One of the most frequent pieces of advice for writing that I read is READ. Read as much as you can, especially in your genre. Find what you love, what draws you in and hooks you, figure out what you would do differently if you're not enjoying something. The more you read the better you write. Let's hope that formula is true. Regardless, I've read some truly awesome books lately. Whether you're reading to improve your writing or just to fall into a different world than your own, these are some of my favorites.
romance/romantic suspense/women's fiction
The One and Only by Emily Giffen
From one of my favorite authors, this book was funny, sweet, and compelling. I was pulled in by the easy dialogue, the powerful relationships, and even though I don't really love sports, I love books and movies that have a sport element. Completely connectable main character.
The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Cole
A debut book by an author I discovered through a book blog on Facebook, I loved this book. The main character is trying to start over and move on, but she carries the shadows of her past with her. With tattoos, she finds two things missing from her life: love and closure.
The Liar & The Collector by Nora Roberts
I'll read anything by Nora because I love her books. But some are simply more captivating than others and these two are the best I've read since The Search and The Witness.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This book almost wrecked me. I was a sobbing mess. Normally I try to avoid books like this but I'd wanted to read it so bad and from the first word I couldn't put it down. I even read it on my iPhone while my friend was trying on clothes in the mall. It's honest and real and heart wrenching, but also simply beautiful.
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohen and David Leviathan
I wanted to read more of David Leviathan because I'd loved Will Grayson Will Grayson so much. When I remembered how much I loved the movie Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, I decided to give this one a try (and Nick & Norah, and another by them). This was funny and creative and something different. It was sweet and I really enjoyed the characters.
Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I hadn't read anything by Perkins until last Christmas when I bought a Christmas anthology simply because it had Rainbow Rowell in it. Other than Rainbow's short story, Stephanie Perkins' was my favorite. This book is part of a trilogy and all three are lovely, but I was most drawn in by this tale of two neighbors who are so unique and so perfect for each other.
I would probably read a lot more books if I wasn't constantly compelled to go back and re read the ones that keep pulling at me long after I close the book. My top few re reads for the last little while have been:
The Search by Nora Roberts
This book is one I go back to over and over and I'm not completely certain why but I love the characters, I love the strength of the main character and I love the fact that the story isn't how they fight to stay together but fight together for what they want.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
If I didn't think my husband would freak out, I would write quotes from this book all over the walls of our room. I love Levi and Cath and the way they find each other so perfect. There are pieces of this book I have read more times than I can count.
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins & Friends
A great collection of holiday stories by some wonderful authors but Perkins' was one of my favorites. Totally unique set up to get the main characters together and so much emotion in such a short story.