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8 Books So Good, You’ll Forget about COVID for a While

by  | August 20
Reading Head Over Heels on a bed

We’ve been on the lookout for feel-good books to take our mind off things and Hannah Orenstein, author of Head Over Heels, has some great recommendations to save the day! Set in the world of elite gymnastics, her newest book covers competition, heartbreak, scandal, and more. Plus, with its setting featuring the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, it’s a great read to jump into and pretend that 2020 just went on like any normal year. Add this book to your summer TBR, along with Hannah’s recommendations. Thanks for joining us, Hannah!


There’s never been a better time to be a book lover. When you’re tired out from Zoom happy hours and sick of seeing Netflix’s “Are you still watching?” button resurface repeatedly, reading can whisk you away to exciting new worlds.

Books have kept me plenty busy during the pandemic, as I launched Head Over Heels—my new novel set in the world of elite gymnastics—and powered through my TBR. Here are eight books that had me so entranced, I nearly forgot about everything else. (And, these days, that’s a true feat!)

Behind the Red Door

Behind the Red Door

by Megan Collins

This breathless thriller will suck you in as the rest of the world falls away. It’s a page-turner about the daughter of an eccentric psychologist who feels an eerie connection to a famous kidnapping victim as the woman disappears for the second time in twenty years. I dare you to put down this chilling novel—perfect for true-crime fans and readers who love dysfunctional families.

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Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs

by Amy Poeppel

The pandemic has proven that life is out of our control, so you might as well keep your sense of humor. This deeply funny novel circles a 50-something musician at her falling-apart summer house. As her joint career with her longtime best friend falls into jeopardy, her two adult children move home indefinitely due to their own crises, and her rich and famous father throws a surprise her way. Told through multiple perspectives, this is a story in which it’s impossible not to fall in love with these charming and memorable characters.

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Sex and Vanity

Sex and Vanity

by Kevin Kwan

Need a vacation? Escape to a black-tie wedding in Capri, social-climbing shenanigans in the Hamptons, and drool-worthy real estate in New York City. Kwan’s latest rom-com—a tale of star-crossed lovers—is told with his signature biting wit and flair for capturing the fabulously absurd details of the lives of the obscenely wealthy.

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American Royals II: Majesty

American Royals II: Majesty

by Katharine McGee

If the pandemic has you longing to live in an alternate reality in which America’s government runs smoothly, McGee’s sequel to American Royals is just what you need. This dreamy, escapist, and meticulously well-researched installment picks up as Beatrice becomes Queen of America; her siblings’ love lives are in delicious disarray; scheming social climber Daphne is poised to lose it all, and palace outsider Nina’s life is about to be shaken up by a new suitor.

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You Exist Too Much

You Exist Too Much

by Zaina Arafat

Break up the sameness of your quarantine routine by escaping into this totally fresh novel about a Brooklyn-based DJ who enters rehab for love addicts after her breakup with her girlfriend. Interspersed with stories from the unnamed narrator’s travels to see her family in Palestine and her strained bond with her mom, this lyrical book will make you see love in a new light.

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28 Summers

28 Summers

by Elin Hilderbrand

Is it really summer if you don’t crack open a new Hilderbrand beach read? This epic Nantucket love story is told over the course of 28 summers, beginning in 1993, weaving in every major historical event from 9/11 to the recession to the first female candidate for president as the backdrop for Mallory and Jake’s unusual—as well as swoon-worthy and heart-wrenching—romance. Living in the past has never felt so sweet.

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Party of Two

Party of Two

by Jasmine Guillory

If dating has seemed downright impossible lately, this sweet and steamy romance will remind you to have hope. After a chance encounter at a hotel bar, lawyer Olivia starts to fall for hotshot senator Max. Will the media tear them apart? And with Olivia’s help, can Max really make a difference? Let this book do double duty—it’ll restore your faith in love and politics.

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Self Care

Self Care

by Leigh Stein

Miss the hustle and bustle of your old life? Stein’s acerbic satire of the millennial workplace will make you think twice. The novel follows two co-founders and one employee of a “feminist” start-up in the panicked clutches of a PR crisis. It’s a darkly funny, disturbingly spot-on takedown of sex, race, wellness, and the Internet.

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Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels

by Hannah Orenstein

And, of course, all of us at Get Lit recommend Head Over Heels for any feel-good fiction fan!

In this electrifying rom-com set in the high stakes world of competitive gymnastics, Avery Abrams had trained her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, but a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Now, seven years later, and reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Soon, sparks fly, scandals break, and you'll find yourself falling head over heels in love with this book!

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Hannah Orenstein is the author of Head Over Heels, Playing with Matches, and Love at First Like, and is the senior dating editor at Elite Daily. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Seventeen.com. She lives in Brooklyn.