Gold’ by Natasha Solomons

Set in pre-WWI Austria and England, House of Gold follows the Goldbaum family, one of Europe’s most prominent and wealthy Jewish families. (They’re bankers, go figure.) Heroine Greta Goldbaum is a spitfire who does not abide by the rules of the time. This is even more apparent when she ends up in a mismatched marriage—personality-wise, not politics-wise. After war breaks out, Greta is forced to choose between her two families: the one she married into, and the one she grew up with.

house of gold

‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is a socially inept loner with no friends, no career prospects, no relationship… and she is completely fine with that. Or so she thinks. You’ll be rooting for this weirdo as she navigates promotions, makeovers, dancing, and friendships. There’s also an element of suspense in this book. Eleanor’s relationship with her mother is a bit of a murder mystery in and of itself—think We Were Liars or Sharp Objects. There’s a reason this made Reese Witherspoon’s book club, and I really hope HBO makes it into a limited-run series.

Eleanor Oliphant

Images: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash; Amazon (4); Sparkpoint Studio

Book Series To Binge While You Wait For ‘Game Of Thrones’ To Come Back

Summer is officially over and I know this because yesterday a girl in Uggs spilled her pumpkin spice latte all over me. We’ve now moved into that weird in-between stage of seasons where summer is dead but none of your favorite shows are back on so you don’t have an actual excuse for why you ignored your BFF’s text about getting your ass down to the bars ASAP. Like, b*tch LET ME LIVE (my best life on the couch). But never fear, because where there’s a will, there’s a way for me to get out of being social, and that way is to binge read myself into a coma. That said, we’ve got some bangin’ book series to educate you with that are legit better than binge watching all seven seasons of Game of Thrones. You’re so welcome.

The ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ Series by Sarah J Maas

I’d been hearing about this series for years and never picked it up because I thought it would be another boring YA fantasy series, and also because I’m stupid. But once I started reading, I could not put these books down. It has all the intrigue and action of Game of Thrones but with twentysomethings and hotter people (if that’s possible). The books follow 19-year-old huntress Feyre who accidentally kills something she shouldn’t and ends up having to spend the rest of her life in a faerie realm. If I lost you just there, HEAR ME OUT THOUGH. At first it’s a little like Beauty and The Beast, but it’s so much more than that by the end of the book. Think epic world building, feuding kingdoms, and badass leading ladies who aren’t afraid to scheme the sh*t out of some men. The books are long AF, but, like, so is a Law & Order: SVU marathon and you people never miss that sh*t.

A Court of Thorns And Roses

The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Series by Kevin Kwan

Would it be a comprehensive reading list if we didn’t include Kevin Kwan and the bougiest family we’ve ever f*cking seen? I think not. The Youngs make your family drama look like child’s play and theirs goes down on private jets. Advanced warning: You might want to settle in with your own order of dumplings, otherwise you’re bound to get very, very hungry while reading. And then go see the movie.

The ‘Addicted To You‘ Series by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Just gonna be real up front and say right now that this is a romance series, so don’t @ me in the comments when you get all hot and bothered on the subway because someone said the word “climax.” Let’s be real, these books are no dirtier than whatever you’re texting your ex after three vodka crans. Just saying. The books follow Lily Calloway and Loren Hale, two members of Philadelphia’s most elite families who both happen to be battling secret addictions while also trying to date each other. If that sounds a little heavy, that’s because it kind of is, but in the immortal words of Kim Kardashian West “it’s the good kind of baggage, like Louis Vuitton.” Seriously, this series is INSANE. Think Kardashian-level family drama meets the lux inner circle of Gossip Girl. Now go forth and binge.

Addicted To You

The ‘Thousandth Floor’ Series by Katherine McGee

I know I keep comparing sh*t to Gossip Girl, SO SUE ME. It’s not my fault that show was the voice of a goddamn generation. Anyway, moving on. Set in a futuristic Manhattan, the Thousandth Floor series follows five teens who live at the Palace hotel but on, like, steroids. You’ve got all the Upper East Siders and a Lonely Boy living in the year 3000 where not much has changed but they live underwater. I paraphrase; the book actually takes place in 2118. Whatever. In any case, it’s about a group of rich teenagers who all are hiding dark secrets. Dun dun dunnnn. This book is a fast AF read. It reads like a thriller element because each book opens up with someone dying—and you know we betches love death. Feel blessed, because there’s three books already out so that’s at least four happy hours you can miss in favor of binge reading.

thousandth floor

The Last Time I Lied’ by Riley Sager

This isn’t technically a series but both of Riley Sager’s books involve campy, Final Destination-like plots that are seriously addictive from page one. We love, love, LOVED The Final Girls and the author’s second book is just as binge-worthy. The book follows Emma Davis who, in a very Pretty Little Liars twist of events, realizes all of her BFFs have disappeared after playing a game of two truths and a lie at summer camp one night. It’s kind of like if all the Liars went missing and only Aria had to find out what happened to them (god help them). I’m telling you right now, once you start this book you won’t be able to put it down.  

The ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Series by Jenny Han

Look, I’m not trying to be judgmental, but if you haven’t watched Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before THEN WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE. I’m sorry, that was aggressive. But really, I’ve never loved a teenaged boy more and I hate how that sounds coming out of my mouth but it’s the honest goddamn truth. If you watched the movie and have a pulse then you obvi fell in love with Peter Kavinsky. I’m telling you now, the books are even better. Plus there’s already three books out in the series so if you’re looking for some more Peter in your life you’ve got at least 900 pages worth of reading material. You can thank me in the comments.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

When’s Happy Hour? By The Betches

Not a series, but you should read it anyways because it’s our third book and we wrote it and it will literally change your life. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Images: Vanessa Serpas / Unsplash; Amazon (7)