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
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
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
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
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
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?