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Hugs in Book Form: 7 Feel-Good Reads that Will Love You Right Back

by  | May 26
Books with Flowers

As the old saying goes, when it rains, it pours. Truer words have never been spoken as our lives have been turned topsy-turvy in the last few months. But as we are about to enter our third month of stay-at-home orders and have exhausted our list of things to do in quarantine, here are some A-list stories to remind us that things do—and will—get better. After reading these novels, I was reminded that hope comes from the strangest of places, and that the person you least expect may become your saving grace. I hope these funny, chaotic stories remind you (as they did me) that everything that goes down must come back up, and that rock bottom means there’s room to grow.

By the time you’ve finished reading these books, you’ll feel like you’ve been given a much-needed hug. Stay safe. 

When Life Gives You Lululemons

When Life Gives You Lululemons

by Lauren Weisberger

When life gives us lemons, we make lemonade. Except, in the high-end white picket fence neighborhoods of Greenwich, Connecticut, moms drink their lemonade, coffee, and everything else with alcohol. The suburban life has everything but charm for Emily Charlton, who, after leaving Runway’s intimidating editor, Miranda Priestly, and while dealing with her own fall from grace, finds herself working as an image consultant for Karolina Hartwell. Karolina, former super-model mom and senator’s wife, has been arrested, and Emily must try to help her save face. And while Emily does not want to be in Greenwich, she finds hope in Karolina and Karolina in her. Add attorney, stay-at-home mom, and mutual friend Miriam Kagan to the mix to create the perfect recipe for redemption in this delightful spin-off of The Devil Wears Prada.

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Love at First Like

Love at First Like

by Hannah Orenstein

Imagine publicly announcing you’re engaged, except that it’s all a lie to make your ex jealous. Now imagine that announcement is also making you rich. What would you do?

In Hannah Orenstein’s Love at First Like, Eliza Roth co-owns a jewelry shop with her sister, Sophie, in Brooklyn. After finding out that her ex-boyfriend got engaged on Instagram, a drunken and distraught Eliza accidentally posts a photo of a diamond ring on her left finger to over 100,000 followers. Now the press is pouring in and new customers are flocking to buy jewelry from Brooklyn Jewels. But as the pressure begins to mount, Eliza must deliver the promise of a fiancée. She finds herself at a crossroads—should she keep up the lie, lose the trust of her customers, and disappoint everyone, or tell the truth and set her heart free?

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Ten Girls to Watch

Ten Girls to Watch

by Charity Shumway

This particular book aims straight at the hearts of lost students. While times are especially difficult and directionless for the class of 2020 just now, where a graduate will find success is often anyone’s guess.

Such is true for Dawn West, college graduate, who, like so many others, is trying to find her way in the concrete jungle of New York City. But one year, two months, and fourteen days after graduation, Dawn is still jobless, stuck in a tiny Brooklyn apartment with a gross roommate and dreaming about an ex-boyfriend who’s moved on. After choosing not to go to law school, Dawn has just barely made a writing career for herself out of giving lawn care advice. But when she meets Regina from Charm magazine at none other than her ex’s summer party, the opportunity of a lifetime comes her way. Now Dawn is assigned the task of tracking down the past 50 years of winners of Charm’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, which features exceptional college students who have gone on to fulfill fascinating roles in the world. As Dawn begins to uncover the paths that led these women to success, she soon realizes that what we desire can be found in the most unexpected places and that, ultimately, we decide what we make of our own lives.

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The Honey-Don't List

The Honey-Don't List

by Christina Lauren

Could you possibly imagine going on a road trip with people who can’t stand each other? Neither can I. In Christina Lauren’s The Honey-Don’t List, Carey Duncan, executive assistant to home remodeling couple Melissa and Rusty Tripp, finds herself in exactly that position. Carey has spent the better half of her life helping the Tripps build a home-aesthetic empire. As the couple’s success grows, new opportunities are knocking at the door. What America doesn’t know, however, is that the Tripps can’t stand each other. Enter James McCann, new structural engineer turned assistant for the Tripps. The job is not quite what he expected. Now he and Carey must go on a book tour with the Tripps and try to keep things together as the duo hang by a thread. Can the two colleagues keep the empire from crumbling? In this hilarious romantic comedy, a new ship will sail as the pair try to keep another from sinking.

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Hello, Sunshine

Hello, Sunshine

by Laura Dave

In this engaging summer page-turner, Sunshine Mackenzie is leading a (seemingly) wonderful life—her culinary stardom has translated into millions of followers and bestselling cookbooks. She has a doting, loving, and supportive husband. Her life is perfect…until she gets hacked.

From then on her proverbial cookie begins to crumble. The secrets that unfold cause her to lose her husband, her stardom, and her home. Lost and with nowhere to go, Sunshine returns to her childhood home, where she reencounters her estranged sister. There, she soon realizes her misfortune may also be her salvation.

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The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

I’m sure everyone has a checklist of what they search for in a partner. For some, it may include “must have sexy accent,” or “must love hamburgers.” Whatever it is, it often streamlines our options.

Well, Don Tillman’s list is similarly idiosyncratic…except it’s not a list. Don is an extremely particular professor of genetics, and when he decides it’s time for him to find a wife, he develops a “sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.” When he meets Rosie, she is all of these things, and so she’s quickly disqualified from his list.

But Don becomes fascinated by Rosie’s quest to find her biological father. As he gets involved in Rosie’s “Father Project,” he must confront the budding feelings he has for her, and he comes to recognize that love is not a formula, nor is it scientific. Rather, simply, it finds you.

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The Roxy Letters

The Roxy Letters

by Mary Pauline Lowry

In this hilarious novel, Roxy, a twenty-something millennial, is fed up with the direction of her life. Tired of the abuses she faces from Whole Foods customers at work and frustrated with the gentrification of her beloved Austin, Roxy begins to write letters about her life to her roommate and rent-avoidant ex-boyfriend, Everett.

As she begins to release her frustrations on paper, Roxy realizes she can take control of her life at any moment. Thus she joins forces with her two best friends in what becomes the adventure of a lifetime—to save Austin and her love life.

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Sabrina Sánchez is the Adult Production intern for Simon & Schuster, where she helps the staff keep books on schedule for print and release. She is a full-time student, freelance journalist, movie buff, and is currently obsessed with all things You, jazz and hip-hop. She is a Bronx native and avidly listens to Cardi B for a mood boost.