Books I've Read So Far This Year

Prior to this year, the last time I'd picked up or even read a fiction book was some time back in middle school. As an adult, I'd typically read and reach for self-help books, like Atomic Habits by James Clear or You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero but hardly ever took interest in fiction.

That was until late last year, at the peak of my anxiety, when my therapist recommended I read fiction books as a way to ground myself and practice being present. Or as some might suggest, for escapism.

I have to admit at first, staying focused on the words of a book was extremely difficult because I'd find myself distracted by my own thoughts and before I knew it I was in a spiral. But with some time and effort, it got easier. Now, I find myself not wanting to put a book down because I'm so glued to the storyline! 

Over the year, I've completed reading a total of five books and am currently reading one. I've never been a fast reader so it does take me about a month to read one book. I like to visualize the story played out in my head, almost like a movie. But I don't like to read for more than three hours at a time because I've come to realize that any longer than that my brain starts to wander off to the unfinished tasks on my to-do lists. 

Anyway, here are the books I've read so far, in order from the start of the year to now, and a few words on each one. No spoilers, of course!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - I started the year mid-way through this book and I've got to say that it was a great book to reintroduce me to the pool of fiction novels. With that said, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fiction. The main character, Evelyn Hugo, reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor in the sense that she's had so many husbands. In the book, Evelyn goes on to share about her life with each one of her husbands to a reporter by the name of Monique Grant. Both of their lives come to intersect at the end of the book unexpectedly, I couldn't believe what I was reading. This book is so good that it's been said Netflix is going to be creating a film based on this novel.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover - I was influenced by TikTok to buy this book and I have zero regrets. This one is a romance novel that shares the current and past loves of the main character, Lily Bloom. Reading this one felt like a rollercoaster of emotions. There were moments when I'd feel angry, happy, and sad, and during certain chapters, I'd even cry. The author's style of writing is captivating which made it hard to put her book down. Since reading this book by Colleen Hoover I've purchased and read a couple more of her romance novels and this one is by far my favorite yet. A sequel to this book is said to be released in October of this year which I am very excited about!

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave - I bought this book on a whim when browsing the book aisle at Walmart one day. I saw that on the cover of the book, it was featured in Reese's Book Club which led me to think it was good enough to purchase. So I started reading it a few days after picking it up and for some reason or another I just couldn't get into it, perhaps it's the style in which it's written. But one day I forced myself to read through the first several chapters and it finally started to get interesting. From what I've read so far, a woman named Hannah Hall is married to a man named Owen Michaels who has a daughter named Bailey. One day Owen suddenly disappears but leaves a message to his wife saying to protect his daughter. The book goes on to share details as to why he could have disappeared while revealing that Owen really isn't who he said he was. I'm still in the process of reading this mystery-thriller, but from the reviews I've read online, people have lots of good things to say about it.  

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover - Because I loved It Ends With Us so much I decided to pick up another book by the same author. This romance novel revolves around two characters, Tate Collins and Miles Archer. The book shares the evolution of their relationship from the moment they first meet from the perspectives of each character. What I will say about this book is that there's lots of descriptive sex happening all throughout it since a lot of their relationship revolves around only that for a majority of the storyline. That aside, it has a cute ending and overall it was an easy read. 

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover - Because I've enjoyed Colleen Hoover's books as much as I have, I decided to pick up another, so when I went to Barnes & Noble last month I was overwhelmed by the selection of her novels. I ultimately went with this one because it had tons of good reviews on Amazon. The book is based on two characters Quinn and Graham and shares perspectives of their relationship from two different time periods, then, when they first met and how their relationship evolved, and now, seven years later when they're in a marriage that's holding on by a thread. The novel goes on to share insight into each character's struggles and how they navigate through it all in their relationship. I hate to say that I did reach a point where I was skimming through the pages and only reading what was in quotations to get through it and to reach parts I found more interesting. However, in the end, this was a good book to read overall and it showed me the power and strength of true love in a marriage.

Verity by Colleen Hoover - This is the book I just finished reading and I was hooked! I looked forward to when I had some downtime to pick it up and keep reading. I was influenced to purchase this book by one of my favorite influencers, Alisha Marie, who said it was her favorite book she's read this year, and by a TikTok that said this book, along with the book Layla from the same author, kept her on her toes the entire time she was reading. Honestly, I can relate because this thriller is definitely that, it's thrilling to read and even spooky at times. The main character Lowen Ashleigh is hired by Jeremy Crawford, husband of Verity Crawford, a bestselling author, to finish the remaining book series his injured wife is unable to complete. Lowen arrives at the home of Jeremy and Verity to get notes and research on the book series she's been hired to complete. As she's sorting through years of stuff in Verity's office she comes across a chilling autobiography that was never intended for eyes other than Verity's. This uncovers shocking things about Verity that her husband Jeremy knows nothing about. In Colleen Hoover fashion, there is some romance sprinkled in this book revolving around two of the characters. But let me tell you the ending had a plot twist that I did not see coming! With that said, this romance-thriller is a must-read!


Those are the books I've read and am currently reading so far along with my notes on each. If I had to rank the books I've completed in order from favorite to least favorite this would be my ranking:

1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo // 2. Verity // 3. It Ends With Us // 4. Ugly Love // 5. All Your Perfects

There are several other books on my reading wishlist that I hope to read by the end of this year. Here's hoping I can get through them all and when I do I'll create another blog post like this at the end of the year.

xo, Your Girl Jess

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