Happy Friday, friends! Fall always feels like a great season to read. The air turns crisp and you can go outside to find a nice pile of crunchy leaves to read next to without worrying about overheating. 🎉 Here are a few of the books I’ve read so far this year that would be great additions to your TBR list, pile, or shelf(ves) this fall!
Note – Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you purchase anything using one of the links I’ll make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye | Thriller, Humor
A “retelling” of Jane Eyre, in which Jane Steele is a murderess.
This is a marketed as a retelling, but in the book Jane Steele is actually a big fan of Jane Eyre and notices similarities in their lives. That little detail aside, I absolutely loved this book! It was so much fun to read about this “Jane Eyre” character with a twist. I laughed, I was pulled into the action, it was a great read! I listened to this on audiobook and it was absolutely fantastic, so if you’re looking for a book to listen to, this would be a great one.
Read This If…
// You loved Jane Eyre and are looking for a well-done twist on a classic.
// You wanted to love Jane Eyre, but it wasn’t your fave. (🙋🏻🙋🏻)
// You love a kick-butt heroine in a book. (Maybe heroine is the wrong word to describe a character who’s a murderess?)
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica | Thriller
When Heidi encounters a homeless teenage girl with an infant, she eventually brings both into her home, to the frustration of her husband and daughter.
If you’re looking for a thriller that will have you at the end of your seat, this isn’t it. Pretty Baby is definitely more of an exploration of all the characters involved: Heidi, her husband and daughter, and Willow, the teenage girl she brings home. This book, like many others that I’ve enjoyed, have characters that feel so real, mostly due to the fact that they’re not exactly characters that I always liked. I wouldn’t say I loved any of them, but I really enjoyed learning more about them and I cared for them. The mystery had me guessing until the very end, but I was as invested in the interpersonal relationships of the characters as I was in knowing more about Willow’s past and who Heidi brought into their home. This is the second time I read this book: the first time I read it, the second time I listened to it on audiobook. I’d recommend the audiobook for this one.
Read This If…
// You enjoy a thriller that’s a bit slower-paced and isn’t full of thrills.
// You enjoy exploring the inner workings of the characters as much as the outward plot.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty | Contemporary
Ellen is dating Patrick and all is going well until he wants to talk to her something. She’s worried about what he has to stay, but is pleasantly surprised when he finally tells her: he has a stalker. She’s kind of excited that she’s dating someone who actually has a stalker and becomes fascinated with the woman. Ellen even wants to meet her, although she’s unaware that she already has.
I went into this assuming it would have more action than it did, however that didn’t bother me at all. I also thought I knew how it was going to end before I read a page, but I was wrong. And I absolutely loved the book! I loved how realistic all of the characters were: I grew to care about all of them, even though they all frustrated me from time-to-time. I loved this look at each of their lives and was so sad when I realized the book was coming to an end. I wasn’t ready to part from them! It was hard to move onto a different book once I was finished because I wanted to read another one just like this one. I also listened to this on audiobook and thought it was fantastic!
Read this if…
// You love Liane Moriarty’s stories, but are interested in something that feels a bit more “realistic.”
// You love a story that really centers around and explores the characters.
Still Me by Jojo Moyes | Contemporary
Still Me continues the story of Louisa as she travels to New York to work for the superrich, ready for a new adventure and a new life, while still holding onto her boyfriend back in England.
If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you might know that I hated Me Before You. I had my own issues with it, which grew once I read other issues in the novel. However, I read After You because I was curious what the second book would be like and I loved it. I was excited for Still Me, and it wasn’t my favorite of the three, but I enjoyed seeing Lou figure out this next chapter of her life. I enjoyed following her life in New York and some of the tension in the world she inhabited. I also loved the portrayal of her long-distance relationship and how hard that can be.
Read this if…
// You want to continue the story of Louisa.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
In 1974 Leni Allbright and her parents move to Alaska for a new family adventure and settle into a small community of strong men and women–they have to be in order to survive the long, cruel winters. As winter approaches, the Allbright family realizes just how unprepared they are to survive the elements… and each other. The dark winter
Kristin Hannah did a great job of building tension in this book. She built up the unease that filled society at this time, the danger of the landscape in Alaska, and relationship tension–both within families and between people in the community. I spent most of the novel waiting for what would come next. I absolutely loved some of the characters and hated some of the others. Thanks to getting the flu shortly after I started this, I was able to dedicate an afternoon to reading this book, and I was so happy I didn’t have to put it down. However, I felt the book was longer than it needed to be and toward the end things happened just to create sadness and tragedy. Everything that happened to these characters felt like it was a little much. I’m excited to read more from Hannah, but I’m wondering if this is a trait of her writing.
Read this if…
// You love coming-of-age stories.
// You enjoy epic sagas.
// A story about a family attempting to live in a remote part of Alaska during the ’70’s sounds intriguing to you.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover | New Adult
Lily escaped her uneasy home in Maine and moved to Boston to finish college and start her own business. When she meets medical student Ryle on a rooftop, she quickly falls for him. But as she becomes the one exception to his “no dating” rule, she starts to question their relationship, and an old love from the past comes back into her mind.
I’m not a big fan of Colleen Hoover’s books, but they’re addicting reads so I’ve been making my way through some of them. I actually really appreciated this one. I didn’t know a lot about it going in and I think that’s the way to read it. It allows you to experience the story on a different level. Of course, if you’re uncomfortable not knowing what issue it discusses before you read it, there are a lot of reviews that will let you know. I don’t think the story will make as big of an impact if you know ahead of time. There are a few things in the end that bothered me and it wasn’t an easy read, but this is a book by Colleen Hoover that I appreciated and can be used to spark conversation. If you’ve read it, I’d love to chat!
Read this if…
// You’re interested in an experience.
// You like books that encourage discussion.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake | YA Fantasy
Each generation a set of triplets are born, all queens and each with a equal rights to the crown. All three have their own magical talent and they must fight until only one queen is left standing–the one who will eventually take the throne.
This book… I didn’t think I liked it. I listened to it on audiobook and my mind always wandered. Halfway through I realized I hadn’t taken much of it in and decided to give it another shot, so I re-listened to the beginning. My mind wandered again and I didn’t think I’d read the second, however it takes a turn toward the end. I was drawn into the story and really grew to love a few of the characters. When it ended I was ready to jump in the second. I haven’t yet, but I do own a copy of it and I’m excited to read it! I ended up buying a physical copy of book two. The voice of the narrator sounded too old for the age of the characters and that doesn’t always bother me, but it was noticeable to me with this one. It pulled me out of the story a few times. Since I also had a hard time focusing on the audiobook at the beginning I decided to read the second.
Read this if…
// You like character-driven fantasy’s.
// You enjoy stories with a slow build.
Illuminae by Aimee Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | YA Fantasy
The day Kady breaks up with her boyfriend Ezra their planet is attacked and they’re separated during the evacuation. During the evacuation a deadly plague breaks out, the AI might be trying to kill them, and Kady realizes she doesn’t trust anyone who’s actually in charge, so she reaches out to Ezra again.
This is a really crappy description for a book that I absolutely love. I’ve read it before and loved how the story is put together. This time I decided to listen to the audiobook since I’ve heard such good things and I’ve decided this series should be read physically while listening to it at the same time. Or you should read it and then listen to it. Both mediums are absolutely fantastic and should be consumed. The story is told in a dossier of hacked documents: chat logs, descriptions of security footage, etc. The print copy of the book is absolutely beautiful and a work of art in terms of how everything is displayed on the page. If you typically read ebooks I highly recommend getting your hands on a physical copy of this one. The audiobook has a full cast and sound effects. This is such a great read/listen and I can’t wait to read/listen to the second in the trilogy. (I know, I know… I’m a little behind in this series.)
Read this if…
// You want to go on an adventure.
// You enjoy stories that use unique methods of storytelling.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo | YA Contemporary
Xiomara feels like people don’t want to hear–and don’t even care–about what she has to say, so she writes all her thoughts in a journal her twin brother gave her for her birthday. She can’t imagine ever sharing her poetry out loud… until she attends the Slam Poetry Club at her school.
I haven’t read a verse novel in a long, long time, and I’ve really gotten into slam poetry this year, so as soon as I saw this book I knew I had to read it. It took me a little longer to get into the book than I anticipated, but Xiomara captured my heart right away and I was ready to follow her story. This story is so real and honest. It’s been awhile since I was this emotionally invested in a story. I read the book, but Acevedo narrates the audiobook so I’m waiting for a copy to become available at the library and I’ll be listening to it, too. Read or listen to this book and watch videos of Elizabeth Acevedo’s poetry on YouTube. Be sure you have some time before you do, because once you start reading and listening it’s hard to stop!
Read this if…
// Just read it.
For Still Me, just curious why it wasn’t your favorite. Sometimes I like Jojo Moyes and sometimes I haven’t enjoyed her books so I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth a read. Is there any travel in the second book or is it more stationary?
You know, I’m not 100% sure why. It didn’t captivate me as much as the second did. I think I was more invested in what came next for Lou with After You because of how Me Before You ended and I felt like she was in a good place once it was done. I enjoyed following her new adventure and seeing her grow as she spent time on her own in a different country, but I also would have been fine if the story had ended with After You. So I didn’t need Still Me to wrap up the story like I needed After You to bring closure to Me Before You. I really enjoyed it and was invested in the story, but not like I was for After You.
The second book is more stationary. Travel was one of the things I really enjoyed about Still Me. I loved seeing her navigate a new city and there are so many different places. I think that was portrayed well in the book. One of the things I really loved about the book was seeing Lou experience New York for the first time, especially since I had just traveled there for the first time, too.
I haven’t read any of the “me before you” books but I’ve heard mixed reviews so I’m starting to think they aren’t for me. The book you mentioned about the girl dating a guy with a stalker sounds like a really unique premise!
Yes, it’s definitely not a series for everyone, especially since there are so many issues in the first book. I read Me Before You mostly because I wanted to know what was in it for myself, but one of the reasons I went with audiobooks was so that I could listen while doing other things. It is! That’s one of the things that drew me to the book. I haven’t read anything quite like it.
Ooh, that Jane Steele book sounds really intriguing! I love twists on classics, fairy tales, etc. (I’m currently reading a twist on Sleeping Beauty!) and if it’s well done they are some of my favorites.
I love twists on classics, too! I definitely recommend Jane Steele, then! It was so much fun. What book are you reading right now?
Totally added Jane Steele to my wishlist! It sounds awesome.
It was so much fun!
I totally agree with you on The Great Alone! It was just a little much after while. Adding Jane Steele to my list. Thanks for the recommendations!
Yes! I get a little weary when it’s one thing after another. Other than that I thought it was a great read, but it was too much. You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy Jane Steele!
That’s really interesting that you hated Me Before You! I watched the movie first (GASP, I know!) so now I’m unsure if I want to go back and read the book as I know what happens, but I’m still curious how the trilogy pans out too. May I ask what you didn’t like about MBY?
I do movie before book sometimes, too! 🙂 Yes… I was concerned about Lou and her emotional/mental wellbeing. Since she decided she needed to save him and was so focused on that I was worried about how she would handle it if she was unsuccessful and what really frustrated me is that while there was concern from other people in her life about how much she was investing in that “job,” they didn’t really express concern in that regard in the book. I don’t remember how it was handled in the movie… I wasn’t as frustrated in the movie, but it could be that it was easier to handle in an hour and a half, instead of the entire length of reading a novel. I remember being so bothered by it when I read that book that I reached out to a friend to see if she noticed it, too, and she did.
That was kind of my focus while reading MBY, but other reviews also talk about the ableism that’s depicted in the book, since Lou has to meet Will in order to get a new lease on life, in a way. That also rubs me wrong now.
I think my concern for Lou throughout everything is why I personally needed After You, whereas people who loved MBY and loved the Will/Lou dynamic didn’t (overall) enjoy it. I’d say since you know the storyline of MBY before you should definitely consider checking out the last two, but don’t feel obligated to read the first if you don’t want to. I’d totally read the second and maybe even the third again, but I don’t think I’ll reread the first.
What an interesting list. Jane Steele sounds familiar but I don’t think I’ve read any of hers yet. Thanks!
It was such a fun read! I definitely recommend it. 🙂
I still need to read The Poet X and I’m curious about Three Dark Crowns. However, I LOVE Illuminae. I really want to re-read that and Gemina though before tackling Obsidio. I hear the audio is amazing…I just never seem to focus well with audios, but I think I might need to try it someday!
The Poet X is fantastic! I downloaded the audiobook, because I’d love to listen to it, too. Yes! That’s why I reread Illuminae. I definitely recommend seeing if you can get the audiobook from the library or something to try it out. They’re really good and since it’s more theatrical with a full cast, maybe it’ll help you focus. 🙂
I actually haven’t heard of any of these yet! I have so many books to read right now, but I’m still always looking for recommendations so this is great!
I’m the same way! I have so many books to read, but I’m always looking for more.
I LOVE Kristin Hannah. I’ll definitely add that to my list!
What’s your favorite book by her? I’d love to read more!
I will have to add a few of these books to my list. I’m currently reading Influencer Building Your Personal Brand in the age of Social Media.
That sounds like an interesting book to read! Was it helpful?
Thanks for the book list! Fall is the best reading season!
You’re welcome! I agree. i’m so excited to read as the weather starts to get cooler. 🙂
Thanks for the list! With a new baby I haven’t been able to read any new books lately but I hope to again soon!
You’re welcome! I bet it can be hard to read with a new baby. Hopefully you’ll be able to get back into it soon!
These are such great books! It would be awesome to find the time to read in my busy schedule.
It’s so hard to find the time sometimes. I’ve been making myself read at least a page or two before bed each night to help get through some books.
Love the structure for your post! I love the “Read this if…” portion. You have enticed me to check out The Poet X.
Thank you, Cynthia! I’m glad you appreciate that portion. I don’t want people to get a book just because I loved it in case we have different reading tastes, and I don’t want deter someone from reading what could be their new favorite if I didn’t love it, so I always hope that section can help people decide whether it’s the right book for them. I hope you enjoy The Poet X if you read it! Let me know what you think. 🙂
I always love reading in the fall, too!
It’s one of the best seasons to read!
I still haven’t finished my summer reading list but as soon as I do I’ll check one of these thrillers out!
I’d love to know which one you decide to read! 🙂
I love getting references for good books so I know what to think about picking for my next great read! Thanks!
You’re welcome! I’d love to know if you decide to read any of these.
I don’t know any of these books! Thanks for the suggestions.
You’re welcome! I’d love to know if you decide to read any of them!