Books That Make Me Smile

I am here with another Top Ten Tuesday post! This week’s topic has been a great reminder that I need to read more books that make me happy. I have a tendency to pick up books that are heartbreaking and/or dark, but it is important for me to pick up something more lighthearted every once in a while. I think there is a misconception that books that make you smile or are more “fluffy” do not have as much depth, but I have found that to be so far from the truth. But that is probably a topic for another day. I have read a lot of happy books that have stayed with me and that have characters with a lot of layers. I am excited to talk about them today and to see all your recommendations!

The Brown Sisters Series by Talia Hibbert

The Brown Sisters (2 book series) Kindle Edition

I just posted my review of Take a Hint, Dani Brown, and spoiler: I absolutely loved it! This series just gets better and better, and I cannot wait for book three. Hibbert has this magical way of creating strong chemistry between her characters and you find yourself with a smile plastered on your face the entire time you are reading it. Both books in the series have amazing representation, fun banter, and are incredibly steamy. There is so much to love about The Brown Sisters series!

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

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The Happy Ever After Playlist broke my heart while also making me smile. Jimenez handled the topic of grief in such an honest way and Sloan’s pain leapt from the page. It was a joy to see her put herself out there again and to have Jason be respectful of her boundaries. They are also brought together through a shared love of a dog, which is just so sweet! I have not read the first book in this series, The Friend Zone (I have heard mixed things!), but I am thrilled that the third book will be released next year.

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston


I never would have read 10 Blind Dates if it were not for a buddy read on Instagram, but I am so thankful that I did! As someone with an Italian family, there was a lot about this book that I related to. Seeing Sophie interact with her extended family made me laugh out loud, which is rare for me when I am reading. 10 Blind Dates is set around Christmas time, but I truly think that it can be read and enjoyed all year long. I recently discovered that there is going to be a second book called 10 Truths and a Dare and I cannot tell you how excited that made me!

Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption edited by Daniel Jones


You know I had to include a non-fiction title in this list! There were a few that I could have chosen, but I knew that I wanted to talk about Modern Love. This is a collection of essays with each focusing on different forms of love, from romantic to platonic to familial. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, while others are more hopeful and sweet. It is a great anthology that will take you on an emotional roller coaster. I also highly recommend the TV adaptation on Amazon Prime!

The Wedding Date Series by Jasmine Guillory

eBook] The Wedding Date Series (#1 - 5) by Jasmine Guillory ...

You know what is so great about this series? I always know what to expect when I pick up one of the books, and there is something so comforting about that. I love that each of the books includes cameos from characters in past books and that they are all connected in some way, but you can also read them as stand alones. The characters always have great chemistry, but so far I think The Wedding Party is my favourite, but I also really loved Royal Holiday. I still have to read Party of Two, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert


City of Girls is unlike any other book on this list. It is more literary and I picked it up not expecting it to bring me so much joy. It definitely tackles some darker themes and there are moments that brought tears to my eyes, but it was Vivian’s journey of self discovery that brought a smile to my face. We follow her throughout her life and it was so inspiring to see her really embrace her individuality. I took a lot away from her story!

The Kiss Quotient Series by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient (3 book series) Kindle Edition

It is the characters in The Kiss Quotient series that really stand out for me. They each have their own voice and I love them all as individuals. There is so much character growth in both The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test, which makes me that much more excited for The Heart Principle, which follows one of my favourite side characters. I am sensing a theme here where I enjoyed romance series that can act as stand alone but have cameos from previous characters- there is something so fun about that!

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo


With the Fire on High is one of my favourite YA novels of all time, and it is no secret just how much I adore everything that Elizabeth Acevedo does. I would say that this is the lightest of her three books, though there is still a lot of depth. I loved the romance in this book because it felt so authentic to a true teenage relationship. I also adored Emoni and her passion for cooking. There is something about books that focus on a character who has a strong passion that brings me so much joy.

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummler

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Of course Anne of Green Gables is so delightful and few characters make me laugh quite like Anne, but the graphic novel adds just another layer of delight to this already deeply charming story. The artwork is gorgeous and perfectly captures the nature of the story. This is a book that I will read again and again and made me realize how much I adore when full novels are adapted into graphic novels- I know that one of my favourite books, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, is being made into a graphic novel and I could not be more thrilled!

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a book that I have recommended to so many readers, and they always come back and tell me how much they loved it. It is a love letter to reading and bookstores in many ways. There are some crushing moments in this book but there are some really sweet ones as well. This is one of those books that will have you smiling through tears.


What is the last book that made you smile?

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49 thoughts on “Books That Make Me Smile

  1. I love this list! I found City of Girls such an inspiring book. There are so many other titles on here I have been meaning to read for ages! The Wedding Date series in particular I can’t believe I still haven’t picked up yet!

  2. I am not much of a contemporary reader so I am actually really thankful for all the books on this list I will shamelessly use as recs, haha. The last book that made me smile, though is my current read, And the Mountains Echoed. Great list, Kristin!

  3. Great list! I love that graphic novel edition of Anne of Green Gables! I was just thinking about rereading that one haha!
    My post!

  4. So many great books on this list! I really want to pick up The Wedding Date books, they look so adorable and I love that thereโ€™s a significant number of them so you can just keep reading! (: I also just bought The Kiss Quotient and am going to read it for the Reading Rush next week, so so excited!! ๐Ÿฅฐ

  5. This is such a lovely post idea!! Iโ€™ve heard such great things about Get A Life, Chloe Brown and Iโ€™m so excited to read it

  6. I read an adored The Kiss Quotient and am so excited to read Bride Test. I can already feel my heart swooning. Take a Hint seems to be making its rounds at the moment and I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it.

  7. Helen Hoang is seriously my favorite romance author – diverse characters, excellent writing, and swoony stories? What more could you ask for?? I’m dying for the next one too! Just followed your blog!

    My TTT

    1. Exactly! I thought that the next book was coming out this year and was so sad to see we have to wait until May of next year! Have you read Get a Life, Chloe Brown? It has a lot of the same things that I love about Hoang’s books!

  8. This looks like such a great list and I could totally see how they’d make you smile. If i had to pick one of the ones listed to read next, I’d probably go with the Brown Sisters series ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. I completely agree with With The Fire On High and The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. I can’t speak for the graphic novel, but the original Anne of Green Gables is my favorite book and fills me with happiness.

  10. lovely list! will definitely be adding some to my book list!!! thank you very much for sharinggg, have a great dayyy!!!๐Ÿค

    I am planning on writing my own book about my sisterโ€™s journey fighting brain cancer and how I grew up with a sense of fear and hope towards this bittersweet experience, so stay tuned for that if interested!๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

  11. Hi! I was interested in City of Girls and what it was like because I’ve only read Eat Pray Love, and I didn’t know how Gilbert would transition to fiction. Sounds like it was good! I loved The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and my work friend loved and also recommended With the Fire on High (she’s a YA Librarian). Glad to have found your blog, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I totally relate to what you’re saying about feeling fluffy books lack depth. I finally pushed that thought aside and have really been enjoying romance ever since! I can’t believe I let myself miss out on all those wonderful books.

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