It’s been a while since I’ve shared a roundup of my favorite recent reads, so I decided it was time to sit down and write one up! If you’re a reader like I am (mostly fiction, with occasional non-fiction reads), you’ll want to bookmark this list and get your hands on some of these wonderful books ASAP.

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My Favorite Recent Fiction Reads

Recently, I’ve been in a historical fiction/romance reading mood, with some poignant novels and addictive fantasy series thrown in for good measure.

And now, here are some of the best fiction books that I’ve read over the past few months! A lot of the books I’m sharing below would make great summer reads, so be sure to add them to your to-be-read lists for the coming months. 🙂

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See book cover

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Genre: Historical Fiction

This family saga follows a young woman named Li-yan who rejects her family’s traditional way of life as tea farmers in a remote mountain village in China. After having a baby out of wedlock, she saves the child’s life by leaving it at an orphanage. But after leaving her village and starting a new life in the city, Li-yan can’t stop thinking about her lost daughter.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

This book was heartbreaking but really beautifully written, and served as a fascinating glimpse into a very different way of life. It reminded me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha, which I read many years ago and absolutely loved. There are a lot of trigger warnings, especially in the first third of the book, so be sure to check those before reading, but if you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend it.

Talking at Night by Claire Daverley book cover

Talking at Night by Claire Daverley

Genre: Contemporary Romance

This contemporary romance novel follows a budding romance between an anxious young woman – a chronic over-thinker – and her brother’s wild friend. But when tragedy strikes, it pulls them apart, seemingly for good. Can they find a way back to each other and rebuild what they once had?

My rating: 5/5 stars

The writing in this book is absolutely stunning! It was sad and hard at times – not a light read – but it’s a gorgeous story of first love found and lost. It reminded me a bit of Normal People.

The Lost Letters of Aisling book cover

The Lost Letters of Aisling by Cynthia Ellingsen

Genre: Historical Fiction

This dual-timeline story follows a woman and her grandmother as they return to the Irish estate where her grandmother grew up – a place she fled after World War II. The woman discovers a trunk full of letters that reveal hidden pieces of her grandmother’s past.

My rating: 4/5 stars

I’m a sucker for historical fiction that’s told in then-and-now timelines, and I enjoyed this quick (but heart-wrenching at times) read. It was a bit predictable, but overall still a good read!

Funny Story book cover

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Genre: Contemporary Romance

From the bestselling author of Beach Read, Book Lovers, and more comes a new contemporary romance about a recently-single woman named Daphne who finds herself stranded in a new town. After she and her fiancé moved there, he broke off the engagement after realizing he was in love with his childhood best friend Petra. Now, Daphne’s only option is to move in with Petra’s ex, Miles. They’re complete opposites, but they form a plan to help each other get over their heartbreak.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

Emily Henry is one of those “must-read” authors for me – anything she writes I will immediately read, so I was thrilled when I saw she had a new book being released. I really enjoyed this book – Emily Henry always has great character development and witty dialogue and this did not disappoint.

This wasn’t my absolute favorite book of hers, but that’s because she has so many other good ones! Recommend for a summer/beach read.

This Summer Will Be Different book cover

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Every year, Lucy and her best friend Bridget go to Prince Edward Island for a relaxing summer trip. She meets Felix, a local who shows her a good time – until she finds out he’s her best friend’s brother. But every summer she comes back and finds herself drawn to Felix, no matter how hard she tries to stay away. This year, Bridget flees to the island just before her wedding, and Lucy follows to help her best friend. Will she be able to resist Felix? And why does he seem so different this time?

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

Ever since reading her debut novel, Every Summer After, Carley Fortune has been another “must-read” author for me. This is her third novel, and I loved it! Sweet, atmospheric, and beautifully written. A great beach read that had me wanting to drop everything and travel to Prince Edward Island. 😉

No Two Persons book cover

No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Short Stories

This poignant story is an ode to book lovers and human connection. It follows a writer, the novel she writes, and how that novel affects the lives of nine different readers in different ways.

My rating: 5/5 stars

This was legit one of the best books I’ve ever read. The writing was absolutely stunning and the book concept was so unique and creative. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character, and it’s a testament to how good this writer is that by the end of each chapter you are completely invested in said character that you just met. The character development is gorgeous and so deep.

I randomly started reading this book because it sounded interesting, had good reviews, and was on Kindle Unlimited, and a chapter in I was completely hooked. I also belatedly realized the author is the same one who wrote another of my favorite books, The Scent Keeper.

This is not a light read, but if you’re looking for something creative and poignant, I can’t recommend it enough.

Snowed In book cover

Snowed In by Catherine Walsh

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday

A woman named Megan plans to return home for the holidays, but she’s dreading it: the whole town hates her after she left their “golden boy” at the altar years prior. So when she bumps into Christian – a man who’s happy being alone, but who hates the pity his family gives him during the holidays – they hatch a plan. They’ll go to each other’s family holidays, pretending to be in love. What could go wrong?

My rating: 4/5 stars

This was a cute, fun, easy read that would be great for the beach. Predictable but sweet and entertaining and it was a nice palate cleanser after some of the other more intense/deep books I’ve been reading!

Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac - Dark Fae book cover

Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac Series by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal

This fantasy novel follows a young vampire woman as she attempts to hunt down the person who killed her brother. Her only clue is that he is the “King of Aurora Academy”, so she has to get close to all four of the men who might fit that role – and she’ll do whatever it takes to find the killer and bring them to justice.

My rating: 5/5 stars

Okay. I know this might not be for everyone (and trust me, I used to be someone who thought I didn’t like fantasy books), but ever since I read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series I’ve been totally hooked on the “romantasy” (romance + fantasy) genre.

I absolutely loved this series; it’s everything I want books like this to be: quick paced, engaging, well written, and with great character development. Highly recommend! But be warned: it’s VERY spicy. Like, VERY. So, just know that before diving in. 😉 And also there are 5 books in the series and they are quite long. So get ready for an investment, but a very worthwhile one in my opinion!

Zodiac Academy book cover

Zodiac Academy Series by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal

A pair of female Changeling twins are awakened, threatening the hierarchy between the Elemental heirs at Zodiac Academy. The four most dangerous men at the academy attempt to do anything they can to get rid of the twins. But they intend to fight back.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

This series is written by the same authors as the previous series, and is set in the same world 5 years later. They are written as independent series and you can read them in any order you want, but I’d recommend reading the Ruthless Boys series first, because there are some fun nods to those characters in this series. One main character in this series is also a main character in the previous series, so that’s fun as well.

Basically, if you love Ruthless Boys, you’ll love this one, too. I gave it a slightly lower rating than the other series because I feel like the series goes on a really long time (12 books – although a couple of those are fluffy short fun ones), and there are a few books where it’s like “yeesh, can these characters ever catch a break?!” – but overall I’ve absolutely loved it. Very action packed, great character development, and creative world building. And like the last book, LOTS of spice. 😉

The Paper Palace book cover

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Genre: Contemporary/Literary Fiction/Romance

Every year, fifty year-old Elle returns to The Paper Palace – a summer place near Cape Cod – with her family. But this year, something is different: she gave in to the temptation of her childhood friend and crush, Jonas, who also summers at The Paper Palace. What led Elle to make this choice? And what will this mean for her marriage and her family?

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

This was a beautifully written and poignant novel. It’s hard and sad at times and there are some trigger warnings, but if you enjoy poignant novels I’d highly recommend this one. I got it in hard copy from a friend of mine and it’s been traveling around our friend group ever since!

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano book cover

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Genre: Literary Fiction/Romance

After a loveless childhood, a man named William meets a young woman named Julia and falls in love. He meets her boisterous family – including her three younger sisters – and they happily include him in their chaotic yet loving family. But something happens that threatens to tear the everyone apart and wreck the couple’s future. Can the strength of a family rebuild what was broken?

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

This was another really beautifully written and poignant novel! I feel like it lost a little steam in the last third of the book, but then by the last few chapters it really picked up again and I enjoyed the ending.

And One Non-Fiction Book Recommendation

The Path Between Us book cover

The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships by Suzanne Stabile

Genre: Non-Fiction

This non-fiction book breaks down the dynamics of each Enneagram personality type, and how they experience relationships differently. It gives an insightful glimpse into the reasoning behind the behavior and motivations of different personality types, providing a means to better understand each other.

I always love anything related to personality types and this book was a really interesting read, especially in terms of how the dynamics in me and Matt’s enneagram types (3 and 9, respectively) play out when in partnership.

Have you read any of these books? Or, do you have any other book recommendations I should read? Let me know in the comments!

Before I go, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Gretchen who just re-released a new updated edition of her 2012 dystopian YA novel, Terra, in anticipation of releasing the sequel in August. I loved Terra back when I read it (major Hunger Games/Divergent vibes) and can’t wait for the sequel! I’m going to re-read Terra this summer to get back up to speed/even more excited before book 2 comes out. (Hot tip: it’s on Kindle Unlimited!)

Want even more reading inspiration? Here’s another of my Fiction Books I Loved posts that features a variety of genres, and here’s one that features Non-Fiction Reads I Loved.

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